Students want information to help navigate their academic experience and chart their paths after high school. But according to a national poll of high school students that my organization, the Data Quality Campaign (DQC), and the Kentucky Student Voice Team developed in 2022, they are not getting the information they need. State policymakers can help remove this source of students’ uncertainty about their futures.

The many uncertainties that students in particular experienced over the last three years are reflected in the large numbers of students who are chronically absent, missing from schools, or are otherwise disengaged. The decline in FAFSA applications also hints at how students’ outlook on the available paths after high school has changed.

Better access to data will help students understand their college and career options, the steps they should be taking during the K-12 years to attain their goals, and their academic progress to date. This data access is essential for paving the way to recovery. State, district, and local education leaders must take actions to help students, their communities, and schools get the data they need.

Access to Data Is Key to Navigating High School and Beyond

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A New Architecture for High School Learning

By Russlynn Ali and Timothy F.C. Knowles

State leaders should retire the Carnegie unit and open the door for high school designs that ensure learning is engaging, relevant, experiential, and competency based.

Telltale Signs of Rigor and Career Readiness in High School

By Gene Bottoms

State boards can take a lesson from schools that already dish up rigorous assignments in college- and career-ready courses alike and ensure more schools do it.

How Rhode Island Increased the Value of a High School Diploma

By Angélica Infante-Green

New graduation requirements aim to align with college admission standards and address inequities in college and career readiness.

Access to Data Is Key to Navigating High School and Beyond

By Jennifer Bell-Ellwanger

Surveyed students report being at sea on postsecondary options and the progress they are making toward their goals.

Merging High School and College: The Early College High School Model

By Julie A. Edmunds

Six elements in statewide law and policy pave the way for effective programs that help more students thrive in college courses while they are still in high school.

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