Education is the key in moving our community and improving the quality of life.
The high-school graduation rate is one of the best indicators of a community’s economic prospects. When companies explore moving to a community, one of the first things they look up is the graduation rate. Our graduation rate is holding the area back. In Escambia County, just 64 percent of our high-schoolers walk away with a diploma. For black students, it’s 51 percent. These numbers are some of the lowest rates in the state.
The state average is 75.6 percent overall. 1 in 3 Escambia County students didn’t graduate last year.
The impact of generational poverty on the community’s economic and educational prospects is reflected in measures such as the free- and reduced-price lunch rate — which in Escambia County is 62 percent.
The Florida Office of Early Learning says on average 33 percent of Escambia 5-year- olds are not ready for kindergarten. Often those children come from poor families.
Science is showing the link between “toxic stress” — repeated, frequent exposure of a young, developing brain to stress — damages that child’s ability to learn and process information throughout the rest of that baby’s life. Read full story
Two professors in Southwest Florida wanted to know the price tag for getting the community’s 3- and 4-year-olds kindergarten ready. Read full story
School grades provide parents and the general public an easily understandable way to measure the performance of a school and understand how well each school is serving its students. Read full story