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ERIC Number: ED519415
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Feb
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Orange Juice or Orange Drink? Ensuring that "Advanced Courses" Live up to Their Labels. NCEA Policy Brief No. 1
Dougherty, Chrys; Mellor, Lynn; Jian, Shuling
National Center for Educational Accountability
The pressure to improve high school students' academic results has led many schools and districts to take the first step of enrolling more students in advanced courses. Business and state policy leaders have encouraged this practice. However, the hard part of the bargain is to ensure that students actually learn the advanced content implied by the course labels. Lack of student academic preparation and teacher capacity has led many schools and districts to take the easy path--substituting "orange drink" for "orange juice" so that students can pass the course and graduate. This practice appears to be most prevalent with low-income and minority students. The need for information going beyond course labels has implications for "State Scholars" and similar programs that focus on encouraging students to sign up for advanced courses. These programs should be evaluated not by course credit alone, but also by evidence that students have mastered course content and do not require remediation when they get to college. Higher-performing schools and districts are beginning to take the first difficult steps down the path of preparing the majority of students from all backgrounds to learn content that in the past was standard fare only for the best prepared and most advantaged students. Learning from their progress, practices, and success is critical if others are to follow. A bibliography is included. (Contains 26 footnotes.)
National Center for Educational Accountability. Available from: National Center for Educational Achievement. 8701 North MoPac Expressway Suite 200, Austin, TX 78759. Tel: 800-762-4645; Tel: 512-320-1800; Fax: 512-320-1877; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Educational Accountability