Executive Summary
California: The Changing Context
Tidal Wave II Revisited
The Original Projections
The 1994 Projections vs.Today's Reality
Accounting for the Growth
Updated Projections
How the Cohorts Have Changed
Is This a Tidal Wave?
Improving Projections
About the National Center

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How the Cohorts Have Changed


Table 4: Click for larger image

Not only have the sizes of the cohorts changed, but their characteristics are changing as well. In particular, high school graduates continue to increase their chances of attending college. The class of 1997 was the largest in over 20 years. In addition, more students are preparing themselves for college by taking and completing college preparatory curricula. The number and percentage of graduates who have successfully negotiated the courses required for admittance to UC or CSU have increased over the last decade, even as requirements have gotten more rigorous. The percentage of California high school students taking and successfully completing Advanced Placement (AP) courses is at an all-time high and has increased by 48% since 1990. While all racial groups showed an increase in completing AP courses, the largest percentage growth occurred among Asian-Americans, Latinos and blacks.14 Between 1990 and 1996, test-taking for college admission also increasedöby about 20%. Not only were more students taking the SAT I, but scores were stable or up slightly. Greater growth (on a smaller base) was shown for the ACT examination; the numbers of students taking the test grew by 77% from 1990 to 1996. In spite of the increase in test takers, the test scores remained relatively unchanged. Growth was greatest for blacks and Latinos. Table 4 displays recent high school performance data documenting changes in these trends.

In sum, on many of the criteria that play a significant role in determining admission to UC or CSUöhigh school graduation rates, completion rates of college preparatory courses, completion rates of Advanced Placement courses, and college test-taking ratesöarger percentages of a growing cohort of high school students have been meeting higher expectations.


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