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Secondary Education

Students at Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology take time to explain their advanced science lesson to classroom visitors in 2012. These students could very well be nearing the completion of their undergraduate college studies by now.

There's much going on in the world of secondary education.  Here you will find a variety of research/reports/articles highlighting many of those issues.  Posting here does not imply Georgia Partnership endorsement. Entries go back to 2012.  Broken links should be reported here.


Strategies for Recess in Schools
SHAPE - Society of Heath and Physical Educators

This describes strategies for planning and providing recess in schools to help increase participation in physical activity and improve academic achievement (e.g., performance, behavior, attention). Related. (February 1)


Closing the College Gap - A Roadmap to Postsecondary Readiness and Attainment

The report analyzes new longitudinal data to link the progress made in raising high school graduation rates to what is known about college readiness, access and persistence; the best indicators of a students’ postsecondary success; and the necessary and complementary roles that both the K-12 and higher education systems must play to raise educational attainments and close opportunity gaps. Press release. Related story. (December 12) 

Knocking at the College Door - Projections of High School Graduates
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

The steady growth in high school graduates that led to significant expansion of higher education in the United States in recent decades is coming to an abrupt halt. Introduction. Press release. Executive summary. Related story. (December 6)

High Stakes for High Schoolers - State Accountability in the Age of ESSA
Thomas B. Fordham Institute

This examines the extent to which states’ current (or planned) accountability systems attend to the educational needs of high-achieving students; it also explains how states can take advantage of ESSA to create systems that serve all students. Forward/executive summary.  State profiles. (November 15) 

"Billion Dollar Bets" to Establish Pathways to Careers
The Bridgeman Group

Employers say today’s graduates are not applying for jobs with the skills they need to be successful in a range of industries. Related story. (November 11) 

Horizon Report - An Examination of Emerging Technologies for Their Potential Impact On and Use in Teaching, Learning and Creative Inquiry in Schools
New Media Consortium and Consortium for School Networking

Achieving personalized instruction is one of the challenges cited here. This annual report, produced by 59 leading experts with online input from others, plots the five-year look ahead for education technology. Introduction. Related story. (September 22)

Do Top Dogs Rule in Middle School? Evidence on Bullying, Safety, and Belonging
Syracuse and New York University Researchers

In this study, we examine one commonly cited mechanism, the top dog/bottom dog phenomenon, which states that students at the top of a grade span (“top dogs”) have better experiences than those at the bottom (“bottom dogs”). Abstract. Related story. (September 19)

Do Students Show What They Know on Standardized Tests?
Bentley College

This study suggests students taking a test behave like you or me: They do better with a little incentive. Dollars and cents, that is. Related story. (May 23) 

NAEP - The Nation's Report Card
National Assessment of Educational Progress

In comparison to 2013, the national average mathematics score in 2015 for twelfth-grade students was lower and the average reading score was not significantly different. NAEP web site. Related stories: Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Associated PressNPR; U.S. News & World Report; Los Angeles Times; Brookings. (April 27)

How the Time of Day Affects Productivity: Evidence from School Schedules
The Review of Economic and Statistics

In this paper, the researcher proposes a simple innovation that schools can use to improve student performance: rearranging schedules to take advantage of time-of-day effects. Related story. (April 13)

Career and Technical Education in High School:  Does It Improve Student Outcomes?
Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Career and technical education programs – which policymakers and business groups have been touting as solutions to help fill the skills gap, but which students and parents have been slow to embrace – are paying off in a big way in Arkansas.  Related story. (April 8)

Keeping Tabs on Dual Enrollment
Education Commission of the States

This 2016 update (50-State Comparison: Dual/Concurrent Enrollment Policies)shows some encouraging improvements in state policy – but also shows there are plenty of opportunities for states to enhance their policies on dual enrollment. (April 7)

Meandering Toward Graduation - Transcript Outcomes of High School Graduates
The Education Trust

Forty-seven percent, or almost half, of American high school graduates complete neither a college- nor career-ready course of study — defined here as the standard 15-course sequence required for entry at many public colleges, along with three or more credits in a broad career field such as health science or business. Introduction. Related story. (April 5) 

Graduation Advantage Persists for Students in Deeper Learning Network High Schools - Updated Findings from The Study of Deeper Learning: Opportunities and Outcomes
American Institutes for Research

There are 10 networks of “deeper learning” high schools across the country, with more than 500 high schools participating in these support groups. Some are charter schools. Others are regular public high schools. Their curricula vary a lot.  Related story. (March 21)

The College and Career Readiness of U.S. High School Graduates

For more than a decade, Achieve has issued an annual 50-state report on each state’s adoption of college- and career-ready (CCR) policies as reflected in state standards, graduation requirements, assessments, and accountability systems. Press release. Introduction. (March 14)


When families move, high school students may suffer
The Conversation

Policies encourage residential mobility as a way of improving outcomes for low-income families residing in poor neighborhoods. As study’s findings are striking and contrary to intuition: moving, even to a better neighborhood, is associated with a lower likelihood of receiving a high school diploma (ECS). (December 2015)

Delivering Early Information About College Financial Aid - Exploring the Options for Middle School Students
Urban Institute

For some students, plans to attend college take shape during high school. But according to researchers, high school can be too late to start planning -- financially and academically. This study focuses on middle school possibilities. Related story. Related story. Abstract. (July 2015)

Third-grade reading policies
Education Commission of the States

The third-grade year is considered a pivotal point in a child's educational career, as a critical shift in learning takes place - one where basic reading skills are established and can begin to be utilized for more complex learning.  Related story. (January 2015) 


Looking Forward to High School and College:  Middle Grade Indicators in Chicago Public Schools
University of Chicago

Grades and attendance—not test scores—are the middle grade factors most strongly connected with both high school and college success.  In fact, grades and attendance matter more than test scores, race, poverty, or other background characteristics.  Related story. Introduction. (November 2014)

Missing the Mark:  Students Gain Little from Mandating Extra Math and Sciences Courses

Missing the Mark suggests that changing high school graduation requirements alone may have little effect on students’ college and career readiness. Related story. Introduction. (August 2014)


REPORT: High School Benchmarks 2013
National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

This report provides high school-to-college transition rates for graduates of public high schools. The rates are reported for students from six categories of high schools, based on the school-level demographic and geographic characteristics. Related story. (October 2013)

The Nation's Report Card - Economics 2012 (National Assessment of Educational Progress at Grade 12)
Institute of Education Sciences

These are national results for 12th-grade economics students who were tested in market, national, and international economies (ECS Connection). (May 2013) 

ACT National Curriculum Survey - 2012

This is a nationwide survey of educational practices and expectations.  Conducted every three to five years by ACT, the survey collects data about what entering college students should know and be able to do to be ready for college-level coursework in English, math, reading, and science. Introduction. Related story. (April 2013)

Opportunity by Design: New High School Models for Student Success
Carnegie Corporation

This report calls for a focus on how schools use teaching, time, technology, money, and other resources to bring all students to the much higher levels of achievement necessary to meet the demands of Common Core State Standards and, eventually, Next Generation Science Standards. Related storyPress Release.  Introduction. (March 2013)

Dating Trajectories From Middle to High School: Association With Academic Performance and Drug Use
University of Georgia

This study identifies trajectories of dating from sixth to twelfth grade and describes the academic performance (teacher-rated study skills and high school dropout) and self-reported drug use associated with these trajectories, in a diverse sample randomly selected in sixth grade. Related story. (March 2013)

The Impact of Alternative Grade Configurations on Student Outcomes Through Middle and High School
Harvard Graduate School of Education

The report finds students moving from elementary to middle school suffer a sharp drop in student achievement in the transition year.  These achievement drops persist through 10th grade.  Also, middle school entry increases absences and is associated with higher grade 10 dropout rates.  Related research. (March 2013)

Knocking at the College Door - Projections of High School Graduates
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

This presents graduation projections through the class of 2028 by state and race/ethnicity. They indicate that the era of annually increasing graduating classes through about 2011 is ending, while graduating classes are rapidly becoming more diverse. Related story. (January 2013)


Homework Doesn't Elevate School Grades But Could Boost Standardized Test Scores
Indiana University

A recent study led by an Indiana University professor found that traditional homework assignments won’t improve a student’s grades but could boost standardized test scores. Related story. (December 2012)

College Courses in High School: A Strategy for College Readiness
Jobs for the Future

There is no panacea when it comes to education policy, but a growing body of research suggests that allowing students in high school to complete even a single college course could significantly increase their chances of attending college and eventually graduating. Related story. (October 2012) 

High school rigor and good advice: Setting up students to succeed (At a glance)
Center for Public Education

The demand for workers with a college education is growing faster than the supply of graduates. By 2018, we will have produced 3 million fewer college graduates than the labor market demands (Carnevale, 2010). (October 2012)

High school rigor and good advice:  Setting up students to succeed
National School Boards Assn.

Taking high-level math in high school as well as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses can have a dramatic impact on whether a student finishes college. (Press release and related story) (October 2012)

The Condition of Education
National Center for Education Statistics

The Condition of Education (COE) is a congressionally mandated annual report that summarizes important developments and trends in education using the latest available statistics. The Condition of Education 2012 contains 49 indicators, plus a Closer Look. Related story. (May 2012)

Is High School Tough Enough?
The Center for Public Education

This report examines the research behind effective curricular strategies for promoting high school rigor. It focuses on strategies commonly used by districts to strengthen the high school curriculum: Advanced Placement courses, higher-level math courses, Dual Enrollment programs, and Early College High Schools. Relating story. (March 2012)