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Title: Mathematics Coursetaking and Achievement at the End of High School: Evidence from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002)
Description: This report documents and examines the relationship between the number and types of math courses taken in the 11th and 12th grade and growth in mathematics proficiency over the same time period. Using data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002), the analysis identifies the coursetaking sequences most prevalent among contemporary high school students in their junior and senior years, sociodemographic characteristics of the students who follow these course sequences, and the association between specific courses and course sequences and mathematics gains over the last two years of high school. Because most students (94 percent) entered the second half of high school with a mastery of basic mathematics skills such as simple arithmetic and operations, most learning during this time was in intermediate-level mathematics skills and concepts. For example, the percentage of students with an understanding of simple problem solving skills grew from 53 to 65 percentage points over the two year period. In terms of learning in specific content areas, the largest gains in intermediate skills such as simple operations and problem solving were made by those who followed the geometry–algebra II sequence. The largest gains in advanced skills such as derivations and making inferences from algebraic expressions were made by students who took precalculus paired with another course. The smallest gains were made by students who took one mathematics course or no mathematics courses during their last 2 years.
Online Availability:
Cover Date: January 2008
Web Release: January 8, 2008
Print Release:
Publication #: NCES 2008319
General Ordering Information
Center/Program: NCES
Type of Product: Statistical Analysis Report
Survey/Program Areas: Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS)
High School Transcript Studies (HST)
Questions: For questions about the content of this Statistical Analysis Report, please contact:
Elise Christopher.