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Monday, February 24, 2014

Are your students college ready?

In secondary education, there’s perhaps no bigger buzzword than “college readiness” right now. School districts are under enormous pressure to produce graduates that are prepared for college-level course work or career-ready skills that will give them an effective transition into the work force. It’s a constant battle every year, particularly after a 2013 ACT survey revealed that only 26 percent of college instructors believed high school graduates were ready for post-secondary classes.

We've got the data...

We’ve spoken to a number of district administrators who have emphasized the importance of being able to use data to help address this challenge and to ensure their graduates are ready for college. The good news is most districts already have a plethora of data they are collecting – whether it’s state assessments, common assessments, EXPLORE, PLAN, ACT, PSAT, SAT, AP test data, demographics, behavior, attendance, etc.

But now what?

Well, it’s a matter of getting the data into a usable format for teachers and administrators to use on a daily basis to guide instruction and improve student performance.  In order to effectively use data, districts need to be able to break it down and analyze trends, student growth, instruction effectiveness, etc.

Get it into the hands of teachers....

Better access to data that is in a usable format takes the guesswork (teachers' perceptions or anecdotal evidence) out of analyzing student performance. Teachers can spend less time trying to make sense of data and more time using it to drive instruction...

And improve performance.

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