The Nation’s Report Card: Grade 12 Reading and Mathematics 2009 National and Pilot States Results

This report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) examines findings from the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assessment of 12th graders in public and private high schools across the U.S. and reports on reading and mathematics scores and trends for that group of students. The report found that average mathematics scores were higher in 2009 than in 2005 overall, and that the overall average reading score was also higher in 2009 than in 2005.

Project Lead the Way Works: A New Type of Career and Technical Program

This study from the Southern Regional Education Board compared the outcomes of Project Lead the Way (PLTW) relative to the High Schools That Work (HSTW) program. The majority of study participants were white males who had parents that pursued postsecondary education. PLTW students had higher scores in math and science on the NAEP-referenced HSTW Assessment than similar HSTW career/technical students in comparable career/technical fields and all fields.

Answers in the Tool Box. Academy Intensity, Attendance Patterns, and Bachelor’s Degree Attainment

Using data from the National Educational Longitudinal Studies of 1988 and 2000, this follow-up study explores the characteristics of formal schooling that contribute to the completion of a bachelor’s degree by the time students reached their mid-20s. The rigor of students’ high school curriculum, particularly rigorous mathematics courses, continued to count more than any other precollegiate factor in determining degree completion. Results indicated that not all students have the same access to a rigorous curriculum.

Meeting Five Critical Challenges of High School Reform: Lessons from Research on Three Reform Models

This report from MDRC looks at how three different high school reform models--Career Academies, First Things First, and Talent Development--addressed five challenges found to be obstacles to successful reform implementation in low-performing high schools. According to this report, the pillars of high school reform are structural changes to improve personalization and instructional improvement. The report offers tangible solutions as well as supporting evidence and various resources.

Crisis at the Core: Preparing All Students for College and Work

ACT’s report recommends that schools strengthen their core high school curriculum to better prepare students for post-secondary success. Even with a high school diploma, many students leave high school without the necessary skills that will assist them in college or the workforce and research demonstrates that students at all levels of achievement benefit from taking rigorous courses.

Out-of-School Time Programs: A Meta-analysis of Effects for At-risk Students

Schools and districts are adopting out-of-school-time (OST) programs such as after-school programs and summer schools to supplement the education of low-achieving students. However, research has painted a mixed picture of their effectiveness. To clarify OST impacts, this synthesis examined research on OST programs for assisting at-risk students in reading and/or mathematics. Researchers analyzed 35 OST studies that employed control or comparison groups and met other inclusion criteria.

Condition of Education 2011 Reports New Education Statistics

Today the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released The Condition of Education 2011, a Congressionally-mandated annual report that details all aspects of U.S. education, including early childhood education, student achievement, postsecondary education, teacher effectiveness, and school environment. There were a number of key findings related to high schools, their students, and implications for transitions to college, including:

What Does the Research Says About Expanded Learning Time Initiatives?

In a recent interview, President Obama said: “We now have our kids go to school about one month less than most advanced countries. And that month makes a difference.” A recent research synthesis, the first on this topic, has shown that there is some research to support expanded learning time initiatives. The authors of the synthesis screened approximately 1,390 studies related to expanded school year and 818 studies related to expanded school day in elementary, middle, and high schools. Due to the limited number of studies published on the topic, the synthesis included studies with varying rigor of their design. The synthesis focused on the 15 studies which included academic outcomes. Of these studies, three included high schools, and the other 12 studies focused only on elementary and middle schools.


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