NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ759415
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan-26
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Calls for Revamping High Schools Intensify
Olson, Lynn
Education Week, v24 n20 p1, 18-19 Jan 2005
From President Bush on down, the pressure is on to fix America's high schools. Despite a broad consensus that something is seriously wrong with the institution, deep fault lines remain about the remedies. Part of the reluctance to address high schools has been their complexity. The sheer size, departmental structure, mission creep, and other political impediments at the secondary level have made it hard for reformers to gain a toehold. Now, thanks to a drumbeat of statistics, coupled with a flurry of reports and initiatives, attention once again has focused on grades 9-12. High school achievement has barely budged over the past decade. Just 36 percent of seniors are "proficient" in reading, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the federal testing program, and only 17 percent are proficient in mathematics. Near the end of high school, African-American and Latino students have reading skills virtually the same as those of white 8th graders. Most troubling, up to 30 percent of high school freshmen never earn a standard diploma--and in some urban districts, more than half of 9th graders leave before their senior year. There is a growing consensus that high schools need to be more rigorous, preparing all students for postsecondary education, work, and citizenship. A consensus has also formed that high schools need to be more personal, fostering an environment in which students feel well-known, supported, and safe. Despite the lack of consensus on how best to proceed, most educators welcome the new attention on high schools. They hope that this time around, efforts to redesign the institution will be sustained and serious--as exemplified by efforts taking place in such big-city school systems as Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois; Massachusetts; New York; Pennsylvania
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001