Why Great Schools Matter

Great schools matter because they prepare children to be successful in life. They also matter because they are what Cincinnati families want and need. Parents/community members in Cincinnati report interest in new high-quality schools in their neighborhood.

It is important for students to attend a great school that supports their goals and dreams as well as their ability to meet critical milestones that are key to their transition to adulthood. Below are examples of research and reports that provide insights into student needs and how great schools can support them.

Important Research for Student Success

The New Teachers Project (TNTP)

TNTP’s report, The Opportunity Myth, looked at what goals students are setting for themselves, what kind of lives they want to lead, and how school is preparing them to live those lives.

The study found:

  • 94% of students surveyed aspire to attend college
  • 70% of high schoolers have career goals that require at least a college degree.
  • However, 40% of college students (including 66% of Black college students and 53% of Latinx college students) take at least one remedial course, where they spend time and money learning skills they were told they had already mastered in high school.

StriveTogether – 7 Core Areas

  1. Kindergarten readiness Being ready for kindergarten affects future academic achievement and life success. Children develop fundamental skills and responses in early childhood that build strong foundations for reading, counting and social interactions. Studies show that as a child’s kindergarten readiness scores improve, third-grade reading and math scores rise accordingly.
  2. Early grade reading Literacy is critical to a child’s academic success, particularly early-grade reading. Children in the early grades begin to transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Reading at grade level is one of the strongest predictors of later success in school, with data showing the link between disparities in literacy during the early grades and persistent achievement gaps.
  3. Middle grade math Middle-grade math has become an important milestone for high school persistence, academic achievement, college attainment and readiness for the workforce. Research indicates that students who successfully complete middle-grade math perform better in geometry, more advanced algebra, trigonometry and calculus. A child’s math curriculum also has a strong link to college enrollment.
  4. High school graduation Students who graduate from high school earn higher wages and see better results in other measures of personal and social welfare, such as health and relationships. Increasing the educational attainment of one generation improves the next generation’s academic and social outcomes.
  5. Postsecondary enrollment Postsecondary enrollment marks a critical transition in the cradle-to-career pipeline. Students of color and those in low-income households are less likely to pursue education beyond high school. As more careers require additional preparation, it’s critical to ensure access to options and financial aid information for four-year degrees, two-year programs and technical certifications.
  6. Postsecondary completion More valuable than ever, degrees and certifications open doors to meaningful jobs and stable futures. Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree can earn more than individuals with only a high school diploma, and postsecondary attainment also leads to improved health and social outcomes. Society benefits from a more educated population, including lower crime rates and more community involvement.
  7. Employment Connecting postsecondary graduates to good jobs is the ultimate goal of the cradle-to-career pipeline. Students who are employed within a year of graduation are on their way to achieving self-sufficiency. When a community’s workforce is fully engaged, the entire community is stronger.

SOURCES: StriveTogether, https://www.strivetogether.org/our-impact/; Bureau of Labor Statistics