The Intersection

Intersection Webinar Recap: Exploring College- and Career-Readiness Data

September 27, 2019

In the age of accountability in education, improving access to student outcome data has become a priority for states across the nation. Many institutions have come a long way in generating user-friendly state-, district-, and school-level report cards to inform students, families, and policymakers of student progress. However, the depth and accessibility of the data varies, limiting stakeholders’ ability to delve into important topics like understanding college and career readiness among high school students.

Achieve has been at the forefront of the push for more publicly accessible student data for over 20 years and seeks to help state policymakers, educators, and families understand high school graduation expectations and how they impact student success.

Earlier this year, Achieve consolidated state level data to create the College- and Career-Ready Student Outcomes Data Explorer. This interactive dashboard allows parents, educators, and policymakers to compare polices and results from all 50 states in order to ask tough questions about whether our students are ready to make the transition to college or career after graduating high school.

Achieve’s Director of Research, Marie O’Hara, led our discussion of this new resource and took us on a tour of the data explorer in our latest Intersection Webinar.

Exploring College- and Career-Readiness Data | Key Takeaways

  • With all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, using different reporting methods and structures, one of the goals of the College- and Career-Ready Student Outcomes Data Explorer was to create one repository that made it easy to compare this information. Using data from state report cards and dashboards for the 2017-18 school year, Achieve did just that.  

  • Reporting practices vary, thus limiting the collection of certain outcomes for some states. Only by encouraging states to share the data on these missing indicators can we gather a full picture of nationwide career and college readiness outcomes.

  • The Explorer focuses on state-level reporting of seven key student outcomes:
    • Four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate;
    • College- and career-ready coursework completion;
    • 9th grade on track (e.g., are students on-track to graduate on time in 9thgrade?);
    • College- and career-ready assessment results (e.g., SAT, ACT, PARCC, SBAC, etc.);
    • College- and career-ready measures (note: these measures are state-defined and often vary);
    • Earning college credit in high school (e.g., Advanced Placement courses, dual enrollment, etc.); and
    • Postsecondary enrollment.

  • To facilitate comparisons the explorer conveniently includes a summary of each measure for all states, as well as individual links to examine outcomes at the state level.
  • Alongside the data itself, the explorer sheds light on how different measures are designed and which students are being considered in these indicators of achievement. It also includes a breakdown of states’ college and career readiness data by groups of students where available.

  • In addition to the data explorer, Achieve has created subtopic pages that provide links to additional resources that highlight the importance and relevance of these indicators.

We are grateful that Marie took the time to join us this week and look forward to future analyses of the data presented in the explorer. For our full conversation, please watch the webinar below.

Join us on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 1 p.m. as we welcome Dr. Deven Carlson, Associate Director for Education at the National Institute of Risk and Resilience at the University of Oklahoma, and Dr. Elizabeth Bell, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Miami University. We will learn about their new paper which was recently highlighted by the Brookings Institute,  Socioeconomic-Based School Assignment Policy and Racial Segregation Levels: Evidence From the Wake County Public School System.

See you at The Intersection! 

The Hunt Team

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