In 2012, US Census data for Hawai‘i showed that 316,099 adults ages 25 to 64 had an Associates, Bachelors or Advanced degree. This number translates to 42.6 percent of the population. Well, new data were just released that show this percentage rose to 44.3 percent. Now many may dismiss these gains as minimal. Yet when the data are translated into real numbers, it turns out that 11,332 MORE adults hold a degree than in the prior year. This staggering figure is a testament to the hard work of K-12 and post secondary systems to get more students to and through college.
It also provides good news to all who are vested in meeting Hawaii’s “55 by 25” goal. Results are trending in the right direction and the payoff to the state is huge, in terms of increased productivity and tax revenue. We have eleven more years to move eleven percentage points – from 44 percent to 55 percent. Lets stay the course and continue making smart bets on accelerated learning strategies like early college high schools and advanced placement courses.