Student Outcomes

High School Student Outcomes

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Researchers have paid much less attention to the reform's impacts on high school students. This may be partly due to the district organizational change in 2005 that shifted control of high school mathematics and science from the Office of Mathematics and Science. As a result, CMSI focused exclusively on grades K-8. In addition, methodological challenges due to the state of high school assessmentscite  and the nature of course gradescite  made statistical analyses at the high school level particularly challenging. However, preliminary evidence indicates the reform effort has had some impact on the equity of students' access to higher level mathematics and science coursework. For example, enrollment in AP mathematics and science courses increased dramatically (107%; from 1763 students to 3650) from 2000-01 to 2005-06, while the percentage of AP test takers scoring '3' or above has fluctuated within a narrow range (35.9% ± 3.7%). There is currently limited evidence of the impact on students' test performance or grades.

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CPS high school students take a statewide standardized exam, PSAE, in the 11th grade only. While students take nationally normed-referenced exams in 9th (EXPLORE) and 10th (PLAN) grades, the statistical linkages for longitudinal analyses are not well known. Additionally, while the reform effort has begun to develop psychometrically-valid, end-of-course exams for high school mathematics and science courses, these data were not available for analyses at the time of this writing.
See for example, Price, K,, and Feranchak, B. (2009). Relationship between Grades and Standardized Test Scores: Issues of Meaning and Validity. Unpublished manuscript. Summary presentation here.