Workforce & Talent Development

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Why it Matters

There is no better economic development tool than a talented and competitive workforce. A skilled workforce should be paramount in any plan to drive economic growth. Developing an effective workforce requires a dedication to excellence in our pre-K–12th grade system, colleges, universities and career techs across the state. Assuring access to first-class education and training can be challenging. However, investing in quality systems that produce college and career ready graduates will prove invaluable for business.

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Methodology

Education Funding (100 points)

It is imperative that our state puts the bulk of its public K-12 education expenditures toward the correct targets. We examine each state’s per pupil expenditures on instruction and general administration.

Quality of Public K-12 Education (50 points)

Investing in quality education systems that produce college- and career-ready graduates will prove invaluable for business. In order to judge the quality of each state’s public K-12 education system, we examine Education Week’s Quality Counts report card grades.

Student Achievement (300 points)

Developing an effective workforce starts with dedication to excellence in our pre-K through 12th grade system. In order to gauge each state’s performance at teaching these students, we look at ACT scores, ACT benchmarks, and NAEP scores for fourth and eighth grade students in math and reading.

Talent Supply of Today’s Workforce (150 points)

There is no better economic development tool than a talented and competitive workforce. To compare the talent supply of today’s workforce, we look at each state’s percentage of adults with a high school diploma or higher and a bachelor’s degree or higher, as well as the percentage of certificates and degrees in STEM fields by state.

Per Pupil Education Expenditures on Instruction
$4,466
US Rate $
6,903
OK Rank
47th
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Source

U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Survey of School System Finances (2015)

Explanation

Instruction expenditure covers expenditures for regular, special, and vocational programs offered in both the regular school year and summer school. It excludes instructional support, student support, and other support activities, as well as adult education, community services, and student enterprise activities.

Per Pupil Education Expenditures on General Administration
$237
US Rate $
218
OK Rank
26th
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Source

U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Survey of School System Finances (2015)

Explanation

General Administration includes expenditures for board of education and executive administration (office of the superintendent) services.

Quality Counts State Grades
68.4
US Rate
74.5
OK Rank
45th
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Source

Education Week Research Center (2018)

Explanation

The overall A-F letter grades for the nation and the states in Quality Counts 2018 are based on the average of scores on a traditional 100-point scale for three custom indices developed by the Education Week Research Center: Chance for Success, K-12 Achievement, and School Finance. Each category carries equal weight in the grading.

ACT Composite Score
19.4
US Rate
21
OK Rank
43rd
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Source

ACT, Inc. (2017)

Explanation

Average ACT composite score by state

Percent of 2017 ACT-Tested High School Graduates Meeting ACT College Readiness Benchmarks in All Four Subjects
16%
US Rate
27%
OK Rank
44th
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Source

ACT, Inc. (2017)

Explanation

The ACT College Readiness Benchmarks are the minimum ACT college readiness assessment scores required for students to have a high probability of success in credit-bearing college courses—English Composition, social sciences courses, College Algebra, or Biology.

Percentage of 4th Grade Students Scoring at or Above Proficient on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Math Assessment
37%
US Rate
39%
OK Rank
33rd
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Source

National Center for Education Statistics, The Nation’s Report Card (2015)

Explanation

The percentage of fourth grade students scoring at or above proficient on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) math assessment.

Percentage of 8th Grade Students Scoring at or Above Proficient on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Math Assessment
23%
US Rate
32%
OK Rank
45th
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Source

National Center for Education Statistics, The Nation’s Report Card (2015)

Explanation

The percentage of eighth grade students scoring at or above proficient on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) math assessment.

Percentage of 4th Grade Students Scoring at or Above Proficient on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Reading Assessment
33%
US Rate
35%
OK Rank
35th
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Source

National Center for Education Statistics, The Nation’s Report Card (2015)

Explanation

The percentage of fourth grade students scoring at or above proficient on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading assessment.

Percentage of 8th Grade Students Scoring at or Above Proficient on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Reading Assessment
29%
US Rate
33%
OK Rank
39th
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Source

National Center for Education Statistics, The Nation’s Report Card (2015)

Explanation

The percentage of eighth grade students scoring at or above proficient on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading assessment.

Percentage of Adult Population with a High School Diploma or Higher
87.8%
US Rate
87.5%
OK Rank
33rd
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Source

U.S. Census Bureau (2016)

Explanation

Percentage of adult population 25 and older with a high school diploma or higher

Percentage of Adult Population with a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher
25.2%
US Rate
31.3%
OK Rank
43rd
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Source

U.S. Census Bureau (2016)

Explanation

Percentage of adult population 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher

Percentage of Certificates and Degrees in STEM Fields
27%
US Rate
25.6%
OK Rank
18th
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Source

Education Commission of the States, Vital Signs (2014-2015)

Explanation

Percentage of post-secondary certificates and degrees in STEM fields