June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
11.1264.1 - 11.1264.12
Consequences of Course Cancellation: An Initial Study in an At Risk Urban High School 1. Introduction
The importance of an equitable education for all Americans is evident to most citizens and has been demonstrated and examined by many researchers1. As technology continues to advance and becomes more important in the widening global economy, the need for well educated individuals to participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields increases. According to the findings of a National Science Foundation (NSF) committee, there are not enough highly trained Americans to meet this growing demand2. However, the committee recognized that one way to meet the growing need for people trained in the STEM areas is to increase the number of minorities in the STEM fields. If underrepresented minorities participated in the STEM fields at numbers equal to their portion of the population (i.e. were no longer underrepresented), the number of Americans in the STEM fields would approach the growing need.
The NSF is addressing this need for increasing the number of minorities entering the STEM fields by funding numerous grants and projects. The authors are involved with one such program, the NSF GK-12. The NSF GK-12 program provides support for institutions of higher education to place STEM graduate and undergraduate students into K-12 classrooms for ten hours per week. The tasks in which GK-12 Fellows (the university students) are engaged within the K-12 schools often represent variations on activities and educational objectives in which teachers are already engaged. Fellows may introduce new pedagogical techniques, new curricula, new technologies, and/or extend the educational outreach to targeted groups of students. The primary author is a graduate student Fellow working at the Georgia high school under study, and it should be noted that the observations and data collected have been done while in the NSF GK-12 program.
The federal government has also implemented the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation to address equity in education in all areas of K-12 study. This law requires all states to establish statewide testing systems and academic standards which meet the federal requirements. A key component of NCLB is Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). AYP measures year-to-year changes in student participation and achievement on the statewide tests and other academic indicators. Ever year the AYP objective is increased, so that all students will be required to pass the statewide tests by the year 2014. If AYP is not met, the school will suffer penalties under the NCLB legislation. A school will enter the “In Need of Improvement” plan after two consecutive years of failing to meet the AYP. The “In Need of Improvement” plan is clearly documented on the Georgia Department of Education website, and lists consequences for ten years of consequences in the “In Need of Improvement” plan3. The table below highlights consequences for the first five failing years. A school exits the “In Need of Improvement” program when it meets AYP two out of three years.
Comeau, B., & Usselman, M., & Llewellyn, D., & Pastirik, M. (2006, June), The Consequences Of Canceling Physics: An Initial Study In An At Risk Urban High School Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/837
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