Coalition for a College and Career Ready America: Guiding Principles

This policy brief outlines the policy agenda of the Coalition for a College and Career Ready America. The authors note that the coalition supports: high standards with supports for students, providing states and districts with access to quality data and technical assistance, recognizing the role of charter schools and high-quality models, turning around all low-performing schools, and aligning state and federal initiatives with these principals.

Building a Grad Nation Report: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic

This resource from the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins discusses what progress is being made on a range of education reforms, policies, and practices that help ensure more students graduate from high school and ready for college and productive work. The authors talk about what is taking place at the national level and examine the challenges faced by different racial and ethnic groups.

Using Data to Increase College and Career Readiness: A Checklist for States

This resource from the Data Quality Campaign is a checklist that can be used by state policymakers to support their efforts to increase college and career readiness. It is meant as a guide to policymakers to use as they develop policies and procedures. The checklist provides information on the State Role, the State Responsibility, and the National Landscape. Users are able to then analyze how their state fits in compared to the provided information.

The Undereducated American

This report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce analyzes wage and unemployment data in the United States. The authors discuss growing disparity in earnings between those with a college education and those without. They lay out the need for an additional 20 million postsecondary-educated workers and discuss the economic and wider repercussions such additions to the workforce would have on the entire society.

Staying on Course: Three-Year Results of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Evaluation

This report from MDRC summarizes findings from a randomized controlled trial evaluating the long-term (three-year) effects of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe dropout recovery program. The sample included 1,200 young people in the intervention and control groups. Members of the program group were much more likely than those in the control group to have obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma, to have earned college credits, and to be employed. Additionally, they were less likely to have crime, delinquency, and health problems.

The Effect of Communities in Schools on High School Dropout and Graduation Rates: Results from a Multiyear, School-Level Quasi-experimental Study

This study was conducted as part of a comprehensive 5-year national evaluation of Communities in Schools (CIS). Using a quasi-experimental design this study intended to examine the effects of CIS on graduation and dropout rates. The sample included 123 high schools matched to non-CIS schools within the same state. Results indicated that initiatives that aim to prevent student dropout by encouraging collaboration between schools and their communities can keep students on track to graduation.

What Matters for Staying On-Track and Graduating in Chicago Public Schools: A Focus on Students with Disabilities

Freshman year course performance—more than background characteristics such as race, gender, socioeconomic status or prior achievement—predict which students with disabilities are most at risk for dropping out of high school, according to a this report from the National High School Center at the American Institutes for Research and the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago. The report found that absences, course failures, course credits and GPA all can be used to accurately predict whether ninth-graders with disabilities will graduate from high school.

Student Learning Plans: Supporting Every Student's Transition to College and Career

This policy brief from the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy describes student learning plans (SLPs) as a way to prepare students for the transition from school to college and career. The brief includes an overview of SLPs, the research on their effectiveness to improve student outcomes, and the implementation of SLPs in other states. While the brief was written for Massachusetts policymakers, the information and recommendations are useful for other audiences.


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