Hawai‘i’s educational leaders have set a goal of having 55% of working-age adults hold a two- or four-year degree by the year 2025 — or, as a state, we won’t be positioned for competitiveness for the 21st century. Everyone must join together to increase student achievement in Hawai‘i and achieve this goal, guiding our keiki from their earliest years until they earn a college degree.
In 2008, the “55 by 25” goal was set by the Hawai‘i P-20 Council, the advisory council for Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education, a statewide partnership led by the Executive Offive on Early Learning, the Hawai‘i State Department of Education and the University of Hawai‘i System. The Hawai‘i P-20 Council is a group of leaders from education, business, labor, government and the community who share a common vision and mission of improving educational outcomes for Hawai‘i. The council provides support, information, and guidance to the Hawai‘i P-20 leadership and staff, and advocates for statewide educational planning and policy.
In addition to the entities that formed the Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education, other supporting organizations include the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, the Hawai‘i Business Roundtable, the Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i, the Hawai‘i Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and the HE‘E Coalition. Major sponsors for the campaign include: Hawai‘i Pacific Health, Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaiian Telcom, HMSA, First Insurance of Hawai‘i and Queen’s Health Systems.
EVIDENCE OF NEED: ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Students must learn to read by the third grade so they can read to learn thereafter. One out of three third-grade students in Hawai‘i is NOT reading at grade level or above. These students are more likely to struggle, from elementary school through middle and high school. And they are less likely to attend or, much less, graduate from college with a degree.
EVIDENCE OF NEED: SECONDARY SCHOOL
In the U.S., one in four teens will drop out before earning a high-school degree. In Hawai‘i, roughly 6,000 students will drop out of school this school year alone.
EVIDENCE OF NEED: HIGHER EDUCATION
Only half of the students who start at a UH campus for their bachelor’s degree will graduate in six years with a degree.
EVIDENCE OF NEED: EARNINGS AS AN ADULT
By 2018, nearly seven in ten jobs in Hawai‘i will require at least some college. The unemployment rate for college graduates is less than half of that for those with only a high-school diploma. Having a college degree helps open doors to better jobs and advancement opportunities. On average, Hawai‘i residents with a college degree earn nearly $20,000 more than those without one. Over a lifetime of working, that adds up to $1,000,000.
CALL TO ACTION
To achieve Hawai‘i’s education goal and to support the thousands of people already working hard for student success, “55 by ‘25” invites the participation of everyone in our community — parents, grandparents, students, businesses, and community organizations — to get involved.
To see our 55 by ’25 television spot airing on KITV and KHON see below: