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ERIC Number: EJ903936
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 74
ISSN: ISSN-0195-7597
Re-Conceptualizing Extra Help for High School Students in a High Standards Era
Balfanz, Robert; McPartland, James; Shaw, Alta
Journal for Vocational Special Needs Education, v25 n1 p24-41 Fall 2002
One of the aims of the standards and accountability movement is to make intellectually demanding course work in high school the norm. Significant progress has been made towards this goal. Expecting all students to engage in and succeed with challenging work in high school, however, places on high schools demands they have not been historically organized to face. One of these demands is providing students who enter high school without the prior preparation, skills, and strategies needed to succeed in a standards-based sequence of college prep courses with the extra help and support they need to accelerate their learning and catchup. Traditionally, high schools have accommodated different levels of prior preparation and achievement by creating tiers of course offerings. Only students in the highest tracks were expected to master challenging material. Consequently, extra help became conceptualized primarily as tutoring for students who were in danger of failing a specific course or wanted to improve their grade. As the push for higher standards becomes institutionalized through raised promotion and graduation requirements, providing extra-help to high school students moves from a need to a necessity. There is a strong imperative to understand the extent and type of extra help high school students will need to thrive in a high standards environment and to examine the current state of knowledge about the provision of effective extra help. This is especially the case for mathematics and reading courses that serve as foundational skills for other content areas. The first section of this article analyzes the scale and scope of the need for extra help in reading and mathematics among high school students. The second section examines existing efforts to provide extra help in reading and mathematics and argues that while the development of systematic and effective extra help for high school students is in its infancy, people are beginning to learn something about its critical components. The third section explores the policy implications and challenges inherent in any effort to provide high school students with substantial extra help. The final section discusses the federal role. (Contains 4 figures and 1 table.)
Journal for Vocational Special Needs Education. c/o Center for Education and Work, 964 Educational Sciences Builidng, 1025 West Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706. Tel: 608-263-2724; Fax: 608-262-3050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 7; Grade 8; Grade 9; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Cited: ED498785; ED558157