Using Research to Improve College Readiness: A Research Partnership Between the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles Education Research Institute

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) serves a large majority of socioeconomically disadvantaged students who are struggling academically and are underprepared for high school graduation and college. This article describes the partnership between LAUSD and the Los Angeles Education Research Institute, and how this collaboration endeavors to produce accessible and high quality research to inform pressing problems of practice. The article also presents findings from an ongoing partnership research project analyzing a district policy focused on improving college readiness by aligning high school graduation and college-eligibility requirements. In a cohort that went through high school before the policy became mandatory for all students, less than 1/5 of all students (and 30% of graduates) met the college eligibility criteria. Our findings indicate that academic and behavioral indicators from 8th and 9th grade can help identify for possible intervention students who are not on track to meet these new graduation requirements.