Count All Kids: Using the 9th Grade Cohort to Improve Transparency and Accountability

Thursday, September 29, 2016Printer-friendly version

Every state has made the college and career readiness of its high school graduates a major priority, but few are doing a good job monitoring how well the education system is delivering on that goal. States mostly rely on high school graduation rates to gauge progress. While there have been significant improvements in the high school graduation rate, the evidence is clear — from results on college- and career-ready (CCR) high school assessments; college admission assessments; postsecondary remediation rates; and surveys of graduates, employers, college faculty, etc. — that for too many, earning a diploma does not signify readiness for postsecondary success.

What states report and whom they include in their college and career readiness measures contributes to this problem. The purpose of this brief is to examine how states could provide a more accurate picture of the college and career readiness of their high school students that sends the message that all students need to graduate college and career ready and incentivizes schools and districts to focus on that goal.