Editor’s note: This story has been corrected from the print version.

Oak Park and River Forest High School has partnered with a national student data collection service to track how their graduates are doing when they go to two- and four-year universities.

While some OPRF parents have opted out of this service most have agreed to share their student’s name.

About 300 OPRF families have not given the school permission to send their grads’ names to National Student Clearinghouse, a Virginia-based nonprofit that helps high schools learn more about how their students are doing in college. National Clearinghouse, in turn, sends information back to school districts. The nonprofit does not collect social security numbers or other private student data. But it does send information back to school districts on, for instance, whether a student returned to college for their second year and how a student is fairing in certain courses.

Amy Hill, director of assessment and research at OPRF, said the information they receive will help them better prepare their students for college.

“We think it will shed some light on how we prepare them on that pathway,” she said.

Some of OPRF’s neighboring school districts, like Evanston Township High School, have partnered with National Clearinghouse for years. OPRF signed on with the nonprofit this school year but was aware of the 18-year-old organization’s existence well before that, said Phillip Prale, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

The school considered partnering with the organization in the early 2000s but opted not to, Prale explained, because the high school wasn’t satisfied with how National Clearinghouse managed data at that time. Hill said the high school believes they’ve improved since then.

OPRF notified parents about the organization last fall, and Hill said about 300 families opted not to have their kids’ names shared. The deadline for that option passed late January. OPRF, Hill added, has used post-graduate surveys with their alumni but that information isn’t as detailed as National Clearinghouse can provide.

“We have not had very reliable information about their eventual education outcomes and that information helps us prepare them for their post high-school career,” Hill said.

Triton College in River Grove, a two-year junior college, has partnered with National Clearinghouse for some time, said Faon Grandinetti, Triton’s director of institutional assessment.

According to Grandinetti, very few of their students express concern about sharing data back to their high schools. “It’s pretty rare, but it does happen,” she said.

OPRF has 128 students currently enrolled at Triton — 58 attending full time and the rest part time. Triton had 67 OPRF students graduate with a degree or certificate in 2011, and 52 each of the two previous years.

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