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New tool makes it easier to track high school graduate outcomes

January 24, 2019

A new and improved version of an online dashboard that makes it even easier to monitor postsecondary outcomes for Washington high school graduates is now available.

The High School Graduate Outcomes dashboard, created by the Education Research and Data Center in the state Office of Financial Management, has displayed first-year college enrollment, persistence, completion and earnings of high school graduates by school district and individual school.

The dashboard is an upgrade of a version that presented only the postsecondary enrollment outcomes of high school graduates for the year after graduation. The upgraded dashboard adds postsecondary persistence and completion as well as employment outcomes. It also offers an interactive presentation of the data not previously available.

“We hope the additional metrics and more visual interface will be make it easier to see data patterns and trends that will help inform state and local policy,” said Andrew Weller, ERDC data visualization analyst.

The dashboard allows users to explore these outcomes by demographic group and high school achievement. For example, a user can explore the outcomes of graduates from a specific district by gender or race and ethnicity of students, by high school GPA or by whether students participated in the free and reduced priced lunch program (sometimes used as a proxy for parental income). Users can also compare districts and schools to other districts and schools, and against statewide trends.

Not every school’s data will be available on every page of the dashboard and not every demographic group will be represented for each available school. In keeping with ERDC policy, the dashboard will not display the outcomes of groups with fewer than 10 students. If a particular school had fewer than 10 graduates in a given year, or if a particular demographic group from that school had fewer than 10 students, then those students’ data will not be displayed to protect student privacy.

ERDC works with partner agencies in Washington to develop analyses of learning that can improve student outcomes. The purpose of its longitudinal data system is to assist lawmakers by enabling researchers to conduct valuable research for policy- and decision making at the state level and in partnering institutions, such as the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges or public four-year institutions. This upgraded dashboard is part of a larger effort to create data visualizations and analyses of the outcomes of education programs in Washington, with the goal of informing policies that better serve Washington students and their families.