Assessment News in Brief

No Data, No Honor: Only Nine States Eligible for Award

By Catherine Gewertz — May 08, 2018 1 min read

A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to creating a new award to honor high schools that do a good job preparing students for college: It became nearly impossible.

GreatSchools, an organization that gathers and shares school information to inform parents, wanted to confer its new College Success Awards on schools in every state. But a lack of data forced it to scale the awards down to just nine states.

In a report released late last month, GreatSchools lists the 814 winners of its new award, but also describes the difficulty it had assembling all the information it considers necessary to paint a meaningful picture of how well high schools are doing.

Samantha Olivieri, GreatSchools’ chief strategy officer, said in a call with reporters that the report celebrates the good work in schools, but also serves as a “call to action” to states to publish a wider variety of metrics, all in one place, to provide parents with “a more complete picture of high school quality.”

The idea behind the new award was to tell a more detailed story about schools than standardized-test scores can convey. GreatSchools judged schools in three categories: how well they prepared students for college, based on SAT or ACT scores; the percentage of students who enrolled in college, and how well students performed once they got there.

Trouble is, data in all three categories were available for only Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio. (Oklahoma, Connecticut, and Minnesota eventually supplied the data, but were too late for this year.)

Olivieri said that of the three categories of data GreatSchools was searching for, information on college remediation and persistence was the toughest to find.

Even among GreatSchools’ nine winners, missing data led some states to be judged on only one data point while others were judged on two. In Florida, for example, college performance was judged on the basis of persistence data, while in Ohio, that category was judged only on the basis of remedial rates.

Winners represent a disproportionately low share of schools with high poverty rates.

The winners were more likely to provide rigorous academic offerings, in and out of school, and to have systematic ways of identifying and supporting struggling students. They also have “robust” staffs of guidance and college counselors.

A version of this article appeared in the May 09, 2018 edition of Education Week as No Data, No Honor: Only Nine States Eligible for Award

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Building Equitable Systems: Moving Math From Gatekeeper to Opportunity Gateway
The importance of disrupting traditional American math practices and adopting high-quality math curriculum continues to be essential for changing the trajectory of historically under-resourced schools. Building systems around high-quality math curriculum also is necessary to
Content provided by Partnership for L.A. Schools
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Measuring & Supporting Student Well-Being: A Researcher and District Leader Roundtable
Students’ social-emotional well-being matters. The positive and negative emotions students feel are essential characteristics of their psychology, indicators of their well-being, and mediators of their success in school and life. Supportive relationships with peers, school
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Making Digital Literacy a Priority: An Administrator’s Perspective
Join us as we delve into the efforts of our panelists and their initiatives to make digital skills a “must have” for their district. We’ll discuss with district leadership how they have kept digital literacy
Content provided by Learning.com

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Assessment Opinion AP Exams Can't Be Business as Usual This Year
The College Board seems unconcerned with the collateral damage of its pandemic approach, writes an assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.
Pete Bavis
5 min read
Illustration of large boat in turbulent waters with other smaller boats falling into the abyss.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Assessment Federal Lawmakers Urge Miguel Cardona to Let States Cancel Tests, Highlighting Discord
A letter from Democratic members to the new education secretary calls for an end to the "flawed" system of annual standardized exams.
3 min read
Jamaal Bowman speaks to reporters after voting at a polling station inside Yonkers Middle/High School in Yonkers, N.Y. on June 23, 2020.
Jamaal Bowman speaks to reporters after voting at a polling station inside Yonkers Middle/High School in Yonkers, N.Y. on June 23, 2020.
John Minchillo/AP
Assessment How Two Years of Pandemic Disruption Could Shake Up the Debate Over Standardized Testing
Moves to opt out of state tests and change how they're given threaten to reignite fights over high-stakes assessments.
9 min read
Image of a student at a desk.
patat/iStock/Getty
Assessment A Plan for Standardized Test Scores During the Pandemic Has Gotten States' Attention
A testing expert says his idea would provide helpful data with key context, but said other measures about student well-being are crucial.
7 min read
HS class 1257213326
Getty