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The University of Texas at Austin

Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs



Beyond the Numbers: Improving Postsecondary Success through a Central Texas High School Data Center

Beyond the Numbers: Improving Postsecondary Success through a Central Texas High School Data Center

Directed by Christopher T. King, Deanna T. Schexnayder and Hannah Gourgey

Ensuring successful transitions from high school to postsecondary education is critical to the future economic prosperity of the nation, the state and the Central Texas region. It is especially important for Hispanics and other fast-growing population groups that have traditionally not enrolled in postsecondary education at high rates. Beyond the Numbers: Improving Postsecondary Success through a Central Texas High School Data Center makes the case for a data center serving Central Texas high schools. The report presents supply- and demand-side arguments. It offers detailed plans for implementing such a data center to gather and link secondary student-level longitudinal data on postsecondary, labor market, welfare, corrections, and other outcomes of interest as well as information gathered from exit and followup surveys to determine why students are choosing particular paths. The report also comprehensively addresses one of the greatest barriers to assembling and using such data, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), providing a legal analysis and the results of a survey of state data-sharing practices under FERPA.

Note: The Central Texas High School Data Center, a partnership of the LBJ School's Ray Marshall Center and Skillpoint Alliance, is currently operational with six independent school districts—Austin, Del Valle, Leander, Manor, Pflugerville, and Round Rock—with funding from the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Policy Research Project Reports Series No. 148
2006 / 8.5" x 11" / 238 pp.
ISBN-10: 0-89940-761-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-89940-761-6
Publication Code (PR-148)

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