ERIC Number: ED352424
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Losing Track: The Dynamics of Student Assignment Processes in High School.
Reihl, Carolyn; And Others
This study examines the processes by which students are assigned to courses in high schools. The data are drawn from a longitudinal study of five inner-city high schools located in an eastern metropolitan area spanning three separate school districts. Each school served a population of students that was overwhelmingly disadvantaged. The schools ranged in size from approximately 600 students to approximately 2,800 students. The data derive primarily from semi-structured interviews with key staff members in the five high schools involved in the assignment process. Interview subjects included guidance counselors, grade advisors, special program directors, and departmental chairpersons. Using an iterative, comparative analytic process the data were searched for structural, procedural, and temporal relationships among the data elements to assemble a general model of the student assignment process in the five schools. Major stages of the process captured in the analysis include the determination of school offerings, the development of the master schedule, and the matching of student needs and school resources. Two major trends are apparent. First, the connections between student needs and the assignment process appeared to be loose. School staff often assigned students to classes and programs without adequate information on student needs or school resources. Factors such as student ability, academic performance, and interests played a limited part in the process. Second, the connections between political and administrative processes and the assignment process appeared to be tight. Factors such as staffing constraints, physical space limitations, and regulations from both within and outside of the district did much to determine the scheduling process. Included are 25 references. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Research on Effective Schooling for Disadvantaged Students, Baltimore, MD.