ERIC Number: ED337507
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jun
Discovering What Schools Really Teach: Designing Improved Coursework Indicators. Joint Report JR-02.
McDonnell, Lorraine M.; And Others
This policy guide argues the need for improved indicators of student coursework, illustrates the information that different types of measures convey, outlines the key choices that need to be made about data collection, and suggests ways in which states might develop more valid and useful indicators of student coursework. In its broadest form, coursework includes the following: (1) the courses that schools offer; (2) patterns of coursetaking by different types of students; (3) the content of these courses; (4) their objectives; (5) instructional strategies; and (6) teachers' qualifications and experience. Examples provided are drawn from the School Reform Assessment (SRA) project, a 2-year exploratory study undertaken in California and Georgia to design a variety of high school coursework indicators. The SRA focuses on expanding and refining the technical quality of existing coursework indicators and accommodating the information needs of policymakers by providing indicators that measure the effects of major curriculum policies. Valid coursework indicators must meet the following four criteria: (1) they must be linked to a larger model of the schooling process; (2) they must differentiate among tracks or levels of the curriculum; (3) they must distinguish between the curriculum as it is intended by designers/policymakers and as it is actually implemented in schools/classrooms; and (4) they must measure the depth and breadth of the curriculum. Statistical data are presented in three tables and nine graphs. An appendix describes the SRA sample. A 28-item list of references is included. (SLD)
Descriptors: Course Evaluation, Course Selection (Students), Curriculum Evaluation, Data Collection, Educational Assessment, Educational Indicators, Educational Policy, Evaluation Methods, High School Students, High Schools, Instructional Effectiveness, Research Design, Teacher Evaluation
The Rand Corporation, 1700 Main Street, P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90406-2138.
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, Los Angeles, CA.; California Univ., Los Angeles. Center for the Study of Evaluation.; Rand Corp., Santa Monica, CA.
Note: Guide is a companion document to "The Design of Improved Coursework Indicators: First Steps."