NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED608081
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2020-Aug
Pages: 41
Abstractor: ERIC
Back on Track: How Off-Track Ninth Graders Progressed in Later Years of High School, Class of 2017 and 2018
Pileggi, Molly; Liu, Lindsey; Turner, Alyn
Research for Action
In 2018, the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) developed an indicator for being "on track" at the end of a high school student's freshman year. As part of the district's overall strategy for improving graduation rates, school administrators currently use the Ninth Grade On-Track indicator as an early marker of progress towards graduation and to identify students in need of intervention. Using four cohorts of SDP data prior to its development and implementation, Philadelphia Education Research Consortium (PERC) found that one-third of first-time freshman in 2013-2017 would have been flagged by On-Track indicator as "off-track" after their first year of high school. Although the On-Track indicator was not yet in place, the reports serve as a benchmark against which progress can be measured. Building upon this prior work, this report examines two of those same cohorts of off-track freshman in the expected graduating classes of 2017 and 2018, following them over time to understand which students were able to graduate and when they got back on track. Similar to the prior work, these findings describe student experiences that pre-date the establishment of SDP's On-Track indicator. Thus, this report serves as baseline for the district to assess progress toward efforts to improve graduation rates through schools' use of the On-Track indicator to identify and connect students to supports. The goal of examining these patterns is to understand which off-track students and which schools might need the most support. This report offers a first-time look at graduation rates for off-track students in SDP. The findings will be informative to school and district administrators working to support high school students who fall off-track in ninth grade. These findings raise questions about whether some students and schools may benefit from more resources and/or different systems or approaches than others. The findings also point to the need for more research to examine why some students in some schools recover at higher rates than others and build evidence for effective interventions for getting students back on track. Four appendices are included in this report. [This is Brief 3 of the Back to School series. For Brief 2, "How Long Will It Take Me to Get to School? Transit Times to School District of Philadelphia High Schools," see ED608080.]
Research for Action. 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Tel: 215-823-2500; Fax: 215-823-2510; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research-practitioner Partnerships; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 9; High Schools; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Neubauer Family Foundation; William Penn Foundation
Authoring Institution: Research for Action; Philadelphia Education Research Consortium (PERC)
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)