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ECS High School Policy Center (HSPC)


Aligned to the Research: Science and Mathematics Graduation Requirements PDF - Recent years have seen much attention on mathematics and science education, and one of the most visible actions many states have taken is raising high school graduation requirements for the two subjects. This ECS StateNote examines recent research on what specific courses research finds predict a higher likelihood of success beyond high school, and provides a summary of each states' current graduation requirements in mathematics and science. (Kyle Zinth and Jennifer Dounay, Education Commission of the States, June 2007)...

Mathematics and Science Education in the States MS Word PDF - This ECS StateNote identifies components of state policies most likely to positively impact teachers and students of mathematics and science at the high school level. The report notes exemplary state policies aimed at recruiting new science and mathematics teachers and strengthening the skills of existing teachers. The authors also indicate a number of state policies aimed at student success – such as efforts to increase the number of students who take AP and IB science and mathematics courses; raise the minimum number of credits high school students need to complete in mathematics and science; reduce the need for remediation at the postsecondary level; and create programs aimed at improving achievement by low-income and minority students. (Kyle Zinth and Jennifer Dounay, Education Commission of the States, Updated July 2006)...

Alignment of High School Graduation Requirements and State-Set College Admissions PDF - This ECS StateNote compares high school graduation requirements in the 50 states with state-set college admissions requirements. The note compares college admissions requirements to standard or technical diploma requirements as well as to the more challenging college prep or honors diploma options offered in 25 states. (Jennifer Dounay, Education Commission of the States, April 2006)...

Foreign Language Requirements for High School Graduation MS Word - Multistate compilations of state education policies that require high school students to have successfully completed coursework in a foreign language to be eligible to graduate from high school. (Jennifer Dounay, Education Commission of the States, September 2002)...

Geography/World History Course Requirements for High School Graduation MS Word PDF - This report provides a compilation of the high school graduation requirements for geography and world history in all 50 states. Preparation of this report was made possible by The Longview Foundation for Education in World Affairs and International Understanding, Inc. (Jennifer Dounay, Education Commission of the States, August 2002)...

Differentiated High School Diplomas MS Word - In an effort to encourage students to meet higher expectations, a number of states are awarding advanced high school diplomas to students who complete additional coursework, take certain tests, achieve high test scores, and/or graduate with a minimum gradepoint average. This recognition of achievement can take the form of an endorsement, seal, stamp on a student’s diploma or transcript; a higher level diploma; or a certificate of mastery or advanced mastery. This is a multi-state compilation. (Education Commission of the States, January 2000)...

High School Graduation Requirements MS Word - High school graduation requirements vary greatly among the states. Most states (44) establish minimum course requirements that must be satisfactorily completed in order for a student to qualify for high school graduation. These requirements are listed in this analysis as academic units equivalent to one year's instruction in the subject area. (Education Commission of the States, November 1998)...

Multiple Measures Approaches to High School Graduation - This report examines how states are applying five approaches to using high school-level assessments to evaluate student performance: (1) a statewide high school exit exam is required but alternative assessments or measures are available; (2) alternative assessments or measures are available for students with disabilities and English language learners; (3) high school exams provide information on school performance, curriculum improvement or individual remediation needs but are not used to determine who graduates; (4) state tests or local assessments linked to state standards are recorded on the transcript, provide a diploma endorsement or allow a student to receive a differentiated diploma; and (5) local performance assessments are utilized to evaluate student learning. The appendix provides state profiles of high school graduation and assessment policies. (Linda Darling-Hammond, Elle Rustique-Forrester and Raymond L. Pecheone, The School Redesign Network at Stanford University, 2005)...

A National Study on Graduation Requirements and Diploma Options for Youth with Disabilities - This paper examines the results of a national study on the current status of state graduation policies and diploma options for youth with disabilities. The authors found that of those states that responded, 34 offered multiple diploma options to high school graduates with disabilities, and 27 states required youth with disabilities to pass a state exit exam to receive a high school diploma. (David R. Johnson and Martha L. Thurlow, National Center on Educational Outcomes, October 2003)...


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