Where data lead, success follows

By Learning Forward
October 2018
Vol. 39 No. 5
Located along 100 miles of California’s North Coast, Humboldt is a large, rural county, best known for its redwood forests and agriculture. The county is home to 136,000 residents and 31 school districts, some so small that they serve fewer than 10 students. Humboldt County’s postsecondary options include a two-year college and a four-year university, both part of the state system. But in 2016, just 32% of high school graduates met requirements for entrance to California’s four-year college system, compared with 45% statewide. The Post-Secondary Strengthening Collaborative is trying to change that. In 2014, the close-knit education community in Humboldt came together to address the potential to improve college readiness and completion among the county’s students. A diverse group of education leaders spanning K-12 through

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Elizabeth Newman and Hadar Baharav

Elizabeth Newman ( is senior community engagement associate and Hadar Baharav ( is senior research associate at the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University.

At the heart of that work was an effort to help the partners use cycles of inquiry to analyze, study, and act on data.

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Learning Forward is the only professional association devoted exclusively to those who work in educator professional development. We help our members plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning so they can achieve success with their systems, schools, and students.

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