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.
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.
This ACT, Inc., policy report discusses and investigates the inconsistencies between a typical high school curriculum and what a student needs to know in order to be prepared for the workforce or postsecondary education. The report also stresses that the lack of academic rigor found in many high schools plays a part in the ensuing disconnect.
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.
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.
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.
Looking for new high school-related resources? Here are some pieces that other organizations have recently released:*
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.