National research shows that Grade 9 on-track achievement (i.e., whether a student earns enough credits to promote on time to sophomore year) is the single best predictor of whether a student will graduate from high school within four years—more so than test scores, family income, or race/ethnicity. And college application, enrollment, and persistence rates reveal significant needs and gaps in achievement that affect student’s long-term success.
The gaps between student aspirations and attainment often become most striking when students enter high school. In Connecticut’s high-need districts, students struggle with:
- 1 in 4 (or 23%) ninth graders do not earn enough credits to be promoted on time to sophomore year.
- 42% of juniors and seniors do not access college-ready courses during high school.
- 80% of juniors and seniors are unable to demonstrate proficiency on Connecticut’s college-ready indicator.
Over the first three years of the RISE partnership, the RISE
Network’s focus on key transitions—navigating the middle to high school transition and preparing for post-secondary success—has yielded positive early results.
- Greater On-Track Achievement: Grade 9 on-track rates have improved by nearly 10 percentage points network-wide from roughly 70% to 80% over the past three years.
- Success in Closing Opportunity Gaps: Grade 9 on-track improvements are more pronounced for vulnerable subgroups, with English learners and special education students achieving 15+ point gains over the past three years.
- Improved College Readiness: College-readiness rates for students in Grades 9 through 12 have improved from 29% of students earning B’s or better (3.0+ unweighted GPA) in 2015–16 to 36% in 2017–18.
The RISE Network leverages the collective wisdom, diverse experiences and perspectives, and creative ideas of hundreds of educators. We are constantly seeking feedback from educators to ensure that our programming and capacity-building efforts are meeting their needs. Here’s how educators describe RISE:
- “The most valuable opportunity our district has had since I began working here.”
- “A blessing. I have described the work as ‘Doing the right work right’.”
- “Inspirational, empowering. One of the best things that has happened to our school!”
- “An amazing opportunity to make positive and significant changes for our students.”
- “It is motivating to have a group who is investing in me, supporting me, and cheering me on.”
- “I am privileged to be part of RISE!!”