But not for high school students; whatever gains have been made in elementary school seem to disappear in high school.
I can't help but think that this has something to do with how many kids simply hate high school. My two older sons thought it was hell on earth; after the second one dropped out he told me he would rather go to prison than go back to school. My elder daughter on the other hand attended a high school of the arts in a special writing program that she loved, and she did very well.
Whether anything can be done to make high school less miserable for the mass of students is an interesting question. I have a feeling that the answer is no, at least in the current educational climate. After all, in countries like Japan and Korea where high school students seem to learn a lot, they hate it even more than Americans.
Of course that implies that teenagers can learn a lot even when they're miserable, but apparently American society just doesn't apply enough pressure to 16-year-olds to keep them slaving away at work they hate. I have long wondered whether that is a good thing or a bad thing. Certainly it is bad to make people miserable, but on the other hand if we let teenagers do whatever they wanted few would end up with the skills they need to get that all important office job.