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high school classThe ECS high school staff strives to keep policymakers on the leading edge of what's happening with state high school systems by gathering, analyzing and disseminating information about current and emerging issues, trends and innovations in state educational high school policy and system designs. Current projects are described below:

ECS High School Policy Center (HSPC)

In 2005, ECS launched a three-year scope of work under the umbrella of the ECS High School Policy Center (HSPC). The HSPC is focusing its efforts on the following:

  • Answers to requests for information on high school issues.
  • An extensive 50-state high school policy database. The database, based on ECS research of state statutes, regulations and executive orders, will be built out over the three years of the project and include state policies covering more than 80 data points grouped under the categories of:
    1. Providing opportunities for college-level credit
    2. Alignment
    3. High school graduation requirements
    4. Curriculum and standards
    5. Assessment
    6. Student support and remediation and
    7. Accountability
  • A searchable database of high school research. This database will provide users with short, jargon-free summaries of vetted research on specific topics related to high school reform. Users will be able to access summaries of individual research studies, view multiple summaries sorted by issue, date, author, publication, or author's organization, or view research studies aimed at answering a specific policy question.
  • Highlights of local initiatives. High school reform is happening in districts around the country, but how can state policymakers learn about successful district or school-level initiatives? ECS is developing a database of innovative local high school initiatives with demonstrated effectiveness. Users will be able to access at-a-glance views of a dozen components across initiatives, such as district or school demographics, areas the initiative is focused on (for example, teacher professional development, curriculum and assessment, counseling), distinct approaches applied in these areas of focus, and funding source for the initiative.
  • ECS high school issue site. This site, which is updated regularly, contains information on what states are doing in regard to high schools, selected research and readings, links to related issues, and information on numerous sub-issues, including advanced placement, dropout rates/graduation rates, exit exams, early/middle colleges, GED (General Educational Development) and graduation requirements.
  • StateNotes on specific areas of interest.
  • Analysis (policy briefs) on what policymakers need to know about high schools.

Please contact Jennifer Dounay at with your name and e-mail address to receive updates as new High School Policy Center products are posted on!

ECS Online High School Topics Database

Staff Contact:
Jennifer Dounay Zinth
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