Tag Archives: CollegeData

Are Oakland High School Graduates Going to College?

Up until recently this was not an easy question to answer for a city in California (several other states make this data publicly available). The data has been available to individual schools and districts who seek it out, but the state has not prioritized releasing college-going data. Fortunately, for the the first time, California has publicly released college-going data. This is a great first step toward a statewide data system that can track student outcomes from pre-k through college.

What exactly is this data? College-going data is a combination of data from CALPADS, California’s student data system, and the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), an organization that collects data from colleges across the country. CALPADS data tells us which kids graduate from high school. This data can then be matched with college enrollment data from NSC to tell us which high school graduates ultimately make it into college.

What are the key takeaways?

  • Oakland’s college-going rates are lower than the state and the county
    • Oakland is 6 points behind the state and and 13 points behind the county
  • The range in college-going rates across Oakland is wide.
    • Eleven schools sent more than 70% of students their graduates to college
    • Eleven schools sent 50% or less of their graduates to college
  • Girls are outpacing boys
    • Girls have higher college-going rates in Oakland, Alameda County, and California
    • The trend continues in most individual schools as well with gaps as large as 36 points

What’s the fine print? While NSC data is fairly comprehensive it does not include data for all schools or students. There are very few schools that have opted out of the NSC data collection, however, students have the right to opt out of the NSC data collection. Nationally the NSC opt-out rate is 3-4%, however, in California the opt-out rate has ranged from 8-12%.

One hypothesis for this difference is that students from immigrant families are more likely to opt out of the NSC collection for fear of revealing their immigration status. To be clear, NSC does not collect information on immigration and status, but the fear from families and students still exists. Since California is home to a large immigrant population, there is a larger proportion of students attending California colleges that have decided to opt out of the NSC data collection. While the data set is not exhaustive, this is the best available data set for college-going data and can still provide valuable insights for our community.

What’s next? Join us on Sept 24 at our second College Data Study session where we will dive deeper into college data with stakeholders from across Oakland.

Event Summary: College Data Kick-Off

On April 11 we hosted the first of four College Data Study Sessions to examine college matriculation, persistence, and degree completion data for Oakland students. During the kick-off event, stakeholders representing 20 different schools and organizations from across Oakland collaborated to review college data and brainstorm how Oakland can use this data as a community. For those that were unable to attend, the agenda and slide deck are available here.

During the session, we reviewed anonymous college matriculation and persistence data for Oakland schools made available from the CORE Data Collaborative. In the spirit of using data as a flashlight, we started with reviewing anonymous data, however, over time as we learn and build trust we plan to make school-level data available publicly. As we analyzed this data we considered the following questions:

  • How does this data make you feel? (link)
  • What did you learn from this data? (link)
  • What questions do you still have? (link)

Not surprisingly, the data generated more questions than answers. We hope to address many of these questions in future study sessions.

To inspire our work for future sessions, we also reviewed several college data artifacts from other communities. From these artifacts, we hope to learn how we can use college data to support Oakland students to and through college. Here are the artifacts that we investigated:

I look forward to working with community members to craft the agenda for our next session on Tuesday, 9/24, Noon – 2pm (RSVP HERE). Lunch will be served and location is to be determined.


While we won’t be convening as group again until September, Lighthouse Community Public Schools will be hosting several webinars highlighting best practices for College and Career readiness in the next few weeks. Sign up here.

  • Preparing Students for the 21st Century Workforce: Adding a CTE Pathway to a Small School (April 25, 2019 @ 9:15 – 10:00am PDT)
  • College and Career Best Practices (April 25, 2019 @ 10:15 – 11:00am PDT)
  • Attend to the Language of the Standards: Planning for Mastery and Student Supports (April 25 @ 1 – 2:15pm PDT)
  • Creating College-Going Curriculum and Experiences (April 30, 2019 @ 4 – 4:45pm PDT)