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Listen: How New Data on Kentucky's Public Schools Can Boost Student Achievement

school classroom
Thomas Galvez/Creative Commons
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Thomas Galvez/Creative Commons

Why is there such a large gap between the number of Kentucky students who graduate high school on time and those who go straight to college?

How much does the high school a student attends affect his or her prospects for the next level?

What's being done to close the achievement gaps for Kentucky's high school students?

A report from Harvard University's Strategic Data Project released earlier this week shed new light on student performance at public high schools throughout the state. Using data provided by the Kentucky Department of Education, the report showed which schools are succeeding -- and which are falling short -- in preparing students for college.

WFPL's Rick Howlett spoke with Mary Gwen Wheeler, executive director of 55,000 Degrees, about ways the data can help schools better prepare students for college.

Listen here:

"The thing that was evident was that there was a gap between the number of students who graduate high school and then actually had seamless enrollment into college, and that was despite their preparation coming into high school," said Wheeler, whose organization works with Jefferson County Public Schools and nonprofit groups to improve college readiness. "The other thing that was clear was that what happens in high school can make a difference."