American high school students are taking more rigorous courses, and are earning higher grade point averages as a result, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress High School Transcript Study. Between 1990 and 2009, the average GPA rose from 2.68 to 3.0, the report, which was released Wednesday, concluded. Coinciding with higher academic performance was an increase in total course load, as well as an increase in the number of core courses–math, science, English and social science–high school students are taking. “Rigor in high school is closely linked to success afterward, and this study confirms that we need higher secondary standards across the board,” said David Driscoll, chair of the National Assessment Governing Board. The study included 37,700 graduates from 740 public and private secondary schools across the United States.