When the Data Profile debuted in 1998, high school performance measures, college-going rates, and college success metrics were essentially unavailable, except for basic state-wide measures reported by the Nevada Department of Education. Performance measures for individual school districts, if they existed at all, were sparse. Local secondary and post-secondary education administrators and community leaders believed that statewide measures were not a valid indicator of student performance in the Washoe County School District (WCSD). In response to this concern, a collaborative committee, the Education Alliance P-16 Advocacy Council, was formed to compile and present statistics on high school performance, college enrollment, and college success of WCSD students. The resulting product became known as the Data Profile.
For the past 17 years, WCSD, Truckee Meadows Community College, the University of Nevada, Reno, and the Nevada System of Higher Education have worked in concert through the Education Alliance of Washoe County to continue the annual production of the Data Profile, providing a consistent source of information for educators and community leaders on WCSD students’ high school performance, college matriculation, and college success.
In addition to tracking the performance measures for each WCSD graduating class since 1998, the Data Profile has investigated and reported on key secondary and post-secondary education issues.
In 2002, the Data Profile published a startling report on WCSD students’ need for English and math remediation upon entering college
In 2007, the Data Profile reported on the six graduation rate formulas most commonly used throughout the United States at the time, and how they compared to the newly proposed Cohort Gradation Rate formula developed by the National Governors’ Association. As part of that Data Profile initiative, WCSD became the first school district in Nevada to adopt the Cohort Graduation Rate formula, which became mandatory in 2011, under the Federal No Child Left Behind legislation.
In 2011, the Data Profile reported on WCSD’s entry into the burgeoning number of U.S. school districts with minority-majority populations.
In 2016, the Data Profile is extending its report to include the connection between WCSD, TMCC, and UNR with the workforce needs of Nevada.
In contrast to 1998, student data are now ubiquitous in primary, secondary and post-secondary institutions. Consequently, while the Data Profile is no longer the sole source of WCSD performance measures and longitudinal comparisons, the document serves as a source of key data indicators of the bridge between K-12 education, higher education, and the workforce.