Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unintended consequences of raising state math, science graduation requirements

Date:
July 15, 2014
Source:
American Educational Research Association (AERA)
Summary:
Raising state-mandated math and science course graduation requirements (CGRs) may increase high school dropout rates without a meaningful effect on college enrollment or degree attainment, according to new research. To examine the effects of state-mandated CGRs on educational attainment, researchers looked at student outcomes in 44 states where CGRs were mandated in the 1980s and 1990s.

Raising state-mandated math and science course graduation requirements (CGRs) may increase high school dropout rates without a meaningful effect on college enrollment or degree attainment, according to new research published in Educational Researcher (ER), a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association.

Related Articles


"Intended and Unintended Effects of State-Mandated High School Science and Mathematics Course Graduation Requirements on Educational Attainment," by Andrew D. Plunk, William F. Tate, Laura J. Bierut, and Richard A. Grucza of Washington University in St. Louis, is the first study to examine the effects of state-mandated math and science CGRs together, and one of only a few that have looked at these policies more generally.

Overall, high school dropout rates increased as states mandated more math and science coursework, reaching 11.41 percent when students were required to take six math and science courses, compared to 8.6 percent for students without a requirement. Results also varied by gender, race, and ethnicity, with the dropout rate for some groups increasing by as much as 5 percentage points.

"Our research suggests that many students were ill-prepared for the tougher standards, and ultimately failed to graduate," said William F. Tate. "Going forward, state policymakers must understand that you can't do math and science courses if you are not in school."

For students exposed to higher math and science graduation requirements who do graduate, there was no across-the-board boost in college enrollment or degree attainment, at least in the short term.

While researchers did not find any overall association between higher CGRs and subsequent college enrollment and degree attainment, they did find some differences in subgroups based on sex and race/ethnicity.

Specifically, higher CGRs were associated with a decrease in the likelihood that black women and Hispanic men and women would enroll in college after graduating from high school. However, higher CGRs were associated with an increase in the likelihood that Hispanics and non-migrant black women who enrolled in college would earn a degree. (In this case, non-migrants refers to students who were born in the state in which they attended high school.)

To examine the effects of state-mandated CGRs on educational attainment, researchers looked at student outcomes in 44 states where CGRs were mandated in the 1980s and 1990s, utilizing data from the U.S. Census, the National Center for Education Statistics, and the Education Commission of the States. The researchers used individual-level data to examine how factors such as sex, race/ethnicity, and interstate migration might influence how CGRs affect educational attainment.

"Policymakers must anticipate unintended consequences from more demanding content and more rigorous requirements," said Andrew D. Plunk. "We should also rethink what it means to be an at-risk student. To be effective, these measures will likely require academic and social support for a broad range of students, as well as change at the K-8 level."

Access to the report can be found online at http://www.aera.net/Newsroom/RecentAERAResearch/IntendedandUnintendedEffectsofState-MandatedHighSchoolScienceandMathematicsCourseGraduationRequirementsonEducationalAttainment/tabid/15579/Default.aspx


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Educational Research Association (AERA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Educational Research Association (AERA). "Unintended consequences of raising state math, science graduation requirements." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140715141911.htm>.
American Educational Research Association (AERA). (2014, July 15). Unintended consequences of raising state math, science graduation requirements. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140715141911.htm
American Educational Research Association (AERA). "Unintended consequences of raising state math, science graduation requirements." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140715141911.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Symantec Uncovers Sophisticated Spying Malware Regin

Symantec Uncovers Sophisticated Spying Malware Regin

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A Symantec white paper reveals details about Regin, a spying malware of unusual complexity which is believed to be state-sponsored. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hackers Target Business Travellers

Hackers Target Business Travellers

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A newly detected malware, dubbed Darkhotel, infects hotel networks with spying software to steal sensitive data from the computers of high profile business executives, warns a leading computer security firm. Ciara Lee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NY Gov. on Flood Prep: 'prepared for the Worst'

NY Gov. on Flood Prep: 'prepared for the Worst'

AP (Nov. 23, 2014) First came the big storm. Now comes the big melt for residents of flood-prone areas around Buffalo. New York's governor says officials are preparing for the worst as the temperature is expected to rise and potentially melt several feet of snow. (Nov. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Unintended Consequences: More High School Math, Science Linked to More Dropouts

July 31, 2014 As U.S. high schools beef up math and science requirements for graduation, researchers have found that more rigorous academics drive some students to drop ... read more

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins