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What Gets Measured Gets Done: Adding College-course Completion to K-12 Accountability Systems

Diane Ward and Joel Vargas

College and career readiness for all high school graduates: This is the new consensus standard for educational excellence, and more and more states are revising their accountability systems to include metrics that advance this goal of high performance. The federal government’s recent invitation to states to request waivers from provisions of the No Child Left Behind Law may further provide states with an opportunity to redesign their accountability systems and encourage district and school initiatives to help ensure that high school graduates are prepared to succeed in postsecondary education and careers.

This brief proposes that including college-course completion as a measure in K-12 accountability frameworks is a robust strategy for driving educational improvement. An increasing number of states are including this predictive indicator of college success in their accounting of high school performance.