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New Study Underscores Need to Fix Education Opportunity Gaps

In Grand Junction, we have been fortunate to rank highly for on-time graduation rates for the last three years, beating the state average of 79 percent by nearly a full percentage point.

Unfortunately, Grand Junction and the rest of Colorado can and should be doing a lot better.

According to U.S. News and McKinsey, Colorado ranks 10th overall in the country for its rosy economy but 45th for high school graduation rates.

That’s because despite our recent economic successes, we have an outdated and inequitable education systems that has created one of the largest achievement and opportunity gaps in the country

To try to solve this gap, a group of Colorado businesses and interest groups recently joined forces to put together a new study that shows not only the multi-billion dollars boost the state would get if Colorado schools were No. 1 in the country but also what our leaders need to do to achieve that goal.

What if Colorado Schools Were #1 – A Business Guide for Colorado’s Next Governor,” uses a dynamic economic modeling program funded by the REMI Partnership to answer the vital question: What if Colorado high school graduates went on to obtain the level of post-secondary education and training needed to meet the demands of Colorado’s economy.

The answers are astounding.

This piece originally appeared in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. Click here to read the entire op-ed.

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