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ERIC Number: ED556667
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 92
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-4256-9
The Impact of Course Rigor and Course-Taking Patterns on High School Student Academic Growth: A Quantitative Analysis
Newkirk, Brad
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Aurora University
Because of national, state, and local accountability to prepare students to be college and career-ready, secondary schools are looking for ways to maximize student academic growth while in high school. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relation between academic growth as measured by the changes in performance from students' 8th grade EXPLORE test to their 11th grade ACT test and the characteristics of the student and his/her high school experience. In this study, participants from three successive graduating classes from a suburban high school (N = 1008) were analyzed. The variables analyzed were the curriculum factors of course-taking patterns and course rigor. Student demographic factors of family income level, race/ethnicity, and gender were also examined to see if the curriculum factors had a differential effect on these groups. In addition, students' starting points were analyzed for the impact on future academic growth. Results of this study indicated that course rigor had an impact on academic growth in English and mathematics. Course-taking patterns had an impact in mathematics, as well as English. The student factors examined in this study did not have a differential effect on academic growth in English and mathematics. Findings also suggested that students' starting points in English did not impact academic growth, whereas students' mathematics starting point did have a statistically significant effect. There are three main implications of this study for education practice. The first is that academic counseling in high school should encourage students to engage in the most rigorous coursework possible. This implies that schools and districts also have structures in place to allow students to move diagonally in academic tracks--allowing for fluid movement for students in need of additional academic challenge. The final implication is that parents should also understand the impact of rigorous coursework and intensifying course-taking patterns on their child's academic growth. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Grade 8; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Elementary Education; Secondary Education; Grade 11; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A