Saturday, June 22, 2013

This Week's Education Research Report 6-22-13 #SOSCHAT #EDCHAT #P2


Effectiveness of Cognitive Tutor Algebra I at Scale

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 21 hours ago
This article examines the effectiveness of a technology-based algebra curriculum in a wide variety of middle schools and high schools in seven states. Participating schools were matched into similar pairs and randomly assigned to either continue with the current algebra curriculum for two years or to adopt Cognitive Tutor Algebra I (CTAI), which uses a personalized, mastery-learning, blended-learning approach. Schools assigned to implement CTAI did so under conditions similar to schools that independently adopt it. Analysis of posttest outcomes on an algebra proficiency exam finds... more »

Mindfulness Can Increase Wellbeing and Reduce Stress in School Children

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 day ago
Mindfulness -- a mental training that develops sustained attention that can change the ways people think, act and feel -- could reduce symptoms of stress and depression and promote wellbeing among school children, according to a new study published online by the *British Journal of Psychiatry. * With the summer exam season in full swing, school children are currently experiencing higher levels of stress than at any other time of year. The research showed that interventions to reduce stress in children have the biggest impact at this time of year. There is growing evidence that mind... more »

Student Engagement—Essential for Success in School—Is More Complex, Changeable Than Previously Thought

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 day ago
*“Enhancing student engagement has been identified as the key to addressing problems of low achievement, high levels of student misbehavior, alienation, and high dropout rates.” – Pitt professor Ming-Te Wang* A student who shows up on time for school and listens respectfully in class might appear fully engaged to outside observers, including teachers. But other measures of student engagement, including the student’s emotional and cognitive involvement with the course material, may tell a different story—one that could help teachers recognize students who are becoming less invested ... more »

Bullying and suicide among youth is a public health problem

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 2 days ago
*Expert research from CDC panel provides details and clarity, reports the Journal of Adolescent Health* Recent studies linking bullying and depression, coupled with extensive media coverage of bullying-related suicide among young people, led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assemble an expert panel to focus on these issues. This panel synthesized the latest research about the complex relationship between youth involvement in bullying and suicide-related behaviors. Three themes emerged: 1) Bullying among youth is a significant public health problem, with wides... more »

The vital role of the humanities and social sciences

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 3 days ago
A new report by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences Commission on the Humanities and Social Science, titled The Heart of the Matter, looks at the vital role of the humanities and social sciences in preparing and sustaining Americans for the responsibility of productive citizenship in the United States and the world. The Heart of the Matter focuses on five areas of concern—K-12 Education; Two- and Four-Year Colleges; Research; Cultural Institutions and Lifelong Learning; and International Security and Competitiveness—and makes recommendations to achieve three goals: - Educ... more »

Foster Youth Face Significant Academic Hurdles

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 3 days ago
A new study, Foster Youth Transitions, released by the Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC), in conjunction with the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Social Science Research (CSSR), examines the educational outcomes of foster youth in comparison to peers from similar disadvantaged backgrounds. Foster youth often experience instability and are deprived of support vital for the completion of educational milestones, such as high school graduation and college enrollment. Results from the study, a longitudinal survey which tracks the educational outcomes of more t... more »

The schools preparing teachers have become an industry of mediocrity

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 3 days ago
The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ)'s Teacher Prep Reviewreports that the colleges and universities producing America’s traditionally prepared teachers have become an industry of mediocrity, churning out first-year teachers with classroom management skills and content knowledge inadequate to thrive in classrooms with ever-increasing ethnic and socioeconomic student diversity. They assigned overall ratings based on a set of key standards for 608 institutions. Those ratings can be found at, where there is additional data on another 522 institutions.... more »

Does arts education really have a positive impact on academic skills?

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 3 days ago
Arts education is commonly said to be a means of developing skills considered as critical for innovation: critical and creative thinking, motivation, self-confidence, and ability to communicate and cooperate effectively, but also skills in non-arts academic subjects such as mathematics, science, reading and writing. Does arts education really have a positive impact on the three subsets of skills that we define as “skills for innovation”: technical skills, skills in thinking and creativity, and character (behavioral and social skills)? This report, called "Art for Art's Sake: The ... more »

Moral vs. Performance Character Development in Urban Adolescents

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
This study compared the effects of emphasizing moral character development or performance character development at three high-performing, high-poverty urban middle schools. Performance character consists of the qualities that allow individuals to regulate their thoughts and actions in ways that support achievement in a particular endeavor. Moral character consists of the qualities relevant to striving for ethical behavior in one’s relationships with other individuals and communities. Using a quasi-experimental research design, the authors found that early adolescents attending a... more »

Laws help limit junk foods in schools

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
District policies and state laws help reduce the availability of sugar- and fat-laden foods and beverages in elementary schools, according to a study published online in *JAMA Pediatrics.* Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago looked at the association between established policies and laws and the availability of candy, baked goods, ice cream, chips, sugar-sweetened beverages, and soda sold outside the school meal program. More than 1,800 elementary schools in 45 states responded to surveys during the 2008-2009 and 2010-2011 school years. The researchers found that ... more »

Is Starting College and Not Finishing Really That Bad?

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
In this report, The Hamilton Project examines whether starting college is worth it for students who fail to complete a degree. Their "startling" finding is that it is: these students’ lifetime earnings are roughly $100,000 higher (in present value) than that of their peers who ended their education after high school. Measured by the rate of return, getting some college is an investment with a return that exceeds the historical return on practically any conventional investment, including stocks, bonds, and real estate. (Of course, the return to some college is considerably smaller t... more »

High school graduation requirements are out of sync with Common Core

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
A new report from Change the Equation (CTEq) and the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) Center for Public Education (CPE) examines the connection between state graduation requirements and Common Core State Standards in math. The report, “Out of Sync: Many Common Core states have yet to define a Common Core-worthy diploma,” found that of the 45 states that have voluntarily adopted Common Core, only 11 have aligned their graduation requirements in mathematics with those standards. CPE and CTEq have compared states’ high school graduation requirements in math to the Common Co... more »

Reading to children: a head-start in life

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
This article examines the effect of parental reading to children early in life on the child’s reading skills using the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). In addition to reading skills at age four to five, reading skills at later ages (up to age 10 to 11) are also examined. At most ages, more than one reading skill measure is observed, which allows for checking the consistency of results when using different measures. The raw data used in the study show patterns indicating a clear association between reading to children more frequently and higher early reading scores.... more »

Information and Student Achievement: Evidence from a Cellular Phone Experiment

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
This paper describes a field experiment in Oklahoma City Public Schools in which students were provided with free cellular phones and daily information about the link between human capital and future outcomes via text message. Students' reported beliefs about the relationship between education and outcomes were influenced by treatment. Treatment students also report being more focused and working harder in school. However, there were no measureable changes in attendance, behavioral incidents, or test scores. The patterns in the data appear most consistent with a model in which s... more »

Strategic Involuntary Teacher Transfers and Teacher Performance: Examining Equity and Efficiency

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
Despite claims that school districts need flexibility in teacher assignment to allocate teachers more equitably across schools and improve district performance, the power to involuntarily transfer teachers across schools remains hotly contested. Little research has examined involuntary transfer policies or their effects on schools, teachers, or students. This article uses administrative data from Miami-Dade County Public Schools to investigate the implementation and effects of the district's involuntary transfer policy, including which schools transferred and received teachers, which te... more »

How much do teachers vary in performance improvement during their first five years of teaching

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
Educational policymakers struggle to find ways to improve the quality of the teacher workforce. The early career period represents a unique opportunity to identify struggling teachers, examine the likelihood of future improvement, and make strategic pre-tenure investments in improvement as well as dismissals to increase teaching quality. To date, only a little is known about the dynamics of teacher performance in the first five years. This paper asks how much teachers vary in performance improvement during their first five years of teaching and to what extent initial job performance pr... more »

New Study Looks at Discrimination African-American Adolescents Face in Schools

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 2 weeks ago
Nearly 60 years after the Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation in public schools, African-American adolescents of all socioeconomic backgrounds continue to face instances of racial discrimination in the classroom. A new study sheds light on that and points to the need for students of color to rely on personal and cultural assets to succeed academically. The study “African American Adolescents’ Academic Persistence: A Strengths-Based Approach,” was published online May 24 in the *Journal of Youth and Adolescence.* “This study is unique in that it is a socioeconomically divers... more »

Advances in student achievement since the passage of the 1993 Education Reform Act in Massachusetts

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 2 weeks ago
Mass Insight Education has released a summative report reviewing student achievement during the twenty years since the passage of the 1993 Education Reform Act in Massachusetts, which set to transform public education across the state. The anniversary report highlights the significant progress the state has made as a result of the landmark legislation and also provides a call to action to address the challenges that remain - specifically in raising student achievement for underserved populations and in increasing college success rates for all Massachusetts students. - *Statewi... more »

Trends to Reform the American School Calendar

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 2 weeks ago
Learning Time in America: Trends to Reform the American School Calendar, from the National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL) and the Education Commission of the States is an update to a July 2011 report of the same name. It provides a comprehensive overview of legislative and policy developments at the federal, state, and district levels to close achievement gaps and improve public school through expanding learning time over the two years since the release of the first report. The report also includes results from a national survey, commissioned by NCTL and administered in February...more »

Lessons from High Schools on Educating Students to Succeed in a Changing World

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 2 weeks ago
With the increasing national recognition that high schools need to better prepare students to navigate a changing world and the advent of the more complex Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, a new report from the National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL) describes how five innovative high schools are rethinking - and in some cases expanding - how and when learning takes place to make sure students graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Students at these high schools must not only master grade-level content and standards, but mus...more »