What Does Research Say?

  • What does research say about the future of high school education?

    Educators have been considering how to make the high school experience more relevant and the diploma more meaningful since the turn of the 21st century. The problem? We have been doing high school the same way for centuries. The comprehensive high school was created to  ready people to either go to university or work in a different economy. Colleges and businesses have been telling us that students are not ready for entry level coursework, nor do they possess the skills needed for the modern workforce. The institution was also failing our most vulnerable - our minority students, our low income kids and new English learners. These were the students most likely to want to move into the workforce with only a diploma.

    In the last twenty years, there has been a seismic paradigm shift in how we think about learning in secondary school. Federal policies and initiatives have focused in on the issue and so has the research community. There is a growing body of research providing actionable information on what students need to know and be able to do as well as the best way to teach them.

    Communities across the nation are considering:

    • how and where high school is taught,
    • whether year-after-year grades and seat time should be traded in and instead students demonstrate competency or proficiency on subject matter,
    • what skills and knowledge will best serve kids in the future?
    • how do we teach in an inclusive, equitable way and get rid of the opportunity gap

    High School is changing

    Experiments are becoming cutting edge programs many of which are showing results dealing with problems stemming from the old way we taught high school students. We can now identify best practices that raise achievement for all as well as for specific types of learners, turn around drop out rates and increase attendance, improve college going and graduation rates. There is an opportunity with the CHSN to take the best of what is out there and make it ours.

    Read more news articles on this topic.

    For a look at academic research on these issues.

    Education policy papers of interest.