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Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives
Indicator 4.6: Core Academic Coursework

Figure 4.6. Percentage of public high school graduates who had completed the core academic track, by race/ethnicity: Various years, 1982 to 2000
Percentage of public high school graduates who had completed the core academic track, by race/ethnicity: Various years, 1982 to 2000
NOTE: The core academic track is defined as at least 4 year-long courses in English; 3 each in social studies, science, and mathematics; and 2 in foreign languages. Black includes African American, Pacific Islander includes Native Hawaiian, and Hispanic includes Latino.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, High School and Beyond Longitudinal Study of 1980 Sophomores (HS&B-So:80); National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88/90), "First Follow-up, 1990;" and National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), High School Transcript Studies (HSTS), selected years 1982 to 2000.

American Indian/Alaska Native high school graduates completed more academic high school coursework in 2000 than in 1982. However, American Indians/Alaska Natives were still less likely to have completed substantial credits in academic coursework than the total population of students.

The National Commission on Excellence in Education recommended that the core academic track for high school students include at least four courses in English, three in social studies, three in science, three in mathematics, and two in a foreign language (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983).8 The percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native high school graduates who completed this level of academic coursework increased from 3 percent in 1982 to 26 percent in 2000.

The percentage of high school graduates who completed the core academic track increased for other racial/ethnic groups as well. Between 1982 and 2000, the percentage of students who completed the core academic track for White high school graduates increased from 11 to 48 percent; the percentage for Black graduates increased from 5 to 44 percent; the percentage for Hispanic graduates increased from 4 to 38 percent; and the percentage for Asian/Pacific Islander graduates increased from 17 to 57 percent.

American Indian/Alaska Native high school students who graduated in 2000 were less likely to have completed the core academic track than their peers of other racial/ethnic groups.

View Table View Table 4.6



8 The commission also recommended one-half year of computer science. This indicator focuses on the core academic track coursework that does not include computer science.


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