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Be Prepared to Report College and Career Readiness Data

by NSC Blog | Jan 8, 2021 | High School Benchmarking, K-12, Research Reports, Research Services, StudentTracker for High Schools |

What percentage of high school students are ready for college?

That’s an important question that schools, instructors, and states want to answer. Unfortunately, the news is not positive.

The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s High School Benchmarks report shows far fewer high school graduates went to college immediately after high school this fall, declining by 21.7 percent compared to 2019 graduates.

“The pandemic impacted high school graduates in their immediate college enrollment, and those from high poverty, low income, and urban high schools have been hit the hardest,” said Doug Shapiro, Executive Director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. “The enrollment gaps appear to be widening because of COVID-19.”

As reported in an article from The Education Trust (EdTrust), the 12th grade reading and math scores show significant inequities between different student demographic groups related to variances in access to strong and diverse teachers and access to advanced coursework. These inequities are predicted to increase because of COVID-19’s impact on education around the country.

EdTrust offers recommendations states can follow to help fight for equity, including reporting on college and career readiness measures; adopting FAFSA completion as a high school graduation requirement; sharing data transparently and publicly; and tracking and reporting data on enrollment rates, first-year persistence, and career and technical education enrollment in accordance with federal requirements.

However, not all states are doing this, as EdTrust reported. Fortunately, they point out, states can leverage existing tools and resources, like StudentTracker for High Schools, to minimize the burden of gathering and reporting this data.

There’s no need to “reinvent the wheel,” they point out. For instance, the Clearinghouse is able to provide information on enrollment and first-year persistence rates to help meet requirements. It’s an opportunity to be proactive and to create collaborations to help boost college and career readiness.

“…states can leverage existing tools and resources, like StudentTracker for High Schools, to minimize the burden of gathering and reporting this data.”

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