Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence

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Clarifying Transitions: Were 60.9% of Graduates Transition Ready?

I think I know how this works, and I think these are the relevant numbers:

  • 46,447 students graduated from Kentucky public high schools in 2017-18
  • 28,283 of those graduates were identified as transition ready (meaning academic ready, career ready, or both)
  • 60.9 percent is the rate of transition readiness that results from dividing transition ready graduates by all graduates

Here, I’ll share my reasoning, and at the end, I’ll share a version of the same analysis for student groups.

In the statewide School Report Card, 61.5 is reported as the new Transition Indicator for the whole state, but that number involves some additional data. As required by state regulation, the Transition Indicator includes graduates who met our measures of transition readiness and graduates who achieved English language proficiency after receiving English language services and extra credit for students “obtaining an industry-recognized certification, licensure, or credential in specialized career pathways in state and regional high demand sectors as approved by Kentucky’s Workforce Innovation Board.” The Transition Indicator is calculated by dividing that sum by graduates plus English learner graduates.

So, to get the simpler percent of graduates who were transition ready requires some further digging. Here’s the direct path to my numbers:

  • Go to the Department’s Open House portal, click the Accountability link, and download the Accountability Summary file
  • Open the file, select the Transition tab, and find the row showing State Results for All Students
  • Find 47,698 listed as “graduates plus EL count,” with 1,251 as “English learners (EL) graduates” and subtract to get the 46,447 graduates listed above
  • Find 28,771 listed as “readiness count,” with 488 as “English learners (EL) attainment,” and subtract to get the 28,283 transition ready graduates listed above
  • Divide the 28,283 by the 46,447 to get the 60.9% that I think is the transition readiness rate for 2017-18 graduates

In my earlier post sharing reasons that I like the new School Report Card design, I identified this issue as a place where the design could be stronger. The report could list the number of graduates who achieved academic and/or career readiness, the total graduates, and the resulting percentage. Doing it that way would mean I could report the number with full confidence, rather than explaining my independent arithmetic and using the cautious phrase “I think.”

That said, I’ve studied the files the Department released and the explanations in the related Layout file. The best work I can do alone says the 60.9% is correct. I’ll be delighted to hear from anyone who sees another way to figure out the missing numbers, and I’ll correct this post if I learn a better method.

Using my method, the chart below chart shows the percent of 2017-18 high school graduates who achieved academic readiness, career readiness, or both, giving robust evidence that we have tremendous work ahead to equip all students for adult success, with particularly urgent challenges for serving historically underserved student groups.

Since 1983, the Prichard Committee has worked to study priority issues, inform the public and policy makers about best practices and engage citizens, business leaders, families, students, and other stakeholders in a shared mission to move Kentucky to the top tier of all states for education excellence and equity for all children, from their earliest years through postsecondary education.