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ERIC Number: ED549978
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Pages: 21
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 11
Ninth-Graders' Mathematics Coursetaking, Motivations, and Educational Plans. Stats in Brief. NCES 2015-990
Hudson, Lisa; O'Rear, Isaiah
National Center for Education Statistics
Research indicates that mathematics coursetaking is related to positive academic and economic outcomes. Studies have found that high school students who take more rather than fewer mathematics courses are more likely to attend college and to have higher levels of educational attainment. Research also suggests that high school students who complete higher level mathematics courses are more likely to attend college than are those who complete lower level mathematics courses, and are more likely to graduate from college. For several decades, national longitudinal surveys have collected data on high school mathematics coursetaking and student demographics. Using these data, researchers have consistently found that students from lower socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds take lower level courses than do those from higher SES backgrounds. This Brief uses more recent national data that include a new series of survey items to explore students' mathematics coursetaking and their motivations for this coursetaking. Previous research on students' course-taking motivations has been mostly qualitative and has focused on the expectations of school staff, parents, and peers. Using the new data, this Brief is able to examine a broad range of student-reported motivations for mathematics course-taking. Of particular interest here is how mathematics coursetaking, motivations for this coursetaking, and students' plans for after high school interact. The Brief explores this issue in several ways. First, it examines the relationship between students' coursetaking and their plans for the year after high school. Second, it examines self-reported motivations for coursetaking and their relationship to future plans. Finally, previous research has shown that students from higher SES backgrounds pursue more education than those from lower SES backgrounds, which might explain SES differences in mathematics coursetaking. This Brief examines whether SES differences in mathematics coursetaking remain when comparing students with the same plans for after high school. Data for this Brief were derived from the Base-Year collection of the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09). In addition to examining students overall, the rest of this Brief focuses on the three groups of students with definite college or career plans for the year after high school: those planning to enroll in a bachelor's degree program (45 percent of ninth-graders); those planning to enroll in an associate's degree program (17 percent); and those planning to work without enrolling in further education (22 percent).
National Center for Education Statistics. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Grade 9; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED); RTI International
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: ED-IES-12-C-0095