Thursday, December 15, 2011

Today's Best Education Research Reports

Education Research Report:

AYP Results for 2010-11

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 3 minutes ago
Ω This report updates previous Center on Education Policy research with data from the 2010-11 school year on the number of schools not making adequate yearly progress (AYP) under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The estimated percentage of all U.S. schools not making AYP was 48% in 2011, an all-time high and an increase from 39% in 2010. The report also provides six years of trends in the percentage of schools in all 50 states, D.C., and the nation not making AYP, using official numbers from the State Consolidated Performance Reports submitted to the U.S. Department of Educatio...more »

State High School Tests: Changes in State Policies

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 5 minutes ago
Ω This 10th installment of the Center on Education Policy's annual study of high school exit exams and other assessments finds that fewer states are requiring students to pass a high school exit exam, though testing in other areas has increased. The report, based on a survey of all 50 state departments of education, discusses state policies associated with high school exit exams, college entrance exams (such as the ACT or SAT), and college and career readiness assessments. State Profiles for Assessment Policies Through 2010-11 Ω

NCLB: "The Accountability Plateau"

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 hour ago
Ω This new analysis of NAEP scores—focusing on Texas and on the entire nation—by former NCES commissioner Mark Schneider finds that solid gains in math achievement coincided with the advent of "consequential accountability," first in the trailblazing Lone Star State and a few other pioneer states, then across the land with the implementation of NCLB. But Schneider warns that the recent plateau in Texas math scores may foreshadow a coming stagnation in the country’s performance. Has the testing-and-accountability movement as we know it run out of steam? How else might we rekindle ou... more »

More On In School Arrests

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 19 hours ago
Ω From the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog, today!: The Justice Department, stepping up its oversight of the juvenile justice system, has launched an investigation into whether school and law enforcement officials are targeting black students in Meridian, Miss., for unfair treatment. The Civil Rights Division chief, Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez, disclosed the investigation in letters to local officials earlier this month. The department is investigating whether city and county authorities have a “pattern or practice” of violating the youths’ constitutional rights, specifica... more »

Restorative practices found to be effective alternative to zero tolerance in schools

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 20 hours ago
Ω Restorative practices appear to be an effective alternative to exclusionary and punitive zero-tolerance behavior policies mandated in many schools today. So reports Laura Mirsky in an article in the December 2011 issue of The Prevention Researcher, a quarterly journal that focuses on successful adolescent development and serves professionals who work with young people. Mirsky interviewed educators and students at schools using restorative practices. She concludes that "although formal research is just beginning in this area, early indications and anecdotal evidence suggest that ... more »

Online: most children feel safe doing things that adults often perceive as risky

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 20 hours ago
Ω Sweden has one of Europe's highest rates of Internet use among children. The increasing number of children online implies increasing opportunities – but also risks. Yet a majority of 9-16 year olds say that they have not encountered anything on the Internet that has bothered or upset them in the past year. The Swedish part of the study EU Kids Online also found that most children feel safe doing things that adults often perceive as risky. However, in response to a general question, one in five (19%) Swedish children said that something on the Internet had bothered or upset them i... more »

Society may get stuck with the bill for expensive higher education

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 20 hours ago
Ω The rising cost of a college education and limited access to financial aid may create a less productive workforce and steeper wealth inequity, according to a study by North American economists. Students with low-income parents are discovering that it is more difficult to find funds to pay for a college education now compared to students of similar economic backgrounds in the 1980s, said Alexander Monge-Naranjo, assistant professor of economics, Penn State. "The consensus was that in the 1980s, credit constraints didn't seem to matter for those who went to college," said Monge-Nar... more »

Cigarette and alcohol use at historic low among teens

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 20 hours ago
Ω The 2011 Monitoring the Future Survey from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) shows continued high levels of abuse of alternate tobacco products, marijuana and prescription drugs Cigarette and alcohol use by eighth, 10th and 12th-graders are at their lowest point since the Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey began polling teenagers in 1975, according to this year's survey results. However, this positive news is tempered by a slowing rate of decline in teen smoking as well as continued high rates of abuse of other tobacco products (e.g., hookahs, small cigars, smokeless t... more »

California Principals Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 23 hours ago
Ω New report by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning at WestEd finds principals challenged to meet dual roles of school manager and instructional leader A new survey of more than 600 school principals finds California’s school site leaders between a rock and a hard place. Historic budget cutbacks present significant challenges to classroom teachers, thereby increasing the importance of the role principals play as a source of instructional leadership and support. But California’s disinvestment in its schools is also expanding school management responsibilities for prin... more »

Study Examines the 6+1 Trait® Writing Model

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 23 hours ago
Ω Strong writing skills are important for student success in high school and college, and, increasingly, for success in the workplace. To add to the evidence base on effective strategies for teaching writing in the elementary grades, REL Northwest conducted a rigorous study to test the impact of the 6+1 Trait® Writing model on grade 5 writing achievement. The Trait® Writing model emphasizes analysis of writing using a set of characteristics, or “traits,” of written work, including ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions. The study, An investigati... more »

In school arrests - Connecticut

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 day ago
Ω Complete report From March through May of this year, more than 700 arrests were made in Connecticut schools, two-thirds of them for minor offenses such as breach of peace or disorderly conduct, according to data obtained from the Court Support Services Division (CSSD). In Hartford alone, 87 arrests were made in schools, including 54 at grade K-8 schools. One Hartford elementary school, the Latino Studies Academy at Burns, recorded 16 arrests in the 2 1/2 month period. Similarly in Waterbury, 59 arrests were reported, more than half at elementary and middle schools. Offenses run ... more »

The Role of Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment Programs

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 day ago
Ω Advanced Placement (AP) and Dual Enrollment (DE) are two programs that allow high school students to earn college credits. The recent growth of these programs has been unprecedented. However, there is little evidence that compares how they fare in terms of improving college access and success. Using data from two cohorts of all high school students in Florida and controlling for schools’ and students’ characteristics (including prior achievement), this study examines the relative power of AP and DE in predicting students’ college access and success. The study finds that both AP ... more »

High School Dual Enrollment Programs: Are We Fast-Tracking Students Too Fast?

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 day ago
Ω Dual enrollment (DE), an arrangement by which high school students take college courses, is becoming increasingly popular as a means of improving high school education. However, there is little rigorous evidence on its impact on student outcomes. This working paper from the National Center for Postsecondary Research represents the first attempt to use a regression discontinuity (RD) design to gauge the causal effect of DE on the likelihood of high school graduation, college enrollment, and college completion among students who are on the margin of eligibility for participation in... more »

Online Algebra I broadens access for grade 8 students

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 2 days ago
Ω As schools’ technology capacity has increased, online courses have helped to expand curricular offerings, particularly in small schools and rural areas. To add to the evidence base on the effectiveness of online courses, REL Northeast and Islands conducted a rigorous experimental study of the impact of offering an online Algebra I course to grade 8 students in Maine and Vermont on algebra knowledge and subsequent mathematics course taking patterns. The study, Access to Algebra I: The Effects of Online Mathematics for Grade 8 Students, found that algebra-ready students in schools... more »

Academic Libraries: 2010

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 2 days ago
Academic Libraries: 2010 Ω Academic Libraries: 2010 summarizes services, staff, collections, and expenditures of academic libraries in 2- and 4-year, degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Findings include: • Academic libraries held approximately 158.7 million e-books and about 1.8 million electronic reference sources and aggregation services at the end of FY 2010. • Academic libraries spent approximately $152.4 million for electronic books, serial backfiles, and other materials in FY 2010. Expenditures for electronic current se... more »

Study debunks myths about gender and math performance

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 2 days ago
Ω A major study of recent international data on school mathematics performance casts doubt on some common assumptions about gender and math achievement — in particular, the idea that girls and women have less ability due to a difference in biology. "We tested some recently proposed hypotheses that try to explain a supposed gender gap in math performance and found they were not supported by the data," says Janet Mertz, senior author of the study and a professor of oncology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Instead, the Wisconsin researchers linked differences in math performan... more »

Autism researchers make exciting strides

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 2 days ago
Ω Teaching young children with autism to imitate others may improve a broader range of social skills, according to a new study by a Michigan State University scholar. The findings come at a pivotal time in autism research. In the past several years, researchers have begun to detect behaviors and symptoms of autism that could make earlier diagnosis and even intervention like this possible, said Brooke Ingersoll, MSU assistant professor of psychology. “It’s pretty exciting,” Ingersoll said. “I think we, as a field, are getting a much better idea of what autism looks like in infants a... more »

Is it possible to learn high-performance tasks with little or no conscious effort?

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 2 days ago
Ω New research published today in the journal Science suggests it may be possible to use brain technology to learn to play a piano, reduce mental stress or hit a curve ball with little or no conscious effort. It's the kind of thing seen in Hollywood's "Matrix" franchise. Experiments conducted at Boston University (BU) and ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan, recently demonstrated that through a person's visual cortex, researchers could use decoded functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to induce brain activity patterns to match a previously known targe... more »

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