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Benefits and Challenges in Reporting Student Outcomes


August 22, 2014


Benefits and Challenges in Reporting Student Outcomes

A new report from RTI International explores how states collect data required by the Perkins Act on student outcomes such as continuation into postsecondary education and employment, and makes suggestions on policies to better facilitate reporting on student outcomes.  

The publication reviews data collection options typically used by Perkins grantees, including survey data as well as administrative data on student employment and enrollment in and completion of postsecondary education. This administrative data is typically available through state data systems and through nationwide repositories such as the National Student Clearinghouse, the Federal Employment Data Exchange System and the Wage Record Interchange System 2.

In addition, authors Kimberly Green of the National Association of State Directors of CTE Consortium (NASDCTEc) and RTI International's Steve Klein and Jay Pfeiffer propose recommendations on how federal and state policies can help develop data systems with complete, accurate and consistent information on CTE student outcomes. These include:

  • ensuring that CTE is integrated into state longitudinal data systems
  • promoting states' use of national data repositories
  • tracking indicators relevant to career pathways, while not penalizing programs when students change course
  • developing regulations that specify how indicators should be constructed and administered
  • providing states with data collection alternatives, such as conducting a sample survey of students
  • aligning Perkins accountability measures with related legislation such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

With reauthorization on the horizon, ACTE and NASDCTEc have been collaborating and consulting with many interested stakeholders and subject matter experts on potential measures of accountability and relevant data sources that will best capture what is most critical for student success.


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The Association for Career and Technical Education is the nation’s largest not-for-profit education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. Founded in 1926, ACTE has more than 25,000 members; career and technical educators, administrators, researchers, guidance counselors and others involved in planning and conducting career and technical education programs at the secondary, postsecondary and adult levels. ACTE provides advocacy, public awareness and access to information on career and technical education, professional development and tools that enable members to be successful and effective leaders.

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ACTE is committed to enhancing the job performance and satisfaction of its members; to increasing public awareness and appreciation for career and technical programs; and to assuring growth in local, state and federal funding for these programs by communicating and working with legislators and government leaders.


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