- In 2009, graduates on average earned over three credits more than their 1990 counterparts, or about 420 additional hours of instruction during their high school careers.
- A greater percentage of 2009 graduates completed more challenging curriculum levels than 1990 or 2005 graduates.
- In 2009, graduates who completed a rigorous curriculum, an Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) mathematics, or a higher level mathematics course in ninth grade had average NAEP mathematics scores at the Proficient level. Graduates who completed a rigorous curriculum, an Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) science, or a higher level science course in ninth grade had average NAEP science scores at the Proficient level.
- In 2009, graduates who completed a midlevel or a standard curriculum had average NAEP mathematics and science scores at the Basic level.
Comparisons by gender
- A greater percentage of female graduates compared to male graduates completed a midlevel curriculum in 2009.
- In 2009, male graduates generally had higher average NAEP mathematics and science scores than female graduates completing the same curriculum level.
Comparisons by race/ethnicity
- Since 1990, more graduates from each racial/ethnic group completed at least a standard curriculum. The percentage of White and Asian/Pacific Islander graduates who completed a rigorous curriculum level increased more than the percentage of Black or Hispanic graduates completing a rigorous curriculum.
- Asian/Pacific Islander, Black, Hispanic, and White graduates, on average, earned more credits overall and higher grade point averages (GPAs) overall in 2009 than they did in 1990. The GPAs of White and Asian/Pacific Islander graduates increased between 2005 and 2009.
This report also presents information on three additional topics:
- Finding time to earn more credits, through summer learning, classes taken for high school credits in middle school, and online learning;
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) coursetaking; and
- Credits earned, GPAs, and curriculum levels of students with disabilities and English language learners.
For more information, download a copy of the report.