Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Some states give out diplomas to many graduates without the academic preparation for college or career.

Achieve has released an examination of states' progress in achieving college and career readiness for all students in the form of 51 individual state profiles and a cross-state report that look at actual student performance against college and career readiness measures.

This report represents the first time that these data, from publicly available sources, have been compiled to paint a picture of academic readiness in every state. For the most part, it shows that too few high school graduates are prepared to succeed in two- and four-year postsecondary institutions or the military.

The report also shows significant limitations in the availability of data and inconsistencies in how they are reported across states. For example, just 15 states report data on how many students take and complete a high school course of study that would prepare them, and only 11 disaggregate those data by subgroups. Twenty-two states report data on students earning college credit in high school through AP courses; just seven of those states break those data down by subgroups. Only seven states report how many students in 8th or 9th grade are on track to graduate based on timely credit accumulation.

In the effort to gather and understand the available data, Achieve looked at several indicators of college and career readiness in each state, including students' performance on CCR assessments, completion of a rigorous course of study, and earning college credit while in high school. Achieve also examined postsecondary indicators: high school graduates' enrollment, persistence, and remediation rates at two- and four-year colleges. These postsecondary indicators are included in the state profiles released today and will be the subject of a separate cross-state comparison report to be released later this month.

In addition to the reporting states are already doing on graduation rate, Achieve recommends states should provide further transparency by using two new CCR indicators that are estimations of how many graduates are academically prepared. Using CCR coursework completion and CCR assessment data against a state's graduation rate,  Achieve has found some states give out diplomas to many graduates without the academic preparation for college or career.

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