Data-Driven Decision-Making

State Site Shows Careers, Education, Pay

In June, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office launched Salary Surfer, a website that allows students to search salaries of professionals in a given field, as well as compare earnings of individuals who have completed a particular type of degree or certificate. The site was developed, in part, to encourage students to develop clear academic goals and career plans and to provide additional information to support school counselors as they advise students on their postsecondary plans.

Expanding College Opportunities for High-Achieving, Low Income College Students

Expanding College Opportunities for High-Achieving, Low Income College Students, a study from Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), examined the effect of interventions on the college application and enrollment choices of high-achieving, low income students.

Waiving Away High School Graduation Rate Accountability?

In November 2011, eleven states submitted applications to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for waivers from up to ten provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), now known as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. Although the state waiver process currently underway presents an opportunity to strengthen college and career readiness among the nation’s high school students, the waiver applications as submitted may also have the unintended consequence of weakening high school graduation rate accountability.

Predictors of Categorical At-Risk High School Dropouts

This research by Suh, Suh, and Houston examines key contributing factors to school dropout among three categories of at-risk students: those with low grade point averages, those who had been suspended, and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth-1997 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2002), the authors found that student dropout rates were affected depending on the student membership in those three at-risk categories. This research may be particularly useful to schools looking at factors related to student dropout rates.

Preventing Student Disengagement and Keeping Students on the Graduation Path in Urban Middle-Grades Schools: Early Identification and Effective Interventions

This article from Balfanz, Herzog, and MacIver discusses the early identification and intervention system for middle-grade schools that can be used to combat student disengagement and increase graduation rates. The authors used longitudinal analysis to demonstrate how four predictive indicators can be used to identify 60% of students who will not graduate from high school. They provide recommendations on combining effective whole-school reforms to increase graduation rates. This resource may be particularly useful to districts or schools looking to improve graduation rates.

On the Road to Implementation: Achieving the Promise of the Common Core State Standards

This brief from Achieve identifies the key areas that state policymakers should consider in order to implement the new Common Core State Standards with fidelity. The brief provides suggestions for aligning these new standards with their existing standards and course requirements, as well as aligning assessments for collecting data and measuring achievement. The brief lists steps each state can take to ensure they are implementing the standards effectively.

Creating College Readiness: Profiles of 38 Schools That Know How

This report provides a profile of 38 schools and details how these schools have implemented strategies to promote and advance college readiness. The report outlines each school, characteristics that make the school unique, and lessons learned from undertaking particular strategies. The report is organized into six sections: 1) alternative schools, 2) charter schools, 3) comprehensive schools, 4) early college high schools, 5) magnet schools, and 6) private schools. In several cases, schools may have utilized more than one strategy to achieve their goal.

Grad Nation: A Guidebook to Help Communities Tackle The Dropout Crisis

This guidebook is a step-by-step guide for schools, families and the community on how to be involved in addressing the dropout crisis. The authors provide research-based information and tools with each section to be used in implementing programs specific to the community. Each section provides background information on topics relevant to the community as a whole such as the cost of high dropout rates, along with questions techniques, strategies, and additional resources to address the community needs.

Learning about Teaching: Initial Findings from the Measures of Effective Teaching Project

This brief from the Bill & Melnda Gates Foundation discusses the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project whose goal is to help build fair and reliable systems for teacher observation and feedback. Through data collection and analysis of the program, the authors revealed the early findings regarding whether teacher's past performance helped students learn.

Depending on Data

This article provides school counselors with advice on collecting data about their high school graduates and use this data to help facilitate their students' college admissions. The author notes that data collection and analysis give staff the opportunity to improve services to students and parents and provides insight into why data should be studied and how to use it.


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