I just started reading “Untapped Potential,” a study of a cohort in Philadelphia’s public high schools, released June 4 by the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins. Among other issues this report raises, the gender gap in income is most evident not among high school dropouts but among students who have a high school diploma but no postsecondary education. According to the report, the earnings gap “virtually disappeared” for students who went on to get some college education.
A middle skills education, where students get at least some postsecondary education, is increasingly more important to Pennsylvania’s workforce. While Philadelphia’s high dropout rate among high school students has led us to focus on high school diplomas and GEDs, we must remember that high school is only one step on the educational ladder to success.