Rising to the Challenge: Are High School Graduates Prepared

This resource from Achieve discusses the results of research by Peter D. Hart Research Associates and Public Opinion Strategies on public high school graduates from the classes of 2002, 2003, and 2004. The results found that many graduates cite gaps in preparation, college instructors/employers confirm graduates’ lack of preparation, few employers feel high school graduates prepared for advancement, and graduates who faced high expectations were twice as likely to feel prepared, among others.

After-School Programs for High School Students: An Evaluation of After School Matters

This report from Northwestern University summarizes findings from a randomized controlled trial study of After School Matters (ASM), a program which offers paid apprenticeship-type experiences in a wide array of areas, such as technology, the arts, and sports. Apprenticeships were located across 10 Chicago public high schools. Youth in the treatment group reported significantly higher self-regulation and significantly fewer problem behaviors than youth in the control group. The program did not impact academic outcomes.

Evaluation of the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development Out-of-School Time Programs for Youth Initiative: Implementation of Programs for High School Youth

This report from Policy Studies Associates, Inc., describes program implementation and youth experiences in programs for high school youth delivered through the Out-of-School Time Programs for Youth (OST) initiative of the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD). Across all OST high school programs, academic enhancement activities and recreational activities were most commonly offered. Programs also provided opportunities for youth to learn about careers and college, participate in internships, and gain understanding of both their local and global communities.

STEM Learning In Afterschool: An Analysis of Impact and Outcomes

This report from the Afterschool Alliance looks at afterschool programs designed to improve science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills, especially in students from underrepresented populations. The report analyzes evaluation reports on a variety of afterschool STEM programs and finds that benefits of these programs include improved attitudes about STEM fields and careers, increased STEM knowledge and skills, and higher likelihood of graduation and pursuing a STEM career.

Unlocking Doors and Expanding Opportunity: Moving Beyond the Limiting Reality of College and Career Readiness in California High Schools

This policy brief from The Education Trust-West discusses the need for a more educated workforce. The author examines the effects of low expectations and coursework rigor for all students, especially low-income students and students of color, and provides recommendations that include a more integrated and equitable approach.

The Educational Experience of Young Men of Color: A Review of Research, Pathways and Progress

This report sponsored by the College Board identifies the research-based factors that contribute either to the persistence or to the attrition of young men of color within the education system. The author synthesizes the literature in context of the communities to find connections and intersections in the literature for each of these racial/ethnic groups.

Digital Learning and Technology: Federal Policy Recommendations to Seize the Opportunity--and Promising Practices That Inspire Them

This policy brief discusses the impact of digital learning. The author examines the effects of digital learning in state and local programs on student performance and provides recommendations that include implementing the “10 Elements of High-Quality Digital Learning” and National Broadband. This resource may be especially relevant to federal policy makers.

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.

Education as a Data-Driven Enterprise: A Primer for Leaders in Business, Philanthropy, and Education

This brief, sponsored by Alliance for Excellent Education, Civic Enterprises, and the Data Quality Campaign, discusses the importance of using data at various levels within the education system. The authors describe the use to of data in identifying students at risk of dropping out as well as in identifying if students are college and career ready. The brief also identifies challenges, including making sure that data is accessible while protecting privacy, and linking data across systems.


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