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Report: Educational gaps put Arizona’s economic future at risk

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Educational achievement and attainment gaps between white and many minority students could affect the state’s future economy, according to the Arizona Minority Student Progress Report 2016: The Transformation Continues.

“The alarm has been ringing for so long and the data has been available for so long, and yet the response has been so weak,” said Joseph Garcia, Arizona State University’s Director of the Morrison Institute Latino Public Policy Center.

“We’re not educating our workforce, and not recognizing that there is a crisis,” Garcia added, who is also with the Arizona Minority Education Policy Analysis which released the findings.

The study’s key findings show that high dropout rates remain constant with no improvements in AIMS math and science scores, and 8 in 10 of all Arizona students do not meet College Readiness Benchmark Scores.

Unless there are game changing steps taken, Arizona will not have a competitive workforce in the future, Garcia said.

“Our future workforce is largely dependent on the growing Latino population,” he said. “And if there is a Latino educational achievement gap, you’re going to have a workforce that is not highly educated, not highly skilled.”

Garcia concluded that as a result, we’re going to have more people taking from the system than putting into the system.

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