• Conference Proceeding

Trends in high school math and science course taking: Effects of gender and ethnicity


Horn, L. (1990). Trends in high school math and science course taking: Effects of gender and ethnicity. In Annual meeting of the American Education Research Association, April 16, 1990, Boston, MA,Boston: .


Improving the quality of primary and secondary education has become a national imperative, especially in the fields of mathematics and science. Many have cited the results of international comparisons as cause for alarm and thus for the need to make fundamental changes in the educational system. With so much attention focused on the need for better mathematics and science education, it is important to understand the changing patterns in course taking in these fields. The purpose of this paper is to provide a descriptive summary of the changing trends in high school course taking in mathematics and science for students who graduated between 1969 and 1987. This analysis focuses specifically on gender and racial/ethnic group differences. The study compares the average number of credits completed in mathematics and science classes for public school students based on high school transcripts collected in four national surveys. These surveys included the Educational Testing Service Study of Academic Prediction and Growth (1969); the National Longitudinal Survey of Labor Force Experience: Youth Cohort (1975-1978 and 1979-1982); High School and Beyond (1982); and the National Assessment of Educational Progress Transcript Study (1987). Twenty-eight figures display the statistical data. (CW)