This week's White House "College Opportunity" summit will focus on an overlooked area with enormous potential for student success: K-12 and higher education working together to improve college completion. It sounds so simple and obvious. In fact many assume it's already happening.
Creating policies and practices that give educators and families useful information about students to improve their learning is a monumental task. This work takes dedicated resources, dedicated time, and dedicated professionals -- lots of them.
While report card day is a moment of truth for students, when is the time for states to pony up accurate information about how they're doing to parents? The answer in too many states is not often enough.
Like all powerful tools, data can be used effectively and they can be misused. That's why we need the right policies and practices in place to ensure they're being used to encourage learning and increase achievement.
As with every other race, obtaining a college degree means facing lower rates of unemployment. For AAPIs, having a college education means shaving nearly 2 percentage points off the unemployment rate compared to AAPIs with only a high school education.
As time goes on, Results for America is making significant inroads in the policy world, helping political leaders of all stripes get comfortable with the idea of heightening the role of evidence in policymaking.
The most useful information comes when parents, educators, and others with a stake in education have access to data that help them understand how well our kids are doing and empower them to make better decisions that improve student achievement.
The major backlash against student testing is because teachers and families are getting little value out of it. If a test is to be worthwhile, it needs to be producing information that's useful in classrooms and at kitchen tables.
We needn't wait for Superman. The national scalability of proven, effective high schools shows that if we demonstrate the will, and rethink the three Ds of the education reform debate, great American schools can be ours today.