Review of Capital Region talent development from cradle to career

Baton Rouge, La. (April 11, 2019) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released an education and talent report that analyzes public education performance in the Capital Region for the 2017-2018 school year. The full report is available online at brac.org/reports.

BRAC has expanded its analysis beyond the K-12 system, providing parents and the community a glimpse into the region’s talent pipeline from early childhood to post-secondary attainment. The report seeks to provide a singular resource to answer four important questions:  1) What is regional public education today?  2) How do we know if our regional public education outcomes are getting better or worse? 3) How does our region compare to other areas? 4) Are we addressing regional workforce needs?

“True talent development begins with excellent early childhood education and extends beyond graduation with a certificate or degree,” said Nial Patel, senior vice president of Cornerstone Government Affairs and chair of BRAC’s Education and Workforce Issue Council. “For Baton Rouge Area residents to productively engage in our growing economy, we must align our education and training programs to business needs.”

Key takeaways from BRAC’s 2017-2018 review of the available data are:

  • The region’s enrollment has reached 125,484 students, the highest since the inception of BRAC’s report, with over 19,000 students participating in schools of choice through magnet programs and charter schools.
  • Three Capital Region districts ranked among the top five districts in the state, with Zachary remaining the best school system in Louisiana.
  • Seventy-five percent of the Capital Region’s early childcare centers earned an overall rating of proficient or higher.
  • The region is preparing more students than ever for college and careers, with 78 percent of high school seniors graduating on time.
  • Sixteen percent of those graduating seniors earned a total of 675 Industry Based Credentials along with their Jump Start diplomas.
  • Average ACT scores in the region continue to hover around 18, performing relatively close to the peer MSAs of Columbia, SC and Raleigh, NC.
  • Generally, district performance scores across the region dipped.
  • Regionally, 69 percent of 8th grade students are not proficient in math.
  • Only 49 percent of 4th graders in the region are proficient in English Language Arts.
  • Just 39 percent of the Capital Region’s adults hold an Associate’s degree or higher.

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,500 small businesses, mid-sized firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at brac.org.

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