• Report

Enrollment trends in vocational and academic education in American public high schools, 1969 to 1987

Citation

Tuma, J., Gifford, A., Horn, L., & Hoachlander, E. G. (1989). Enrollment trends in vocational and academic education in American public high schools, 1969 to 1987. Berkeley, CA: MPR Associates, Inc.

Abstract

This report analyzes the course-taking patterns of public high school graduates between 1969 and 1987, based on transcript data from four national studies of high school students: the Educational Testing Service's Study of Academic Prediction and Growth (1969); the National Assessment of Educational Progress (1987); High School and Beyond (1982); and the National Longitudinal Survey--Youth Cohort (1975-82). The study showed that between 1969 and 1987, public high school graduates consistently earned more high school credits on average than had the graduates of prior years. During the 18 years, there have been two distinct trends in course-taking patterns in the academic curriculum. Students tended to earn a relatively high number of academic credits in 1969; the number of credits then declined, to a low in 1979-82, and then began to increase again, reaching the highest level in 1987. The increase since 1979 occurred mostly in mathematics and science courses, whereas foreign languages and social studies declined. Asian student earned more academic credits than any other racial/ethnic group. Participation in the vocational curriculum by high school graduates was almost universal between 1969 and 1987. The average number of credits in vocational education by high school graduates increased rapidly between 1969 and 1975-78, peaked in 1979-82, and then declined slightly through 1987. However, graduates still completed more vocational credits in 1987 than in 1969. (Twenty-six tables, 19 figures, and an appendix containing technical notes are included in this report.) (KC)