We can only admire the leadership in the Texas higher education community for setting such a noble goal that 60 percent of adults have a postsecondary credential by 2030.
But here's the problem: just as in business, setting ambitious goals without taking care to address problems "in the pipeline" is not a formula for success.
Texas has blown up its much-admired standards and accountability system. Students no longer must take key STEM courses in high school. Students no longer must show even basic proficiency in high school to graduate or even graduate with meaningful designations of postsecondary readiness. And, schools that used to feel the pinch of accountability easily get a satisfactory rating irrespective of how well their students are doing academically.
And, as a result, academic achievement is stalled and generally headed down.
Even more to the point, Texas' gains in credential attainment, which were going nicely higher, have flattened out in the last two years. This does not portend favorably for maintaining old goals, much less meeting new and higher ones.
Texas' leadership would be smart to slow down on ambitious new "profit" goals and mind the pipeline! Only by doing so will Texas students continue to make progress at getting ready for good jobs.