More high school students are enrolling in math and science classes and seeking online learning opportunities. Fewer want or are able to find jobs while in school.
Those are just some of the changes under way at the nation's high schools in how students are learning and what they are doing with their extra time, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Education Department.
The annual "Condition of Education" report said there has been a marked increase over the last two decades in the percent of high school graduates who had taken calculus, from 7 percent in 1990 to 16 percent in 2009. Overall, the percentage enrolling in math and science courses increased in all subjects except algebra I, a class many students now take in middle school.
Yet while more are enrolling, the report also states that scores have largely stagnated: Seventeen-year-old students performed neither significantly better nor worse on a national math and reading assessment than they did in the early 1970s. Results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress test in science found just 1 percent of high school seniors scored at the highest achievement level in 2009.