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Monday, February 7, 2011

Promoting Power

Another way to compare schools (from Alliance For Excellent Education). I wonder how they account for schools starting up and taking students away from existing schools?

High Schools In The United States: How Does Your Local High School Measure Up?

What is Promoting Power?
Promoting power compares the number of 12th grade students in a school to the number of 9th graders three years earlier. It is designed to estimate the proportion of high school students who make it to their senior year. For example, if a school's promoting power is 80 percent it means that the number of 12th graders is 80 percent of the number of 9th graders three years before. If a school does not have a 9th grade, the indicator is calculated as the ratio of 12th to 10th graders instead. It is not a graduation rate because it does not measure how many students received diplomas.
Class of 2007 Promoting Power =
# of students in grade twelve in the 2006-07 school year# of students in grade nine in the 2003-04 school year
The promoting power indicator was originally developed by a team of researchers lead by Robert Balfanz and Nettie Legters, then of Johns Hopkins University. Detailed information and analysis can be found at the Everyone Graduates Center:
Why is Promoting Power Used?
There is currently no graduation rate calculation that is used for every school in the country-the way graduation rates are computed differs by state, rendering apples to oranges comparisons. However, by drawing on a national database, promoting power can be used to consistently approximate how many students are making it to graduation on time for schools across the country. This indicator allows researchers to identify schools, districts, and regions that may be struggling to graduate their students. Although it is only an estimate of graduation rates, and one that can be affected by other factors (see "data limitations" below), having a low promoting power should serve as a "check engine" light for a school.
To determine the promoting power for high schools in a specific state or congressional district, use the search tools below.
NOTE: Conservative reporting: 3-yr average vs 1-yr. promoting power
In order to mitigate data anomalies that might particularly affect one year of promoting power (such as a neighboring school closing), researchers also calculate a 3-year promoting power average. The Alliance reports this average to give a clearer picture of promoting power in a school over time, and average out some of the enrollment changes that may occur from year to year. When data for all three years was not available, the three-year average represents data for only one or two years. In some cases, the three-year average includes data that was suppressed for a particular year because the promoting power fell outside of the normal range of 15 to 115 percent.

(If you do not know your congressional district, visit and enter your zip code in the box provided).

(The zip code search will only retrieve high schools with the exact zip code as the one you enter. If you do not see any schools after you enter a zip code, search by state name and then click on “high school” to sort by high school name.)

And for the solutions:

About The Solutions

The good news is that we know a great deal about how to educate low-performing adolescents to high standards, and many high schools across the country are doing so. Unfortunately, there are too few of these successful schools nationwide. This shortage is exacerbated by a general lack of attention to the problems in our high schools by the public and policymakers-particularly at the federal level.
In "A National Investment," you will learn that the federal government leadership is critical in advancing secondary school reform, but that current federal policy and funding do not effectively support improving achievement in the nation's middle and high schools.
For example, the federal government has made a huge commitment through the Reading First program to ensure that every child learns to read by the third grade. However, it has failed to continue that investment beyond third grade. The consequences are clear: reading levels on national tests have risen over the past few years in the early grades, but achievement for middle and high school students has stagnated.
In "Successful Readers," you will learn that intensive, high-quality instruction can help struggling adolescent readers to catch up to grade level and build the skills they need to succeed in high school and beyond. The Striving Readers initiative, launched in 2005, is a good start, but at its current funding level it supports adolescent literacy programs in only eight of the nation's school districts. If Striving Readers is to make a dent in the nation's adolescent literacy crisis, it must be greatly expanded to serve students in every state and many more districts and schools.
In "Effective Teachers and Principals," you will learn that there is growing consensus among researchers and educators that the single most important factor in determining a student's performance is the quality of his or her teacher. When they are given the right training, support, and working conditions, teachers and school leaders can and do succeed in helping high school students achieve at high levels every day, even those students who seem to have the greatest challenges.
In "Personalized High School Experience," you will learn that "personalization" is increasingly being cited as a core strategy for high school turnaround. Recent studies of high performing urban schools and evaluations of successful high school reform models have identified personalization and instructional improvement as the twin pillars of high school reform. Creating a personalized high school experience requires high expectations for all students, reliable information about school performance and students' needs and interests, the capacity to individualize instruction and support, and multiple pathways to a high school diploma.
In "College Preparation," you will learn that almost 85 percent of current jobs and 90 percent of new jobs in occupations with both high growth and high wages will require workers with at least some postsecondary education. To ensure that more students graduate from high school prepared for college, federal policy has a huge role to play-whether it's providing incentives to states to make a college preparatory curriculum the default curriculum for all students, supporting students and their families throughout the transition from high school to college, or making college more affordable.
In "Expectation for Work and College," you will learn that every student in the nation should have the benefit of a rigorous high school curriculum aligned to college and work standards. Unfortunately, today's education system is not serving that purpose, in great part due to a lack of alignment throughout the system and with college and work readiness expectations. The federal government should help states simultaneously raise their expectations for students, align the education system to those expectations, and ensure that all students reach the goals being set for them.
In "Accountability," you will learn that the current system of accountability included in the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is sorely mismatched to what is known about high school reform and does not accurately identify, prioritize, or drive improvement actions in low-performing high schools.
In "Data for Improving Education," you will learn that the nation's schools must perform at higher levels than ever before if every student is to graduate with the skills and knowledge necessary for success in postsecondary education. To meet this goal, educators, community members, and policymakers need useful information and hard facts that can help improve policy, practice, and student achievement.
Currently, Congress is working on a renewal of NCLB that could include significant high school reform provisions. Ultimately, the changes Congress makes to NCLB will determine whether our schools will produce increasing numbers of well-educated high school graduates who are prepared for college, the modern workforce, and success in life-or whether the nation will continue to suffer from a dropout crisis that claims over one million students every year.
The Alliance for Excellent Education has a number of recommendations for how the renewal of NCLB could address the crisis in the nation's high schools head-on. These recommendations, even if fully and effectively implemented, would not cover all aspects of high school reform. However, they do provide the federal cornerstones necessary to support state and local efforts to prepare all students for postsecondary education, the modern workforce, and success in life. Taken together, these recommendations can help to bring the basic No Child Left Behind principles - of closing achievement gaps and ensuring that all students succeed - into America's high schools, helping to move the nation from no child left behind to every child a graduate.

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