Using the national data from high school transcript studies conducted from 1982 to 2005, this special analysis addresses the following questions related to students’ coursetaking patterns and trends during this period:
The first section of this special analysis describes state-level standards related to coursework and high school exit examinations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, which is treated as a state in this analysis. This is followed by a discussion of the availability of advanced course offerings in public schools.1 Both requirements and offerings provide a context for examining the patterns of student coursetaking as they relate to minimum standards and expectations. The second section describes the number and types of credits that public and private high school graduates earned. It then examines the percentages and characteristics of public and private high school graduates who took advanced courses in science, mathematics, English, and foreign languages. The special analysis concludes with a summary of key findings.
1The most recent data available for this special analysis did not collect data on advanced course offerings from private schools. (back to text)