Education

Curriculum

November 06, 1996 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents has gone to great lengths to prove what may be obvious to many: Students who take more academic courses, especially those who complete an honors curriculum, score higher on the SAT.

“Part of the problem is that people don’t necessarily believe it even though it is obvious,” said Barry L. Bull, the director of the Indiana Education Policy Center at Indiana University in Bloomington. He conducted the study at the request of the superintendents’ group.

“Working Smarter: A Study of SAT Scores and Course Taking in Indiana,” found that students earning honors diplomas scored an average of 1,179 on the combined verbal and mathematics portions of the SAT I: Reasoning Test this year, or 244 points better than regular-diploma earners.

The higher levels of success were not significantly related to a student’s socioeconomic status or previous education.

The superintendents’ group hopes the results will raise awareness among parents, teachers, and guidance counselors of the best preparation for the widely used college-entrance exam.

Indiana ranks near the bottom nationally on SAT scores. Officials say the poor showing is due in part to the fact that a greater proportion of the state’s students take the test than students do nationally.

The state has mandated that high schools offer honors programs--which require students to complete more credits in core areas--since 1988. Last year, 13 percent of Indiana’s 60,000 high school graduates earned an honors diploma.

To “support more positive understandings and behaviors” in an age of increasing violence and substance abuse among young people, the Michigan state school board has approved a new policy on character education for the state’s 555 districts.

Approximately half of the states have passed similar policies; some have received federal aid to do so.

The board, in a 6-1 vote last month, endorsed the plan to promote the teaching of respect, responsibility, caring, trustworthiness, justice, civic virtue, and citizenship.

Kathleen Straus, the lone dissenter, said she opposed the policy for fear “it could be used to inject religion into the curriculum.”

The voluntary measure says that character education should be taught to the state’s 1.6 million schoolchildren in a more secular manner to ensure the separation of church and state.

--KATHLEEN KENNEDY MANZO kmanzo@epe.org

A version of this article appeared in the November 06, 1996 edition of Education Week as Curriculum


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Schools Get the Brunt of Latest COVID Wave in South Carolina
In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter.
4 min read
Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Education More States Are Requiring Schools to Teach Native American History and Culture
Advocates say their efforts have gained some momentum with the nation’s reckoning over racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd.
3 min read
A dancer participates in an intertribal dance at Schemitzun on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Conn., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP