New Data Explorer Shows Gaps in College and Career Readiness, Lack of Data Transparency Across States

Tuesday, August 27, 2019Printer-friendly version

Washington, D.C. - August 28, 2019 - Today, Achieve released a new, interactive data explorer containing the latest publicly reported data on student performance across eight indicators of college and career readiness in every state. The compilation of data reveals gaps in high school graduates' readiness for life after high school and further demonstrates that far too many states still lack transparency in public reporting; data are often not disaggregated by student subgroups, not reported in a timely manner, or in many cases, not reported at all. 

The data that are available reveal that despite high-profile increases in high school graduation rates, students too often still graduate from high school underprepared to succeed in college, a career, or the military. 

"Although the level of detail in reporting could be improved, we are encouraged that 46 states have defined measures of college and career readiness - which are typically comprised of several meaningful sub-measures and can give a better idea of whether students are graduating ready for their next steps," said Michael Cohen, President of Achieve. "However, the stark contrast between high graduation rates and these much lower measures of college and career readiness should alarm parents, educators, and policymakers alike. If nearly 90 percent of students are graduating, but less than half are deemed ready, as is the case in some states, there are going to be serious and costly challenges for students, their families, and the broader economy in the years to come."

The new data explorer, released as part of Achieve's Graduating Ready high school website, presents states' publicly-reported data on high school graduation rate, college- and career-ready course of study completion, college- and career-ready assessment results, 9th grade students on track to graduate, earning college credit in high school, postsecondary enrollment, and state-defined college and career readiness measures.

"High-quality public reporting is a cornerstone of improving educational outcomes for all students," continued Cohen. "If we do not have a complete picture of how students are doing, we cannot hope to make meaningful improvements in college and career readiness. This is particularly true for historically underserved student populations; the failure to report educational outcomes by student subgroup can mask serious inequities and hinder urgently needed efforts to close the opportunity gap." 

The student outcomes data explorer is available here, along with three previously-released data explorers on state high school graduation requirements, statewide high school assessments, and high school and postsecondary alignment


MEDIA CONTACT: Kelly Van Beveren (202) 745-2306,