In this report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, the authors examine exactly what a college degree is worth — and what else besides a degree might influence an individual’s potential earnings. This report examines lifetime earnings for all education levels and earnings by occupation, age, race/ethnicity, and gender. The data are clear: a college degree is key to economic opportunity, conferring substantially higher earnings on those with credentials than those without.
Students Placed At-Risk
This report from MDRC summarizes findings from a randomized controlled trial evaluating the long-term (three-year) effects of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe dropout recovery program. The sample included 1,200 young people in the intervention and control groups. Members of the program group were much more likely than those in the control group to have obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma, to have earned college credits, and to be employed. Additionally, they were less likely to have crime, delinquency, and health problems.
This policy brief from the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy describes student learning plans (SLPs) as a way to prepare students for the transition from school to college and career. The brief includes an overview of SLPs, the research on their effectiveness to improve student outcomes, and the implementation of SLPs in other states. While the brief was written for Massachusetts policymakers, the information and recommendations are useful for other audiences.
This report from the Alliance for Excellent Education discusses possible reforms to ESEA using New York City’s Multiple Pathways to Graduation initiative as an example of how to create flexible policy to help high school students graduate college and career ready. The author examines the effects of federal policy on off-track students and provides recommendations that include increased focus on policies that address the needs of off track students and new metrics for school performance that take into account improvements among at risk students.
This study, published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, finds that students who are not proficient in reading by the third grade are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma than proficient readers. The longitudinal study of about 4,000 students breaks down the likelihood of graduation for students with different reading skill levels and different poverty backgrounds, and finds that 22 percent of children who have lived in poverty do not graduate from high school, compared to 6 percent of those who have never been poor.
This Alliance for Excellent Education policy brief, targeted toward federal and state policymakers, argues that remedial college courses are economically inefficient. Costs associated with remedial courses include the cost of the course which is often federally funded through grants, and, because students who enroll in remedial courses are much less likely to graduate, loss of lifetime earnings. The brief argues that reforming high school curriculum and teaching and ensuring vertical alignment through college- and career-readiness are essential and much more cost effective.
This report from Jobs for the Future examines the GED as a pathway to postsecondary success. Authors John Garvey and Terry Grobe note that although 60 percent of GED test takers express a desire to further their education beyond the GED and nearly half of all GED holders go on to postsecondary education, only 4 percent earn a degree. They argue that GED test takers are poorly prepared for college, partly because the GED narrowly focuses on passing the minimum standards of the exam, rather than building comprehensive literacy and numeracy skills.
This brief, sponsored by Alliance for Excellent Education, Civic Enterprises, and the Data Quality Campaign, discusses the importance of using data at various levels within the education system. The authors describe the use to of data in identifying students at risk of dropping out as well as in identifying if students are college and career ready. The brief also identifies challenges, including making sure that data is accessible while protecting privacy, and linking data across systems.
This report from the Coalition for Community Schools discusses how eight high schools across the country are decreasing dropout rates as community schools. The author examines how these schools have been increasing achievement and preparing students for careers, college and life through focused leadership, robust partnerships, and critical programs and services. Case studies on each of the schools are included, highlighting background, programs and services, partnerships, leadership, and results.
This technical manual developed by the National High School Center provides instructions on how to use the Center’s Early Warning System Tool v2.0.