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ERIC Number: ED524648
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
College-Preparatory Curriculum for All: The Consequences of Raising Mathematics Graduation Requirements on Students' Course Taking and Outcomes in Chicago
Allensworth, Elaine M.; Nomi, Takako
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
This study evaluates a curriculum policy that required college preparatory coursework for all students, using data from Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Beginning in 1997, CPS ended remedial coursework and required all students to complete a college-preparatory course sequence for graduation. In this study, the authors constrain their analysis to the effects of requiring students to begin high school taking Algebra, rather than remedial math. The authors examine changes in the extent to which students received credit in algebra in ninth grade, their ninth grade math grade, math test scores, and credits in higher-level math in later years. The study population consists of 11 cohorts of first-time 9th-grade students who enrolled in CPS high schools between 1994 and 2004. Changing requirements led to more students taking and receiving credit in rigorous-sounding courses, but grades suffered slightly and later course-work were unaffected. Thus, most of the benefits of the "College Prep for All" policy suggested by the extant research were unrealized in Chicago contexts. The authors offer several explanations for these disappointing results. First, prior research was limited in its applicability to a universal mandate and affected by selection bias. Second, the policy focused only on curricular content, but instructional quality and classroom climate may matter at least as much as content. Finally, content may matter little if students are not engaged in their coursework. Statistical Models are appended. (Contains 5 tables and 2 figures.)
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 9; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers - Location: Illinois