Saturday, April 13, 2013

This Week's Education Research Report 4-6-13 #SOSCHAT #EDCHAT #P2

Education Research Report:


Texting, social networking and other media use linked to poor academic performance

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 day ago
The widespread use of media among college students – from texting to chatting on cell phones to posting status updates on Facebook – may be taking an academic toll, say researchers with The Miriam Hospital's Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine. According to a new study, freshmen women spend nearly half their day – 12 hours – engaged in some form of media use, particularly texting, music, the Internet and social networking. Researchers found media use, in general, was associated with lower grade point averages (GPAs) and other negative academic outcomes. However, there we... more »

Students enrolled in lower-level math courses are less likely to have teachers with qualifications that are associated with teacher effectiveness

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 day ago
This study explores variation in 9th grade mathematics students’ access to qualified teachers seven years after the implementation of NCLB. Key Findings - Students enrolled in lower-level math courses are less likely to have teachers with qualifications that are associated with teacher effectiveness. This relationship holds even after controlling for students’ math achievement. - Higher-achieving students have greater access to qualified teachers than their lower-achieving peers in the same school. - This positive matching (pairing of high-achieving students to more qualified t... more »

One Factor That Can Help Determine Black Men’s College Success

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 2 days ago
Beyond good test scores and high school grades, a new study finds one key factor that helps predict if a young black man will succeed at a predominantly white university. That factor is “grit” – a dedication to pursuing and achieving a goal, whatever the obstacles and failures along the way. Grit is so important that it was found to affect college grades for black men almost as much as high school GPA and ACT scores, said Terrell Strayhorn, author of the study and associate professor of educational studies at The Ohio State University. “For many black men, talent and high school ... more »

Federal student loan debt burden of students who do not complete a postsecondary credential

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 3 days ago
The cumulative federal student debt burden among students who did not complete a degree or certificate within 6 years of enrolling amounted to 35 percent of their annual income for students who first enrolled in 2003-04. Federal Student Loan Debt Burden of Noncompleters, a Statistics in Brief, focuses on the federal student debt burden accrued by students who do not complete a postsecondary credential within 6 years of enrolling. It is based on data from the two most recent longitudinal studies of beginning postsecondary students conducted by the National Center for Education Sta... more »

Review Explains Weaknesses in Teach for America Evaluation

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 3 days ago
The controversial organization Teach for America, which places recent college graduates as teachers in low-income communities, recently funded a study by Edvance Research to assess the effects of TFA teachers and alumni on student test scores in Texas. While the report found some significant improvements in the scores of middle school students taught by TFA alumni (those who continued teaching after their obligatory 2-year TFA contract ended) and even novice TFA teachers, a new review urges caution in reading those findings. The report, Evaluation of Teach for America in Texas Scho...more »

Strict school meal standards associated with improved weight status among students

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 4 days ago
A study suggests that states with stricter school meal nutrition standards were associated with better weight status among students who received free or reduced-price lunches compared with students who did not eat school lunches, according to a report published Online First by JAMA Pediatrics, a JAMA Network publication. The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) was started in 1946 to improve student nutrition by providing school lunches according to standards sets by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, the program has faced criticism that the lunches did not meet U... more »

Shocking Racial Disparities in the Overuse of Suspensions

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 4 days ago
* In first of their kind reports, researchers provide national and district-level data highlighting the disparities in use of school suspensions and the related cost to society* Today, the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the UCLA Civil Rights Project is releasing two first-of-their-kind reports that shed light on the growing use of punitive disciplinary measures and provides research-based alternatives. The reports were presented at a Congressional briefing by researchers with responses from the legislative staffers and civil and disability rights advocates on Capitol Hill ear... more »

Who Stays and Who Leaves? Findings from a Three-Part Study of Teacher Turnover in NYC Middle Schools

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 4 days ago
This paper synthesizes findings from the Research Alliance’s investigation of teacher turnover in New York City’s public middle schools. These years are widely recognized as a critical turning point for students, and the NYC Department of Education (DOE) is pursuing a range of middle school improvement initiatives. The stability of the middle school teaching force has the potential to facilitate or complicate these efforts, yet there have been few studies of the rates and patterns of teacher turnover in the City’s middle schools. This study provides the most current, comprehensive... more »

The Condition of NYC High Schools: Examining Trends and Looking Toward the Future

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 4 days ago
Until the turn of the 21st century, high school graduation rates in New York City hovered at or below 50 percent, much lower than state and national averages. There was widespread agreement about the need to reform the City’s high schools and produce better results for students. This paper presents an independent analysis of how the high school landscape changed in New York City between 1999 and 2011 and, importantly, the extent to which key student outcomes improved during that time. The paper describes dramatic shifts in the supply of high schools, most notably a trend toward sm... more »

Academic Performance and College Dropout

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 4 days ago
This paper estimates a dynamic learning model of the college dropout decision, taking advantage of unique expectations data to greatly reduce our reliance on assumptions that would otherwise be necessary for identification. Forty-five percent of the dropout that occurs in the first two years of college can be attributed to what students learn about their about academic performance, but that this type of learning becomes a less important determinant of dropout after the midpoint of college We use our model to quantify the importance of the possible avenues through which poor grade... more »

Collective Pedagogical Teacher Culture Results in Higher Mathematics Achievement

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
Scholars have not adequately assessed how organizational cultures in schools differentially influence students’ mathematics achievement by race and socioeconomic status (SES). This study focuses on *collective pedagogical teacher culture*, highlighting the role of professional communities and teacher collaboration in influencing mathematics achievement. Using cross-classified growth models, the authors analyze data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study and illustrate that schools where teachers perceive the presence of professional communities and teacher collaboration fost... more »

Test students early and often (online at least)

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
The number of online educational offerings has exploded in recent years, but their rapid rise has spawned a critical question: Can such “virtual” classes cut through the maze of distractions — such as email, the Internet, and television — that face students sitting at their computers? The solution, Harvard researchers say, is to test students early and often. By interspersing online lectures with short tests, student mind-wandering decreased by half, note-taking tripled, and overall retention of the material improved, according to Daniel Schacter, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor... more »

Men have better spatial ability than women

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
The observation that males appear to be superior to females in some fields of academic study has prompted a wealth of research hoping to shed light on whether this is attributable to nature or nurture. Although there is no difference in general intelligence between the sexes, studies over the past 35 years have consistently found that overall men do much better in tests of spatial ability than women. This difference may have something to do with why there are still fewer women in tertiary education studying science, technology, engineering and math – all subjects where it helps to ... more »

American middle class high schools have not kept pace with other countries

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
This three-part report, Middle Class or Middle of the Pack? highlights achievement in middle class American schools based on new analyses of math and science data from the 2009 PISA results and the results of a pilot study involving 105 American high schools that took a new test known as the OECD Test for Schools (based on PISA). The test is a school-level internationally benchmarked tool that measures reading, math and science knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds. Importantly, the OECD Test for Schools also measures key competencies such as critical thinking and problem solving as... more »

Reconstructing Science Curricula Through Student Voice and Choice

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
How can teachers enact a curriculum that is responsive to students and emergent from them when teachers are under enormous constraints to cover specific course content and to prepare students for standardized tests? Rather than an either/or perspective, this article embraces a both/and approach based on the belief that teachers can do both. Drawing upon qualitative classroom data gleaned from 3 years of research in an inner-city high school, four “best practices” inform a science curriculum model based on student voice and choice. In a recursive fashion, both the evidence and aspec... more »

Behind Closed Doors: School Nurses and Sexual Education

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
School nurses can play a key role in providing sexual education in schools. However, they often face barriers from the school administration and concerned parents. Additionally, school nurses may have limited formal preparation in managing sexual health issues. This study used a descriptive qualitative method to explore the school nurses’ experiences with facilitators and barriers to providing sexual education. Eighteen nurses from 12 Massachusetts high schools were interviewed. Results showed that the school nurses do not provide formal sexual education at their schools but freq... more »

There is SIGNIFICANT Diversity in State Kindergarten Policies

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
The Education Commission of the States (ECS) reviewed kindergarten policies across all 50 states. This report presents findings on six key components of a kindergarten system: availability, length of day, student assessment, quality of instruction, standards and curriculum, and funding. It is important to note that this is entirely a policy review and ECS recognizes that practice is way ahead of policy in many states. The report’s findings highlight the significant diversity that exists in state kindergarten policies across and within states. The findings reveal a system of prov... more »

Study Claiming Benefits from Tracking Students Is Far Too Weak to Offer Guidance

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
Does “tracking” elementary school students by how well they score on standardized tests improve student achievement? The vast majority of research into so-called tracking or ability grouping of students has reached a definite conclusion: it’s harmful. Students placed in low-track classes fall further behind. Yet a recent working paper published on the website of the National Bureau of Economic Research reaches a different conclusion, purporting to find evidence from a study of young children in Texas that sorting students based on their test scores improves outcomes for low-achievi... more »

In-state college merit scholarship programs have little impact

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
Fifteen U.S. states currently have broad-based college merit scholarship programs. Based on either high school grade point averages or scores on college entrance exams, these in-state tuition scholarships are awarded to at least 30 percent of each state's graduating high school class. In total, the 15 states spend about $2,191 per recipient or $1.4 billion per year. The aid programs appear to slightly increase the probability that residents born in the state live there after college, but they may also decrease the probability that people attain a four-year college degree. In ... more »