Monday, June 25, 2018

2017 COLLEGE GRADS (Part 2)

In part 1 of this post, we wrote about the general characteristics of the 574 Boise District graduates who matriculated from college in 2017. In part 2, we will look at the majors of those who earned a BS/BA degree in 2017.

For comparative purposes, we will use the results of an analysis done in 2014 of college grads from the high school classes of 2007-2010, and compare that info with that of 2017 graduates.

Major Areas

Nearly a third of 2017 Boise Schools BS/BA degree earners graduated with a degree in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM). Social Science and Business degrees were a distant second and third, respectively.

Note in the chart below that STEM degrees as a percentage of the total have grown since we last measured the distribution back in 2014, from just over 26% to over 32%. Business majors have also increased, but Social Science majors decreased substantially between 2014 and 2017.

Specific Majors

So what has caused the change?  Why have STEM degrees increased so much in popularity? We can see the answer when we look at the top individual majors compared to 2014:

As you can see, Computer Engineering/Science degrees were among the most popular among 2017 college grads, after coming in at 26th among majors for the classes of 2007-2010. The 23 CS grads was within one of the total from the four classes we examined just a few years ago!

Clearly, the efforts of the Idaho Technology Council, and others in increasing Idaho students' exposure to computer science are paying dividends, as more and more students are gravitating toward the area.

But are they finding jobs? That is one topic of part 3 of our examination of 2017 Boise District college grads.

Friday, June 22, 2018


Here's part 1 of a 3-part post about Boise District alumni who matriculated from a college or university in 2017 with a certificate, AA/AS, or a BA/BS degree. In this post, we'll look at general demographic information about the 674 2017 graduates. 


The vast majority of 2017 college grads earned Bachelor's degrees:

A few graduates earned an Associate's degree or a Certificate on the way to a Bachelor's degree. We counted only the Bachelor's degree in those cases.


The largest percentage of degrees and certificates were earned by Boise High graduates, which makes sense in that Boise has had the largest number of graduates for the past few years, and a higher number of students with the financial wherewithal to continue their academic pursuits. Timberline has had the smallest number of high school graduates, but that is likely to change in the near future with the growth in southeast Boise.


As you might expect, the large majority of students (63%) graduated from Idaho colleges and universities. However, 9% of degrees were earned from colleges in the state of Utah, continuing the trend of Boise students' attendance in the Beehive State.

Here's the data for 2017 graduates by college:

Of course, Boise State, Idaho, and CWI had the largest number of graduates. The College of Idaho and Idaho State are next in line with 27 and 26 degrees. BYU-Idaho and the three Utah schools are next in line, and no other colleges had more than 10 graduates. However, four or more Boise students graduated from a number of colleges:

Montana State University - 8, Lewis-Clark State College - 6,Western Washington University- 6, California Polytechnic University - 6, Westminster College (Utah) - 5, Arizona State University - 4, Colorado State University - 4, Northwest Nazarene University - 4, Oregon State University - 4, Seattle University - 4, University of Oregon - 4, Whitman College (WA) - 4.

All told, Boise District alumni graduated from colleges and universities in 35 states and the District of Columbia (Georgetown) in 2017.

Friday, June 8, 2018


There's a lot to catch up on in education, economics, and demographic info from around the web. Here are some of the articles that caught our eye in the past few weeks.

Teacher Uprisings Explained

The Numbers that Explain Why Teachers are in Revolt, by Robert Gebeloff, comes from the NY Times' Upshot Research Blog. In the article uses data to show how funding practices across the country have led to the statewide teacher job actions in a number of states. 

Gebeloff writes: "But while the protests are spreading this year, the underlying conflict between public school employees and policymakers has roots in decisions made during the last recession, when  states and local districts short of cash curtailed education spending for the first time in decades."

Can't They Just Move?

In another Upshot article, Emily Badger explains why many people who struggle financially don't just up and move to another community where rent is more affordable. Here's a selection from her article, "Why Don’t People Who Can’t Afford Housing Just Move Where It’s Cheaper?" :

"People who struggle financially often have valuable social networks — family to help with child care, acquaintances who know of jobs. The prospect of dropping into, say, Oklahoma or Georgia would mean doing without the good income and the social support. Those intangible connections that keep people in places with bad economies also keep people in booming regions where the rent is too high."

Still More Bad News About Vouchers

The newest evaluation of a voucher program comes from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Evaluation in the form of an analysis of the Washington, D.C. voucher program (called the Opportunity Scholarship Program). The federally funded program provided scholarships for low-income students to attend a private school.

Though the research team, headed by Mark Dynarski, found that voucher recipients and their parents had a positive perception of school safety after two years in the program, they also found that:

"The OSP had a statistically significant negative impact on mathematics achievement after
two years. Mathematics scores were lower for students two years after they applied to the OSP (by 8.0 percentile points for students offered a scholarship and 10.0 percentile points for students who used their scholarship), compared with students who applied but were not selected for the scholarship. Reading scores were lower (by 3.0 and 3.8 percentile points, respectively) but the differences were not statistically significant..."

Demographic Changes by County

Kim Parker writes in the Pew Research Center blog about demographic changes in the United States, and provides an interactive map  that allows you to search for counties across the country and view comparative data. There's also an excellent article that summarizes the changes. From the article:

A Forgotten but Important Desegregation Case

In the Atlantic, William Stancil writes about Green v. New Kent County, the lawsuit that made it to the U.S. Supreme Court and established the basis for many of the most famous busing conflicts of the 1970's. His article, entitled The Radical Supreme Court Decision That America Forgot provides an interesting look at the decision and its ramifications.