More about this framework's scope

The North Star for our education work – as reflected by the P-16 Framework – is ensuring all students – especially those from low income communities and students of color – have access to educational opportunities, from Pre-K through postsecondary, that enable them to develop the knowledge, skills, and agency needed to thrive as adults and contribute to their communities.

Given our focus on education as a lever for opportunity, this framework is bound by factors the educational system is designed to address. We acknowledge there are a number of additional factors that can significantly affect student outcomes including gender, socioeconomic status and student health. Specifically, we acknowledge the centrality of poverty and race/ethnicity, and their impact on educational outcomes.

School year

How to explore this framework

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Recurring Issues

Social-Emotional Factors

Academic Benchmarks

Enabling Environments

Chronic issues that directly influence student engagement (and can be strong predictors of dropout)

Mindsets students develop that ultimately lead to greater academic success

Benchmarks and factors that relate directly to a student's academic development

Ways in which the education system can prepare and empower students and help them gain momentum

Chronic Absenteeism and Lateness

Disciplinary Action

Student Mobility

Changing Paradigms and Expectations

Grade Retention

Misplacement in Special Education

Summer Learning Loss

Executive Function and Self-Regulation

Growth Mindset

Future Orientation

Self-Management

Sense of Belonging

Language, Literacy and Math Foundations

Exposure to STEM Education and Learning

Reading Proficiency

Math Proficiency

Writing Proficiency

9th-Grade GPA

HS Course Rigor and Academic Progress

PS Enrollment after HS Graduation

Placement in Remedial Education

1st-Year PS Focus and Accumulation

1st-Year PS Academic Performance

Overall PS Credit Accumulation

Pre-K Participation and Quality

Kindergarten Participation and Quality

High Expectations

Use of Digital Tools and Resources

Dual Language Learning

Extracurricular Activities

Mentorship and Support

Pathways from HS to PS and Career

Financial Aid Literacy and Access

College-Level Coursework

Credit Transfer

Pathways through PS and into Career

Job Placement

Tip 2

When you hover over a factor in the columns below, you'll be able to see the grades in which it is relevant along this grades bar.

Tip 1

This timeline shows the number of factors and benchmarks relevant in each grade. It does not represent intensity of each factor or benchmark. To focus on the factors within a single grade or range of grades, click and drag on the timeline.

Tip 3

If you want to learn more about why a factor is listed in the framework, click on it to access key facts and resources.

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Recurring Issues

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Disciplinary Action

Suspensions and expulsions are early indicators of potential school dropouts.

Facts

In the 2011-2012 academic year

  • 3.5M students were suspended in school
  • 3.45M were suspended out-of-school
  • 130K were expelled (U.S. Department of Education)
  • In Florida, getting suspended once in 9th grade doubled the odds of HS dropout (16 to 32%) and decreased the odds of PS enrollment from 58 to 39% (Balfanz, Byrnes and Fox, 2014).

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    Recurring Issues

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    Student Mobility

    Changing schools (especially multiple times) can interrupt and delay academic progress.

    Facts

    Higher levels of student mobility are associated with delayed HS graduation, lower educational attainment and higher arrest rates (Herbers, Reynolds and Chen, 2013).

    41.9% of students surveyed in the ECLS study transferred schools once between K and 5. 24.1% of students transferred more than once (Rumberger, 2015).

    During the 2014-2015 school year, the Colorado student mobility rate was 16.5%. Students with disabilities, ELL students, and economically disadvantaged students were found to have an average rate of mobility, while migrant, homeless and foster care students had mobility rates of 36.9, 39.8 and 54% respectively (Colorado Department of Education, 2016).

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    Recurring Issues

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    Misplacement in Special Education

    Accurate assessment of academic needs can help students, but inaccurate or late placement can undermine student progress and mindset.

    Facts

    Misplacement in special education can have long-term negative effects (National Education Association, 2008).

    Resources

    Recurring Issues

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    Summer Learning Loss

    Students who do not engage in high-quality summer learning opportunities start each year behind their peers who have the opportunity to do so.

    Facts

    Summer learning loss in elementary school accounts for over half of the 9th grade achievement gap between high- and low-income students (Alexander, Entwisle and Olsen, 2007).

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    Academic Benchmarks

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    Exposure to STEM Education and Learning

    High-quality STEM education develops student subject knowledge, problem solving and critical thinking.

    Facts

    Early exposure to STEM education can strengthen critical reasoning skills, student engagement and student enthusiasm for STEM (Lee et al., 2014).

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    Academic Benchmarks

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    Reading Proficiency

    Students who are proficient readers are better prepared for later grades.

    Facts

    Over 40% of students who read below grade level in 3rd grade still read below grade level in 8th grade (Lesnick, Goerge, Smithgall and Gwynne, 2010).

    Students who read above grade-level in third grade graduate HS and attend college at higher rates than those who do not (Lesnick, Goerge, Smithgall and Gwynne, 2010).

    On the 2015 NAEP reading exam:

  • 36% of students entering 4th grade demonstrated proficiency
  • 34% of students entering 8th grade demonstrated proficiency (National Assessment of Educational Progress)
  • Resources

    Academic Benchmarks

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    Writing Proficiency

    Writing skills are critical to academic success, especially at the postsecondary level.

    Facts

    Students in grades 4-6 spend approximately 25 minutes a day writing text at least a paragraph in length (Gilbert and Graham, 2010).

    High school students seldom have to write more than a paragraph for assignments and rarely need to provide analysis or interpretation (Sullivan, 2014).

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    Academic Benchmarks

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    HS Course Rigor and Academic Progress

    Steady academic progress keeps high school students on track for graduation, while rigorous coursework ensures greater preparedness for college.

    Facts

    Students who finish 9th grade on track are four times more likely to earn a diploma. The University of Chicago Consortium on School Research defines 'on track' as having enough credits to be promoted to tenth grade and no more than one semester F in a core course (Adams, 2014).

    Students who take at least one rigorous course are significantly more likely to graduate high school and go to a 4-year college (Long, Conger and Iatarola, 2012).

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    Academic Benchmarks

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    Placement in Remedial Education

    Placement in remedial courses in college delays gateway course completion and increases time and money spent to obtain a postsecondary credential.

    Facts

    Of students requiring remedial education, 35.1% go on to graduate with a bachelor's in 6 years, as compared to 55.7% of all students enrolled (Complete College America, 2011).

    Roughly 25% of 1st-year college students were required to take remedial courses (Nguyen Barry and Dannenberg, 2016).

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    Academic Benchmarks

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    1st-Year PS Focus and Accumulation

    Postsecondary students who select a program of study and make sufficient progress in their 1st year are more likely to graduate on time.

    Facts

    Students who attempt 15 credits of coursework in their first semester at a postsecondary institution graduate within 6 years at higher rates than those who take less (Attewell and Monaghan, 2016).

    50.2% of students earned fewer than 24 credits in their first year at a postsecondary institution (Complete College America, 2013).

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    Academic Benchmarks

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    Overall PS Credit Accumulation

    Timely accumulation of required credits affects whether college students will be able to complete their courses of study on time.

    Facts

    Over half of California students transferring from 2-year to 4-year did not have enough credits to enter as upper-division students (Moore, Shulock and Offenstein, 2009).

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    Social-Emotional Factors

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    Executive Function and Self-Regulation

    When students regulate their emotions, behavior and attention, they are better able to engage in their schoolwork and are less disruptive in the classroom.

    Facts

    Research has found a correlation between student executive function and performance in reading and math (Best, Miller and Naglieri, 2011).

    An RCT study found that social-emotional skills gained in preschool 'made unique contributions to kindergarten outcomes in reading achievement and learning engagement Nix, Bierman, Domitrovich and Gill, 2013).'

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    Social-Emotional Factors

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    Growth Mindset

    Students with a growth mindset believe intelligence can be cultivated, which helps them weather academic challenges and persist toward their goals.

    Facts

    Research shows that an emphasis on developing a growth mindset can lead to higher GPAs and better performance in core courses among high school students at risk of dropping out (Paunesku et al., 2015).

    Pre-college mindset programs improved sense of belonging, GPAs, and retention in postsecondary education among 1st-generation students and students of color (Yeager et al., 2016).

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    Social-Emotional Factors

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    Future Orientation

    Early awareness of postsecondary options helps students aim high, set academic goals and stay on track.

    Facts

    A clear future orientation is positively associated with academic achievement and student appreciation of course relevance (Brown and Jones, 2004).

    Strong future orientation reduces the likelihood of high-risk behavior among adolescents (Jackman and MacPhee, 2015).

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    Social-Emotional Factors

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    Self-Management

    Students who are internally motivated to achieve and are able to persist in the face of difficulties are more likely to pursue higher-level coursework.

    Facts

    Research by Angela Duckworth found that student self-discipline is a better predictor of academic performance than IQ (Duckworth and Seligman, 2006).

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    Social-Emotional Factors

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    Sense of Belonging

    Students who feel they "belong" in their school environment (including in advanced environments) will persist and succeed more.

    Facts

    Students with a sense of belonging have higher motivation, greater levels of engagement and a stronger committment to academics (Osterman, 2000).

    A student's sense of belonging is a key predictor of 'academic tenacity' (Dweck, Walton and Cohen, 2014)

    Resources

    Enabling Environments

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    Use of Digital Tools and Resources

    Students who become active users of technology build digital skills and are more engaged at school.

    Facts

    The U.S. Department of Education's 2016 National Education Technology Plan highlights the persistence of the 'digital use divide' in American K-12 schools (U.S. Department of Education, 2016).

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    Enabling Environments

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    Dual Language Learning

    Dual language programs close the achievement gap between ELL and native-speaking students and improve the English skills of both groups.

    Facts

    Collier (1989) found that second language students who achieved the greatest academic success were enrolled in bilingual programs that provided solid cognitive academic instruction in both the first and second language (Robinson, Keogh and Kusuma-Powell).

    In an Oregon study, students randomly assigned to English-Spanish immersion in Kindergarten showed that they outperformed their non-immersion peers in English reading by 7 months in 5th grade (RAND, Portland Public Schools and American Councils for International Education, 2015).

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    Enabling Environments

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    Mentorship and Support

    Consistent support from a teacher, counselor, coach or mentor can help students stay on track to and through postsecondary school while building trusting relationships with non-relatives.

    Facts

    Students with a special adult relationship saw improvements in academic performance and social-emotional skills (Valentino and Wheeler, 2013).

    Meeting one-on-one with a school counselor to discuss college admission or financial aid makes a big difference in students' futures, tripling the chance they'll attend college, doubling the chance that they'll attend a four-year college, and increasing by nearly seven times the likelihood that they'll apply for financial aid (Velez, 2016).

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    Enabling Environments

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    Financial Aid Literacy and Access

    Awareness of and access to financial aid give less affluent students more postsecondary opportunities.

    Facts

    50% of students with a family income less than $35,000 chose not to apply to certain colleges based on cost concerns (White House Middle Class Task Force).

    Resources

    Enabling Environments

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    College-Level Coursework

    Earning college credit in high school through AP, IB or dual enrollment courses can help students leapfrog gateway courses and contribute to timely degree completion.

    Facts

    Earning AP credit increases the likelihood of completing a bachelor's in four years by 1-2% per exam taken (Smith, Hurwitz and Avery, 2015).

    Dual enrollment has been correlated with improved academic performance, greater persistence, and higher levels of credit accumulation in postsecondary (Smith, Hurwitz and Avery, 2015).

    Resources

    Enabling Environments

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    Credit Transfer

    When students change institutions, the ability to transfer credits to the new institution is critical for appropriate placement and timely completion.

    Facts

    States with comprehensive credit articulation agreements have seen improvements in time-to-degree and reductions in excess credit hours (Southern Regional Education Board, 2013).

    In the 2013-14 academic year, 46 percent of students who completed a degree at a four-year institution were enrolled at a two-year institution at some point in the previous 10 years (National Student Clearinghourse Research Center, 2015).

    Resources

    Enabling Environments

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    Job Placement

    Deliberate job matching after credential attainment can improve a student's lifetime earnings.

    Facts

    Students in Career Academy programs that offer both a diploma and industry-recognized credential are more likely to finish high school and see steady earnings growth after graduation (Kemple, 2008).

    On average, a person with an associate degree makes 30% more in lifetime earnings than someone with a high school diploma. For bachelor's degree holders, the premium increases to ~77% (Carnevale, Rose and Cheah, 2011).

    Resources