The College and Career Readiness of U.S. High School Graduates

From the introduction: "For more than a decade, Achieve has issued an annual 50-state report on each state’s adoption of college- and career-ready (CCR) policies as reflected in state standards, graduation requirements, assessments, and accountability systems. Having the right policies is, of course, necessary to ensure that students graduate academically prepared for college and careers. But policy alone is insufficient. Implementation of policy at all levels—state, district, school, and classroom—matters. So how do states— and their citizens—know whether their policies are having the intended impact? How would one determine whether students are meeting what is now the objective in every state—not just more students graduating high school but more graduating college and career ready? To know the answer to this question, Achieve this year decided to look not at state policy but at actual student performance against CCR measures in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

This report represents the first time that these data, from publicly available sources, have been compiled to paint a picture of college and career readiness in every state. For the most part, it shows that too few high school graduates are prepared to succeed in postsecondary education, the military, and careers. Rather surprisingly, the report also shows significant limitations in the availability of data and inconsistencies in how they are reported, making it challenging for policymakers, educators, families, and advocates to have a clear answer to the simple question: Are high school graduates prepared for postsecondary success?"

Content Comments 

This resource is of high-quality in its portrayal of states' implementation of policies related to college- and career-readiness. The report communicates findings of Achieve's study through tables that clearly demonstrate the various levels of student achievement across states. This resource is useful for policymakers considering the use of various additional indicators to inform future policy decisions that support college- and career-readiness. It has the potential to have a significant impact on all students across states as they prepare for future success.