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America's High School Graduates: Results from the 2005 NAEP High School Transcript Study


"This report presents information about the types of courses 2005 high school graduates took during high school, how many credits they earned, and the grades they received. Information on the relationships between high school records and performance in mathematics and science on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is also included. Transcripts were collected from a nationally representative sample of 26,000 high school graduates. The 2005 results are compared to the results of earlier transcript studies, and differences among graduates by race/ethnicity, gender, and parent education are examined. Study findings include: 2005 graduates earned approximately three more credits (about 360 additional hours of instruction during their high school careers) than their 1990 counterparts. In 2005, the overall grade point average (GPA) was approximately a third of a letter grade higher than in 1990. Graduates with stronger academic records obtain higher NAEP scores. For example, graduates whose highest mathematics course was geometry or below had average NAEP mathematics scores below the Basic achievement level, while graduates who took calculus had average NAEP scores at the Proficient level. Female graduates' GPAs overall and in mathematics and science were higher than the GPAs of male graduates during each year the HSTS was conducted. Among those who took higher level mathematics and science courses, male graduates had higher NAEP scores than female graduates. Increased percentages of White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander graduates completed at least a midlevel curriculum in 2005 compared with 1990. The GPAs of all four racial/ethnic groups also increased during this time. In 2005, both Black and Hispanic graduates were less likely than White graduates to have completed calculus or advanced science courses and to have higher GPAs."


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