On Track Through High School
Changing the Finish Line: Implications of new graduation requirements in the School District of Philadelphia
Beginning with the class of 2023, Pennsylvania high school students will need to demonstrate career or postsecondary preparedness to meet statewide graduation requirements and receive a diploma. The new graduation requirements, enacted in 2018 by Pennsylvania’s Act 158, are intended to codify high standards for all students and improve student achievement across Pennsylvania while also taking into account student strengths, interests, and career goals.
Changing Requirements in Pennsylvania for High School Graduation: A Research Brief on Pennsylvania Act 158
Beginning with the class of 2023, graduating Pennsylvania high school students will need to demonstrate career or postsecondary preparedness in addition to meeting existing statewide graduation requirements. Read our policy brief to learn about the history of this “high stakes” policy, how research shaped its evolution, and what researchers suggest are its implications for equity in Pennsylvania.
The purpose of this FAQ is to share what PERC has learned and how our research has been used to help high school students. As high school students return to school buildings post-pandemic, we also talk about how research might be used next year to support equitable pathways to graduation.
Recovering Credits in the School District of Philadelphia: High School Student Credit Recovery Utilization in 2018-19
By: Molly Pileggi, Alyn Turner, Lindsey Liu, and Jason Fontana
This study provides a snapshot of the district’s school-year credit recovery utilization—including eligibility, enrollment, and completion—using newly available data for high school students who entered the 2018–19 school year with a record of one or more failed courses.
Getting Back on Track: How Off-Track Ninth Graders Progressed in Later Years of High School, Class of 2017 and 2018
By: Molly Pileggi, Lindsey Liu, and Alyn Turner
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.
On Track Across Four Cohorts: Ninth Grade On-Track Patterns in the School District of Philadelphia, 2013-2017
By: Molly Pileggi, Kendra Strouf
This brief extends analyses from the earlier report with data from two additional cohorts of first-time freshmen (the Classes of 2017 and 2018) to better understand whether the patterns described in the original report have been consistent over time.
Ready from the Start: Identifying and Supporting At-Risk Ninth Graders from their Earliest Days in High School
By: Austin Slaughter, Ruth Curran Neild, Molly Crofton
This study examines what can be known about entering ninth graders, based on their eighth grade school records, that can inform high schools about students’ likelihood of being on track at the end of their first year.
Getting On Track to Graduation: Ninth Graders’ Credit Accumulation in the School District of Philadelphia, 2015-2017
By: Molly Crofton, Ruth Curran Neild
This study applies the 2018 Ninth Grade On-Track Definition to students who were first-time ninth graders in the SDP during the 2015-16 or 2016-17 school years.