Policy and Research Issues: Cognitive Growth and its Correlates

Policy Questions:

1. What are the correlates of cognitive growth over time?

(a) Student Issues

  • What are the trajectories of cognitive growth over time for different groups of students?
  • How do course taking patterns relate to different rates of cognitive growth?
  • At what levels of proficiency do students score in reading and mathematics?
  • Which background factors are associated with higher achievement?
  • What is the role of student involvement/academic and extracurricular engagement in predicting cognitive growth?
  • What is the influence of language proficiency and use on tested achievement?
  • What is the influence of students' attitudes and expectations on cognitive growth?

(b) Parental/Family Issues

  • Which background factors and family variables are associated with higher achievement?
  • What is the role of parental involvement in student achievement and other outcomes?

(c) School and Teacher Issues

  • How is teacher quality related to achievement gains over time?
  • How are school-level characteristics related to cognitive growth?
  • How well are high schools preparing students for higher education and the world of work?

2. What school and teacher factors are associated with different levels of cognitive growth?