In secondary education, there’s perhaps no bigger buzzword than “college readiness” right now. School districts and their high schools are under enormous pressure to produce graduates that are prepared for college-level course work or career-ready skills that will give them an effective transition into the work force.
It’s a constant battle every year, particularly after a 2013 ACT survey revealed that only 26 percent of college instructors believed high school graduates were ready for post-secondary classes. (link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/act-survey-finds-gap-on-college-readiness/2013/04/17/bdc8dd7c-a770-11e2-a8e2-5b98cb59187f_story.html )
We’ve seen a major interest from districts at being able to use data to help address this challenge and to ensure their graduates are ready for college. The good news is most districts already have a plethora of data they are collecting – whether it’s EXPLORE, PLAN, ACT, PSAT, SAT and AP data. Now, it’s a matter of getting the data into a usable format for teachers and building administrators.
That’s where we’ve found Matrix’s scalable architecture to come in handy. Many times with EPAS data districts want to be able to break down the data by how much students have grown or not grown year-to-year. Having data drive this process also takes out the guesswork of teachers perceptions or anecdotal evidence.
A major goal of Matrix is to empower districts to be able to use data to make decisions and create strategies that will improve student performance. As districts are under constant scrutiny to produce graduates that are ready for college-level courses, the ability for high schools to have successful students in Advanced Placement courses has also become a key focus. The AP Predictor in Matrix puts that concept into action, where based on a student’s PLAN score, districts can now get an instant list of the probability of students who will pass certain AP exams.
Not only can teachers use this data to recruit students for AP courses, but the district can also use the data to plan its entire AP course offerings with all the details from budgeting, staff time, materials, etc.