Community Education Goal: Increase the percentage of central Iowa students who graduate from high school to 95 percent by the year 2020.
An overview of United Way's education work from birth to high school graduation
Too many young people in central Iowa do not complete high school on time. Research shows they stand to earn $707,400 less over their working lifetime. When you add the burden of increased social costs attributed to dropping out, every dropout represents a million-dollar problem—and a lesser long-term quality of life for the student.
But a dropout is more than 12 years in the making. Young children who enter kindergarten unprepared can become a third-grader who cannot read. Reading proficiently by the end of third grade is a strong predictor for future school success. A third-grader who cannot read is unable to comprehend classroom content in later grades, making it four times more likley that they become a dropout.
Central Iowa’s graduation rate increases to all-time high
The percentage of central Iowa students graduating high school within five years increased to an all-time high of 93.6 in 2016, from 92.8 percent in the prior year, according to data released by the Iowa Department of Education on April 11, 2018. The increase moves the region closer toward its Goal for 2020 to increase graduation rates to 95 percent, and is up more than 10 percentage points over nine years.
Education Focus Area
Education: What's Working