Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 1975 Issue »

    Effects of High Schools on Their Students

    Christopher S. Jencks, Marsha D. Brown
    Few people doubt that there are good and bad high schools, or that high-school quality is related in some way to high-school characteristics. Yet findings from studies of high-school effectiveness have not been consistent. Using data from Project Talent, Christopher Jencks and Marsha Brown show that earlier findings have been inconsistent because comprehensive high schools rarely have consistent effects on test scores, eventual educational attainment, or occupational status. Moreover, the authors find few relationships between high-school characteristics and any measure of high-school effectiveness. From these findings, they argue that, at least for whites, changes in high-school characteristics like teacher experience, class size, and social composition are unlikely to change high-school effectiveness, and that holding schools accountable for one outcome is unlikely to guarantee effectiveness on another. They also argue that the equalization of high-school quality would do little to reduce inequality among young adults, and that high schools should therefore concentrate on the elimination of intramural inequities.

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    Fall 1975 Issue


    Effects of High Schools on Their Students
    Christopher S. Jencks, Marsha D. Brown
    Regression Analyses and Education Production Functions
    Can They Be Trusted?
    Daniel F. Luecke, Noel F. McGinn
    Hierarchical Theories of Development in Education and Psychology
    D. C. Phillips, Mavis E. Kelly
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