On the Trail of the Omnibeast
In this study, the authors investigate curricular changes in California comprehensive high schools from 1982–83 to 1984–85. During this period, a number of educational reforms occurred, all aimed at bolstering the academic demands of secondary schools. Senate Bill 813 mandated more extensive statewide graduation requirements for high schools, while California state universities and the University of California altered their entrance requirements. In addition, a number of national reports found U.S. high schools lacking in academic rigor. Although it is difficult to ascertain the precise causes of change, the authors find changes in the course offerings of a sample of 20 California comprehensive high schools. In almost all cases, the data mirror statewide curricular changes documented in California Basic Education Data System data. The general pattern in both sets of data involves increased offerings in academic areas, particularly in math, science, and advanced placement, and decreased offerings in industrial arts, home economics, and business education.
This article was originally published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis by the American Educational Research Association and SAGE Publications.