ERIC Number: ED242046
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Curriculum Reform and School Performance: An Evaluation of the "New Basics."
Alexander, Karl L.; Pallas, Aaron M.
This report examines whether a high school curriculum organized around the five "new basics" suggested by the National Commission on Excellence in Education is likely to enhance student achievement. Data from the ETS Growth Study reveals that completion of the core curriculum has sizable effects on senior-year test performance, even when prior levels of test performance are controlled. It is also shown that completing the entire core curriculum enhances test performance beyond the effects of coursework in a particular outcome area alone. Importantly, though, completion of the core is effective only if students perform at relatively high levels in their courses. It is concluded that the new basics can be effective in promoting generic skills in the verbal and quantitative domains. For this, the commission gets high marks. However, it is also the case that the commission has failed to provide a comprehensive stocktaking on the condition of American education. This is discussed in the concluding comments. An appendix shows course categories used to construct the new basics core curriculum. (Author/TE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD. Center for Social Organization of Schools.
Identifiers: National Commission on Excellence in Education; New Basics