Lessons from Hawaii: tracking the right data to fix absenteeism

Good school attendance is associated with all sorts of good educational outcomes, especially higher grades and higher test scores. It’s obvious: if you’re not showing up for school, you’re not going to learn as much. But only 17 states track and report chronic absenteeism data, according to the Data Quality Campaign and Attendance Works, a non-profit […]


US DOE evaluation of Gates-funded Early College High Schools shows that low-income males more likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college afterward

Back in 2013 a study, “Early College, Early Success: Early College High School Initiative Impact Study,” showed that low-income, minority students were showing remarkable results in a new kind of high school where students are marched through the first two years of college during their high school years. In the 10 schools studied, 86% of the […]


Three things that will make a school bad: child abuse, homelessness and mothers who dropped out of high school

Conventional wisdom has it that schools with high concentrations of poverty are bad. But when a team of researchers led by Dr. John Fantuzzo from University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) studied every third grader in the Philadelphia public schools, they found strong student achievement in some schools with high concentrations of […]


Data Quality Campaign’s Aimee Rogstad Guidera discusses anti-data backlash and more

Aimee Rogstad Guidera founded the Data Quality Campaign in 2005 as a temporary advocacy group to get every state to set up its own longitudinal data system by 2009. Today, every state has a data system that tracks students from kindergarten onward. (edited for length and clarity) Q: Why didn’t you go out of business […]


Data systems to identify dropouts proliferate but usefulness unclear.

Sarah D. Sparks attended the same NCES STATS-DC 2013 session about dropout indicators for first graders, which I wrote about recently here and a related piece here. Sparks’s piece for Education Week, published  July 29, 2013, includes the national context that 28 states are now using early-warning data systems to help identify potential high-school dropouts, citing a […]


Can an algorithm ID high-school dropouts in first grade?

Early warning systems to detect high-school dropouts are all the rage in education data circles. See this post on a new early warning system in Wisconsin. Like the Wisconsin example, most data systems focus on identifying middle-school students. But what if researchers could use grades, attendance and behavior data to identify at-risk students as soon […]


Principals likely to overlook girls who are at risk for dropping out of school

In the Spring of 2013 Wisconsin tested a a data-driven early warning system that can identify which middle-school students are at risk-for dropping out of high school. After 5800 students were identified for teachers and counselors to work with, the principals of these schools were surveyed on whether they were already aware that these students […]


High school test scores haven’t improved for 40 years; top students stagnating

Is U.S. high school a wasteland? Or are teenagers getting a better education today than they were 40 years ago? That’s a puzzle offered in a release of national test scores on June 27, 2013 by the National Center of Education Statistics. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), test scores for 17 […]