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Preparing Students for College and CareersUsing the Right Data to Determine if High School Interventions Are Working to Prepare Students for College and Careers
In recent years, policymakers have begun to emphasize the goal that all students graduate from high school college- and career-ready (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Association of State Boards of Education, & Council of Chief State School Officers, 2008). Research has supported the idea that college readiness and career readiness are increasingly the same goal-the skills required to prepare for most well-paying careers are similar to those required for college readiness (ACT, 2006). Yet, evidence from college readiness test scores indicates that the majority of students who finish high school do not graduate college ready. This is especially true for African American and Hispanic students (ACT, 2008).
Chrys Dougherty, of the National Center for Educational Achievement, authored a report discussing the challenge of getting all high school students to college and career readiness. This report, Using the Right Data to Determine if High School Interventions Are Working to Prepare Students for College and Careers [PDF File], focuses on identifying students who have large academic preparation gaps entering high school and developing databases that can be used to identify promising interventions for those students. It includes discussion on:
- how to disaggregate poorly prepared students based on the size of their academic preparation gaps relative to college and career readiness targets on state and national tests;
- research at the National Center for Educational Achievement (NCEA) on the relationship between students' eighth-grade academic preparation gaps and their likelihood of meeting college and career readiness targets by the end of high school;
- the datasets that states and school districts should create to be able to assess the benefits of interventions for students at different prior achievement levels; and
- the direction that high schools and school districts can take given this information.
Chrys Dougherty will be available until May 31st to answer your questions and engage in an online discussion about his report. Please submit your questions via email for the May discussion.
View The Questions to Date on College and Career Readiness:
- Question 1: What are some alternative indicators that schools and districts could develop to assess skills needed for college and career readiness that are not measured by standardized tests, such as research and critical thinking?
- Question 2: What differences exist across socioeconomic, ethnic, and gender groups in the college and career readiness of students, as measured by the indicators that you have studied?
- Question 3: What should the process be and who should be responsible for identifying interventions for particular students?
- Question 4: What can schools do with data in the absence of a state or district-wide data system?