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(links to source documents are in the postings below)

1.  New!  Completing College: Eight Year Completion Outcomes - Fall 2010 Cohort

2. 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress - Proficiency Assessment
3. 2016 International Ranking of 4th Grade Reading Skills - PIRLS
4. Principles of Effective School Improvement Systems - Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)

New Data: 60% of College Students Graduate

Within 8 Years




February 12, 2019


Among students who started at a community college or four-year institution in 2010, 60.4 percent graduated by 2018, according to new data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, which tracks all but a small percentage of college students. That national eight-year completion rate is 5.6 percentage points higher than the six-year rate of 54.8 percent for the same group of students.

Today's college students are taking longer to graduate, the center said, as many transfer, leave college or switch to part-time status to work or care for family members. Yet many get to graduation over a longer period of time.

"This report shows that to be particularly true for minority and underrepresented students, who we observe narrowing the gaps in completion rates over time, compared to white students," Doug Shapiro, the center's executive director, said in a written statement.

For example, the eight-year completion rate for Hispanic students who started at four-year institutions was 63.3 percent, which was 8.3 percentage points higher than that group's six-year rate of 55 percent.

The center also found similar increases for community college students compared to their peers who started at four-year institutions. The completion rate for students who started at four-year public institutions increased by 6.4 percentage  points, to 68.8 percent from 62.4 percent. The rate for community college starters -- to earn either an associate or bachelor’s degree -- increased by 6.0 points, to 45.3 percent from 39.3 percent.

College Grad Rates by 6 and 8 years.PNG
College grad rates 6 and 8 years by race
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2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NEAP) Percent of Students Assessed as Proficient
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NAEP Proficient Multi Categories.PNG
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2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 
In 2016, the U.S. ranked 15th (of 50 countries) in Overall Reading Average Scale Scores for 4th Grade Students 

Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)

Principles of Effective School Improvement Systems

This memorandum introduces a set of 10 principles—from states and for states—to inform the design and management of effective systems to improve or replace low-performing schools. The principles are derived from what we know based on current research, evidence, and experience, and the input of state leaders, key stakeholders, and other experts.

To identify the principles, we began with what must be true at each level of the public education system—from what students must experience as learners to the critical roles played by schools, districts, authorizers, partners, and states. The principles also build on the CCSSO next-generation state accountability system principles that highlight the inextricable link between accountability and school improvement, including a focus on diagnostic reviews, targeted support for the lowest-performing schools (and their districts), and systems of continuous improvement to sustain progress over time.

  1.  Elevate school improvement as an urgent priority at every level of the system—schools, LEAs, and the SEA—and establish for each level clear roles, lines of authority, and responsibilities for improving low-performing schools.

   2.  Make decisions based on what will best serve each and every student with the              expectation that all students can and will master the knowledge and skills                      necessary for success in college, career, and civic life.  Challenge and change              existing structures or norms that perpetuate low performance or stymie                          improvement.

   3.  Engage early, regularly, and authentically with stakeholders and partners so                  improvement is done with and not to the school, families, and the community.

          • Work with schools, families, and community members to build trusting                          relationships, expand capacity, inform planning, build political will, strengthen                community leadership and commitment, and provide feedback loops to adjust              as needed.

         • Integrate school and community assets as well as early childhood, higher                     education, social services, and workforce systems to, among other things, help             address challenges outside of school.

   4.  Select at each level the strategy that best matches the context at hand—from                LEAs and schools designing evidence-based improvement plans to SEAs                       exercising the most appropriate state-level authority to intervene in non-exiting             schools.

   5.  Support LEAs and schools in designing high-quality school improvement plans              informed by

          • each school’s assets (and how they’re being used), needs (including but not                   limited to resources), and root causes of underperformance;

          • research on effective schools, successful school improvement efforts, and                    implementation science;

          • best available evidence of what interventions work, for whom, under which                    circumstances; and

          • the science of learning and development, including the impact of poverty and                adversity on learning.

   6.  Focus especially on ensuring the highest need schools have great leaders and               teachers who have or develop the specific capacities needed to dramatically                 improve low performing schools.

   7.  Dedicate sufficient resources (time, staff, funding); align them to advance the                system’s goals; use them efficiently by establishing clear roles and                                responsibilities at all levels of the system; and hold partners accountable for                  results.

    8.  Establish clear expectations and report progress on a sequence of ambitious yet           achievable short- and long-term school improvement benchmarks that focus on             both equity and excellence.

    9.  Implement improvement plans rigorously and with fidelity, and, since everything           will not go perfectly, gather actionable data and information during                                 implementation; evaluate efforts and monitor evidence to learn what is working,             for whom, and under what circumstances; and continuously improve over time.

   10.  Plan from the beginning how to sustain successful school improvement efforts              financially, politically, and by ensuring the school and LEA are prepared to                    continue making progress.

CCSSO Effective School Improvement Syste
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