What are the most effective uses of college readiness indicators? Jenny Nagaoka of the Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR) and Dr. Susan Fairchild of New Visions for Public Schools responded to that question in a webinar earlier this month. “Staying on Track for College Readiness,” funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences and co-hosted by the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Northwest and REL Northeast and Islands, looked at how educators and educational systems use indicator tools grounded in a routine process for accessing and interpreting data. The webinar, part two of a two-part series, provides an overview of college indicator research and implementation across the country.
Nagaoka shared insights from her work with the CCSR’s On-Track Indicator, which is a predictor of high school graduation. She stressed the importance of both academic successes and noncognitive factors like organization and planning when it comes to college readiness. “Whether you’re taking calculus for the first time or you are taking ceramics for the first time,” she said, “if you’re actually willing to stick with it and you have strategies for helping yourself learn, those are the things that are going to help you be successful.”
Fairchild demonstrated the New Visions Stock and Flow diagnostic tool, which is used to support macro-level school interventions. “This work is really about integrating data systems so that we are catching students who are on the verge of dropping out or on the edge somewhere of not graduating on time,” said Fairchild. “How do we make this problem visible? How do we combine our core student data, our credits, our grades, our exam scores, in such a way that we’re quickly identifying when kids are close to that edge?”