HSTS 2009 Top Story
Average credits earned by high school graduates was higher in 2009 than in 2005 (27.2 credits compared with 26.8 credits). In 2009, graduates earned over three credits more than their 1990 counterparts, or about 420 additional hours during their high school careers. In addition, a greater percentage of 2009 graduates completed more challenging curriculum levels than 1990 or 2005 graduates.
See a summary of the major findings.
Dig Deeper into 2009 HSTS Results
... by examining 2009 HSTS results by race/ethnicity and gender, and by viewing graduates' NAEP scores by completed curriculum level and selected coursetaking patterns.
Transcripts were collected from about 610 public schools and 130 private schools for the 2009 High School Transcript Study (HSTS). These transcripts constituted a nationally representative sample of 37,700 high school graduates, representing approximately 3 million 2009 high school graduates.
* Significantly different (p<.05) from 2009.
NOTE: Details may not sum to total because of rounding. Numbers at end of bars represent total credits. Core academic courses are English, mathematics, science, and social studies. Other academic courses are fine arts, foreign languages, and computer-related studies. Other courses include courses such as vocational education, personal health, and physical education.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, High School Transcript Study (HSTS), various years, 1990-2009.
| Explore the 2009 High School Transcript Study
- Download a copy of the report to print or share.
- Watch the press conference of the 2009 High School Transcript Study.
- Read the statement from Jack Buckley, Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics.
- Read the National Assessment Governing Board's news release (230 KB PDF)
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About Course Types
The High School Transcript Study reports credits earned for three types of courses: core academic, other academic, and other courses. Core academic courses are English, mathematics, science, and social studies; Other academic courses are fine arts, foreign languages, and computer-related studies; and Other courses are courses such as vocational education, personal health, and physical education.
About Curriculum Levels
Curriculum levels are a measure of a high school graduate's overall academic achievement. They measure how well a graduate may be prepared for postsecondary education based on the number and type of academic courses taken. The levels used in this report are a modified version of the ones created by Laura Horn and Lawrence K. Kojaku in their report High School Academic Curriculum and the Persistence Path Through College (NCES 2001-163). Definitions of the three levels - standard, midlevel, and rigorous - can be found here.
Mathematics Curriculum Study
The Mathematics Curriculum Study (MCS) is a special study that provides additional contextual data to the HSTS 2005 study by linking the textbook materials to the courses. This link may provide a better understanding of the content and challenge that graduates were exposed to in algebra I and geometry. The MCS report will be released soon.