High Schools That Work in Indiana A Progress Report

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1 High Schools That Work in Indiana A Progress Report High Schools That Work is a comprehensive, results-based school-improvement initiative of the Southern Regional Education Board-State Vocational Education Consortium. The HSTW framework of goals, key practices and key conditions is designed to blend the essential content of traditional college-preparatory studies with quality career/technical studies to raise career-bound students academic and technical achievement. 1 The initiative involves more than 1,100 public high school sites in 26 states. High Schools That Work Objectives All high school students will meet performance standards necessary for continued learning in a work or educational setting. All high school students will complete a demanding academic core and a career or academic concentration. States will provide leadership, policies and resources so that all high school students can meet High Schools That Work performance and curriculum standards. Progress in Achieving the HSTW Objectives This report describes the progress that Indiana is making in achieving the HSTW objectives and recommends further actions for Indiana to take in the future. 1. Number of High Schools Participating in HSTW Total in the state Southern Regional Education Board th St. N.W. Atlanta, GA (404) Much of the information in this report is based on career-bound students. These students are the 60 percent to 65 percent of high school students who plan to work, attend a two-year technical or community college, enroll in a four-year college or university with an open admissions policy, or enter the military after high school graduation.

2 2. Percentages of students in participating schools Goal meeting the HSTW NAEP-based performance goals 2 Reading 3 40% 65% 56% 85% Mathematics 4 52% 75% 77% 85% Science 5 43% 65% 66% 85% 3. Percentages of students in participating schools completing the HSTW-recommended curriculum 6 Language Arts 32% 33% 38% 100% Mathematics 61% 71% 76% 100% Science 45% 49% 60% 100% 4. Percentages of students in participating schools who scored below basic on the HSTW NAEP-based tests Reading 43% 20% 33% 0 Mathematics 12% 2% 2% 0 Science 8% 4% 4% 0 5. Percentages of students in participating schools who completed at least one semester of algebra or prealgebra before grade nine Not Available 29% 35% 100% 6. Percentages of students in participating schools who met the HSTW curriculum and performance goals (Award of Educational Achievement) 7 11% 23% 35% 80% 7. Percentages of students in participating schools reporting daily or weekly use of academic content to complete vocational assignments Reading 42% 42% 42% 100% Writing 43% 48% 42% 100% Mathematics 58% 46% 46% 100% Science 8 27% 30% 25% 60% 2 High Schools That Work uses National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 12th-grade tests to measure students progress in meeting performance goals. On the NAEP scale of 1 to 500, the HSTW reading goal is 279, the mathematics goal is 295 and the science goal is Students who meet the reading goal can seek and use information from manuals, journals, periodicals and other documents; identify and solve stated problems; and recognize limitations in information. 4 Students who meet the mathematics goal understand concepts from algebra, geometry and probability; can apply those concepts to solve multi-step problems; and can explain their reasoning in a variety of problem-solving situations. 5 Students who meet the science goal can apply knowledge, skills and reasoning to interpret scientific and technical data from tables and to make inferences about outcomes of experimental procedures; evaluate the appropriateness of the design of an experiment; and interpret sci - entific text and graphs. 6 The HSTW-recommended academic curriculum includes a minimum of: four credits in English courses with the content and performance standards of college-preparatory English; three credits in mathematics, including two credits in courses with the content and performance standards of college-preparatory Algebra I, geometry, Algebra II and trigonometry; and three credits in science, including two credits in courses with the content and performance standards of college-preparatory biology, chemistry, physics or applied physics. 7 To qualify for the High Schools That Work Award of Educational Achievement, students must score at or above the High Schools That Work performance goals in reading, mathematics and science; complete four units in a vocational concentration; and complete two of the three components of the HSTW-recommended academic core. 8 The science goal is lower because there is no science base in business, a field that enrolls large numbers of career-bound students. 2

3 8. Percentages of students in participating schools who: Goal Read more than two hours a week Not Available 24% 24% 100% Completed short writing assignments daily or weekly 26% 29% 19% 100% Did one or more hours of homework daily 38% 44% 52% 100% Had content in most courses that they had already learned Not Available 57% 68% 0% Were encouraged to take more challenging mathematics courses Not Available 36% 51% 100% Planned postsecondary study 58% 75% 69% 100% 9. Percentages of students in participating schools who: Met with their parents and a counselor or a teacher-adviser 16% 21% 31% 100% to plan a program of study Needed but did not receive extra help in mathematics Not Available 37% 18% 0% English Not Available 41% 31% 0% Took a mathematics course in senior year 41% 62% 57% 100% 10. Percentages of academic and vocational teachers in participating schools who agreed strongly that: Teachers maintain a demanding yet supportive 21% 25% 33% 100% environment that pushes students to do their best Teachers are encouraged to teach more demanding content Not Available 34% 39% 100% Teachers and school administrators work together Not Available 35% 30% 100% to improve student achievement 11. Percentages of vocational teachers in participating schools Needed staff Had 21-plus hours reporting that they needed and received staff development in: development in the past three years Mathematics content and methods 33% 17% Reading and writing for learning 37% 8% Science content and methods 41% 3% Revising vocational courses to meet national standards 50% 6% New teaching methods for getting students to work harder 40% 7% to improve performance 12. Percentages of academic teachers in participating schools reporting that they needed and received staff development in: Mathematics content and methods 35% 5% Reading and writing for learning 43% 9% Science content and methods 33% 5% New teaching methods for getting students to work harder 51% 6% to improve performance 13. The state provides: Status Recommendation Workshops and institutes to upgrade teachers Yes At least two major events academic knowledge of 21-plus hours annually Workshops and institutes on new teaching methods Yes At least two major events of 21-plus hours annually Short-term staff development, site development Yes At least two major and networking opportunities to help school events annually leaders and teachers align their practices to HSTW 3

4 Major Challenges for Indiana s HSTW Sites The High Schools That Work Assessment revealed four major challenges for Indiana s HSTW sites. Give more students access to college-preparatory-level language arts courses and prepare all teachers to emphasize reading and writing for learning. Many career-bound students in Indiana lack the literacy skills needed for an information-centered economy. For example, 62 percent of students did not complete the HSTW-recommended English curriculum. The 40 percent of students who took collegepreparatory English in grade 12 had an average reading score of 288. This compares with an average reading score of 272 for students who did not take college-preparatory English in grade 12. As a consequence, 33 percent of Indiana s students scored below basic in reading on the HSTW Assessment. Male students have an average reading score that is 10 points lower than that of female students. The 2000 HSTW Teacher Survey revealed that 37 percent of career/technical teachers and 43 percent of academic teachers needed professional development in reading and writing for learning, yet only 8 percent of career/technical teachers and 9 percent of academic teachers received this type of professional development. As a result, only 24 percent of students read more than two hours per week. Students who used reading and writing to complete daily or weekly assignments scored significantly higher in reading than students who seldom or never had such experiences. Improve the quality of career/technical courses by having students read, write and use mathematics and science frequently to complete assignments. The 2000 HSTW Student Survey showed that most career/technical teachers do not require students to use academic content to complete assignments. Fewer than half of students said they had to read frequently to complete career/technical assignments; 42 percent used writing frequently; 46 percent used mathematics often; and 25 percent used science often. Many career/technical teachers said they needed staff development to improve their mathematics and science knowledge and skills and to integrate mathematics and science into the curriculum. Strengthen transition from the middle grades to high school. The fact that one-third of students scored below basic on reading suggests that many students were not prepared to take college-preparatory-level language arts classes in high school. Indiana students who took a semester or more of algebra in the middle grades scored 22 points above the HSTW mathematics goal. The 2000 HSTW Teacher Survey indicated that only five percent of high school teachers are familiar with the content and specific goals of courses taught in middle grades schools. High school and middle grades leaders are not working together to establish specific performance standards in reading, writing and mathematics that are necessary for students leaving grade eight to succeed in a challenging high school academic and career/technical curriculum. Take HSTW to scale by expanding the number of sites to include a broad geographic representation and providing technical assistance to the sites. The Department of Workforce Development and the Department of Education can work together to expand the number of sites and to seek state funding for HSTW. 4

5 State Leadership, Policies and Support for High Schools That Work Schools make more progress in implementing High Schools That Work when certain conditions of leadership and support are present. Indiana s Meets the HSTW HSTW-recommended Conditions Status Recommendation Equivalent of one full-time state staff person Yes Yes for every 40 HSTW sites Technical assistance visits to one-third of Visits to three sites No HSTW sites annually in Follow-up contacts provided routinely Yes Yes A minimum of $25,000 annually to each site $10,500 per site No HSTW-recommended State Board of Education Meets the HSTW Graduation Requirements Graduation Policy* Recommendation Three diplomas are available to students in Indiana: Minimum, Core 40 and Academic Honors. Only the Core 40 and the Academic Honors diplomas meet the HSTW-recommended requirements. In 2000, 49 percent of students received a Core 40 diploma and 21 percent received an Academic Honors diploma. 4 credits in college-preparatory- 8 units of English (no level specified) No level English 3 credits in mathematics, includ- 4 units of mathematics (no requirement for No ing 2 credits at the college- 2 units at the college-preparatory level, except preparatory level for students completing Indiana s Core 40 college-preparatory curriculum or pursuing an Academic Honors diploma) 3 credits in science, including 4 units of science (no requirement for 2 units No 2 credits at the college- at the college-preparatory level, except for preparatory level students completing Indiana s Core 40 college-preparatory curriculum or pursuing an Academic Honors diploma) 4 credits in a career or academic No state requirement for an academic or No concentration career concentration above the academic core, except for students completing Indiana s Core 40 college-preparatory curriculum or pursuing an Academic Honors diploma * Indiana s graduation requirements are listed as semester units. The state requires eight units of English, which are equal to four Carnegie units; four units of mathematics, which are equal to two Carnegie units; and four units of science, which are equal to two Carnegie units. 5

6 HSTW s Recommendations Indiana s Meets the HSTW for Setting and Assessing High Status Recommendation Standards for High Schools The state sets clear, consistent, The state developed English/language arts Yes rigorous content standards for all standards in cooperation with Achieve Inc. students in academic courses. and the Fordham Foundation. It developed Accompanying exams measure mathematics standards aligned to those of the student achievement. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Science standards are aligned with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. State assessments are based on the academic standards. The state sets clear, consistent, The Department of Workforce Development Partially rigorous content standards for all in collaboration with the Department of students in career/technical Education s Office of Career and Technical courses. Student achievement is Services has developed content standards measured by end-of-program or and a technical certification process for end-of-course exams that are career-bound students. The state reports the scored externally. number of Certificates of Technical Achievement awarded each year. Since 1992, a total of 4,096 certificates have been awarded. Students receive a certificate by passing one or more performance assessments in advanced manufacturing, bioscience, business support, electronics, metal-working, plastics, printing or health occupations. The assessments integrate communication, writing, mathematics and science with the technical content. (These scenario-based assessments are evaluations in simulated or actual work situations. The scenario-based assessments must be validated by three businesses or industries in the community.) In areas where there are no performance assessments, industry certification exams are used. All exams are scored at the assessment site. The exams are optional and the state does not impose sanctions if schools have low pass rates. The state tracks and reports test The state reports English and mathematics Yes results in academic areas by district scores for grades three, six, eight and 10 by and school and uses the results to school and statewide for both a norm-referenced focus on helping all students meet and a criterion-referenced test. The pass rate higher expectations. on the 10 th -grade Graduation Qualifying Exam is reported by school and statewide. 6

7 The state tracks and reports test The state also collects information on the Partially results in career/technical programs reading and mathematics achievement of by district and school and holds students enrolled in career/technical programs. schools accountable for using the Results are reported to each school but not results to focus on helping all statewide. The Department of Education students meet higher expectations. reviews the results of the end-of-course exams and encourages all schools to use the results for program improvement. Actions Indiana Can Take to Get 85 Percent of Career-bound Students at HSTW Sites to Meet HSTW Performance Goals Revise state graduation policies to require: Four credits in college-preparatory English. Three mathematics credits, including Algebra I and higher courses. Three science credits, including two credits in biology, chemistry, physics or applied physics, or anatomy/physiology. An academic or career concentration of four credits above the academic core. At least pre-algebra prior to grade nine. track whether students complete the HSTW-recommended curriculum and meet performance goals in reading, mathematics and science on NAEPbased exams; inform local educational leaders about school and classroom practices that work and do not work; and recognize students who meet both the curriculum and the performance goals. Make career/technical achievement a part of the state accountability system by: Raise the quality of teaching in career/technical courses. Establish a high school accountability goal to increase the annual percentages of students who: complete the HSTW-recommended academic core and a planned sequence of at least four credits in career courses, additional academic courses or a combination of academic and career courses; and meet performance goals in reading, mathematics and science in preparation for further study and career-pathway jobs. Administer the HSTW Assessment to all graduating seniors to: requiring all career/technical students to take a technical literacy exam to assess their ability to read and comprehend technical information, use mathematics to solve career-related problems and understand major technical concepts in a broad career field; reporting the results by career/technical specialty at each school; and making the results count by recognizing students who pass the exam and holding schools and programs accountable for increasing annually the percentage of students who pass. Work with teacher-education institutions to strengthen the language arts, mathematics 7

8 and science skills of prospective career/technical teachers. Revise certification to require future career/technical teachers to receive solid mathematics and science preparation in addition to a teaching major. Offer at least 40 hours of professional development to upgrade career/technical teachers academic skills. The professional development should include: reading for learning across the curriculum; mathematics content and ways to integrate mathematics into career/technical courses; and science content and ways to integrate science into career/technical courses (especially for teachers in programs that have a science base). Invest in a state initiative to improve the reading achievement of career-oriented youth. Conduct workshops to help teachers see if assignments, students work and course exams reflect the state standards. Require each high school to make reading and writing across the curriculum a priority by getting students to read the equivalent of 30 books per year, including textbooks, literature, scientific articles and technical materials. Require students to write in a variety of styles in all classes at least weekly. Ask each teacher to grade at least one formal writing assignment per week. Provide in-depth professional development for teachers in ways to engage students in reading and writing for learning in the content areas. Prepare language arts teachers to work with the entire faculty in increasing the amount of reading, writing, analyzing and information-presenting done by students in all high school courses. Develop a ninth-grade transition policy to increase the percentage of students completing Algebra I and geometry and two years of college-preparatory language arts by the end of grade 10. Establish indicators of readiness for doing high school work, including taking prealgebra. Target students who need accelerated instruction in reading and mathematics in grades seven through nine to help them complete Algebra I and geometry and two years of college-preparatory English by grade 10. Get schools to involve parents in helping their children make successful transition from middle grades to high school. Increase the number of HSTW sites. Require each high school and career/technical center to adopt a research-based improvement design for raising student achievement. Provide at least $25,000 to each school site to support professional development, student assessment, and curriculum and instructional planning. Assign teams of highly experienced academic and career/technical educators to work with HSTW sites. Name the state s most-improved HSTW sites as mentors to new HSTW sites and provide the mentor sites with small grants to assist them in doing the job. (01V09)

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