The Education Pipeline

The education pipeline begins at birth and continues through early childhood education, K-12 education, higher education and the workforce. Ideally, each segment prepares an individual for the next phase of learning. But in reality, only a small percentage of the population is able to travel smoothly and successfully through all phases.

Literacy Connects works to support individuals who have fallen behind or fallen out of the pipeline and need additional resources to continue their learning.

Literacy begins before a child ever steps foot into a classroom.

From kindergarten through third grade, most children learn to read. From fourth grade on, children read to learn.

Nationally, more than 60% of middle school students are reading below grade level. This means that millions of young people cannot understand or evaluate text, provide relevant details, or support inferences about the written documents they read.  (Alliance for Excellent Education)

The majority of students are leaving high school without the necessary reading and writing skills needed to succeed in college and a career. (Alliance for Excellent Education)

  • Every year, approximately 1.3 million students—that’s over 7,000 every school day—do not graduate from high school on time. (Alliance for Excellent Education)
  • On average, a high school graduate in Arizona earns $7,498 more each year than a high school dropout does. Roughly 25,600 students in Arizona did not graduate from high school in 2011; the lost lifetime earnings for that class of dropouts alone is $3.1 billion. (Alliance for Excellent Education)
The likelihood that an American student who enters ninth grade will be enrolled in college four years later is less than 40%, and only about half of students who enroll in four-year colleges will earn a bachelor’s degree within six years. (Alliance for Excellent Education)

  • Almost 85% of current jobs and 90% of new jobs in occupations with both high growth and high wages will require workers with at least some post-secondary education. (Alliance for Excellent Education)
  • 42% of community-college freshmen and 20% of freshmen in four-year institutions must enroll in remedial courses in basic skills such as reading, writing, and math. Less than half of students who take remedial courses in the first year earn bachelor’s degrees. (Alliance for Excellent Education)
There is a direct relationship, economically and socially, between low adult literacy levels, unemployment, and poverty.

  • Nationally 43% of adults are at the basic or below basic level of literacy. (National Assessment of Adult Literacy)
  • In Arizona, 1 in 5 adults are functionally illiterate.
  • Many parents lack the skills necessary to help their children succeed in school. The greatest predictor of a child’s success in school is the education level of the parent. (Arizona Department of Education)