Initiative / backbone name: The Road Map Project / Community Center for Education Results
Year initiative formed: 2010
Mission: Double the number of students on track to graduate with a postsecondary degree or career credential by 2020, and close the achievement gaps
Geography: Seattle and South King County, WA
Impact area(s): Education
The Road Map Project seeks to double the number of students on track to graduate with a postsecondary degree or career credential in the South Seattle and South King County, Wash., region by 2020, as well as to close achievement gaps. It will do this by driving a dramatic improvement in student achievement from “cradle to career” in South Seattle and South King County. The project builds on the belief that collective effort is necessary to make large-scale change and has created a common goal and shared vision in order to facilitate coordinated action, both inside and outside schools.
At first glance, educational attainment in the Seattle metro region appears high – in 2010, 47% of adults over 25 in King County had a bachelor’s degree,2 compared to roughly 30% of the population nationally.3 However, those statistics – caused by the relocation of college graduates from other parts of the country and world to the region – masked serious problems for local students in disadvantaged areas. In fact, according to the Road Map Project’s baseline report “only one out of every four King County residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher was born” in the region.4 The entire Seattle region, but particularly South Seattle and South King County, faced unacceptable educational achievement gaps for low-income students and children of color, as well as low overall educational achievement rates. While data shows that 67% of jobs will require a college degree or credential by 2018, only 24% of children from the region and 10% of children of color, receive such a credential. Graduation rates needed to rise dramatically to ensure that students in the region will have the opportunity to obtain meaningful careers in the future.