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Improving High School to College Transitions: The Role of P20 Jennifer Dounay Education Commission o


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Title: Improving High School to College Transitions: The Role of P20 Jennifer Dounay Education Commission o

Improving High School to College Transitions
The Role of P-20Jennifer DounayEducation
Commission of the StatesFor Bridging the Gap to
Promote High School College AlignmentNew
England Board of Higher EducationWorcester,
MassachusettsJanuary 29, 2009
About ECS
  • 50-state education compact estd 1965
  • Nonpartisan, nonprofit
  • Serves all state-level education policymakers and
    their staffs
  • Governors
  • Legislators
  • State board members
  • State superintendents
  • SHEEOS and higher education leaders

What is P-20?
  • It may include a council
  • It can (and should be) more than a council
  • Data systems
  • Funding mechanisms
  • Ways of thinking
  • Public support
  • Legislation, rulemaking, executive decisionmaking

Why P-20?
Passing the Buck
Middle schools
Elementary schools
Pre-K programs
High schools
  • 4-year institutions

2-year institutions
Councils Method of creation
  • According to ECS P-16/P-20 database
  • Govs 11 states
  • Legislatures 10 states
  • State boards 2 states
  • Voluntary efforts 14 states
  • These have changed over time GA, IL, MD, NV,

P-16/P-20 council membership
  • Governors (8 councils, with rep. on 19 councils)
  • Legislators (19 states)
  • Chiefs
  • SHEEOs, 2- and 4-year presidents
  • Business and labor
  • Ideally, early learning reps. (18 states)
  • Others
  • Source

Creating a P-16 council just the starting point
  • Some councils leverage little change
  • Essential elements to consider
  • Actors
  • Agenda
  • Appropriation of resources

  • Goldilocks Not too big, not too small
  • Early learning
  • Legislative
  • Gubernatorial
  • Business community
  • Clarity re council mission and roles
  • Meet at least quarterly

Meet at least quarterly
  • Reduces inertia, amnesia b/w mtgs.
  • Increases urgency of council to-dos
  • 29 states meet at least quarterly
  • Include AZ, CO states that have made gains in
    relatively short time

  • Not too broad (5 issues or fewer)
  • Specific (not improving student success)
  • Something each agency cant do alone
  • Specific, measurable goals (16 states)
  • Balanced scorecard (Georgia)

Common areas of activity
  • High school to postsecondary transitions 26
    states (can take many forms)
  • Data systems, use of data 19 states
  • Teachers recruitment, preparation, retention,
    prof. devt. 19 states
  • Postsec. retention/transfer/completion 13 states
  • Early learning 8 states

Setting goals
  • Dont know if youre getting there if you dont
    know where youre going
  • Numeric goals, based on reliable data
  • 16 states
  • Most goals re HS or PS completion

Floridas Next Generation P-20 benchmarks
  • Approved by state board Dec. 2008
  • Six focus areas, including
  • Improve college/career readiness
  • Expand opps. for PS degrees and certs.
  • Align resources to strategic goals
  • 2007-08 baseline data
  • Annual perf. measures FY09 to FY15

FL benchmarks Sample view
Appropriation of resources
  • Financial resources
  • Communications can build public support
  • Human resources
  • Research policy solutions
  • Support policy/program implementation

Financial resources
  • State funds (leg. appropriation or built in
    agencies budgets) 22 states
  • Other funds 10 states
  • Foundation
  • Business
  • Federal
  • Sustainability NE, WY

Human resources
  • Council supported by min. .5 FTE 21 councils
  • Include councils that have made substantial gains

Promising practices HS to PS transitions
  • Promising, not best, because
  • Many initiatives new
  • Student data lacking
  • Include
  • Better alignment of HS exit/college entry
    courses, standards
  • Better awareness of PS testing expectations
  • Teacher and counselor issues
  • Dual enrollment/early college high schools

HS/College course alignment
  • IN, OK, SD, OH HS grad reqts. aligned with
    4-year admissions reqts.
  • IN End-of-course to measure to state
  • TX, others Rigorous expectations for all
  • MN, RI Integration of college-ready English and
    math expectations in HS standards
  • CO, SD, TX Informing all students of 4-year
    admissions requirements

HS awareness of PS testing expectations
  • ACT (CO, IL, KY, MI, TN, WY), SAT(ME) for all
  • ID spring 2011 ACT, SAT or COMPASS
  • SD, TN, TX What ACT, SAT scores matter
  • TX College-ready items in HS tests
  • CO Backmapping K-12 standards, assts. from
    postsecondary ready def.
  • AR, FL Let HS students take placement exams

Teacher and counselor issues
  • Info on PS placement exams in teacher
    preservice/inservice (No state doing this?)
  • Explicit training on college prep. in counselor
    certification, PD programs (No state doing this?)
  • College admissions info in teacher
    preservice/inservice (CO grant program comes
  • Use state policy to ensure counselors spend time
    on college prep. activities (CO grant program)

Dual enrollment
  • No state has perfect policy yet
  • State policy should address
  • Off. mandatory or voluntary?
  • Funding K-12 and PS equitably
  • Fair student eligibility requirements
  • Student/parent notification
  • Instructor, course quality
  • Institutional reporting
  • Program evaluation

Early college high schools
  • Relatively new approach
  • Early college HS diploma AA in 5 yrs.
  • Aimed at at-risk students
  • Emerging research ? positive student outcomes
  • Few in New England?
  • State-level policies in 6 states (CO, MI, NC, PA,
    TN, TX)

ECHS Model policy components
  • Access and support
  • Instructional and curricular quality
  • Finance and facilities
  • Alignment with 2- and 4-year institutions
  • Program accountability and evaluation
  • ECS state policy database
  • ECS Oct. 2008 report Improving Outcomes for
    Traditionally Underserved Students Through Early
    College High Schools (search 7863 on

Now for more about the state perspective