Panel Paper: College Readiness and School Accountability: Improving Alignment Between K-12 and Postsecondary Schooling

Friday, November 8, 2013 : 9:00 AM
Plaza I (Ritz Carlton)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Michal Kurlaender and Jacob Jackson, University of California, Davis
We currently hold high schools accountable for the achievement of students through graduation. California recently passed legislation calling for school accountability to include measures of preparation for college (and career). California high schools, however, have little knowledge about how their students fare when they enter college. This is in large part because the state’s K-12 and postsecondary data systems are not integrated. Moreover, the importance of better aligning K-12 schooling to college and career readiness has gained momentum only recently with the move towards Common Core State Standards.

We utilize several unique sets of administrative data from the California State University’s 23 campus system of broad access four-year institutions and the 112 California Community Colleges to link with data on California high schools.  We develop several aggregate measures of college readiness at the school level by examining admission rates, remediation need, type of remediation exemption, persistence, and first year college GPA. We discuss the promise and pitfalls of each measure of college readiness for the purposes of holding high schools accountable.