“Buy-in” is broad-based understanding of and commitment to the importance of using an early warning system to improve college and career readiness in schools. Genuine buy-in leads to development of a vision and goals and then to investment of resources: personnel and funding.

Buy-in among leaders and stakeholders sustains the vision over time and turnover, and leads to culture change within the organization. Investment is needed to develop an appropriate data infrastructure, to build staff capacity, and to communicate the vision to stakeholders and the community at large.

(Click the above image for a PDF version of the resources on this page)


  • Convene a high-level discussion to gauge current understanding of, and commitment to, a college- and career-readiness focused EWS
  • Align program vision with current organizational mission and goals
  • Create a planning and implementation team that includes leaders from key departments
  • Communicate early, often, and consistently to engage staff, community, and family stakeholders’ commitment and understanding


Practice-Driven Data: Lessons from Chicago’s Approach to Research, Data, and Practice in Education
UChicago Consortium on Chicago School Research
Thoughtful analysis of considerations and best practices used to develop a robust and effective culture of data-driven improvement in the Chicago Public Schools. Focus on ways selecting the most appropriate data and “socializing” it to make it useful to school-based educators.

How High Schools and Colleges Can Team Up to Use Data and Increase Student Success
Jobs for the Future
August 2016
Page 6: How municipal, school, and non-profit organizations in Providence, RI, built consensus and collaboration around improving college and career readiness, particularly for Latino youth.


  • Essential Elements in Implementation
    Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University and UChicago Consortium on Chicago School Research
    May 2014 (pages 6-8)
    This high-level, yet practical, overview includes specific strategies for developing broad district commitment to a college readiness indicator system. Although primarily focused on indicators for college readiness, the strategies identified will prove helpful for career readiness focus as well.
  • Four Signs Your District is Ready for an Early Warning System: A Discussion Guide
    Regional Educational Lab
    Sept. 2016 (especially pages 1-5)
    This is a helpful guide to get the conversation started, particularly in districts where EWS is a relatively new idea.
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