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 Chrys Dougherty

Photograph of Chrys Dougherty
Chrys Dougherty
Senior Research Scientist,
National Center for Educational Achievement

Chrys Dougherty is a Senior Research Scientist at ACT, Inc. and the National Center for Educational Achievement (NCEA). He has written extensively on college readiness, the value of longitudinal student data, and the Ten Essential Elements of statewide student information systems. After teaching science in an elementary school in Oakland, California, Dr. Dougherty received his Master of Public Affairs degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs and Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. He taught statistics, economics, econometrics, and education policy courses at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and authored Asking the Right Questions about Schools: a Parents' Guide. Dougherty joined Just for the Kids (later NCEA) in 1997 and became a primary designer of NCEA's innovative Just for the Kids School Reports.

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Preparing Students for College and Careers—Using 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:

Additional Resources:

  1. ACT, Inc. (2009). The path to career success: High school achievement, certainty of career choice, and college readiness make a difference. http://www.nc4ea.org/files/the_path_to_career_success-01-01-09.pdf
  2. ACT, Inc. (2007). Rigor at risk: Reaffirming quality in the high school core curriculum. http://www.act.org/research/policymakers/pdf/rigor_report.pdf
  3. Dougherty, C. (2010). Using the right data to determine if high school interventions are working to prepare students for college and careers. Washington, DC: National High School Center. http://www.betterhighschools.org/docs/NCEA_CollegeCareerReadiness.pdf
  4. Dougherty, C. (2008). They can pass, but are they college ready? Washington, DC: Data Quality Campaign. http://www.dataqualitycampaign.org/resources/310
  5. Heppen, J. B., & Therriault, S. B. (2008). Developing early warning systems to identify potential high school dropouts. http://www.betterhighschools.com/pubs/ews_guide.pdf
  6. National Center for Educational Achievement. (2009). Core practices in math and science: An investigation of consistently higher performing school systems in five states. Austin, TX: Author. http://www.nc4ea.org/files/core_practices_in_math_and_science-01-01-09.pdf
  7. NCEA(2009) Preparation Matters
    http://www.nc4ea.org/files/preparation_matters-04-01-09.pdf
  8. NCEA (2009) The NCEA Core Practice Framework: An Organized Guide to Sustained School Improvement
    http://www.nc4ea.org/files/organizing_guide_to_sustained_school_improvement-03-20-09.pdf
  9. NCEA (2009) Core Practices in Math and Science: An Investigation of Consistently Higher Performing School Systems in Five States
    http://www.nc4ea.org/files/core_practices_in_math_and_science-01-01-09.pdf
  10. NCEA (2006) Orange Juice or Orange Drink? Ensuring that “Advanced Courses” Live Up to Their Labels
    http://www.nc4ea.org/files/orange_juice_or_orange_drink_02-13-06.pdf