Friday, October 3, 2008

Let's Keep This Promise

Lately, it's been hard to wade through the overwhelming national news to grasp at the important local news. Today, this gem appeared hiding beneath all the fancy pictures and big text:

"From Pittsburgh Public Schools, CCAC received 258 graduates, compared with 199 the previous year when the Pittsburgh Promise wasn't available."

Simply put, Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) has higher enrollment this year and a good percentage of that is from Pittsburgh Promise kids. Sounds promising. What's an extra bonus here is that the Pittsburgh Promise could easily cover the entire $1500/ semester tuition at CCAC and not put those kids at risk of losing a chance at education because of the current credit crunch.

Some information that would have rounded out the story would be general numbers from Pittsburgh schools. Did the overall number of students enrolling at colleges increase this year? Or did just more students choose CCAC instead of other options? I think it's to be expected that every year, high schools send more students to college. I'm sure there are many factors that have led to increased attendance at CCAC like its appeal of affordability in precarious economic times and its city wide bus advertisements. Also, time will tell if these new students succeed at their new school or fall behind and drop out. However, I do not look at increases like 30% lightly. That's a pretty impressive number for the first year of the Pittsburgh Promise and if even a small percentage of the increase is directly attributed to the Promise, it's a great accomplishment.


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