High Schools That Work in Ohio A Progress Report

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1 High Schools That Work in Ohio 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 High Schools That Work 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 Ohio is making in achieving the HSTW objectives and recommends further actions for Ohio 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 Of the Ohio HSTW sites that participated in the 2000 Assessment, 70 percent were new sites and 49 percent of the new sites were low-performing schools. As a result, Ohio s achievement levels on the 2000 HSTW Assessment were lower than on the previous assessment.

2 2. Percentages of students in participating schools Goal meeting the HSTW NAEP-based performance goals 3 3 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. 5 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. 6 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. 7 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 Reading 4 51% 43% 85% Mathematics 5 65% 61% 85% Science 6 59% 53% 85% 3. Percentages of students in participating schools completing the HSTW-recommended curriculum 7 Language Arts 31% 22% 100% Mathematics 83% 61% 100% Science 60% 36% 100% 4. Percentages of students in participating schools who scored below basic on the HSTW NAEP-based tests Reading 31% 41% 0 Mathematics 7% 4% 0 Science 5% 7% 0 5. Percentages of students in participating schools who 35% 34% 100% completed at least one semester of algebra or prealgebra before grade nine 6. Percentages of students in participating schools who 10% 16% 80% met the HSTW curriculum and performance goals (Award of Educational Achievement) 8 7. Percentages of students in participating schools reporting daily or weekly use of academic content to complete career-technical assignments Reading 31% 37% 100% Writing 40% 39% 100% Mathematics 45% 53% 100% Science 9 23% 29% 60% three credits in science, including two credits in courses with the content and performance standards of college-preparatory biology, chemistry, physics or applied physics. 8 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 career-technical concentration; and complete two of the three components of the HSTW-recommended academic core. 9 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 28% 22% 100% Completed short writing assignments daily or weekly 20% 17% 100% Did one or more hours of homework daily 40% 38% 100% Had content in most courses that they had already learned 56% 69% 0% Were encouraged to take more challenging mathematics courses 30% 39% 100% Planned postsecondary study 41% 64% 100% 9. Percentages of students in participating schools who: Met with their parents and a counselor or a teacher-adviser 20% 23% 100% to plan a program of study Needed but did not receive extra help in mathematics 29% 19% 0% English 39% 29% 0% Took a mathematics course in senior year 58% 55% 100% 10. Percentages of academic and career-technical teachers in participating schools who agreed strongly that: Teachers maintain a demanding yet supportive 7% 14% 100% environment that pushes students to do their best Teachers are encouraged to teach more demanding content 15% 23% 100% Teachers and school administrators work together 16% 19% 100% to improve student achievement 11. Percentages of career-technical 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 43% 6% Reading and writing for learning 53% 9% Science content and methods 53% 7% Revising career-technical courses to meet national standards 51% 11% New teaching methods for getting students to work harder 51% 10% to improve performance 12. Percentages of academic teachers in participating schools reporting that they needed and received staff development in: Mathematics content and methods 42% 6% Reading and writing for learning 50% 9% Science content and methods 37% 5% New teaching methods for getting students to work harder 54% 9% to improve performance 13. The state provides: Status Recommendation Workshops and institutes to upgrade teachers No 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 Ohio s HSTW Sites The High Schools That Work Assessment revealed four major challenges for Ohio s HSTW sites. students use a graphing calculator for mathematics assignments daily or weekly. Increase efforts to raise student achievement in reading. Students need to take rigorous English courses in which they do considerably more reading, writing and analysis. Many Ohio career/technical students do not have the literacy skills for an information-centered economy. For example, 41 percent of students scored below basic on the HSTW NAEP-based reading exam. Only 22 percent of students completed the HSTW-recommended language arts curriculum. In the 2000 HSTW Assessment, 80 percent of students said they read two hours or less outside of class per week. Increase efforts to raise student achievement in mathematics. More than one-third of students did not complete the HSTW-recommended curriculum in mathematics and nearly twothirds reported a lack of encouragement to take more challenging mathematics courses. The percentage of students who took mathematics in senior year declined from 58 percent in 1998 to 55 percent in Fewer than one-third of Increase efforts to raise student achievement in science. Only 36 percent of students completed the HSTW-recommended science curriculum, and a little more than half met the HSTW performance goal in science. Fewer than one-third of students reported using science content to complete career-technical assignments daily or weekly. Fewer than one-fourth of science teachers emphasize connections to real-world problems weekly in their classes. Increase the number of career/technical teachers who integrate high-level academic skills into their courses. About two-thirds of careertechnical teachers do not stress reading and writing in their courses, while about half do not stress mathematics. Career/technical teachers need to create assignments that cause students to use high-level academic skills. In the 2000 HSTW Teacher Survey, career/technical teachers said they needed professional development in the academic content areas and in creating student assignments and scoring guides that emphasize academic knowledge and skills. 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. Ohio s status is summarized below. Ohio s Meets the HSTW HSTW-recommended Conditions Status Recommendation Equivalent of one full-time state staff person 1.5 Yes for every 40 HSTW sites Technical assistance visits to one-third of 34 Yes HSTW sites annually Follow-up contacts provided routinely Yes Yes A minimum of $25,000 annually to each site A $70,000 start-up grant and Yes $12,000 in the second year 4

5 HSTW-recommended State Board of Education Meets the HSTW Graduation Requirements Graduation Policy Recommendation 4 units of college-preparatory-level 4 units of English (no level specified) No English 3 units of mathematics, including 3 units of mathematics No 2 units at the college-preparatory level (no level specified) 3 units of science, including 2 units of science (until Sept. 1, 2003), No 2 units at the college-preparatory level including 1 unit in biological science and 1 unit in physical science 4 units in a career or academic No career concentration is required. No concentration (Ohio provides weighted state funding to schools that have students complete 4 units in a career cluster.) HSTW s Recommendations for Ohio s Meets the HSTW Setting and Assessing High Status Recommendation Standards for High Schools The state sets clear, consistent, Ohio is developing new content standards for Partially rigorous content standards for all language arts, mathematics, science, social students in academic courses. studies and technology. Students must pass a Accompanying exams measure statewide assessment linked to these standards student achievement. in grade nine. Students in grade 12 take proficiency tests in reading, writing, mathematics and science, but the results are not tied to graduation. These exams will be replaced in 2003 when students in grade 10 will be required to pass five proficiency exams (citizenship, mathematics, reading, science and writing) to graduate. The state sets clear, consistent, Ohio uses Occupational Competency Analy- Partially rigorous content standards for all sis Profiles (OCAPs) to identify and define students in career/technical courses. key competencies that meet industry expecta- Student achievement is measured tions for entry- and advanced-level positions by end-of-program or end-of- in selected occupational areas. In the past few course exams that are scored years, Ohio has developed Integrated Techexternally. nical and Academic Competencies (ITACs) that build on the OCAP system. Ohio is using ITACs and OCAPs to develop foundation courses within broad career fields. Ohio uses a variety of assessments for career/ technical programs but students are not required to demonstrate proficiency on any of these assessments to graduate. 5

6 HSTW s Recommendations for Ohio s Meets the HSTW Setting and Assessing High Status Recommendation Standards for High Schools The state tracks and reports test Ohio tracks and reports state academic Yes results in academic areas by district assessment results by district and school. and school and uses the results to Schools are rated in four categories of focus on helping all students meet performance: academic emergency, acadehigher expectations. mic watch, continuous improvement and effective. Schools that are not rated effective must develop and implement a three-year continuous improvement plan. The state tracks and reports test Ohio requires all career/technical students No results in career/technical programs to take either the Ohio Career-technical by district and school and holds Competency Assessment (OVCA), Work schools accountable for using the Keys or the grade 12 proficiency test. If results to focus on helping all available, industry skills standards exams students meet higher expectations. can be used instead of the OVCA. Students are not required to pass any of these assessments to graduate. School districts receive aggregate data from the OVCA that cannot be disaggregated by career center or program. These data do not appear on report cards sent to schools. Increasing Participation in High Schools That Work and Linking to Broader School-reform Efforts Ohio is divided into four regions, each of which has a coordinator to provide technical assistance and staff development to schools in the region. Nine statewide professional development activities are planned for Ohio sponsored its first High School Improvement Institute in June Reading and writing across the curriculum was mentioned most often by teachers as necessary for raising student achievement. More schools are implementing career academies that serve small groups of students. The state superintendent provides strong support for HSTW and has allocated an additional $1 million from GOALS 2000 for HSTW site continuation and new site development. Ohio is piloting SREB s Project Lead The Way preengineering curriculum in four schools in and is supporting six Making Schools Work pilot sites. 6

7 Actions Ohio 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 courses aligned to the standards of the Council for Basic Education. 10 three mathematics credits, including two credits in courses with the content and performance standards of college-preparatory Algebra I, geometry or Algebra II. three science credits, including two credits at the college-preparatory level (lab biology, lab chemistry, physics, applied physics or anatomy/physiology). an academic or career concentration of four credits in addition to the academic core. at least pre-algebra before grade nine. Establish an accountability goal for high schools to increase annually the 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 careerpathway jobs and further study without remediation. Adapt and administer the HSTW Assessment to all seniors to enable the state to: track whether students complete the HSTW-recommended curriculum and meet performance goals in reading, mathematics and science on NAEP-based 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. Require all career/technical students to take a technical literacy exam designed to assess students skills in reading and comprehending technical information, using mathematics to solve career-related problems, and understanding major technical concepts in a broad career field. Report the results of that exam by career/ technical speciality at each high school. Make the exam count by recognizing students who meet cutoff scores on exams and by holding schools and programs accountable for increasing the percentage of students meeting cutoff scores over time. Work with teacher-education institutions to strengthen the language arts, mathematics and science achievement of prospective career/technical teachers. Require certification of future career-technical teachers in solid mathematics and science skills in addition to completing 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 content areas; 10 The Council for Basic Education has developed rigorous language-arts standards that include some specificity in the amount, complexity and variety of reading and writing that should be expected of students. These standards also emphasize higher-order thinking skills in relation to reading and writing. 7

8 mathematics content and ways to integrate mathematics into career/technical courses; and science content and ways to integrate science into career/technical courses, especially those with a science base. entering grade nine unprepared for high school work. Improve transition from middle grades to high school so that more students leave grade eight prepared to do high school work. Invest in a state initiative to improve the reading achievement of career/technical students. Require summer school after grade eight to focus on individual student deficiencies. Use the Council for Basic Education s standards to develop standards for the English/language arts curriculum. At minimum, specify: the number, type and variety of books and materials students are expected to read and analyze; the frequency, type and quality of short writing assignments; the major research papers students are expected to complete each year; and the progressive standards these assignments should meet. Conduct workshops to help teachers align all English courses to CBE standards and conduct follow-up audits to see if teachers assignments, students work and course exams reflect the standards. Provide in-depth professional development for all teachers in ways to engage students in reading and writing in the content areas. Require all students to read the equivalent of 30 books per year, including textbooks, literature, scientific articles and technical documents. Students should be able to comprehend, analyze, interpret, compare and critique works from all subject areas. Require students to write in a variety of styles daily in all classes. Grade at least one formal writing assignment per week. Expand the extra-help system to assist students in completing an accelerated high school program of study. Require double doses of mathematics and English/language arts courses for students Provide required before- and after-school sessions to help students meet standards in core academic subjects, particularly mathematics and reading. Assign experienced, qualified educators to align middle grades and high school improvement efforts. Have area career-technical centers set minimum standards that students will meet to enroll in the center in grade 11 and require students who fail to meet these standards to attend a special summer session aimed at preparing them academically for career/ technical studies. Develop a ninth-grade transition policy to increase the percentages 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. Provide special assistance to students who need accelerated instruction in reading and mathematics in grades seven through nine to complete Algebra I, geometry and two years of college-preparatory English by grade 10. Involve parents in helping their children make a successful transition from middle grades to high school. Increase the number of HSTW sites. Require all high schools to adopt a researchbased improvement design for raising student achievement. (01V12)

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