If high schools are to do a good job preparing their students for college, they must have access to data that tell them how their students perform academically during the first year on campus, and the federal government can play a critical role in making that happen, according to a report released last week.
The Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank, and College Summit, a national organization that works to establish a “college-going culture” in schools, jointly issued the report. It calls on the federal government to support the gathering of college proficiency data by high school, disseminate the data, help educators learn to interpret the information and lead change based on it, and reward high schools for progress in their graduates’ college proficiency.
The report says high schools need to know the rate at which their students enroll in postsecondary study within a semester of graduation, and the rate at which they complete at least one year of college credit within two years.
Asking schools to deliver postsecondary success without enabling them to measure postsecondary performance is imposing an impossible burden, the report says. Schools cant match their offerings to their students postsecondary needs if they dont know whether their current efforts are working.
A version of this article appeared in the December 09, 2009 edition of Education Week as College Success