The Expository Reading and Writing Curriculum (ERWC) is a college preparatory English language arts course designed to enhance the abilities of students through rhetorical analyses of compelling issues and interesting texts. In order to inform the organizations that support the infrastructure of the ERWC as they seek to make the ERWC more widely available across the state, this study was designed to explore the characteristics of schools that have adopted the ERWC, the characteristics of students enrolled in the course, and the teacher workloads for the course. The study was also intended to inform a wider audience of policymakers and educators who are interested in strengthening postsecondary readiness by expanding opportunities for high school students to take courses similar to the ERWC.
This study used two data sources:
Descriptive statistics were used to address the research questions. Slightly more than half of California high schools had adopted the ERWC as of 2016/17. The course adoption rate was lower in rural areas than in cities, suburbs, and towns. The adoption rate increased with school size. Among schools that reported having students enrolled in the ERWC and in other grade 12 mainstream college preparatory English courses, higher percentages of Hispanic students and English learner students were enrolled in the ERWC. Among these same schools, ERWC class sections tended to have larger class sizes than those of other grade 12 mainstream college preparatory English courses. Rural and smaller schools may face barriers to adoption. Higher rates of Hispanic students and English learner students were enrolled in the ERWC. ERWC teachers tended to have larger workloads compared to non-ERWC English teachers.
The ERWC Steering Committee, which oversees the overall direction of the course, may consider:
The findings may also help inform the developers of other transition courses, institutions of higher education, and policymakers more generally. Other states who seek to scale similar curricula may use these patterns to benchmark their own initiatives. Schools face tradeoffs when determining appropriate class sizes, and the study's information on the ERWC class sizes can provide a useful reference point for policymakers that are interested in implementing courses similar to the ERWC.
ERIC DescriptorsCollege Preparation, Curriculum Implementation, Enrollment, Grade 12, High School Seniors, High School Teachers, High Schools, Institutional Characteristics, Reading, Secondary School Curriculum, Student Characteristics, Teaching Load, Writing (Composition)
West | Publication Type: Descriptive Study | Publication
Date: October 2019