Sunday, December 14, 2008

College Readiness and US News and World Report HHS Rating

Recently, there have been some questions relating to "College Readiness" and whether and to what degree Hoboken High School is preparing students for college. From the US News and World Report website, there is data that indicates that the Post-Graduate plans for our high school graduates to attend a 4-year college is 60% while the state average is 53.2%. Moreover, another 20% of our graduates plan to attend increasingly popular and competitive 2 year institutions. This brings the percentage of graduates with plans to attend college to *at least* 80%. Actual enrollment figures may be slightly higher or lower.

Data Source: Click here for School Matters Data Used by US News and World Report

Indeed, College Readiness is a fairly new and evolving construct on measuring success (perhaps less than a decade old) and there is no clear "industry standard" at the moment although numerous efforts are underway. Also, by no means is the District complacent with our relative success at placing our graduates in college- more information/data is needed. For instance, longitudinal follow-up tracking awarded college degrees would be invaluable- as would correlating such data with High School standardized test scores and college Grade Point Average (GPA). But, at least one measure of success in the area of College Readiness would be the data previously referenced- graduates plans on attending college.

America's Best High Schools Methodology - US News and World Report

"This was done by computing a "college readiness index" based on the weighted average of the AP and/or IB participation rate (the number of 12th-grade students who took at least one AP and/or IB test before or during their senior year, divided by the number of 12th graders) along with how well the students did on those tests. The latter part, called quality-adjusted AP and/or IB participation, is the number of 12th-grade students who took and passed (received an AP score of 3 or higher or an IB score of 4 or higher) at least one of the tests before or during their senior year, divided by the number of 12th graders at that school. For the college readiness index, the quality-adjusted participation rate was weighted 75 percent in the calculation, and 25 percent of the weight was placed on the simple AP and/or IB participation rate. Only schools that had values greater than 20 in their college readiness index scored high enough to meet this criterion for gold and silver medal selection. The minimum of 20 was used because it represents what it would take to have a "critical mass" of students gaining access to college-level coursework."

One reason the 20 score was not reached can possible be simply not enough students taking an IB Diploma test. This could lead to a score below the threshold ratio. A second reason could be that at Hoboken High School a fair number of students take IB courses (either via the Middle Years Program or the IB Diploma Program) but do not take the Diploma test during their Junior or Senior years. A third reason is that some students may choose not to go on to IB Diploma after taking IB in the 9th and 10th grades. Finally, there may be some inconsistency in how the index is calculated since the site does not mention incorporation of IB while the US News and World Report site does. Some clarification is probably needed. 

Data Source: Click here for School Matters Data Used by US News and World Report

Thank you to Ms. Irene Sobolov for some clarification. However, she should not be held responsible for any errors in this posting.

Picture: Hoboken High School Class of 2008- Graduation Day

No comments: