Notice of Retraction for A+ Colorado’s report: A Seat at the Table: Colorado Students’ Access to Top Colleges
A+ Colorado is rescinding the initial version of the report A Seat at the Table: Colorado Students’ Access to Top Colleges, released December 2017. Shortly after the new year, A+ Colorado discovered a significant problem with the underlying data that tracked Colorado high school students’ college matriculation.
The report significantly underreported the number of students who have matriculated at 300 of the nation’s selective colleges and universities. The report was written by A+ Colorado based on data provided by the Colorado Department of Higher Education.
Valid and accurate education data is the basis for A+ Colorado and the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s work. Each organization is committed to ensuring that data is accurate. When the data is inaccurate, each organization is committed to taking immediate action to rectify the problem and notify the public.
A+ Colorado submitted a data request to the Colorado Department of Higher Education for matriculation data for a list of 300 colleges and universities for the classes of 2009 to 2015. Due to a data cross-walking error the underlying data provided by the Colorado Department of Higher Education did not include data from the full list of these colleges and universities, including University of Colorado—Boulder and Colorado State University, leading to a significant discrepancy in the reported and actual matriculation data.
While A+ Colorado validated the overall matriculation rate at each school, the data provided by the Colorado Department of Higher Education was aggregated across the requested list of colleges, as such, A+ Colorado was unable to validate whether specific higher education institutions were missing from the data set. The Colorado Department of Higher Education has since improved their validation process for future data sharing and reporting.
We are grateful to Cheyenne Mountain Superintendent Walt Cooper who noticed a significant discrepancy between Cheyenne Mountain’s internal data and the data in the A+ Colorado report. Superintendent Cooper’s communication to A+ Colorado led to inquiry by A+ Colorado and a rapid review by Colorado Department of Higher Education to find the cause of the problem.
We are thankful for the actions of the Colorado Department of Higher Education to quickly identify, take responsibility for, and rectify the problem. We look forward to continuing to partner with the Colorado Department of Higher Education.
A+ Colorado deeply apologizes for the misinformation provided in our report and will reissue the report, A Seat at the Table: Colorado Students’ Access to Top Colleges with the corrected matriculation data for all Colorado high schools and the 300 selective colleges and universities.
This is the first time that A+ Colorado has had to retract a report because of missing or inaccurate data. Accurate education data and analysis is the core value for A+ Colorado. For questions about these problems, the forthcoming corrected report or what will be done to ensure that it this does not happen again, please reach out to:
Van Schoales, CEO at A+ Colorado
Beth Bean, Chief Strategy and Research Officer at Colorado Department of Higher Education