There is something special happening here.
Over the next several weeks, we will be sharing important content from our newly released Promise Partnership Regional Council (PPRC) 2015 Results Report. Nearly one in three of Utah’s children live in the Promise Partnership Region, and Results Matter: The 2016 Results Report of the Promise Partnership Regional Council, describes how we are working together differently so that every child in our region can reach eight crucial milestones. This week, we are focusing on 8th Grade Math & College/Career Ready.
*You can view the report in its entirety by clicking above.
Research shows that eighth grade mathematics achievement is a strong predictor of overall high school success, high school graduation, and college completion. Introductory algebra is regarded as a “gatekeeper” subject, which correlates strongly to both college and career success.
Interest and achievement in middle grade mathematics also helps prepare students for future studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields, where jobs are expected to grow over the next decade. Many students who express a strong interest in mathematics and science in elementary school start to lose interest over time during middle school. This reality of lost excitement is especially true of girls.
While regional partnerships began in 2014, we did not start collaborative work related to all of the outcomes then. So, while we have not yet organized a regional collaborative action network focused specifically on eighth-grade mathematics, Collective Impact partnerships are active at both Granite Park Junior High in South Salt Lake and Kearns Junior High School in Kearns. Particularly in schools such as Kearns Junior High and Granite Park Junior High in Granite School District, where we have deep partnership infrastructure, we are seeing community-level results on multiple outcomes, including mathematics proficiency.
Many students graduate high school ill-prepared for college-level coursework, therefore we focus on college and career readiness. We also focus on college completion because our economy demands it. Studies show that by 2020, 66 percent of all Utah jobs will require a postsecondary certificate or degree. The Provo-Orem/Ogden-Clearfield/ Salt Lake City areas are among the top ten U.S. metropolitan areas with adults that have some college, but lack a degree or certificate.
Our new way of working includes three Collective Impact partnerships that support these postsecondary outcomes of college access, completion, and a stable career path.
- Local college access network launched in 2014 to increase FAFSA completion rates across the eight high schools in Granite School District, focusing on schools with the highest rates of poverty. School and district staff, non-profit providers and government agencies have identified factors that impact FAFSA completion and developed action plans.
- College Access Network of Utah (CANU) will focus in the year ahead on improving college readiness, access and completion, specifically for underserved, low-income, first generation and historically underrepresented student populations.
- Pathway to Careers collaboration focuses on helping Latino/Latina youth and refugee youth set paths from high school graduation to postsecondary completion and onto stable careers.
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