Project Seeks to Track Student Progress Across State Borders

As reported by Stateline, the news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts, some states are working together to account for students who move between states over the course of their academic careers.  As described by Stateline, states frequently hit roadblocks when they tried to track their students who moved out of state – whether as youngsters moving with their families or to attend college or take jobs elsewhere.  Through a pilot project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the  Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education is seeking to formulate a multistate approach.

The initial results were promising.  The multistate approached allowed the participating states to see how many enrolled in graduate school or found jobs in one of the other three states. It also allowed them to determine how much of a local labor market’s needs were being filled by people from other states.

. . . Ultimately, the kind of information shared in the pilot project could help states shape education policy, said Paige Kowalski, director of state policy and advocacy for the Data Quality Campaign, which advocates for the use of data to improve education. Almost half of the students from Maryland who attend college leave the state to do so, she said, for example. But without data from other states, policymakers know little about how those students are doing – whether they obtain degrees or find jobs.

For more information, see the full story from Stateline.