Articles tagged with High Schools

Making progress preparing more students for college

A similar review with a summary of additional findings can be found on NSBA’s Center for Public Education’s blog The Edifier.

There was a slight increase in the percent of 2011 high school graduates ready for college English, math, social science, and science courses, according to ACT’s The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2011 report released today. 

It is good news that the percent of students considered “college ready” increased, especially since it has been increasing for several years. This shows our high schools are graduating more students ready to succeed in college. This is likely because more students are taking more rigorous courses. As the Center’s Chasing the College Acceptance Letter found, those students who take more rigorous courses increase their chances of getting into a good college at a greater rate than students who simply improve their grades.

However, the results also show that progress has been slow and gaps between groups of students persist. The progress needs to accelerate exponentially to close the gap between the percent of students who want to go onto earn a 4-year degree (83 percent) and those who are “college ready” (25 percent) so they are adequately prepared for such college level work when they enter college. Yes, high schools are on the right track, but there is much more work to be done to truly meet the needs of their students.

For more information on how to use college entrance exam scores to evaluate your school, check out the Center’s Date First website.

Jim Hull|August 17th, 2011|Categories: High Schools, Center for Public Education, Student Achievement, NSBA Opinions and Analysis, Reports|Tags: , , |

Do high schools need to be held accountable for their graduation rates?

Although accountability for math and reading achievement garner most of the attention when it comes to No Child Left Behind (NCLB), graduation rates are also included in determining whether high schools make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). This morning the folks over at The Education Trust shed a brighter light on this issue with the release of their latest report called Graduation Matters: Improving accountability for high school graduation. The report focuses on what they feel are two major shortcomings of NCLB’s current graduation rate accountability provisions. The Education Trust claims:

1. State goals for raising graduation rates are far too low to spur needed improvement.
2. Gaps between student groups are allowed to persist by an accountability system that looks only at average graduation rates.

The report calls for stronger accountability when it comes to high schools graduating their students. So to strengthen graduation-rate accountability they recommend states:

1. Calculate an accurate graduation rate based on the percent of first-time ninth graders who earn a standard diploma four years later. (aka the NGA Compact caclulation)
2. Use this information when holding schools accountable for making progress.
3. Set ambitious goals and aggressive improvement targets for meeting those goals.
4. Hold schools accountable for improving the graduation rates of all groups of students.

BoardBuzz applauds The Education Trust for highlighting the importance of graduating more of our students. But it will take more than just a new calculation to do so, although it is an important first step. BoardBuzz learned from our own Center for Public Education’s Keeping Kids in School: Lessons from research about preventing dropouts that the keys to keeping kids in school through graduation are to:

1. Identify students at-risk of dropping out before they reach high school.
2. Provide ongoing interventions.
3. Provide prevention programs once students enter high school.
4. Provide recovery programs for those students who slip through the cracks.

Although an accurate graduation rate is important in identifying which students are graduating and which students aren’t, no formula or accountability system will get more students to complete high school and walk across that stage to receive their diploma unless schools are given the tools they need to help those students at-risk of dropping out.

For more information about dropout prevention and graduation rates visit our friends at the Center for Public Education.

Erin Walsh|August 1st, 2007|Categories: Elementary and Secondary Education Act, NSBA Opinions and Analysis|Tags: , , |
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