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Review the High School Benchmarks 2018 Report for Evaluating and Monitoring Your School’s Success

by NSC Blog | May 14, 2019 | High School Benchmarking, K-12, Research Reports, StudentTracker for High Schools |

Each fall, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center releases the High School Benchmarks report. The sixth annual report provides the most updated data on high school graduates’ college access, persistence, and completion outcomes.

The report includes postsecondary outcomes for five years’ worth of high school graduating classes. The data includes more than one quarter of all public high school graduates — totaling more than five million students. All 50 states are represented, and a majority of the nation’s 100 largest school districts.

The outcomes data is broken down into various demographic categories, allowing school leaders to compare their own data with the outcomes of students from schools with a similar makeup. For example, the report includes:

  • Outcomes sorted by rural, suburban, and urban location
  • Outcomes of low-poverty and high-poverty schools
  • Outcomes of schools with a high percentage of minority students or English language learners

Each year, schools and school districts should take advantage of this free report to understand how their performance compares to other similar schools across the country.


Here’s how:

1. Start with the national benchmarks

Explore the wealth of data available in the High School Benchmarks report, including year-over-year trend data.

2. Compare the national data with your school’s specific data

Combine relevant national benchmarks with your school’s data. This is particularly easy to do if your school or district already uses StudentTracker for High Schools to track postsecondary outcomes for your students. Using this service, your school has verified, long-term data to make “apples-to-apples” comparisons.

3. Assess your school’s progress or challenges since last year

Has your school gained ground, as compared to similar schools nationwide? Has it kept pace with national trends? Or is there a widening gap?

4. Move forward

Whatever answers you find, the data is a powerful tool for evaluating how well current programs are working. As you make policy or curricular changes, the data will continue to present a clear-eyed view of your school’s role in your students’ college and career readiness.

Read the most recent High School Benchmarks 2018 report (October 2018).


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