The Road Map Project’s “2015 Results Report,” an annual report card with data on indicators of student success, shows progress being made on education milestones in the South Seattle and South King County region, but also illustrates that more work must be done to help all students succeed.
The Road Map Project is a region-wide collective impact effort aiming to improve education results in South Seattle and South King County, the county’s areas of greatest need. Seven school districts — Auburn, Federal Way, Highline, Kent, Renton, Seattle (south-end schools only) and Tukwila — are among the hundreds of partners working together as part of the Road Map Project.
“If you didn’t think equity was an issue, you will after you read the report,” said University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce. “But no one is hiding from the challenges. A steadfast commitment is the only way to change the status quo that is abandoning so many of our young people. The road to justice and opportunity is long; it’s difficult. But with this project, we know our destination and we have a map.”
- Gains in high school graduation rates: The region’s on-time (four-year) high school graduation rate has been increasing for the past three years to 77 percent for the class of 2015. That’s up from 73 percent in 2013 and 75 percent in 2014. For the first time, all Road Map region districts have rates of 70 percent or above. Highline Public Schools and Tukwila School District in particular have shown great improvement in the last two years.
- Continued decline in out-of-school suspensions and expulsions: The region has met its 2020 goal for reducing the number of 9th graders with a suspension or expulsion. However, significant racial/ethnic disparities, especially for our Black/African American students exist.
- Improved preparation for postsecondary: The percent of students taking advanced courses (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Cambridge courses) has risen steadily to 65 percent for the class of 2015. Also, the opportunity gap is closing for students meeting the minimum requirements to apply to a four-year Washington college.
- Insight into English language learner (ELL) student performance: New data show that once ELL students master English, they outperform all other non-ELL students in reading and math assessments, showing the great educational value of bilingualism.
While the report documents progress, it also highlights challenges, including:
- Lack of early learning opportunities: Only 18 percent of eligible low-income children are being served by formal early learning programs in South King County.
- No progress on college enrollment: The percent of Road Map region students enrolling in college within a year of high school graduation remains stagnant at 60 percent, and many racial/ethnic student groups have much lower results.
For more information or to view the entire report, visit roadmapproject.org.