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Title:A Longitudinal Analysis of Cohort Course-Taking Patterns of High School Graduates
Author(s):Decoteau, Joseph Patrick
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Phelps, L. Allen
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Guidance and Counseling
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to provide a data-based context for examining the claims of recent reports critical of public education by describing the curricular course-taking patterns of students during a period when public school reform mandates were being sought within a state, as well as nationally.
To describe this phenomenon, three samples of high school graduates' transcripts in one middle-American school district were analyzed. The three samples of graduates (N = 575) included: (a) a Stratified Sample (N = 450), which was representative of the graduating classes of 1981, 1984, and 1987; (b) a Black Sample (N = 180), which was an oversample of the Stratified Sample and representative of Black students in the three graduating classes; and, (c) a SPED Sample (N = 67), which in actuality represented the population of mainstreamed special education graduates from the three graduating classes.
As a curricular tool, the analysis provided longitudinal cohort data on several indicators related to the current reform movement in American public education. Several of these indicators included: ACT/SAT scores, grade point averages, grades in selected core courses, as well as the total, academic, and non-academic units for graduation. In addition to providing a composite of the course-taking patterns in each subject field, the analysis allowed for a comparison of the transcript data between the three samples which represented students in general, Black students, and mainstreamed special education students.
Four significant findings emerging from the study included: (a) to date, the current reform mandates have minimally impacted the course-taking patterns of Fremont's secondary graduates, (b) vocational education courses continue to represent a significant segment (20-42%) of the courses taken by Black and special education graduates, as well as all other high school graduates, (c) the increased levels of achievement of Black graduates, and (d) clear indications that the calls for school reform will reduce vocational education course-taking in high schools.
Issue Date:1988
Description:197 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8823115
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1988

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