Advanced Course Completion in Magnet and Comprehensive High Schools: A Study in Nevada's Clark County School District
Does a student’s chance of completing an advanced course in high school differ based on whether he or she attended a magnet or comprehensive high school?
Does the relationship between students’ prior academic achievement and the likelihood of completing an advanced course differ between magnet and comprehensive high schools?
This REL West study, conducted in collaboration with Clark County School District in Nevada, addresses these questions.
- Among students with similar prior achievement, graduates of magnet high schools are more likely than graduates of comprehensive high schools to complete an honors English language arts course
- Among students with similar prior academic achievement, graduates of magnet high schools are no more likely than graduates of comprehensive high schools to complete an honors math course
- School type contributes to the likelihood of completing an Advanced Placement English language arts course, but the degree of its contribution depends on students’ prior achievement
- School type contributes to the likelihood of completing an Advanced Placement math course, but the degree of its contribution depends on students’ prior achievement
Given these findings, school districts and state administrators could explore factors that might contribute to students’ completion of advanced coursework. Such factors include the number and breadth of courses offered, the degree to which students receive support in enrolling and taking advanced courses, and the attitudes of teachers, counselors, parents, and students about students’ likelihood of success in these courses.
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