Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lynn Educational Attainment Data

In the August 27th edition of The Daily Item, there was an article which discussed School Committee member Maria Carrasco's belief that Lynn needs to offer more GED classes. While there was a question of whether offering such classes would be counter-intuitive for a public school system who would like to graduate all students with a diploma, still Lynn may need to consider a way to balance this mission along with the substantial need in the city. Below are figures regarding educational attainment for residents age 25 and older in the city of Lynn as reported by the American Community Survey for 2006 - 2010.

Educational Attainment
Less than 9th grade12.1%
9th - 12th grade, no diploma10.0%
High school graduate (includes GED)35.7%
Some college16.0%
Associate's Degree8.2%
Bachelor's Degree11.2%
Graduate or Professional Degree6.8%

From this we see that 22.1% of people over age 25 do not have a high school diploma while 26.2% of people have an associate's degree or higher. Lynn residents with either a high school degree, GED or some college credits make up 51.7% of the population. With over half of the population only having attained a high school diploma or less, this data indicates that Lynn overall consists of a largely undereducated population particularly when one notes that 88.7% of Massachusetts residents have a high school diploma or greater. Raising educational attainment levels in Lynn both through targeted dropout interventions and increased middle and secondary school guidance within the schools coupled with offering GED classes to people over age 20 or 25 is one potential avenue toward an improved economic situation in the city.

Given that nearly a quarter of Lynn's population age 25 and older do not have a high school diploma, should Lynn offer more GED classes?  Could the public schools' mission be balanced with this idea by only offering classes to people in this age range?


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