College Readiness Indicator Systems
Education leaders across the country are confounded by a growing phenomenon: too many students are not college ready when they leave high school. Although indicators exist to identify students at-risk of dropping out of high school, few indicators of students’ college readiness are currently in place, and few districts have linked indicators to practices and policies in ways that would enable action to create meaningful, lasting change.
The College Readiness Indicator System network, also referred to as CRIS, is a joint effort of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR) and the John W. Gardner Center (JGC) at Stanford University, and is generously funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. We are working with five sites to help develop, expand and modify current college readiness indicator systems that identify and support young people to be college ready. The five sites participating in the project include Dallas Independent School District, New Visions for Public Schools (New York City), the School District of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Public Schools and San Jose Unified School District.
Ellen Foley, Interim Director of District Redesign and Leadership describes the work of the CRIS project.
As part of this collaborative effort, AISR and JGC develop, test, and disseminate effective tools and resources that provide early diagnostic indications of what students need to become college ready. AISR and JGC help link indicators to action, track and test the efficacy of student support interventions. The two organizations also work closely with the Consortium on Chicago School Research, which has also received a grant from the Gates Foundation to develop and test CRIS-related tools based on their work with the Chicago Public Schools.
The five sites receive support to defray the costs related to network participation and resources to enhance or fill gaps in their CRIS development. Selected sites have been identified from the outset as system leaders in supporting college readiness and/or in using data to create targeted interventions for students. Additionally, each participating site has regular interaction with other sites working in this area and receives tailored support and technical assistance from the AISR and JGC staff. Currently we are conducting an exploratory study to understand how school systems partner with external organizations to increase support for college readiness and what barriers impede our sites from implementing college readiness indicator systems. Our research questions are as follows:
- How do districts and external organizations – higher education and community-based organizations – collaborate around issues of college readiness?
- How do partners develop, share, and act on college readiness indicators?
- What are some of the barriers - institutional, cultural, and technical - to these partnerships?