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Author like: Haurin, Donald R
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1. Adelman, Clifford
Devaluation, Diffusion and the College Connection: A Study of High School Transcripts, 1964-81
Report to The National Commission on Excellence in Education, March 1983
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Keyword(s): Education, Secondary; Educational Attainment; High School Curriculum; Vocational Education

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

This project reanalyzed existing transcript data from the Study of Academic Growth (High School Class of 1969) and the Youth Cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Labor Market Experience (High School Classes of 1975-1981) in terms of a variety of measures of the quantity of schooling, and in relation to changes in college graduation requirements between 1967 and 1974. The major findings include the following: (1) There has been a considerable decline in the average credit value of academic courses in American high schools since the late 1960s, indicating that comparatively less time is being allocated for them and that students are spending far less time in the academic curriculum than assumed in previous research. (2) High school students are spending more time in and receiving more credit for "personal service and development courses." This phenomenon accounts, in part, for the drop in the time students spend in the academic curriculum. (3) There has been a profound shift of students from both Academic and Vocational Tracks into the General Track, the curriculum of which is dominated by survey, remedial, and personal service courses. (4) The secondary school curriculum has become diffused and fragmented over the past 15 years--a mirror image of the proliferation of courses and degrees in colleges during the period in question. As smorgasbord distribution systems came to dominate the structure of college "general education" requirements, high schools "repackaged" their curricula to reflect higher education models. (5) Grade inflation, while significant, has not been as pervasive as assumed.
Bibliography Citation
Adelman, Clifford. "Devaluation, Diffusion and the College Connection: A Study of High School Transcripts, 1964-81." Report to The National Commission on Excellence in Education, March 1983.