The Path Least Taken III: Rigor and Focus in High School Pays Dividends in the Future

The National School Boards Association's Center for Public Education's "Path Least Taken" series sheds light on a segment of the young adult population that rarely gets studied: high school graduates who don’t go on to college. By drilling down into data collected through a long-term U.S. Department of Education study of the Class of 2004 graduates, the series offers insight into the background, goals and preparation of non-college enrollees and how they compare to those high school graduates who did go on to college. Why? Because policymakers, school leaders and educators need a clearer understanding of the outcomes for graduates who take different paths in the years following high school in order to make more informed decisions about how to prepare students for success, whichever path they choose