Published: January 24, 2007

Stat of the Week — Jan. 24, 2007

Connecting High School With Postsecondary Education

Quality Counts 2007 examined state efforts to align the K-12 education system with early childhood education, postsecondary learning, and the world of work. State-specific highlight reports prepared by the EPE Research Center offer insights on progress in those areas by examining state implementation of 15 specific policies related to alignment. This Stat of the Week focuses specifically on state adoption of policies that attempt to align K-12 schooling with postsecondary education.

The map below considers five different alignment policies examined in Quality Counts 2007: state defines college readiness; college prep required to earn a high school diploma; credits for high school diploma aligned with postsecondary system; high school assessment aligned with postsecondary system; and high school assessment used for postsecondary decisions. For more information on these indicators, see the Sources and Notes page of Quality Counts.

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Over half the states have none of those policies in place and no state has implemented more than four of the policies, with just one state reaching that threshold. Ten additional states have implemented two or three postsecondary alignment policies.

Maryland, Michigan and West Virginia were identified as having the strongest alignment policies overall, with 12 out of the 15 policies included in the state reports in place. Michigan and West Virginia also perform well when looking at postsecondary policies specifically. Michigan is the top state in this area with four policies in place. West Virginia is one of four states with three policies in place, joined by Indiana, Kentucky, and New York. Maryland lags slightly behind with only two of the postsecondary alignment policies included in the analysis.

The least active states when considering alignment policies related to early childhood, postsecondary education, and the workforce were Colorado, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania, each with only one of the key policies in place. This is due in part to their efforts at implementing postsecondary alignment policies, with each of those states having zero policies in place in this area.


To find out more about postsecondary education in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, access the Education Counts database.

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