EdBrief

Reports & Research

 

Rice, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin researchers report...

Research examines link between poverty, school readiness:
More Children Living in High-Poverty Neighborhoods Following Great Recession

More children are living in high-poverty neighborhoods following the Great Recession – a troubling shift because children in these neighborhoods are a year behind academically, according to new research from researchers at Rice University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Wisconsin.

“Family Poverty and Neighborhood Poverty: Links With Children’s School Readiness Before and After the Great Recession” examines how neighborhood and family poverty predict children’s academic skills and classroom behavior when they start school, and whether associations have changed over a period of 12 years that included the 2008 recession. The researchers used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study and examined cohorts of kindergarteners from across the U.S. in 1998 and 2010...

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Northwestern University report...

Biological Anthropologists Say Playing in the Dirt as Kids Makes Chronic Disease Less Likely Later in Life

Northwestern University anthropologist Thom McDade realized early in his career that a lab was not the best place to study human development. As a young anthropologist, he traveled to the islands of Samoa, the deserts of Kenya and the rainforests of Bolivia to understand how kids grow up around the world. It was through these experiences that he made key observations that helped set the path of his research career.

"Obviously, the way kids grow up in these places is socially, ecologically and culturally different from the way kids grow up in the U.S., but there's more to it," McDade says. "As we develop, no matter where we are, we literally embody information from our environment."...

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UC Berkeley study...

Study Shows Preschool Benefits Middle-Class Kids, with Biggest Boost for Black Youngsters

Preschools that strongly promote academics boost the early literacy and math skills of children from middle-class families, according to a nationwide study recently released by researchers at the UC Berkeley.

“This is the first time that we have seen remarkable gains for the average preschooler nationwide,” said Bruce Fuller, a UC Berkeley professor of education and public policy, who directed the research.

Educators and scholars have long agreed that quality preschool yields sustained benefits for poor children, while earlier studies revealed disappointing results from average pre-K programs for middle-class peers...

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Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality report...

Significant Racial and Ethnic Disparities Still Exist, According to Report

Despite improvements in education, social mobility and many critical areas, large racial and ethnic disparities still exist – and are sometimes even increasing – for other important outcomes, according to a recently published Stanford report that examined racial and ethnic disparities in the United States.

The Center on Poverty and Inequality’s “State of the Union,” an annual report examining key trends in poverty and inequality outcomes, detailed the “profound racial and ethnic inequalities that persist in many domains,” notably in housing, employment and health.

Stanford Graduate School of Education Professor Sean Reardon was among the scholars involved in the report. He and doctoral student Erin Fahle authored the section on education...

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University of Southern California study...

Overweight Children Excluded from Friendships, Study Finds

Overweight children have more unreciprocated friendships and frenemies than their thinner counterparts, a Keck School of Medicine of USC study finds.

In a survey of 504 preteens in the Netherlands, researchers found that overweight children are excluded from friendships, call classmates friends when the feeling is not mutual and are disliked by peers. And overweight children dislike more classmates than their thinner peers.

These heightened negative relationships take a mental, social and physical toll, said Kayla de la Haye, lead author of the new study and an assistant preventive medicine professor at the Keck School of Medicine...

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PPIC report...

Boosting College Graduation Rates in Three California Regions Seen as Key to Future Prosperity

California needs to increase college graduation in three regions – Los Angeles County, the Inland Empire, and the San Joaquin Valley – if it is to meet the growing demand for educated workers and increase economic opportunities across the state, according to a report released on June 27 by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

Increasing college enrollment and graduation in the three regions – home to almost half of the state’s population – could help the state meet more than half of its projected shortfall in educated workers. PPIC has estimated that the state will need 1.1 million more college-educated workers – above and beyond its current pace – by 2030 to keep up with economic demand...

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Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University study...

How Do Preemies Perform in School? Study Indicates Most Demonstrate High Degree of Cognitive Function

Parents of prematurely born babies often fear their children may go on to struggle in school, but findings from a new large-scale study from the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University and Northwestern Medicine should reassure parents.

The large-scale study found that two-thirds of babies born at only 23 or 24 weeks were ready for kindergarten on time. Unexpectedly, nearly two percent of them even achieved gifted status in school. While these extremely premature babies often scored low on standardized tests, preterm infants born 25 weeks or later performed only slightly lower than full-term infants. In fact, as the length of pregnancy increased after 28 weeks, the differences in test scores were negligible.

The study was published June 12 in JAMA Pediatrics. It is believed to be the first analysis of its type in the nation...

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American Institutes for Research study...

California’s Transitional Kindergarten Gives English Learner Students Advantage for Kindergarten

English Learner (EL) students who attend California’s transitional kindergarten program enter kindergarten with stronger English language, mathematics and literacy skills than English learners who did not attend transitional kindergarten, according to a new study released on May 11 by the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The study is based on AIR’s multi-year study of transitional kindergarten in California, a state where one-third of kindergartners are classified as English learners.

Transitional kindergarten in California was established by the state’s Kindergarten Readiness Act, passed in 2010. Historically, the state required children to be 5 years old by December 2 to enroll in kindergarten. When the new law moved the cutoff to September 1, transitional kindergarten was created for children who turned 5 between September 1 and December 2...

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National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report...

Factors Leading to Greater College Success Identified in Study

Educational attainment is a national priority because it creates both economic and personal gains: higher incomes, better individual and family health and deeper civic engagement. U.S. college enrollments are increasing, suggesting greater educational attainment; however, national college completion rates are lagging behind other developed nations. Recent research suggests that U.S. college students could succeed if they are encouraged to develop a sense of belonging, a growth mindset and salient personal goals and values, according to a new national report co-authored by a Rice University psychology professor.

“Supporting Students’ College Success: The Role of Assessment of Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Competencies” was released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and commissioned by the National Science Foundation. Fred Oswald, a professor of psychology at Rice, was a co-author of the report, which was based on a review of 49 articles targeting 61 experimental studies that examined interventions to improve educational attainment...

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Yolo County Health & Human Services Agency report...

Norovirus Outbreak Hits School Districts West of Sacramento

The Yolo County Health & Human Services Agency reported on May 12 that a norovirus outbreak has hit multiple school districts to the west of Sacramento. No schools were closed, but over 952 students, teachers and staff became sick with stomach cramps, vomiting and/or diarrhea in schools throughout Yolo County. The outbreak has been identified and confirmed by specimen testing to be the Norovirus which is highly contagious. Norovirus commonly spreads through touching surfaces contaminated with the virus, close contact with someone who is infected or eating contaminated food or drink.

Norovirus is the leading cause of outbreaks of diarrhea and vomiting in the U.S., and it spreads quickly. Norovirus spreads by contact with an infected person, by touching a contaminated surface, eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Norovirus particles can even float through the air and then settle on surfaces, spreading contamination. Norovirus particles are extremely small and billions of them are in the stool and vomit of infected people...

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Leadership Conference Education Fund poll report...

Survey Finds Black and Latino Families Continue to See Disparities in Education

On May 3, The Leadership Conference Education Fund and Anzalone Liszt Grove Research released the 2nd annual “New Education Majority” Poll. The poll explores how Black and Latino parents and families view the American education system’s success in educating their children.

The poll’s findings come at a critically important time for U.S. public education as states are currently developing education plans as part of their obligations under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). What’s clear about the process so far is that states are still not sufficiently responsive to the needs and desires of parents, families and communities of color.

Some of the key findings discussed include:

  1. Perceptions of racial disparities remain strong among new education majority parents and families, and in some cases, are even more pronounced than last year...

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Public Policy Institute of California survey report...

Poll Finds Many Californians Favor Trying Vouchers, also Schools as “Sanctuary Safe Zones”

A solid majority of Californians favor providing parents with tax-funded vouchers to send their children to any school they choose. At the same time, most give their local public schools good grades. These are among the key findings of a statewide survey on education released on April 19 by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

On the issue of tax-funded vouchers, 60 percent of adults and slightly more public school parents – 66 percent – favor providing them to parents for use at any public, private, or parochial school. Republicans (67%) are more likely than independents (56%) and far more likely than Democrats (46%) to be in favor. While majorities across racial/ethnic groups are in favor, African Americans (73%) and Latinos (69%) are more likely than Asian Americans (56%) or whites (51%) to support vouchers...

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Center for American Progress report...

Analysis of Wealthiest PTAs Reveals Outsized Role of Parent Contributions in School Finance

A new analysis from the Center for American Progress finds that the wealthiest 50 PTAs in the country raise $43 million in unrestricted funds, a small, but growing contributor to funding inequity. The report highlights pairs of demographically similar districts – one that put in place policies aimed at leveraging these resources to a broader benefit and one that did not – and found no negative impact on parent giving when these policies were in place.

As a result, the report highlights proactive solutions – including transparency measures, partnership building among schools across the socioeconomic spectrum, and the use of equity funds – for districts to harness the power of parent fundraising and think creatively about how best to support all schools. CAP’s report was also featured in The New York Times...

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Center for American Progress report...

What Do People Know About Excellent Teaching and Learning?

It’s a set of questions that nags just about every parent with school-age kids: Does their child’s teacher employ good instructional practices? What are educators doing to help their kid learn? Is the school using effective programs and approaches?

There’s a problem, though, because it turns out that most people do not have a robust sense of what effective teaching looks like. Indeed, most Americans believe various myths about the nature of teaching and learning, and large swaths of the public support instructional practices that are ineffective or even hurtful to learning.

False beliefs about teaching and learning are a problem that goes far beyond the classroom. Myths about learning also prevent thoughtful efforts at school reform. For instance, if large segments of Americans believe in passive forms of learning, then they won’t support initiatives to make learning more active and engaged...

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Public Policy Institute of California report...

High Rates of Child Poverty Found Even in State’s Most Prosperous Regions

Nearly every region in California includes areas with very high rates of poverty among young children, according to a report released in late February by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

Poverty varies widely across regions among children age 5 and younger. It is lowest – around 20 percent – in Northern California and highest – nearly 30 percent – in Los Angeles and the Central Coast. Yet variation within regions and counties can be greater than these broader differences. For example, Los Angeles County has both the lowest and highest estimated poverty rates in the state: only 4 percent in an area that includes Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Hermosa Beach in the southwestern part of the county and 68 percent in the southcentral part.

"In nearly every region in the state – even the most prosperous – we find local areas with very high rates of poverty among young children,” said Sarah Bohn, PPIC research fellow, who coauthored the report with PPIC senior fellow Caroline Danielson. "Interventions that take geographic differences into account could help us effectively reach more poor families.”...

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CalMatters report...

To Attract Teachers, School Districts with High-Priced Housing Are Becoming Their Landlords

Rizi Manzon is a teacher, so naturally, he has a lot to worry about: a stack of homework assignments to grade, a week’s worth of culinary arts classes to prepare for, kitchen supplies to purchase on his own time and dime. And the assorted crises, dramas, and anxieties of the 36 teenagers in his care at Wilcox High School in Santa Clara.

But unlike most public school educators in California’s Silicon Valley, one thing Manzon doesn’t need to worry about is how he’s going to pay rent this month.

Instead, as one of Santa Clara Unified School District’s 822 teachers and specialists, he is one of the lucky few who get to call “Casa del Maestro” home.

A picturesque plot of 70 suburban townhouses, bracketed by cherry blossoms and palm trees, this is the district’s answer to the Bay Area’s affordable housing crisis. To lure qualified teachers, the district provides below-market housing located on district property to new employees for up to seven years – if they can score a spot...

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Children Now report...

New Report Calls on California’s Leaders to Prioritize Infants and Toddlers

In California, the most populous and diverse state in the country and the sixth largest economy in the world, 62 percent of babies are born into low-income families each year. The challenges facing California’s youngest children are complex, as are solutions to providing them with the support they need.

A new report, Starting Now: A Policy Vision for Supporting the Healthy Growth and Development of Every California Baby, released on March 1 by Children Now, outlines policy solutions for state and local leaders to ensure babies and toddlers – particularly those of color and those born into low income-families, who represent the majority of California’s babies and toddlers – have the supports they so desperately need so that California’s kids and the state itself can have a successful future.

Starting Now delivers a policy roadmap to establishing a child-centered, comprehensive and sustainable network of quality services and supports that will ensure all kids from before birth to age three have equitable opportunities to reach their full potential...

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PPIC report...

High Rates of Child Poverty Found Even in State’s Most Prosperous Regions

Nearly every region in California includes areas with very high rates of poverty among young children, according to a report released on February 22 by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

Poverty varies widely across regions among children age 5 and younger. It is lowest – around 20 percent – in Northern California and highest – nearly 30 percent – in Los Angeles and the Central Coast. Yet variation within regions and counties can be greater than these broader differences. For example, Los Angeles County has both the lowest and highest estimated poverty rates in the state: only 4 percent in an area that includes Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Hermosa Beach in the southwestern part of the county and 68 percent in the south-central part.

"In nearly every region in the state – even the most prosperous – we find local areas with very high rates of poverty among young children,” said Sarah Bohn, PPIC research fellow, who coauthored the report with PPIC senior fellow Caroline Danielson...

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Stanford Graduate School of Education report...

How to Let Go of Your New Year’s Resolutions — and Everything You Think They Say About You

Struggling with your January 1 pledge to hit the gym, save more money or stay off your smartphone? You’re not alone. More than 40 percent of Americans who made New Year’s resolutions abandon them in a matter of weeks – a number that will rise to 90 percent.

Don’t beat yourself up. Your well-intentioned vow to wake up a new and improved version of your Dec. 31 self, and to stay that way, was doomed from the start, according to researchers at Stanford Graduate School of Education who have studied human development and behavior through learning.

That’s because the annual New Year’s resolution ritual is based on a misguided notion that people can change overnight as long as they have the willpower. Failure seems only to confirm that old adage that people don’t change...

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NSBA report...

New Study Confirms Diversity Benefits Students

More than six decades after Brown v. Board of Education, far too many school children still attend segregated schools. A new report from the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) Center for Public Education (CPE), “School Segregation Then & Now,” finds that integrated schools hold greater potential for helping all students succeed both academically and socially.

According to CPE’s study, the composition of our school communities matters for improving outcomes for students and their communities, and the long-term stability and prosperity of our nation. The positive effects of diversity shouldn’t be overlooked, rather, education policymakers can and should advance their efforts to purposefully increase diversity.

“We know integrated schools are the best environment for learning academics and the social skills students need to prosper in a diverse society,” says NSBA Executive Director and CEO Thomas J. Gentzel...

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PPIC report...

Half of California Kids Have At Least One Immigrant Parent;
PPIC Releases Statistics on Immigrants in California

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) recently released the following compilation of statistics regarding immigrants in California:

California has more immigrants than any other state.
California is home to more than 10 million immigrants – about one in four of the foreign-born population nationwide. In 2015, the most current year of data, 27% of California’s population was foreign born, about twice the US percentage. Foreign-born residents represented more than 30% of the population in eight California counties; in descending order, they are Santa Clara, San Mateo, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Alameda, Imperial, Orange, and Monterey. Half of California children had at least one immigrant parent.

Most immigrants in California are documented residents.
Almost half (49%) of California’s immigrants are naturalized US citizens, and another 26% have some other legal status (including green cards and visas). According to the Center for Migration Studies, about 25% of immigrants in California are undocumented...

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Stanford Graduate School of Education report...

Stanford, EPI Study Finds Gains for Minority Students, but English Learners Still Lag

Against increasing odds, minority students have made significant academic gains relative to white peers of similar socioeconomic background, according to a new study co-authored by Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE) Professor Martin Carnoy.

But there is one important exception: Hispanic and Asian students who classified as English Language Learners are making no progress in academic achievement relative to white students and are falling further behind their non-ELL ethnic peers.

Carnoy and Emma García, of the Economic Policy Institute, conducted a comprehensive review of racial and ethnic differences in mathematics and reading test scores at U.S. schools using data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). They matched individual student characteristics with their 8th grade math scores between 1996 and 2013 as well as reading and mathematics scores for 4th and 8th grade between 2003 and 2013...

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University of Michigan study report...

Teen Use of Any Illicit Drug Other Than Marijuana at New Low, Same True for Alcohol

Teenagers’ use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco declined significantly in 2016 at rates that are at their lowest since the 1990s, a new national study showed.

But University of Michigan researchers cautioned that while these developments are "trending in the right direction," marijuana still remains high for 12th-graders.

The results derive from the annual Monitoring the Future study, now in its 42nd year. About 45,000 students in some 380 public and private secondary schools have been surveyed each year in this national study, designed and conducted by research scientists at U-M’s Institute for Social Research and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Students in grades 8, 10 and 12 are surveyed.

Overall, the proportion of secondary school students in the country who used any illicit drug in the prior year fell significantly between 2015 and 2016. The decline in narcotic drugs is of particular importance, the researchers say. This year’s improvements were particularly concentrated among 8th- and 10th-graders...

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A USC/University of Chicago report...

Research Study: Investment in Early Childhood Programs Yields Robust Returns

High-quality early childhood development programs can deliver an annual return of 13 percent per child on upfront costs through better outcomes in education, health, employment and social behavior in the decades that follow, according to a new study by Nobel-winning economist James Heckman and researchers at the University of Chicago and University of Southern California.

The researchers analyzed the long-term effects of two identical, random-controlled preschool studies conducted in North Carolina in the early 1970s: The Carolina Abecedarian Project and the Carolina Approach to Responsive Education. The programs provided comprehensive programming to disadvantaged children, and both studies have long-term follow-ups through about age 35.

The findings, released on Dec. 12 in a working paper titled “The Lifecycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program, show how high-quality programs can reduce taxpayer costs, improve economic prospects for parents and provide enduring benefits for children well into adulthood...

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PPIC report...

Report Calls for Changes in Special Education

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) has released a 33-page report on special education programs in California. The summary is reprinted below:

California’s system of special education served about 718,000 students in 2014-15, or about 11.5 percent of the K-12 population. It is expensive, consuming some $12 billion in federal, state, and local dollars annually. And special education operates within a legal framework that sets it apart from the rest of the K-12 system.

The state’s enactment of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) in 2013 consolidated most state categorical programs into district base grants in order to move decision making to the local level. However, special education was preserved as California’s largest remaining categorical grant operating mostly outside the LCFF governance framework.

This report examines California’s special education finance system in light of the principles that underlie LCFF–local control and accountability, transparency, and equity. It also draws on the findings of the 2015 Statewide Special Education Task Force report, which makes several recommendations to improve California’s system. The task force envisioned a unified system in which general and special education are part of a seamless program of student services...

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PPIC report...

PPIC Releases Brief Analyzing Impact of Math Placement Law

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) has released a brief examining the impact of California’s new law regarding math placement for K-12 students. The brief’s summary says:

Last year, the California Legislature passed a new law – the California Mathematics Placement Act – to address widespread concern over equity in the math placement process. The law is aimed at improving the measurement of student performance in order to move more students successfully through the high school curriculum. In this context, we surveyed California’s school districts during the 2015-16 school year to examine their placement policies right before the law took effect and to identify district needs for technical assistance while implementing the new law. We found that:

  1. Districts need help in determining how to proceed. Because the law leaves many details open to local interpretation, many districts are unsure about how to handle certain key elements. Teacher recommendations are a good example. Our survey indicates that the majority of districts have relied on recommendations as an important factor in determining placement. But the law now restricts their use. Improving the law’s clarity is critical going forward...

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Harvard Graduate School of Education report...

Harvard Program Promotes Healthy Relationships That Reduce Violence, Lead to Safer Schools

In January, Justine Finn, Ed.M.’16, booked a conference room and closed the doors. She spent the next four hours writing notes on whiteboards trying to figure out what to do when she went on the job market after completing her studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She always came back to the issue that made her apply to the Ed School in the first place: the need for more education about sexual assault, violence and prevention, and gender inequality.

“‘It’s all you ever talk about,’” Finn says her HGSE colleagues would often comment.

So, considering the shortage of organizations focused on prevention in K-12 schools, she decided to start her own. With the aid of a Harvard Entrepreneurship in Education Fellowship last summer, Finn founded Relation-Shift, an organization that works with K-12 schools to help develop strategies, tools, and policies aimed at preventing sexual and relationship violence while helping students develop healthy identities and relationships...

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The Education Trust report...

Report Provides a Glimpse of the Teaching Profession Through the Eyes of Black Teachers

Despite recent efforts to improve teacher diversity, only 7 percent of the nation’s teaching workforce is Black. And while many school districts are hard at work bringing more Black teachers into the classroom, they are leaving the profession at higher rates than their peers.

To build and maintain a teacher workforce that is representative and capable of serving an increasingly diverse student population, district leaders must pay as much attention to understanding and creating the right conditions to retain Black teachers as they do to recruiting them. That starts with listening to, and learning from, Black teachers. Researchers at The Education Trust have done just that and have published their findings in a new report.

The report, "Through Our Eyes: Perspectives and Reflections From Black Teachers," adds rigorous qualitative data to the ongoing national conversation about teacher diversity by presenting findings from a series of nationally representative focus groups...

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Common Sense report...

New Study Reveals the Reality Behind the Statistics of Higher Screen Time for Lower-Income Minority Youth

On October 24, the nonprofit group Common Sense released its newest report, Connection and Control: Case Studies of Media Use Among Lower-Income Minority Youth and Parents. The report dives into the "how" and "why" of disparities in media use among tweens and teens of different racial and ethnic backgrounds and economic statuses.

The 2015 Common Sense Census: Media Use By Tweens and Teens showed striking differences in media use among varying demographics. Teens and tweens from lower-income families spend more time with media than those from higher-income families. And African-American teens use an average of over 11 hours of media a day, compared with almost nine hours among Latinos and eight and a half among whites...

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American Sociological Association report...

Study Shows How a Community’s Culture and Social Connectedness Can Increase Teen Suicide Risk

Community characteristics play an important role in perpetuating teen suicide clusters and thwarting prevention efforts, according to a new study by sociologists at the University of Chicago and University of Memphis who examined clusters in a single town.

The study, which was published online this month and will appear in the October print issue of the American Sociological Review, illustrates how the homogeneous culture and high degree of social connectedness of a community can increase suicide risk, particularly among teenagers. Such conditions contribute to clusters in which a series of suicides happen around the same time and in close proximity.

While news outlets have repeatedly documented the emergence of clusters, little is understood about why they happen and how to stop them...

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California Budget and Policy Center report...

New Census Figures Show Many Poorer Californians Are Struggling to Get By

Nearly 8 million Californians – 1 in 5 state residents (20.6 percent) – cannot adequately support themselves and their families. This is according to new Census figures released in mid-September, based on the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), a more accurate indicator of economic hardship than the official poverty measure. California also continues to have the highest poverty rate in the nation based on the SPM.

The new Census data also show that:

  1. California’s high housing costs are a key obstacle preventing more people from getting ahead. The SPM improves on the official poverty measure by better accounting for differences in the cost of living across the US. When California’s high housing costs are factored in, a much larger share of the state’s population is living in poverty: 20.6 percent under the SPM, compared to 15.0 percent under the official measure. Accounting for housing costs boosts California’s poverty rate to the highest of any state, up from 17th highest under the official poverty measure...

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Phi Delta Kappa International poll report...

PDK Poll Finds Americans Continue Trend, Giving Their Local Schools Good Marks

While the American public does not agree on a single purpose for public education, it is continuing its decade-long trend and giving good marks to its local schools, according to Joshua P. Starr, the chief executive officer of PDK International. Forty-eight percent of the public gave their own local schools a grade of “A” or “B.” The poll results were released on August 30.

Where is the public in disagreement? On what they view as the main focus of public education. PDK found 45 percent of respondents believe the goal should be preparing students academically, and 51 percent said that the focus should be either on preparing students for work (25 percent) or preparing them to be good citizens (26 percent). Given a choice, 68 percent of poll respondents said having their local public schools focus more on career technical or skills-based classes is better than focusing on more honors or advanced classes...

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ACLU report...

New ACLU Report Criticizes Admissions Policies at Charter Schools in California

Over 20 percent of all charter schools in California have enrollment policies in place that violate state and federal law, according to a new report released in August by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Among the violations cited in “Unequal Access: How Some California Charter Schools Illegally Restrict Enrollment” are policies that establish admission requirements in violation of the California Charter Schools Act, which plainly requires charter schools to “admit all pupils who wish to attend,” regardless of academic performance, English proficiency, immigration status or other factors.

“We hope this report brings to light practices that prevent charter schools from fulfilling their obligations to all students who seek access to a quality education,” said Victor Leung, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Southern California (ACLU SoCal). “The report should make it clear to all charter school authorizers and operators that they must play on a level playing field and cannot cherry pick the students they enroll.”...

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Education Next report...

Poll Finds Common Core and Vouchers Losing Ground; Doubt Regarding Tenure; Charter Schools and Testing Retain Support

In 2016, public support for the Common Core State Standards and school vouchers continues to fall, with vouchers viewed more favorably by Democrats than Republicans. Support for charter schools remains steady, as does backing for the federal requirement that students be tested annually. Support for teacher tenure slides, but the percentage of the public that believe teachers deserve a salary increase reaches its highest level since 2008.

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the Education Next annual survey of a nationally representative sample of Americans and of teachers presents 2016 opinions on education policy together with trends in opinion among the general public and among teachers, giving special attention to the differing views of Republicans and Democrats. This year’s results (released on August 16) include two interactive graphics providing both 2016 findings and as much as decade-long trends...

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CDPH report...

New Research Shows Nearly Half of American Parents Underestimate the Harm of School Absences

A student who misses just two days of school each month – 18 days total in the year – is considered to be chronically absent. However, many parents don’t realize that, even when excused or understandable, absences add up and can greatly impact a child’s education. In the United States, more than 6 million children are chronically absent from school each year.

New research released today by the Ad Council found that an overwhelming majority (86%) of parents understand their child’s school attendance plays a big role in helping them graduate from high school. However, nearly half (49%) of parents believe that it is okay for their children to miss three or more days of school per month – and that they won’t fall behind academically if they do. In reality, missing just two days of school per month makes children more likely to fall behind and less likely to graduate...

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CDPH report...

Greater Academic Achievement in High School Increases Likelihood of Moving Away, Study Finds

High school students who completed higher levels of math, performed better academically, and had a greater sense of control of their future were more likely to migrate and work in labor markets with larger shares of college-educated workers, according to a new study by sociologists at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin).

The United States has one of the highest internal migration rates in the world, with nearly one in four adults moving from one U.S. city to another in the past five years, as reported in a Gallup survey. Migration shapes the national landscape – sometimes at the expense of equality of opportunity across labor markets. “Innovative” labor-markets with higher shares of college-educated workers expand due to economic growth and technological innovation and attract even more highly skilled workers, leaving other labor-markets behind, the researchers said...

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CDPH report...

California Department of Public Health Reports Record-Low Birth Rates among Adolescents

California’s birth rate among adolescents has continued to decline to record-low levels, reported California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith on August 8. The state’s 2014 numbers indicate a record low of 20.8 births per 1,000 females between the ages of 15 and 19. Those numbers reflect a 10 percent decline from 2013 and a 55 percent decline from the 2000 rate of 46.7.

"California’s continued success in reducing births among adolescents is an excellent example of public health at work,” said Dr. Smith. “We can have a positive influence on the lives of young people when we empower them with knowledge, tools and resources to make healthy choices.”

The birth rate among adolescents decreased among all racial and ethnic groups between 2000 and 2014. During this time, the birth rate dropped from 77.3 to 31.3 (births per 1,000 females aged 15 to 19) among Hispanics, 59.1 to 24.6 among African Americans, 22.3 to 8.4 among Whites and 15.0 to 3.7 among Asians...

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UCLA report...

Community Colleges Cannot Afford to Ignore the Opportunity to Increase BAs for Underrepresented Students

With the passage of California State Bill 850 in 2015 and new community college bachelor’s degree programs due to commence in 2017, California has the unprecedented opportunity not only to provide an important spur to the state’s economy but also to make significant gains in BA production among its underrepresented (URM) students. So far, policymakers do not appear to have seized on this opportunity by explicitly making equitable degree production a goal.

A new report by the UCLA Civil Rights Project, The Baccalaureate in the California Community College: Current Challenges & Future Prospects, examines the potential for increasing BA degrees among underrepresented students by considering how community colleges in three other states demographically similar to California have managed their community college bachelors’ programs. Researchers Patricia Gándara (UCLA) and Marcela Cuellar (UC Davis) unfortunately found few good models in Florida, Texas, and Washington that California could adopt. Since the BA programs in these other states were uniformly framed as meeting workforce needs, very little or no attention was made to their possible role in increasing equitable access to BA degrees...

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California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons report...

Eye Experts Share Back-to-School Tips for Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

With the new school year beginning, parents will be scrambling to make sure their kids are ready. As they tick off their long list of to-dos, ophthalmologists are reminding moms and dads not to neglect one of the most important learning tools: their children’s eyes.

Good vision and overall eye health are vital to classroom success. The California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (CAEPS) joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) in emphasizing the importance of healthy vision to academic performance during Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month in August.

“We recognize that there is a lot to be excited about during the Back to School season,” says Troy R. Elander, MD, CAEPS President, “which is why we, as physicians, want to make sure kids’ eyes are healthy so they don’t miss out on anything. Making eye health a priority while children are young can help instill positive lifelong habits and prevent more serious problems later in life.”...

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Colorado State University report...

Concern about Calculus Factors Many Women Out of STEM Degrees, Researchers Find

It’s no secret that Calculus I is a major hurdle in the quest for a science degree. But, according to a recent paper by Colorado State University researchers, the class is far more likely to discourage women than men from continuing on in their chosen field. How much more likely? One-and-a-half times. And it doesn’t take a math degree to spot that as a serious imbalance.

The findings, published in July in PLOS ONE, suggest that a major factor in women’s decision to leave a STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) path after Calculus I isn’t ability, but confidence in their ability.

Both men and women experience a loss of confidence in their math skills at a similar rate in Calc I, says co-author Jess Ellis, an assistant professor of mathematics in the College of Natural Sciences. The problem, says co-author Bailey Fosdick, an assistant professor of statistics, is that women arrive with lower math confidence to begin with. “When women are leaving, it is because they don’t think they can do it” – not because they can’t do it – she says...

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Education Next report...

Closing the Opportunity Gap in Access to Summer Camp and Extracurricular Activities

Late July might be famous for potato chips and trips to the beach. But it’s also the time when America’s inequality, like the hot summer sun, is at its zenith, particularly for our children. Affluent kids are spending their days (and often their nights) at camp or traveling the world with their families, picking up knowledge, skills, and social connections that will help them thrive at school and beyond. Needless to say, these experiences are seldom accessible to their less affluent peers.

As Robert Putnam argued in his landmark book Our Kids – and again in his recent report, Closing the Opportunity Gap – there is a growing class gulf in spending on children’s enrichment and extracurricular activities (things like sports, summer camps, piano lessons, and trips to the zoo). As the upper-middle class grows larger and richer, it is spending extraordinary sums to enhance its kids’ experience and education; meanwhile, other children must make do with far less...

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U.S. Department of Education report...

Report: Increases in Spending on Corrections Far Outpace Education, Even When Population Changes Are Factored In

State and local spending on prisons and jails has increased at triple the rate of funding for public education for preschool through grade P-12 education in the last three decades, a new analysis by the U.S. Department of Education found.

Released on July 7, the report, Trends in State and Local Expenditures on Corrections and Education, notes that even when population changes are factored in, 23 states increased per capita spending on corrections at more than double the rate of increases in per-pupil P-12 spending. Seven states – Idaho, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia – increased their corrections budgets more than five times as fast as they did their allocations for P-12 public education. The report also paints a particularly stark picture of higher education spending across the country at a time when postsecondary education matters more than ever. Since 1990, state and local spending on higher education has been largely flat while spending on corrections has increased 89 percent...

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A USC report...

Children’s Brains Develop Faster with Music Training

Music instruction appears to accelerate brain development in young children, particularly in the areas of the brain responsible for processing sound, language development, speech perception and reading skills, according to initial results of a five-year study by USC neuroscientists.

The Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI) at USC began the five-year study in 2012 in partnership with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) to examine the impact of music instruction on children’s social, emotional and cognitive development.

These initial study results, published recently in the journal Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, provide evidence of the benefits of music education at a time when many schools around the nation have either eliminated or reduced music and arts programs. The study shows music instruction speeds up the maturation of the auditory pathway in the brain and increases its efficiency...

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American Sociological Association report...

Early Behavior Problems Impact Long-Term Educational Attainment More for Boys than Girls

A new study finds that behavioral problems in early childhood have a larger negative effect on high school and college completion rates for boys than girls, which partially explains the substantial gender gap in educational attainment that currently exists in the United States.

“When I compared 4- and 5-year-old boys and girls who had the same levels of behavior problems – including difficulty sustaining attention, regulating emotions, delaying gratification, and forming positive relationships with teachers and peers – I found that boys were less likely to learn and more likely to be held back in school,” said sociologist Jayanti Owens, a professor at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs and author of the study. “My study also showed that the way schools respond to boys’ behaviors plays a significant role in shaping their educational outcomes years later. Relative to the other early childhood family and health factors I considered, gender differences in both students’ behavior and educators’ responses to behavior problems explained more than half (59.4 percent) of the gender gap in schooling completed among adults.”...

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Children Now report...

Annual Survey of Children’s Wellbeing Finds Growing Economic Instability of Families

The teenagers of Generation Z – the rising cohort born after 1995 that follows the Millennials – broke records in education and health indicators despite growing up in the midst of the economic downturn, according to the 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book, released on June 21 by the Annie. E. Casey Foundation.

Aided by federal, state and local policies and investments in prevention, a record number of teens have managed to avoid bad choices that could have derailed their future prospects. Comparing data between 2008 and 2014, teen birth rates fell 40%, the percentage of teens abusing drugs and alcohol dropped 38%, and the percentage of teens not graduating on time decreased by 28%.

These improvements are remarkable given the economic challenges faced by far too many of their families. Despite rising employment numbers, 22% of children lived in poverty in 2014 – the same rate as in 2013 and almost one in three children live in families where no member of the household has full-time, year-round employment. While navigating their own family challenges, an increasing number of our young people are also growing up in neighborhoods that lack the resources they need to thrive. Since 2006-2010, the number of children living in high-poverty areas increased to 14%, up from 11%...

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Alliance for Excellent Education report...

More than Half of U.S. States Risk Ignoring Academic Needs of Many Students, New Report Finds

The academic needs of large numbers of African American and Latino students, students from low-income families, English language learners, students with disabilities, and other groups of traditionally underserved students in twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia could be ignored under a new proposal from the U.S. Department of Education (ED), according to a new report by the Alliance for Excellent Education.

Under ED’s May 26 proposal, states are given wide discretion in how they decide what number of students in these categories, or “subgroups,” will trigger improvement actions for low academic performance. If this number, referred to as “n-size,” is set too high, schools are not required to provide the resources that these subgroups of traditionally undeserved students need to succeed.

“A high n-size could mean ‘no action’ for many students, especially students of color and students from low-income families who make up roughly half of all K–12 students yet graduate from high school at rates much lower than other students,” said Alliance for Excellent Education President Bob Wise. “A state with a high n-size will not notice when a particular group of students underperforms or fails to graduate from high school. As a result, no action will be taken and no resources will go to the school to help the students who are falling behind.”...

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Excelencia in Education study report...

Study Links Title V Spending to Latino Student Success at Hispanic-Serving Institutions

A new study from Excelencia in Education finds that Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) have invested federal Title V (Developing HSIs program) funds in capacity building activities linked to student success.

From Capacity Building to Success: HSIs, Title V, and Latino Students” looks at 20 years of information to examine how institutions used funds from the competitive grant program. Not every HSI has received a Title V grant. However, the analysis shows that the majority of HSIs receiving Title V funds have invested in capacity building efforts consistent with the intent of the federal program – to expand and enhance academic offerings, program quality, and institutional stability.

About 60 percent of Latino students enrolled in higher education are enrolled at HSIs. This new study shows Latinos’ access to higher education and degree completion has increased significantly as HSIs have grown.

“Today, more Latinos are enrolling and graduating from college, and HSIs have played a role,” said Deborah Santiago, COO and vice president for policy of Excelencia in Education. "This federal investment provides HSIs with the opportunity to model for the nation what it means to serve Latino students to college completion.”...

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Southern Poverty Law Center survey report...

Survey Finds “Alarming Level of Fear” Among Schoolchildren Due to Presidential Campaign

A survey of approximately 2,000 teachers by the Southern Poverty Law Center indicates that the presidential campaign is having a profoundly negative impact on schoolchildren across the country, according to a report released April 13.

The report – The Trump Effect: The Impact of the Presidential Campaign on Our Nation’s Schools – found that the campaign is producing an alarming level of fear and anxiety among children of color and inflaming racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom. Many students worry about being deported.

Teachers also reported an increase in the bullying, harassment and intimidation of students whose races, religions or nationalities have been the verbal targets of candidates.

“We’re deeply concerned about the level of fear among minority children who feel threatened by both the incendiary campaign rhetoric and the bullying they’re encountering in school,” said SPLC President Richard Cohen. “We’ve seen Donald Trump behave like a 12-year-old, and now we’re seeing 12-year-olds behave like Donald Trump.”...

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Harvard Graduate School of Education book report...

New Book Offers an Inside Look at the Ethical Dilemmas Inherent to Education

Ethical dilemmas abound in education. Should middle school teachers let a failing eighth-grade student graduate, knowing that if she’s held back, she’ll likely drop out? Should a private school principal condone inflated grades? Should an urban district pander to white, middle-class families – at the expense of poor, minority families – in order to boost the achievement of all schools?

Teachers, principals, superintendents, and education policymakers face questions such as these every day. And for many, amid the tangle of conflicting needs, disparate perspectives, and frustration over circumstances, lies the worry that discussing an ethical dilemma with colleagues will implicate you as not knowing how to make the right choice – or as already having made the wrong one.

Educational philosopher Meira Levinson and doctoral student Jacob Fay take up these challenges in the new book Dilemmas of Educational Ethics: Cases and Commentaries. In detailing the types of moral predicaments that arise in schools, the researchers also provide a framework for educators to use to discuss their own dilemmas with colleagues, opening the door to making these discussions more common in education settings...

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American Sociological Association study report...

“School Policy Can Also Be Housing Policy”: Families with School Age Kids Increasingly Live Near Families Just Like Them

Neighborhoods are becoming less diverse and more segregated by income – but only among families with children, a new study has found.

Study author Ann Owens, an assistant professor of sociology at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, examined census data from 100 major U.S. metropolitan areas, from Los Angeles to Boston. She found that, among families with children, neighborhood income segregation is driven by increased income inequality in combination with a previously overlooked factor: school district options.

For families with high income, school districts are a top consideration when deciding where they will live, Owens said. And for those in large cities, they have multiple school districts where they could choose to buy homes.

Income segregation between neighborhoods rose 20 percent from 1990 to 2010, and income segregation between neighborhoods was nearly twice as high among households that have children compared to those without...

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PPIC study report...

Study Examines High-Needs Students and California’s New Assessments

The 2014–15 school year was the first in which the Smarter Balanced assessments (referred to here as the SBAC) were administered statewide. While educators and policymakers agree that multiple measures over multiple years are the best way to gauge student, school, and district performance, the first-year SBAC results provide an important baseline for assessing implementation of the Common Core State Standards and the Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs).

These results may also have implications for the evolution of accountability measures at the district and state levels – especially in relation to high-need students. The California State Board of Education has not yet devised a replacement for the Academic Performance Index (API), which was suspended in the 2014–15 school year. Districts have developed goals and measures in their LCAPs but the rubrics that state and the county offices of education will use are not yet in place. In the meantime, a close look at the results of the first year of testing can help us track achievement gaps between student groups and identify districts and schools with the largest tasks ahead...

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Stanford/Cornell study report...

Study Shows Increasing Segregation by Income in U.S. Cities

A new report from researchers at Stanford Graduate School of Education and Cornell University shows that income segregation in U.S. cities grew in recent years, offering no reprieve from a trend that began in the 1980s.

With this study, the researchers show that the percentage of families living in predominantly rich or poor neighborhoods, as opposed to middle-income neighborhoods, has more than doubled since 1970: In 2012, 34 percent of families lived in rich or poor neighborhoods, up from 15 percent in 1970; by contrast the proportion living in middle-income neighborhoods declined to 40 percent in 2012 from 65 percent in 1970.

“Middle-class, mixed-income neighborhoods have become less common as more neighborhoods of concentrated poverty and concentrated affluence have developed,” said Sean Reardon, Professor of Poverty and Inequality in Education at Stanford and a co-author of the report. “These are not new trends, but this latest increase in segregation exacerbates the increase of economically polarized communities that has occurred over the last four decades.”...

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American Sociological Association study report...

Study: Childhood Poverty, Parental Abuse Cost Adults Their Health for Years to Come

Growing up in poverty or being abused by parents can lead to accumulated health problems later in life, according to research from Purdue University.

"Childhood disadvantage has long-term health consequences – much longer than most of us realize," said Kenneth F. Ferraro, distinguished professor of sociology. "A novel aspect of this study is that childhood disadvantage was linked to the onset of new health problems decades later."

The findings are published in the current issue of the American Sociological Review, and the study was funded by the National Institute on Aging. The findings are based on the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States data from 1,748 adults. The data were collected in two waves to measure health changes in the adult population over time. Wave 1 occurred in 1996 when respondents were 25-74, and Wave 2 took place in 2006 when participants were 35-84.

"Health problems and quality of life issues were a concern during the first wave of the study"...

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Northwestern University report...

Research in China, U.S. Suggests Surrounding Culture Influences Children at Very Early Age

Do the cultures in which we live shape how we view the objects and events in the world that surrounds us? Research with adults has suggested that it does. But how early might any such culturally inflected differences emerge in development?

In a new Northwestern University study, researchers address the issue directly, asking how 24-month-old infants from the United States and China deploy their attention to objects and actions in active scenes.

Researchers found that 24-month-old infants from the U.S. and China – who are on the threshold of learning words for objects and actions – have a great deal in common when observing active scenes.

However, infants’ looking patterns in the two cultures diverged significantly for a brief period.

In the experiment, all infants watched a series of repeated scenes (e.g., a girl petting a dog). Then, infants watched new scenes in which either object was switched (the girl petting a pillow) or the action was switched (e.g., the girl kissing a dog). This was when their attention diverged...

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The Field Poll report...

Voters See a Close Linkage between Kids Drinking Sugary Beverages and Serious Health Conditions

California voters continue to consider unhealthy eating and a lack of physical activity the single greatest health risk facing the state's children. Greater than seven in ten see a close linkage between a child regularly drinking sugary beverages and their developing long-term health conditions like Type-2 diabetes.

These are among the findings from a special Field Poll (released on February 4) about childhood obesity prevention policies conducted on behalf of The California Endowment among 1,253 registered voters statewide.

There is also broad consensus among voters that government should be taking actions to address the problem. Large majorities back each of four proposals aimed at reducing the threat of diabetes to the state's children. These include:

  1. Require restaurants to serve water or milk as the default beverage for children's meals instead of the sugary drinks that usually come with these meals (79%).
  2. Require health warning labels on soda and other sugary drinks stating that the daily consumption of these drinks contributes to diabetes, obesity and tooth decay (78%)...

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Yale University study report...

In Autism, the Social Benefits of Being a Girl

Infant girls at risk for autism pay more attention to social cues in faces than infant boys, according to a Yale School of Medicine study – the first one known to prospectively examine sex-related social differences in at-risk infants.

This difference in observational skills could help protect female siblings of children with autism from developing the disorder themselves, according to lead author Katarzyna Chawarska, associate professor in the Yale Child Study Center and in the Department of Pediatrics. The findings are published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Chawarska and her colleagues measured social attention in 101 infants between the ages of 6 and 12 months who have older siblings with autism. The team also studied 61 infants with no risk of autism. Chawarska said high-risk siblings are about 15 to 20 times more likely to have autism than those without a history of autism in the family.

The infants were all shown a video of a woman smiling and cooing at them, while she was doing other activities like pointing to toys in different parts of the screen, and preparing a sandwich. The team tracked where the infants focused their gazes, and for how long...

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American Sociological Association study report...

Study: Daughters of Interracial Parents More Likely Than Sons to Identify as Multiracial

Daughters of interracial parents are more likely than sons to identify as multiracial, and this is especially true for children of black-white couples, according to a new study in the February issue of the American Sociological Review.

Among black-white biracials (the offspring of interracial couples in which one parent is black and the other is white) in the study, 76 percent of women and 64 percent of men identified as multiracial. In terms of Latino-white biracials, 40 percent of women and 32 percent of men self-labeled as multiracial. Regarding Asian-white biracials, 56 percent of women and 50 percent of men identified as multiracial.

"It would seem that, for biracial women, looking racially ambiguous is tied to racial stereotypes surrounding femininity and beauty," said study author Lauren Davenport, an assistant professor of political science at Stanford University. "So, biracial women are often seen as not fully white and not entirely minority, and they are cast as kind of a mysterious, intriguing ‘racial other.’ As a consequence, it may be easier for women to reside in multiple racial groups simultaneously. However, biracial men may be more likely to be perceived as ‘people of color.’ I argue that the different ways that biracial people are viewed by others influences how they see themselves."...

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Harvard Graduate School of Education report...

Harvard Researcher Challenges Use of “Percent Proficient” as Measure of Student Progress

Every teacher wants to see her students improve. But measuring that improvement may be more difficult than it seems. Over the past 15 years, No Child Left Behind and other federal policies have given special prominence to one primary measure for assessing student progress: the so-called percent proficient easure. With this metric, educators can track the percentage of students in a class, school, or district who are “proficient” (scoring at or above a certain designated baseline), with hopes that this percentage will eventually rise to 100.

But Harvard Graduate School of Education Professor Andrew Ho has a warning for the teachers, administrators, and policymakers who rely on this measure. Looking at these percentages is like “viewing progress through a funhouse mirror,” Ho cautions. “If educators and policymakers have questions about growth and equity, their answers will be at best distorted and at worst just wrong...

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American Institutes of Research report...

Report Finds Transitional Kindergarten Students Show Greater Academic Skills and Executive Functioning

A new report released on December 1 by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), Impact of California’s Transitional Kindergarten Program, 2013-14, shows transitional kindergarten (TK) is giving young children as much as a five-month learning advantage in kindergarten compared to their peers who did not attend TK.

“Children in transitional kindergarten are getting a significant boost in kindergarten readiness,” said Deborah Kong, President of Early Edge California. “AIR’s research confirms that California made a smart investment in TK. Now with new clarity in law about funding for expanded TK, districts are encouraged to offer an additional option to young learners and their families to build a strong foundation for success in school.”

Controlling for age and home language, the report finds: 

  1. TK improves pre-literacy and literacy skills
    Children who attended TK were significantly better able to identify letters and words in kindergarten than their peers who did not attend TK, with an advantage equal to about five months of learning. TK students were also ahead by about three months in phonological awareness...

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Campaign for College Opportunity report...

California Students Facing Tougher Competition When Applying to UC and CSU, Study Finds

As thousands of talented and hopeful California students worked to meet the November 30th application deadline for the University of California (UC) and select California State University (CSU) campuses, the Campaign for College Opportunity released a report titled Access Denied: Rising Selectivity at California’s Public Universities,” that finds many of those students will be without a spot across both systems.

“Access Denied: Rising Selectivity at California’s Public Universities” is an in-depth review of admissions standards, capacity challenges, qualifications of admitted students, and the role of state funding and policies over time at the UC and CSU. The report highlights the significant impact rising competition and standards have on students today and the state’s ability to meet workforce demands.

Today more California students are preparing for college and want to go, more employers are demanding better skilled workers yet California’s public universities cannot accommodate all eligible students. The report finds that insufficient state funding for enrollment at the UC and CSU is a primary factor in the state’s ability to meet the demands of students and employers...

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UCLA Civil Rights Project study report...

UCLA Civil Rights Project Study: Report Finds Signs of Progress in Closing the School Discipline Gap in California

Consensus is growing among researchers and school administrators across America that many public schools suspend too many children. They believe the high number of suspensions is causing students to lose class time, and that alternative punishments might reduce the associated risk for dropping out and becoming involved in the juvenile justice system. On the other hand, some parents and educators have expressed concern that the educational environment will suffer if schools reduce their use of suspension. Many may not be aware of the alternative options, while others may prefer the conventional wisdom that we must “kick out the bad kids so the good kids can learn.” Moreover, even when educators and community groups change codes of conduct and target resources toward new approaches and interventions, those who resist change can slow the implementation of discipline reform efforts at the district level.

Despite such concerns, California’s legislators have put the state among those at the forefront of discipline reform. The local efforts of members of many school communities in districts across the state not only inspired the state to act but also contributed to the patterns this report documents. Most important, according to the most recent data available from the California Department of Education, there has been a consistent decline totaling over 200 thousand fewer suspensions in 2013-2014 than two years ago...

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American Sociological Association report...

More Than Half of “Children” Misperceive or Reject Parents' Political Party Affiliations

A new study finds that more than half of all "children" in the U.S. either misperceive or reject their parents’ political party affiliations.

"This finding turns the conventional wisdom, as well as years of political socialization research, on its head," said Christopher Ojeda, the first author of the study and a postdoctoral scholar in the Stanford Center for American Democracy at Stanford University. "The public, the media, and the academic world have long believed that children learn their political values, such as which party to support or which policy positions to endorse, from their parents. In this view, learning occurs mostly because parents impose their values on their children. This belief depends on the assumption that children know and choose to adopt their parents’ values."

Titled, "Accounting for the Child in the Transmission of Party Identification," the study, which appears in the December issue of the American Sociological Review(ASR), relies on data from two family-based surveys that contain self-reported measures of party identification for both parents and children, children’s perceptions of their parents’ party affiliations, and measures of the parent-child relationship...

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Northwestern University research report...

Study Examines “Why Are Boys Falling Behind?”: Northwestern University Research Suggests Boys More Sensitive Than Girls to Disadvantage

Boys, especially African-American boys, are falling behind – both behaviorally and educationally – according to new Northwestern University research.

Young males, it appears, are extra sensitive to disadvantage, perhaps because poor families are more likely to be led by single mothers, and young boys lack male role models.

The research team, which included David Figlio and Krzysztof Karbownik of Northwestern, David Autor and Melanie Wasserman of M.I.T., and Jeffrey Roth of the University of Florida, analyzed birth, health and education records for more than 1 million Florida children to figure out why boys are falling behind.

They found the effects of family instability are worse for boys than for girls, in particular African-American boys.

Relative to their sisters, boys born to poorly educated, unmarried mothers show a higher incidence of truancy and behavioral problems throughout elementary and middle school, perform worse on standard tests, are less likely to graduate high school and are more likely to commit series crimes as juveniles...

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Stanford Graduate School of Education report...

Report Urges Educators to Avoid Using International Tests to Make Policy

Policymakers should concentrate less on Finland and Korea and more on Massachusetts and Minnesota when drawing lessons about how best to improve school systems throughout the United States.

That’s the message of a new report (released on October 30) by Stanford education professor Martin Carnoy and two colleagues that calls on U.S. educators to stop paying so much attention to the many nations who rank above it on international tests and instead delve deeply into results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), often referred to as the nation’s report card.

“We should question the relevance of comparing so-called U.S. national student performance with average scores in other countries, when U.S. students attend schools in 51 separate education systems run by states and the District of Columbia, not the federal government,” said Carnoy. “Nobody has really looked deeply at NAEP data with the idea of seeing what individual states can learn from each other.”...

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NBER study report...

Study Indicates Strong Evidence of Mental Health Benefits in Delaying Kindergarten

A new study on the mental health effects of kindergarten enrollment ages found strong evidence that a one-year delay dramatically improves a child’s self-regulation abilities even into later childhood.

According to the study co-authored by Stanford Graduate School of Education Professor Thomas Dee, children who started kindergarten a year later showed significantly lower levels of inattention and hyperactivity, which are jointly considered a key indicator of self-regulation. The beneficial result was found to persist even at age 11.

“We found that delaying kindergarten for one year reduced inattention and hyperactivity by 73 percent for an average child at age 11,” Dee said, “and it virtually eliminated the probability that an average child at that age would have an ‘abnormal,’ or higher-than-normal rating for the inattentive-hyperactive behavioral measure.”

Findings from the study, which Dee co-authored with Hans Henrik Sievertsen of the Danish National Centre for Social Research, could help parents in the recurring debate over the pros and cons of a later school entry...

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Stanford research study report...

Language Gap between Rich and Poor Children Begins in Infancy, According to Study

Fifty years of research has revealed the sad truth that the children of lower-income, less-educated parents typically enter school with poorer language skills than their more privileged counterparts. By some measures, 5-year-old children of lower socioeconomic status score more than two years behind on standardized language development tests by the time they enter school.

Stanford researchers have now found that these socioeconomic status (SES) differences begin to emerge much earlier in life: By 18 months of age, toddlers from disadvantaged families are already several months behind more advantaged children in language proficiency.

The study, published in Developmental Science, is the first to identify an "achievement gap" in language processing skill at such a young age and could inform strategies to intervene and bring children up to speed.

In an experiment designed to investigate children's vocabulary and language processing speed, Anne Fernald, a Stanford associate professor of psychology, enrolled 20 children, 18 months old, who lived near the Stanford campus, and tested how quickly and accurately they identified objects based on simple verbal cues. Follow-up tests six months later measured how these skills developed...

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Northwestern University study report...

Discrimination during Adolescence Can Trigger Lasting Effect on Hormone Levels

In both blacks and whites, everyday feelings of discrimination can mess with the body’s levels of the primary stress hormone, cortisol, new research suggests.

In African-Americans, however, the negative effects of perceived discrimination on cortisol are stronger than in whites, according to the study, one of the first to look at the biological response to the cumulative impact of prejudicial treatment.

The team of researchers, led by Northwestern University, also found that the teenage years are a particularly sensitive period to be experiencing discrimination, in terms of the future impact on adult cortisol levels.

“We found cumulative experiences matter and that discrimination mattered more for blacks,” said study lead author Emma Adam, a developmental psychologist at Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy. “We saw a flattening of cortisol levels for both blacks and whites, but blacks also had an overall drop in levels. The surprise was that this was particularly true for discrimination that happened during adolescence.”...

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American Sociological Association study report...

Study: Probation for Schools Spurs Transfer Patterns Linked to Family Income

Schools placed on probation due to subpar test scores spurs transfer patterns linked to household income, a study by New York University (NYU) sociologists finds.

Their study of a school accountability program in the Chicago Public Schools reveals that families were responsive to new information about school quality and that those with more financial resources were the most likely to transfer to other schools in the district or to leave the district altogether.

However, the researchers found, rarely did transfers within the Chicago system lead to substantial upgrades in school quality. In fact, many students shuffled from probation schools to non-probation schools with only slightly higher testing results.

"'Educational upgrading' is a difficult undertaking for poor families leaving schools on probation because such schools are clustered together in low-income neighborhoods and finding better alternatives requires prohibitively long travel distances," explains Peter Rich, an NYU doctoral candidate and one of the study's authors...

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Attendance Works report...

Wide Gaps in School Absenteeism Rates Linked to Achievement Gaps, Dropout Rates

Disparities in school attendance rates starting as early as preschool and kindergarten are contributing to achievement gaps and high school dropout rates across the country, according to a new report released on August 31 by Attendance Works and Healthy Schools Campaign.

Mapping the Early Attendance Gap: Charting a Course for Student Success documents that absenteeism, while a concern for all students, disproportionately affects low-income children, students from certain racial and ethnic groups and those with disabilities. Moreover, many of these absences do not involve truancy or skipping school; rather, the absences are excused and tied directly to health factors such as asthma and dental problems, learning disabilities and mental health issues related to trauma and community violence.

"These early attendance gaps can turn into achievement gaps, which contribute to our graduation gaps," said Hedy Chang, director of Attendance Works and an author of the report. "It's not enough to say we have an absenteeism problem. We need to know who is missing too much school, when and where absences are mostly likely to occur and why students are chronically absent. This information is essential to targeting the right resources so we turn around poor attendance, especially for the students most at risk."...

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Center for American Progress report...

Report: Country Cannot Afford the High Cost of Truancy

As the United States undergoes drastic demographic shifts, the nation’s population, schools, and labor force cannot afford the high cost of truancy. This is the conclusion reached by a new report released on August 25 by the Center for American Progress. The report, “The High Cost of Truancy,” outlines the many consequences of truancy, explores the students most at risk of chronic absenteeism, examines how and why students become disconnected from schools, and identifies state measures that have potential for expansion across the country.

“Debates about our nation’s public education system are moot if our children are not in class,” said California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris. “Truancy is a major problem in California and nationwide, with significant economic and public safety costs. This report should serve as a call to action, because every child deserves an equal education.”

The report presents concrete and actionable federal, state, and local policy recommendations to combat truancy, including:

  1. Developing national definitions for truancy, chronic truancy, and chronic absenteeism
  2. Improving data collection for truancy early warning systems...

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Northwestern University study report...

Researcher: Men Gain Weight after First Child, Raising Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes

All those leftover pizza crusts you snatch from your kids’ plates add up. Men gain weight after they become fathers for the first time whether or not they live with their children, reports a large, new Northwestern Medicine study that tracked the weight of more than 10,000 men from adolescence to young adulthood.

The typical 6-foot-tall man who lives with his child gained an average of about 4.4 pounds after becoming a first-time dad; the 6-foot-tall dad who does not live with his child gained about 3.3 pounds, the study reports. That’s a 2.6 percent rise in BMI (body mass index) for resident dads and a 2 percent rise in BMI for non-resident dads after controlling for other variables.

By contrast, the average 6-foot-tall man in this group who was not a father actually lost 1.4 pounds over the same time period.

This is one of the first studies to examine how fatherhood affects a major biomarker of health, the BMI. The study was published July 21 in the American Journal of Men’s Health...

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The Wallace Foundation report...

New Report Looks At Best Practices for Building, Sustaining a Citywide Afterschool Effort

More than a decade after a handful of U.S. cities pioneered efforts to get more children involved in high-quality afterschool by coordinating scattered programs and agencies, a new report captures lessons and best practices from cities nationwide building these "afterschool systems."

The new report from The Wallace Foundation, Growing Together, Learning Together: What Cities Have Discovered About Afterschool Systems, has been at least 12 years in the making. It offers insights from many cities, including 14 that have worked with The Wallace Foundation since 2003, and draws from more than 40 publications on the topic published since 2008.

One city leading the way is St. Paul, Minnesota. Its Sprockets effort, a collaboration of community organizations, the City of St. Paul, and St. Paul Public Schools, links more than 90 organizations and reaches more than 20,000 young people...

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Stanford Graduate School of Education study report...

Stereotyping Makes People More Likely to Act Badly, Suggests Stanford Study

Most people intuitively know that pervasive negative stereotypes are tough to deal with. Now, researchers at Stanford University have found another, particularly disturbing effect of subtle stereotypes. A series of five studies showed that people are more likely to lie, cheat, steal, or endorse doing so when they feel that they are being devalued simply because they belong to particular groups.

For example, imagining a sexist or a racist comment from a boss made women and ethnic minorities more likely to intentionally do inaccurate work, start rumors, or ignore co-workers who need help. In one correlational study, the researchers asked 311 college students whether they worried about being seen negatively because of their ethnicity. The more the college students worried or expected stereotyping, the more likely they were to report engaging in delinquent behavior, like skipping classes, verbally abusing someone, or vandalizing school property.

The research also adds to the growing body of evidence that even slight cues – like reading an article containing a negative stereotype or just remembering a painful instance of being judged unfairly – can have a sizeable impact...

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American Educational Research Association study report...

Study Finds Minority Students Are Underrepresented in Special Education

A new federally funded study finds that racial, ethnic, and language minority elementary- and middle-school students are less likely than otherwise similar white, English-speaking children to be identified as having disabilities and, as a result, are disproportionately underrepresented in special education. These findings differ from most prior education research and contrast with current federal legislation and policies. The study was published online on June 24 in Educational Researcher, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association.

Authors Paul L. Morgan of the Pennsylvania State University, George Farkas of University of California, Irvine, and Marianne M. Hillemeier, Richard Mattison, Steve Maczuga, Hui Li, and Michael Cook, all of the Pennsylvania State University, found that racial and ethnic minority children are less likely than otherwise similar white, English-speaking children to be identified as disabled across all five of the surveyed disability conditions – learning disabilities, speech or language impairments, intellectual disabilities, other health impairments, or emotional disturbances – and, so, are less likely to receive potentially beneficial special education services...

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Education Next report...

Study: Increased Spending on Schools Has Positive Effect on High School Completion, Adult Earnings

Unequal school spending between districts is frequently identified as a key reason for the wide achievement gaps between students of different socioeconomic and racial backgrounds in the United States. While past research has failed to provide a clear picture of how increased school spending impacts student learning, a new study appearing in Education Next finds that increased spending due to court-ordered school finance reforms positively affects both educational and economic attainment for children from low-income families. Researchers C. Kirabo Jackson, Rucker C. Johnson, and Claudia Persico find that increases in spending due to school finance reforms have strong, positive effects on high school completion, adult earnings, family stability, and the incidence of adult poverty.

The authors find that when per pupil spending increases by 10 percent in all 12 school-age years for students from low-income families:

  1. Years of completed education increase by 0.5 years
  2. The probability of high school graduation increases by 10 percentage points...

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American Sociological Association study report...

Researchers Suggest Earning a College Degree Before, But Not After, Getting Married Protects Against Obesity

People who earn a college degree before getting married are much less likely to become obese than those who graduate from college after getting married, according to a new study.

"People who get married before they earn a degree from a 4-year college are about 65 percent more likely to later become obese than people who get married after college," said Richard Allen Miech, a research professor at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan and the lead author of the study. "While a college degree has long been shown to be associated with lower levels of obesity, the results of this study indicate that the health benefits of college do not accrue to people who get married before graduating."

Titled, "The Sequencing of a College Degree During the Transition to Adulthood: Implications for Obesity," the study appears in the June issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. It relies on data on nearly 14,000 individuals from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), which began tracking a nationally representative sample of youths in 1995 when they were in seventh through twelfth grades and 11 to 19-years-old...

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A NAMM Foundation survey report...

New Study Shows Large Majority Believes Music Education is “Extremely” or “Very Important”

Contrary to state and local pressures to de-emphasize and de-fund music and arts education, a new nationwide study of 1,000 teachers and 800 parents finds strong support for music education at all grade levels. “Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K-12 Music Education in the United States 2015,” a study released in May, found that strong majorities of teachers and parents say music education is very important and should continue to be funded, even at the expense of other programs and classes.

“The data couldn’t be more clear,” said Peter Grunwald, President of Grunwald Associates LLC, the research firm that conducted the survey. “Teachers and parents told us repeatedly that music is an essential part of learning, not merely an ‘extracurricular activity’ that can be cut when times get tough.”

According to the survey (conducted in early 2015)...

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U.S. Food and Drug Administration data report...

E-Cigarette Use Triples Among Middle and High School Students in Just One Year

Current e-cigarette use among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014, according to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) on April 16 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

Findings from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey show that current e-cigarette use (use on at least 1 day in the past 30 days) among high school students increased from 4.5 percent in 2013 to 13.4 percent in 2014, rising from approximately 660,000 to 2 million students.

Among middle school students, current e-cigarette use more than tripled from 1.1 percent in 2013 to 3.9 percent in 2014—an increase from approximately 120,000 to 450,000 students...

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Stanford Graduate School of Education study report...

Study Describes How Diverse High Schools Successfully Implement Social Emotional Learning

A growing body of research shows that when schools attend to students’ psychological, social, and emotional development alongside academic learning, student engagement and academic achievement improve. What is less well understood is how practices that address these needs can be implemented on a school-wide basis, especially at the high school level.

A new study produced by the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) and funded by the NoVo Foundation addresses implementation of social emotional learning strategies at the high school level and how they can be tuned to meet the needs of students in diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic contexts.

The study, Social Emotional Learning in High School: How Three Urban High Schools Engage, Educate, and Empower Youth, looks at effective social emotional learning practices at three socioeconomically and racially diverse small public high schools located in Boston, Brooklyn, and San Antonio...

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A Teachers’ College, Columbia University report...

Study Examines How Family Income May Be Associated with Children’s Brain Structure

Family income is associated with children’s brain structure, reports a new study in Nature Neuroscience coauthored by Teachers College Columbia University faculty member Kimberly Noble. The association appears to be strongest among children from lower-income families.

In a sample of more than 1,000 typically developing children and adolescents between three and 20 years old, a group led by Noble and Elizabeth Sowell, Professor of Pediatrics at The Saban Research Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, found that increases in both parental education and family income were associated with increases in the surface area of numerous brain regions, including those implicated in language and executive functions. Family income appeared to have a stronger, positive relationship with brain surface area than parental education...

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Brown Center on American Education report...

Have Boys Caught Up to Girls in Reading? Not Yet, But the Gap is Narrowing

As long as there have been studies examining student achievement, it seems that girls have always outscored boys on reading assessments. Since the first National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) was released 1971, the gender gap in reading has endured. The newest data – aggregated in a new report by the Brown Center on American Education – still shows that girls are outscoring boys, but the gap is narrowing.

The report looks at eight different reading assessments, including international tests, and the margin between boys and girls has decreased on almost every measure, usually by statistically significant margins. Tom Loveless, the report’s author, found that on the NAEP Long Term Trend, the gender reading gap shrank in all age groups since 1971. At age nine, for example, the gap on the assessment declined from 13 points in 1971 to 5 points in 2012...

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Harvard School of Education report...

Harvard Researcher: Parents Can Help Teens Succeed By Helping Them Set Goals, Explore Interests

When children reach adolescence, everything that’s joyful, challenging, and surprising – or sanity-sapping – about being a parent seems suddenly to multiply. But hang in there. Just when it may feel like your kids are beginning to pull away, your involvement – and support – matters profoundly.

A body of research has already shown that parenting practices in early adolescence are predictive of later educational achievement. Now, some new findings by Professor Nancy Hill of the Harvard Graduate School of Education are showing the importance of one particular practice: helping teens set goals and explore interests.

In a paper published last month (February) in Developmental Psychology, Hill finds that helping young teens develop aspirations is essential to helping them engage with and succeed in school...

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A Harvard Gazette, Harvard University report...

Cognitive Skills Not Strictly a Feature of Youth, Vocabulary Skills Peak Late, Harvard Study Finds

New research is changing long-held ideas of how our minds age, painting a richer picture of different cognitive skills peaking across a lifetime, with at least one – vocabulary – peaking at a time when many are considering retirement.

The study, supported by results from tens of thousands of volunteers who participated in a series of online tests, also hinted that at least some cognitive skills are plastic and that their decline can be delayed by changes in education, environment, or lifestyle. Researchers’ analysis of existing tests from different decades showed vocabulary skills peaking later and later in life, a trend they ascribe in part to improvements in education and the rise of white-collar jobs.

“What we’re seeing is that, across adulthood, some things ‘age’ in the sense that processing speed does go down,” said co-author Laura Germine, a research associate in Harvard’s Psychology Department and a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital...

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American Sociological Association report...

Children of Undocumented Mexican Immigrants Have Heightened Risk of Behavior Problems

Children of undocumented Mexican immigrants have a significantly higher risk of behavior problems than their co-ethnic counterparts with documented or naturalized citizen mothers, according to a new study.

The difficulties come in two forms: sadness or social withdrawal – what the authors refer to as internalizing behavior problems – and issues such as aggressiveness towards others – which the authors call externalizing behavior problems.

"To our knowledge, our study is the first study based on a representative sample to investigate differences in the behavioral functioning of youth with undocumented versus documented parents," said Nancy S. Landale, a liberal arts research professor of sociology and demography at Pennsylvania State University and the lead author of the study, which appears in the March issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior...

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ACLU report...

Pregnant and Parenting Students Denied Equal Education Opportunity in California Schools

A report released on February 10 by the ACLU of Northern California found that pregnant and parenting students in California are being denied the equal opportunity to succeed in school.

The report, “Breaking Down Educational Barriers for California’s Pregnant & Parenting Students,” found that by refusing access to college-track courses, pushing students towards continuation schools, and restricting breastfeeding and childcare options, schools are blocking paths to success for these students.

“Pregnant and parenting teens want to succeed and graduate. These students can thrive when they have the support they need and that the law requires,” said Angélica Salceda, Equal Justice Works Fellow at the ACLU of Northern California and author of the report. “Doing right by these students can literally mean the difference between a student who doesn’t graduate high school and a student who goes on to college.”...

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National Superintendents Roundtable report...

Factor Poverty and Violence into International Comparisons of School Performance, Report Says

A new report suggests that it’s a mistake to use only test scores to rank education systems. When social and economic indicators such as childhood poverty rates, income inequity, and violence are taken into account, the U.S. public schools fare much better in international comparisons.

School Performance in Context: The Iceberg Effect, a new report from The Horace Mann League and the National Superintendents Roundtable, compares the U.S. with other G7 nations. Those nations include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom, as well as Finland and China.

The U.S. has the most highly educated workforce among the nine nations, the report found. It also has the greatest economic inequalities, the highest levels of social stress, and the lowest levels of support for families...

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Center for Education Policy report...

Report: Closing U.S. Educational Achievement Gaps Will Increase GDP Growth, Raise Revenue

Improving educational outcomes and narrowing the educational achievement gaps of future workers would significantly increase long-term U.S. economic growth and raise government revenues, a new Washington Center for Equitable Growth report finds. The study, authored by Equitable Growth Visiting Fellow and Everett E. Nuttle Professor of Economics at Washington College Robert Lynch, calculates the key economic and tax benefits of raising the educational achievement of children from less advantaged socioeconomic backgrounds over the next 35 years (by 2050) and 60 years (by 2075). The analysis also includes a new interactive allowing readers to explore the economic ramifications of closing the educational achievement gaps.

The report utilizes three scenarios to illustrate the economic consequences of raising the educational achievement of children from the bottom three quarters of families who are most socioeconomically disadvantaged to more closely match those of children born into the top quarter of families...

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Center for Education Policy report...

Report: Adding Time for Teacher Collaboration, Instructional Improvement as Important as Increasing Students' Class Time

Low-performing schools use various approaches to meet federal requirements to expand learning time, such as extending the school day or year, reducing non-instructional time, and adding time for teacher activities to improve instruction. These customized approaches are showcased in a report released on January 13 by the Center on Education Policy (CEP). District and school leaders in four states visited for the report also stress that strengthening the quality of instructional time is just as important as increasing quantity, and most worry about how to sustain expanded time initiatives after federal grants expire.

"CEP's comprehensive study shows that local strategies to expand learning time are most effective when they focus on both students and teachers. Any effort to expand learning time should go hand in hand with a plan for improving the quality of instruction," said Maria Ferguson, CEP Executive Director...

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Education Week report...

Education Week Introduces New State Report Card; Nation Earns C, California Gets a D+

In a politically polarized environment that has increasingly extended into education policy, an area once largely free of partisan skirmishing, support for early-childhood education has become a rare point of consensus along the ideological and political spectrum. The 2015 edition of Education Week's Quality Counts report – Preparing to Launch: Early Childhood's Academic Countdown – explores the complex landscape that defines early-childhood services and programs in this country.

To complement the report's journalism, the Education Week Research Center also conducted an original analysis of participation in early-education programs, poverty-based gaps in enrollment, and trends over time. The center's Early Education Index grades the states based on federal data across eight critical indicators...

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Stanford Graduate School of Education report...

Misfit or Miss Goody Two Shoes? Adolescent Misperceptions Abound, Researcher Says

A new study co-authored by Stanford Graduate School of Education Professor Geoffrey Cohen shows how teens over-estimate their peers' participation in risky behaviors.

It's true: teens are misunderstood. But apparently, teens themselves have dramatic misperceptions about what their peers are doing when it comes to sex, drugs and studying, possibly prompting them to conform to social norms that don't exist.

That's according to new research that shows that adolescents overestimate the amount of drug and alcohol use and sexual behaviors that many of their peers are engaging in. At the same time, they underestimate the amount of time their peers spend on studying or exercise...

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PACE/Standford Graduate School of Education report...

Researchers Explore Whether Summer Jobs Help Boost Students’ Academic Outcomes

Low school attendance rates in many urban high schools present serious hurdles for policy efforts to close the academic achievement gap that exists along socio-economic and racial lines. At the same time, policymakers and researchers are paying increased attention to how students’ experiences when school is out of session, especially during the summer, influence educational success.

Recent work by Jacob Leos-Urbel, associate director of the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities, at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, provides new evidence regarding the impact of large-scale summer youth employment programs on high school students’ school attendance and academic achievement in the following school year.

Many cities across the country, including throughout California, offer publicly-funded summer youth employment programs...

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Children Now report...

Poverty Reduction Achievable by Investing in Early Childhood Development and Parents Simultaneously

Cross-sector and agency collaboration, strategic leveraging of existing programs, and well-rounded, family-focused policies are emphasized in a new tactic to support low-income children and their parents in the report Creating Opportunities for Families: A Two-Generation Approach, released on Wednesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in partnership with Children Now.

With numerous public, private and non-profit resources available, this report calls on California to streamline existing programs for the benefit of the state’s nearly 1.3 million low-income families with children under the age of 8. The report aims to highlight strategies to help families break multi-generation cycles of poverty by outlining paths to overcome the following challenges: a lack of access to reliable and high-quality early education and child care services, unreliable and inflexible jobs with wages insufficient to support a family and high stress levels for children and parents...

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Northwestern University report...

Pattern Especially Strong Among African-American Parents: Low-Income Parents Improve Educational Status When Pre-K Children Participate in Head Start, Study Finds

Head Start programs may help low-income parents improve their educational status, according to a new study by Northwestern University researchers.

The study is one of the first to examine whether a child’s participation in the federal program benefits mothers and fathers – in particular parents’ educational attainment and employment.

“Studies on early childhood education programs have historically focused on child outcomes,” said study lead author Terri Sabol, an assistant professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy. “We asked whether there could be beneficial effects for the parents,” said Sabol...

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Stanford Graduate School of Education report...

Study Finds Favorable Effect on Older Children for Subsidies Allowing a Parent to Stay at Home

It may be the most hotly disputed and emotionally loaded question that American parents face: Are children better off if a parent stays at home?

The evidence is already quite strong that staying at home during a child’s first year of life can have long-term benefits. That’s why most industrial nations (though not the United States) guarantee at least some paid parental leave for working mothers and fathers.

What’s been less clear is whether stay-at-home parenting also benefits older children who may already be in elementary or even middle school. On the one hand, the additional income from a second salary is crucial for many families. On the other hand, it is hard to match the attention and guidance that an involved parent can provide...

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The RAND Corporation report...

RAND Report Re-evaluates Concept of “Appropriate Screen Time” for Young Children

The RAND Corporation recently released a research report titled “Moving Beyond Screen Time: Redefining Developmentally Appropriate Technology Use in Early Childhood Education.”

According to the reports abstract:

“Conversations about what constitutes "developmentally appropriate" use of technology in early childhood education have, to date, focused largely on a single, blunt measure – screen time – that fails to capture important nuances, such as what type of media a child is accessing and whether technology use is taking place solo or with peers. Using screen time as the primary measure of developmentally appropriate use has become increasingly inappropriate as new technologies are ever more rapidly introduced and integrated into all aspects of life, and as we learn more about the potential benefits of technology. The authors challenge the traditional emphasis on screen time and discuss how to move toward a more comprehensive definition of developmentally appropriate technology use for young children.”...

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Lucille Packard Foundation for Children’s Health report...

New Study of California's Latino Children Finds Striking Differences in Health and Well-Being

Pressure to meet national education standards may be the reason states with significant populations of African-American students and those with larger class sizes often require children to learn fewer skills, finds a University of Kansas researcher.

“The skills students are expected to learn in schools are not necessarily universal,” said Argun Saatcioglu, a KU associate professor of education and courtesy professor of sociology.

In effort to increase their test scores and, therefore, avoid the negative consequences of failing to meet the federal standards set by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act (e.g., school closures, student transfers, or lost funding), some states are reducing the skills students are expected to learn...

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American Sociological Association report...

Study Finds Range of Skills Students Taught in School Linked to Race and Class Size

Pressure to meet national education standards may be the reason states with significant populations of African-American students and those with larger class sizes often require children to learn fewer skills, finds a University of Kansas researcher.

“The skills students are expected to learn in schools are not necessarily universal,” said Argun Saatcioglu, a KU associate professor of education and courtesy professor of sociology.

In effort to increase their test scores and, therefore, avoid the negative consequences of failing to meet the federal standards set by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act (e.g., school closures, student transfers, or lost funding), some states are reducing the skills students are expected to learn...

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New America Foundation report...

Revision of High School Exit Exams Recommended as Common Core Phases In

In the 2013-14 school year, twenty-four states required students to be proficient on standardized tests in order to graduate from high school. But starting next year, and in the years to come, states will launch more rigorous, college- and career-ready assessments aligned to the Common Core. As they do so, they should revisit the stakes on these tests for students and consider eliminating, or modifying, their exit exam policies, according to a new report from the New America Foundation.

As states transition to more challenging academic standards – with assessments to match those expectations – exit exams will increasingly place two worthy goals in conflict: motivating students to become college- and career-ready and giving them opportunities to access the world of college and career. In making this choice, “The Case Against Exit Exams” finds that states run the risk of weakening the intent of the Common Core and undermining efforts to increase rigor, build stronger curricula, and authentically evaluate students’ postsecondary readiness...

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Center for American Progress report...

Report Evaluates Educational Productivity, Estimates Educational Return on Investment by District

A new report released July 9 by the Center for American Progress examines the productivity of almost every major school district in the country. The report found that some school districts in California – including Lindsay Unified, San Pasqual Valley Unified, and West Park Elementary – showed significantly less educational productivity than their peers. The study also uncovers relatively productive school districts in California, including San Marcos Unified, Tustin Unified, and Garden Grove Unified.

The study by Senior Fellow Ulrich Boser measures the academic achievement that a school district produces relative to its educational spending, while controlling for factors outside a district’s control, such as cost of living and students in poverty. The report follows up on a 2011 CAP study and shows that low educational productivity remains a deeply pressing problem in our nation, with billions of dollars lost in low-capacity districts...

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Stanford Graduate School of Education report...

Study Finds No Evidence of “Dance of the Lemons”
Involuntary Teacher Transfers Can Improve School Performance, Stanford Researchers Say

The ability to move teachers, against their wishes, to a different school is a necessary tool, argue school and district leaders, to improve teacher performance and get the right mix of teachers across a district.

But forced transfers remain hotly contested, and critics say the policies only shuffle ineffective teachers to new schools or place them in situations where their skills are underused.

A recent study co-authored by Stanford Graduate School of Education Professor Susanna Loeb examined involuntary teacher transfer in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the nation’s fourth largest school district.

The study found that the policy benefited schools in Miami-Dade, with gains shown in student test scores and teacher attendance, suggesting that involuntary teacher transfer can improve performance and parity across districts if done strategically...

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New America Foundation report...

Federal Special Education Funding Needs an Updated Formula, Suggests New Report

The federal formula by which Congress allocates special education dollars to states is outdated, and with every passing year that lawmakers fail to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), its flaws are compounded, according to a new report released on June 27 by the New America Foundation.

In Federal Funding for Students with Disabilities: The Evolution of Federal Special Education Finance in the U.S., policy analyst Clare McCann provides a history of special education financing in the U.S., highlighting how the special education funding formula has changed as lawmakers increasingly turned their attention to avoiding over-identification of students with special needs...

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American Sociological Association study...

Peer Influence Leads Teens to Start, Stop Smoking – But Effect is Stronger for Starting

Adolescents tend to be more powerful in influencing their friends to start smoking than in helping them to quit, according to sociologists.

In a study of adolescent friendship networks and smoking over time, the researchers found that friends exert influence on their peers to both start and quit smoking, but the influence to start is stronger.

“What we found is that social influence matters – it leads nonsmoking friends into smoking and nonsmoking friends can turn smoking friends into nonsmokers,” said Steven Haas, an associate professor of sociology and demography at Pennsylvania State University...

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UCLA’s Civil Rights Project report...

Segregation Increases after Desegregation Plans Terminated
UCLA Report Finds Changing U.S. Demographics Transform School Segregation Landscape

Marking the recent 60th anniversary (in mid-May) of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v Board of Education, UCLA’s Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles (CRP) assessed the nation's progress in addressing school segregation in a new report, Brown at 60: Great Progress, a Long Retreat and an Uncertain Future, and found that the vast transformation of the nation’s school population since the civil rights era includes an almost 30% drop in white students and close to quintupling of Latino students.

Brown at 60 shows that the nation’s South and West now have a majority of what were called “minority” students. Whites are only the second largest group in the West. The South, always the home of most black students, now has more Latinos than blacks and is a profoundly tri-racial region...

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UC Berkeley research report...

New Book Examines Challenges New Teachers Face During Their First Year of Teaching

A new book edited by Professors Jabari Mahiri and Sarah Warshauer Freedman describes how new teachers in urban schools intentionally used research to gather, analyze, and act on data to be informed in their judgments on how to promote students.

The First Year of Teaching: Classroom Research to Improve Student Learning (Teachers College Press and the National Writing Project, forthcoming June 2014) is organized around three areas that new teachers found important and in need of their attention:

  1. Crafting Curriculum
  2. Complicating Culture
  3. Conceptualizing Control...

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American Sociological Association report...

Research Suggests Having Children Can Be Contagious among High School Friends

A new study suggests that having children is contagious among female high school friends during early adulthood.

“The study shows the contagion is particularly strong within a short window of time: it increases immediately after a high school friend gives birth, reaches a peak about two years later, and then decreases, becoming negligible in the long-run,” said co-author Nicoletta Balbo, a postdoctoral fellow at the Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics at Bocconi University in Italy. “Overall, this research demonstrates that fertility decisions are not only influenced by individual characteristics and preferences, but also by the social network in which individuals are embedded. In addition, it shows that high school friends impact our lives well after graduation.”...

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The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) report...

“Whole Child Snapshots” Summarize Student Data for the Nation and All 50 States

The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) has released a new report called ASCD Whole Child Snapshots highlighting how well each state – and the nation – is meeting the comprehensive needs of its children. The snapshots feature data aligned with the five tenets of ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative—healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Together, the data provide a fuller picture of child well-being that extends beyond standardized test scores. The snapshots also suggest initial ideas for how communities can make targeted and innovative improvements to support the whole child and help their students become college, career, and citizenship ready. To see each indicator and the full Whole Child Snapshot for each state, visit www.ascd.org/wholechildsnapshots...

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California Budget Project (CBP) report...

New Study Shows Budget Cuts to CSU, UC Systems Has Led to Higher Tuition, Increased Student Loan Debt

A new report from the California Budget Project (CBP), a nonpartisan research organization, shows that state support for the California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) has deteriorated over the past generation, endangering what has historically been a key pathway to economic opportunity and upward mobility for Californians.

The CBP report – From State to Student: How State Disinvestment Has Shifted Higher Education Costs to Students and Families – shows that even with a growing state population and increased demand for higher education, state funding per student at both of California's public four-year universities is down significantly compared to the 1980s. As a result, tuition and fees have skyrocketed, with more students and families having to take on student loan debt in order to afford a CSU or UC education...

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Stanford Graduate School of Education study report...

Stanford Study Finds Creative Thinking Improves While a Person Is Walking, Rather Than Sitting

Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple, was known for his walking meetings. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has also been seen holding meetings on foot. And perhaps you've paced back and forth on occasion to drum up ideas.

A new study by Stanford researchers provides an explanation for this.

Creative thinking improves while a person is walking and shortly thereafter, according to a study co-authored by Marily Oppezzo, a Stanford doctoral graduate in educational psychology, and Daniel Schwartz, a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Education.

The study found that walking indoors or outdoors similarly boosted creative inspiration. The act of walking itself, and not the environment, was the main factor...

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California Budget Project report...

Report Finds California's Poorest Households Pay the Largest Share of Income in State and Local Taxes

A new report released by the California Budget Project (CBP) this week – just in for of Tax Day (April 15) – shows that the state's lowest-income households pay a disproportionate share of their incomes in state and local taxes – especially compared to the wealthiest households.

The report – titled Who Pays Taxes in California? – shows that nonelderly California households in the bottom fifth of the state in terms of income – who earn an average of $13,000 a year – pay an estimated 10.6 percent of their incomes in state and local taxes. This is a greater share than is paid by any other segment of the state's households and is also notably higher than the share for the state's wealthiest residents. The top 1 percent in California, with an average income of $1.6 million a year, pay an estimated 8.8 percent of their incomes on state and local taxes...

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American Sociological Association study...

For Most Adolescents, Popularity Increases the Risk of Getting Bullied, Worsens Consequences

A new study suggests that for most adolescents, becoming more popular both increases their risk of getting bullied and worsens the negative consequences of being victimized.

“Most people probably would not think that having a higher social status would increase the risk of being targeted, but with few exceptions, that’s what we find,” said the study’s lead author Robert Faris, an associate professor of sociology at the University of California-Davis. “It’s kind of a hidden pattern of victimization that is rooted in the competition for social status.”

This does not mean that stereotypical bullying victims – kids with body image issues, delayed physical development, or those without any friends at all – are not picked on...

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Stanford University study...

Lower Dropout Rate Found:
Study Finds Benefits to Low-Income Children Living in Mobile Homes Near Stanford Campus

Low-income children living in Palo Alto's Buena Vista Mobile Home Park have lower dropout rates than their peers in less affluent cities and benefit substantially from local top-notch medical facilities, according to a study by Stanford researchers.

The study, released March 17, focuses on the educational and health care experiences of the dozens of children living in the park – one of the few spots with affordable housing in Palo Alto and the city’s only mobile home park – which is threatened with closure.

The report documents basic statistics about the kids, including where they go to school and what special programs they may be in, which the researchers said were so far lacking in the public discussion around the closure...

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US News & World Report survey...

Six California Universities Make Top 50 in New Survey of “Best Education Schools”

US News & World Report recently released its 2014 survey ranking over 250 colleges and universities that host a school of education – and six California institutions ranked in the top 50.

The top three institutions on the list were Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland), Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee) and Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts).

California institutions in the top 50 included:
4. Stanford University (Palo Alto)
11. UCLA (Los Angeles)
14. UC Berkeley (Berkeley)...

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National Education Policy Center report...

Study Examines Online Schools in Many States, Raises Concerns about Diversity, Accountability and Funding

Full-time virtual schools continue to have serious problems with respect to education quality, diversity, accountability, and funding, according to a new national study published on March 4 by the National Education Policy Center.

Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2014: Politics, Performance, Policy, and Research Evidence is the second in a series of annual reports from the NEPC on the full-time online education sector. The 2014 report looked at 338 virtual schools operating in 30 states as part of local or state public education systems.

“Full-time K-12 online learning is growing exponentially. Many policymakers praise it, and taxpayer money supports it,” says the report’s editor, Professor Alex Molnar of the University of Colorado Boulder, where the NEPC is housed at the CU Boulder School of Education...

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Harvard University report...

Negative Impact on a Child's Health May Continue Years after Bullying

The longer the period of time a child is bullied, the more severe and lasting the impact on a child's health, according to a new study from Boston Children's Hospital published online Feb. 17 in Pediatrics. The study is the first to examine the compounding effects of bullying from elementary school to high school.

"Our research shows that long-term bullying has a severe impact on a child's overall health, and that its negative effects can accumulate and get worse with time," says the study's first author Laura Bogart, PhD, from Boston Children's Division of General Pediatrics. "It reinforces the notion that more bullying intervention is needed, because the sooner we stop a child from being bullied, the less likely bullying is to have a lasting, damaging effect on his or her health down the road."...

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Society for Research in Child Development report...

Study Finds Positive Feelings about Race, Ethnicity Tied to Stronger Development in Minority Youth

The more positively minority youth feel about their ethnicity or race, the fewer symptoms of depression and emotional and behavior problems they have. That’s the conclusion of a new meta-analysis summarizing 46 existing studies.

Published on February 3 in the journal Child Development, the meta-analysis was conducted by researchers at Brown University, the University of Minnesota, Arizona State University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Miami.

The researchers also found that young people who had positive feelings about their racial or ethnic identity had better social interactions and self-esteem, did well in school, and had fewer problems with drugs or alcohol...

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Working Poor Families Project report...

Report: Many California Working Mothers Are Low-Income, Lack College Education

Nationwide, there are now 4.1 million low-income families headed by working mothers, with almost 400,000 of those in California, according to the new report, “Low-Income Working Mothers and State Policy: Investing for a Better Economic Future.”

The report was released by the Working Poor Families Project and utilizes the latest data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. As of 2012, there were 1,360,198 low-income working families in the state, with 397,711 headed by working mothers. Despite these high numbers, California is among the top three states for lowest percent of low-income working families headed by women...

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Children Now report...

Report Targets Low Rate of Funding Per Pupil:
Only One-in-Four California Fourth-Graders Reading at Grade Level, Achievement Gap Still Widening

The majority of California's fourth graders are not reading proficiently, which has dire implications for the state and nation's economic future, according to Early Reading Proficiency in the United States, a KIDS COUNT® data snapshot report released on January 28 by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Children Now. A key predictor of long-term academic and economic outcomes, California's fourth-grade reading scores must be improved to stem poverty growth and ensure a sustainable workforce.

“Almost half of all children in the state are now living in low-income families and we're not educating them well enough to prepare them for 21st century jobs and break the cycle of poverty," said Ted Lempert, President of Children Now...

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Children Now report...

Report Finds Major Weaknesses in California Kids’ Well-Being Remain, Despite Recent Efforts

(Editor’s note: In a move clearly timed to precede the Governor’s state budget proposal on Friday, the Oakland-based advocacy group Children Now released its annual report concerning the status of California’s children this week.)

A new study provides a complete evaluation of the current status of California’s kids to ensure that the state’s leaders make sound policy decisions and keep kids a priority in 2014 and beyond. Released on Tuesday (Jan. 7) by Children Now, the 2014 California Children’s Report Card offers a detailed assessment of the advancements made in 2013 and a path forward as the Governor and Legislature begin to plan their agendas for the year.

“The declining status of kids in California is the biggest threat to the health and economy of our state,” said Ted Lempert, President of Children Now...

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Center for American Progress report...

New Report Finds More States Must Use NCLB Flexibility Waivers to Expand Learning Time

new report released on December 18 by the Center for American Progress provides an up-to-date review of states’ Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA, flexibility plans and assesses the extent to which states have strategically thought about how expanded learning time can support school turnaround efforts. According to the analysis, the majority of states — 32 out of 42 — failed to think strategically about how increased learning time could complement school turnaround plans and increase academic achievement.

Expanded learning time has great potential to boost student achievement and close achievement gaps, but time alone is not a panacea. It must be well planned and part of a comprehensive reform—exactly the kind of change that “priority schools,” the lowest-performing schools in a state, need...

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Center for American Progress report...

The School-Readiness Gap and Preschool Benefits for Children of Color

The majority of children under age 1 in the United States today are children of color; that one simple fact means that our future will be very different from our current reality. Before we reach the end of this decade, more than half of all youth in this country will be of color. Today, Hispanics are 17 percent of the population, and African Americans make up another 13 percent. But by 2043, the United States’ population will be majority people of color. A large portion of this growth will come from the Hispanic community, which will grow to 28 percent of the U.S. population by 2050. Because we know where the United States is headed, we have a unique opportunity to make the most of this knowledge and prepare today for tomorrow’s future. As the face of our nation changes, our nation’s policies will need to change as well...

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American Sociological Association report...

Social Ties More Important than Biology When it Comes to Teen Sleep Problems

Medical researchers point to developmental factors, specifically the decline of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, as an explanation for why children get less sleep as they become teenagers. But a new study suggests that social ties, including relationships with peers and parents, may be even more responsible for changing sleep patterns among adolescents.

“My study found that social ties were more important than biological development as predictors of teen sleep behaviors,” said David J. Maume, a sociology professor at the University of Cincinnati, and author of the study, “Social Ties and Adolescent Sleep Disruption,” which appears in the December issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior...

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OECD/PISA report...

PISA Survey Stirs Wide Range of Responses

The early December release of the PISA 2012 Survey – which found the United States ranking in the middle (or slightly below the middle) in comparison with other nations in terms of educational achievement among 15-year-olds – was followed swiftly by a string of statements by various stakeholders and advocates, who interpreted the PISA results in different ways.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) issued a statement arguing that the PISA results show “the nation's students are sorely unprepared for the real world. Employers have been making this case for years. The PISA results are one more source of data confirming that students in the U.S. don't measure up to the employers' needs.”...

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UCLA Civil Right Project research report...

UCLA Study Identifies Factors That Improve Educational Outcomes for Latinas

Young Latinas who have Latina and Latino teachers and counselors as role models and who are involved in extracurricular activities in high school have a much better chance of educational success, according to a new research report from the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.

The report, "Making Education Work for Latinas in the U.S.," and a companion video were commissioned by actress and philanthropist Eva Longoria, founder of The Eva Longoria Foundation. Longoria's foundation works to empower Latinas to reach their full potential through education and entrepreneurship. Longoria’s personal academic background includes a Master’s degree in Chicano Studies that she received in May of this year at California State University Northridge, where she completed a series of graduate courses over a period of three years...

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OECD survey report...

Asian Nations Outperform United States and the Rest of the World in Latest PISA Survey

For the PISA 2012 survey – released this week, and conducted on behalf of the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development – researchers tested more than 510,000 students in 65 countries and economies on math, reading and science. The main focus was on math. Math proficiency is a strong predictor of positive outcomes for young adults. It influences their ability to participate in post-secondary education and their expected future earnings.

Shanghai-China, and Singapore were top in math, with students in Shanghai scoring the equivalent of nearly three years of schooling above most OECD countries. Hong Kong-China, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Macao-China, Japan, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and the Netherlands were also in the group of top-performing countries...

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Campaign for College Opportunity report...

Report Concludes Rate of Latino College Achievement in California Not Keeping Pace with Needs of Workforce

On November 5, The Campaign for College Opportunity (CCO) released the first in a new series of research reports, “The State of Latinos in Higher Education in California: The economic and social imperative for advancing Latino college achievement,” detailing how progress in Latino higher education is stalled, how the state’s higher education system has failed to work for all students and the potential impact on California’s competitiveness as a global economy.

The Latino population in California is large, growing rapidly and on its way to attaining majority status by 2050, but college degree attainment is low in spite of a significant increase in college-going rates, the study found. The attainment gap between native-born Whites and Asians and native-born Latinos is wider in California than in most other states, yet California could produce an additional 790,000 four-year degrees if gaps in enrollment and achievement were to be close...

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American Sociological Association report...

Research Finds Re-segregation in American Schools Often Prevalent and Problematic

As American schools struggle with issues of race, diversity and achievement, a new study in the American Sociological Review has split the difference in the ongoing discussion of re-segregation. Yes, black, white and Hispanic students were less likely to share classrooms in 2010 than in 1993, but no, that increase in segregation is usually not the result of waning efforts to reduce it.

"People have a general idea that at the national level, there is widespread re-segregation, based on the minority-white composition of the average school, says author Jeremy Fiel, a sociology Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

A significant part of the reduction in classroom diversity is simply a result of the increasing share of the Hispanic population and the declining share of whites, Fiel says...

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Sociology of Education report...

Study Suggests School Violence Lowers Test Scores, Not Grades

It’s hard to go a day without seeing news of violence in some form occurring in schools around the country, and Chicago is often cited as a city where crime rates in schools are particularly high. In a new study in the current issue of Sociology of Education, Brown University sociologist Julia Burdick-Will looked at the effect such violence has on school achievement among Chicago high school students. She found that while violent crime has a negative impact on standardized test scores, it doesn’t have the same effect on grades.

“It seems obvious that having fights in schools is not a good thing for achievement, but it’s a really difficult thing to show,” said Burdick-Will, a post-doctoral research associate in the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University, whose study is titled “School Violent Crime and Academic Achievement in Chicago.”...

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Alliance for Excellent Education report...

Study Concludes Increasing High School Graduation Rate Could Provide $2 Billion Economic Boost

A new study from the Alliance for Excellent Education explores the connection between improved education outcomes and economic gains at the national, state, and local levels. According to the detailed analysis, increasing California’s high school graduation rate to 90 percent for just one high school class would create as many as 11,650 new jobs and boost the state’s economy by as much as $2 billion. California would also see increases in home and automobile sales of as much as $3.5 billion and $171 million, respectively, and an annual increase in state and local tax revenue of as much as $122 million.

These findings and more have been infused into a sophisticated and highly interactive map-based website, impact.all4ed.org. The website combines the latest education data on high school and college graduation rates, college preparedness data, literacy, employment, and more...

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PPIC report...

Study Adjusts for Regional Living Costs, Safety Net Programs;
California Poverty Measure Finds 8.1 Million Poor – Over 2 Million More Than Official Estimate

A new way of measuring poverty in California — accounting for regional variation in the cost of living and the impact of social programs for those in need — shows that 22 percent of residents lived in poor families in 2011, according to a report released September 30 by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). This is higher than the U.S. Census Bureau’s official poverty rate of 16 percent for California. In other words, there were 8.1 million Californians living in poverty, over 2 million more than estimated by the official poverty measure.

According to the new California Poverty Measure, poverty rates were highest for children (25.1%) and lower for working-age adults (21.4%) and adults age 65 and older (18.9%). Poverty rates in the state’s three most populous counties ranged from 22.7 percent in San Diego to 24.3 percent in Orange to 26.9 percent in Los Angeles...

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ACLU study report...

ACLU Study Marks 9th Anniversary – and Continuing Impact – of Williams v. California Settlement

On Sept. 30, the ACLU of Southern California celebrated the nine-year anniversary of this landmark settlement with the release of a report, Williams v. California: Lessons from Nine Years of Implementation. The report examines the long-term impact of Williams and demonstrates how the standards and accountability systems established by the Settlement Legislation have significantly improved conditions for all students, and for students attending California’s lowest-performing schools in particular.

The outcomes detailed in the report are truly remarkable. Williams has put hundreds of thousands of textbooks into the hands of students who otherwise would not have had books to study from at home. Many districts have changed their hiring practices as a result of Williams to ensure teachers have the appropriate training and credentials to teach their classes and students. Schools are reporting fewer unsafe facilities conditions despite daunting fiscal challenges that have made it increasingly difficult to properly maintain classrooms and buildings. Williams is working...

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Alliance for Excellent Education report...

Report Links Crime Rates to Educational Attainment;
California Might Save $2.4 Billion Through Five Point Boost in High School Male Graduation Rate

California could save as much as $2.4 billion in annual crime costs if its high school male graduation rate increased by only 5 percentage points, a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education finds. Nationally, the annual savings could reach $18.5 billion. The report, Saving Futures, Saving Dollars: The Impact of Education on Crime Reduction and Earnings, examines and builds upon research that links lower levels of educational attainment with higher rates of arrests and incarceration. Support for the report was provided in part by State Farm® as part of a series of documents that demonstrates the economic benefits from improving high school graduation rates.

“The nation needs to focus dollars and efforts on reforming school climates to keep students engaged in ways that will lead them toward college and a career and away from crime and prison,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “The school-to-prison pipeline starts and ends with schools.”...

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NSBA report...

Teachers Need More Effective Professional Development to Meet Higher Standards, Report Finds

Despite decades of research, teacher professional development is not adequately helping  teachers to develop their students’ critical thinking skills and subject matter knowledge so that they can be ready for college and the workplace, a new report by the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) Center for Public Education (CPE) finds.

Teaching the Teachers: Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability,” reports that ongoing, dedicated time for collaboration and coaching is the most effective way to help teachers develop needed classroom skills, but most professional development exercises are one-time workshops that research shows have no lasting effect. An estimated 90 percent of teachers participate in some form of professional development each year, but the vast majority receive it in workshops...

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CHSE report...

Analysis of Waivers Raises Questions about How States Will Serve Students of Color

The Campaign for High School Equity (CHSE) released a white paper on August 27 that raises serious questions about state accountability plans under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver program of the U.S. Department of Education — including whether the use of “super subgroups” could lead to fewer students of color receiving the supports and interventions they need to succeed in school. The white paper is available on the CHSE website. 

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education announced that states agreeing to certain requirements would become eligible for waivers from core accountability provisions of the current version of the ESEA — the No Child Left Behind federal education law (NCLB). The waivers allow those states to create systems of accountability and improvement that differ greatly from those required under NCLB. Forty-one states and the District of Columbia have received waivers...

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USC Rossier School of Education poll report...

Poll Shows Support for Broad Use of Standardized Tests

Despite calls from Sacramento to reduce standardized testing in California public schools, voters strongly support the use of state standardized tests, both as an essential way to measure student performance and as an important element in teachers’ evaluations, a new PACE/USC Rossier School of Education Poll shows.

Nearly two-thirds of California voters said students should be tested in every grade level to ensure they are progressing, as opposed to 22 percent of voters who said California should cut back on testing. Among parents with school children, 66 percent said California should test students in each grade level and 25 percent said the state should cut back...

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PDK/Gallup Poll report...

Polls Find Public Confidence in Local Schools, But Limited Awareness of Common Core Standards

Two recent national polls found that most respondents are by and large happy with their local schools, and have confidence in teachers and principals. One poll found little awareness of the new Common Core academic standards; the other poll found general support (but also growing opposition) to the new standards.

PDK/Gallup Poll

The 45th annual Phi Delta Kappa (PDK)/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools concluded that most Americans are highly satisfied with their community schools, but disagree with policy makers on key education issues...

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Education Next study report...

High School Graduation Rates Increasing After 30 Years, Though Achievement Gap Lingers

High school graduation rates increased by 6 percentage points between 2000 and 2010, while the black-white and Hispanic-white graduation rate gap narrowed to 8.1 and 8.5 percentage points, respectively, according to new research from Education Next. In “Graduation Rates on the Rise,” authors Richard J. Murnane and Stephen L. Hoffman report that improved K?8 education, decreased teen birth rates, and lower incarceration rates all may have contributed to the rise in graduation rates after 2000.

By the late 1990s, long-term NAEP scores for 13-year-olds indicated that low-performing students were better prepared upon entering high school to meet the standards that had been introduced in prior years...

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Center for Education Policy report...

Researcher Considers Impacts of Consolidating Smaller School Districts

When it comes to education, not all spending is equal. Some education dollars are spent more productively than others. In other words, some school districts use their resources well and show higher levels of student achievement for the same amount of spending compared to other districts. In a time of lagging revenues and flat achievement in many districts, policymakers have increasingly started to pay greater attention to the question of whether we are getting the most out of every education dollar.

At the same time, policymakers have begun to rethink the fundamental design of our education system...

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Center for Education Policy report...

Concern is High about Funding for Implementation;
State Education Leaders Say Common Core Standards Will Go Forward in their States

Education officials in a majority of states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards say it is unlikely that their state will reverse, limit, or change its decision to adopt the standards this year or next, a new report finds. The data, which come from a recent survey, also found that very few of the state leaders said that overcoming resistance to the standards posed a major challenge in their state.

The data were released on July 24 in the report "Year 3 of Implementing the Common Core State Standards: State Education Agencies Views on the Federal Role" by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) at The George Washington University. Forty states responded to the CEP survey about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)...

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Northwestern University study report...

“College Coach” Works With Students;
Research Study Asks “Can High Schools Reduce College Enrollment Gaps With New Counseling Model?”

State and federal policymakers are striving to improve four-year college attendance for disadvantaged students. Despite a dramatic increase in the opportunity to attend college, disadvantaged students often enroll at higher rates in two-year colleges, which are associated with lower educational attainment and earnings. Successfully navigating the complex and unpredictable procedures of four-year college applications and financial aid requires students to make plans and take actions that in turn depend on college knowledge and assistance, which many students cannot get from their parents. Besides being limited by time constraints, counselors’ effectiveness is also limited by the standard counseling model that serves students one-on-one and requires students’ initiative...

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Alliance for Excellent Education report...

Report: Reducing California’s High School Dropout Rate Could Save $1 Billion in Medicaid Spending

Cutting California’s number of high school dropouts in half would save $1 billion in annual Medicaid spending, according to a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education. The report, Well and Well-Off: Decreasing Medicaid and Health-Care Costs by Increasing Educational Attainment, examines Medicaid spending for the nation, all fifty states, and the District of Columbia on four key afflictions — alcoholism, heart disease, obesity, and smoking—as well as determines overall Medicaid savings. Support for the report was provided in part by State Farm® as part of a series of documents that demonstrates the economic benefits from improving high school graduation rates.

“An educated citizen is a healthy, productive, and happier citizen,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia...

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The Education Trust report...

California “May Have Steeper Road Ahead Than Other States”;
New Report Finds Some States Making Steady Progress with Common Core… While Others Lag

Common Core standards have the potential to dramatically raise the rigor of instruction – and the level of achievement – in schools across the country. But these standards will also demand more of our students and teachers than ever before. While there is much work to be done in all states to lift all students to the college- and career-ready level, a new analysis shows that the stretch is far bigger in some states than in others.

A new report by The Education Trust, “Uneven at the Start: Differences in State Track Records Foreshadow Challenges and Opportunities for Common Core,” uses data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress – the best available proxy for how states will fare on new college- and career-ready standards...

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University of Wyoming study report...

Study Helps Explain Growing Education Gap in Mortality Among U.S White Women

Less-educated white women were increasingly more likely to die than their better-educated peers from the mid-1990s through the mid-2000s, according to a new study, which found that growing disparities in economic circumstances and health behaviors—particularly employment status and smoking habits—across education levels accounted for an important part of the widening mortality gap.

“Based on the information we get from the news, it seems that life expectancy just keeps going up, and we’re all riding this wave,” said Jennifer Karas Montez, the lead author of the study and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at Harvard University...

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Innovate Public Schools report...

Study: Only 20 Percent of Latino Students in Silicon Valley High Schools Meet Requirements for State Universities

Only 20 percent of Latino students in the Silicon Valley graduate from public high schools in four years with the necessary college prep courses to enroll in state universities, according to a new report on public schools in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. For African American students, the proportion is 22 percent.

The report was released Wednesday by the education group Innovate Public Schools, which is funded by the Walton Family Foundation and Silicon Valley Community Foundation to advocate for improvements in charter schools and public district schools.

While the education gap is not new, the data highlights a lack of homegrown talent prepared to help offset the state's projected shortage of 2.3 million college-educated or technically trained workers by 2025...

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The New America Foundation report...

Research Examines Data Collection in Classroom, Plus Innovative State Models and Missed Opportunities

A new report from the New America Foundation explores the use of student achievement data to improve classroom instruction. The paper, Promoting Data in the Classroom: Innovative State Models and Missed Opportunities, highlights examples from two states, Oregon and Delaware, of federally funded, state-driven efforts to equip teachers with the tools they need to utilize student data.

The No Child Left Behind Act launched a decade of development in state educational data systems, and since its passage, states and school districts have produced reams of student achievement data each year. However, unless teachers are able to capture those and other data and utilize them in the classroom to ensure each student’s needs are met, they are of little value to school officials or students...

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The National Center for Learning Disabilities report...

Report on Students with Learning Disabilities Shows Inequity in Graduation Rates across States

On May 15, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) released a new report titled Diplomas at Risk: A Critical Look at the Graduation Rate of Students with Learning Disabilities. This report shares important data and findings on the challenges that students with learning disabilities face in graduating high school, and offers recommendations for federal and state policymakers on how to improve the graduation rate of students with learning disabilities.

“Through this report, we share important data and findings to help policy makers, school leaders and parents understand the challenges that students with specific learning disabilities face. They continue to make up the largest group of students eligible for special education services in our public schools—more than 2.2 million students. Yet only 68% graduate with a regular diploma each year,” said NCLD Executive Director James H. Wendorf...

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The New America Foundation report...

Report Finds Risks, Opportunities in Using Student Achievement Data to Evaluate Elementary Teachers

Student achievement is playing an increasing role in teacher evaluations, even in the earliest years of school when children do not participate in state standardized testing. As a result, states and school districts are struggling to find sound methods to measure young students’ achievement and rushing to implement evaluation systems without thinking through the risks, according to a new report released today by the New America Foundation’s Early Education Initiative.

As of 2012, 20 states and D.C. require student learning to play a significant role in evaluating all teachers' performance. The rep

 

ort, “An Ocean of Unknowns” explains the risks and opportunities of current practices being used throughout the country to use student assessment to evaluate teachers in the early years of school. Many experiments are underway, but no clear best practice has emerged...

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Stanford University School of Medicine report...

Researchers Find Size, Wiring of Kids’ Brains Predicts Benefit from Math Tutoring Better Than IQ Test

Why do some children learn math more easily than others? Research from the Stanford University School of Medicine has yielded an unexpected new answer.

In a study of third-graders' responses to math tutoring (released in late April), Stanford scientists found that the size and wiring of specific brain structures predicted how much an individual child would benefit from math tutoring. However, traditional intelligence measures, such as children's IQs and their scores on tests of mathematical ability, did not predict improvements from tutoring.

The research is the first to use brain scans to look for a link between math-learning abilities and brain structure or function, and also the first to compare neural and cognitive predictors of kids' responses to tutoring...

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National School Boards Association’s report...

New Report Finds School Improvement and Turnaround Strategies Yielding Mixed Results

As states and the federal government push for more turnaround strategies for low-performing schools — and put billions of dollars into their efforts — a new report by the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) Center for Public Education (CPE) finds that while there have been some successes there’s not much evidence yet that many of these strategies will work overall.
The report, “Which Way Up?  What research says about school turnaround strategies,” reviews numerous methods of school improvement to determine which, if any, hold the most promise.

“With the significant federal investment and mandated models to ‘turnaround’ low-performing schools, we have limited research to date on the effectiveness of these strategies and little guidance on what actually works,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel...

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Harvard University report...

Most Effective Science Teachers Can Predict Pupils’ Misconceptions, Harvard Study Finds

If you had to explain what causes the change in seasons, could you? Surprisingly, studies have shown that as many as 95 percent of people — including most college graduates — hold the incorrect belief that the seasons are the result of the Earth moving closer to or further from the sun.

The real answer, scientists say, is that as Earth’s axis is tilted with respect to its orbit, when on its journey it is angled inward, the sun rises higher in the sky, and that results in more direct sunlight, longer days, and warmer temperatures. Distance plays no role; we are actually closest to the sun in the dead of winter, during the first week of January.

Why do so many people continue to hold the wrong idea?...

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American Sociological Association report...

Struggling Students Often Get Less-Experienced Teachers; Study Finds Troubling Patterns of Teacher Assignments within Schools

Even within the same school, lower-achieving students often are taught by less-experienced teachers, as well as by teachers who received their degrees from less competitive colleges, according to a new study by researchers from the Stanford Graduate School of Education and the World Bank. The study, using data from one of the nation’s largest school districts, also shows that student class assignments vary within schools by a teacher’s gender and race.

In a paper published in the April issue of Sociology of Education, the researchers present the results of a comprehensive analysis of teacher assignments in the nation’s fourth-largest school district, Miami-Dade County Public Schools...

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University of Nevada study report...

Student Opinions, Discipline Referrals, Police Data Studied; Researchers Examine Impacts of School Uniforms on Middle School Students

Research on school uniforms is minimal, especially research on students' opinions about uniforms, and the use of student uniforms is a growing conversation across the country. Two researchers from the University of Nevada, Reno College of Education studied opinions of students in three middle schools in the Washoe County School District in northern Nevada during the first-year implementation of a uniform policy at the schools. Although 90 percent of the students indicated they did not like wearing uniforms, various benefits to wearing uniforms were reported, including decreases in discipline, gang involvement and bullying; and increases in safety, ease of going to school, confidence and self-esteem...

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American Sociological Review report...

Political Language Used in Immigration Debates May Be as Important as the Policies

The language activists and politicians use in immigration debates may be as important as the policies they are debating when it comes to long-term effects, according to the author of a new study release on March 28 in the April issue of the American Sociological Review.

“When we talk about immigration policy, we are usually focused on the content — who deserves benefits and who does not,” said study author Hana E. Brown, an assistant professor of sociology at Wake Forest University. “We don’t typically talk or think about the language that we’re using to make those arguments, but my study suggests that we should.”...

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The Education Trust-West report...

Two-Year Study Finds Promising Practices for Student Success in Linked Learning Schools

As the Linked Learning high school reform initiative expands across California, the results of a two-year study by the Education Trust–West identifies promising practices in Linked Learning schools and districts. However, the study also notes variation in district-wide implementation of these best practices. The results of the study can be found in the new report released on March 21 titled, Expanding Access, Creating Options: How Linked Learning Pathways Can Mitigate Barriers to College and Career Access in Schools and Districts.

“Too many students are not achieving college and career success in California,” said Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of The Education Trust–West...

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The Education Trust-West report...

Two-Year Study Finds Promising Practices for Student Success in Linked Learning Schools

As the Linked Learning high school reform initiative expands across California, the results of a two-year study by the Education Trust–West identifies promising practices in Linked Learning schools and districts. However, the study also notes variation in district-wide implementation of these best practices. The results of the study can be found in the new report released on March 21 titled, Expanding Access, Creating Options: How Linked Learning Pathways Can Mitigate Barriers to College and Career Access in Schools and Districts.

“Too many students are not achieving college and career success in California,” said Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of The Education Trust–West...

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Stanford University report...

Study Examines the Costs and Benefits of Using Tests that Help Students Learn

Testing in the United States has been shaped by pressures to test frequently and inexpensively; as a result, studies have found that most current state tests focus almost exclusively on multiple-choice questions that measure low-level skills. Educators and policymakers know that assessments need to evolve to support college and career readiness. To meet the demands of a knowledge-based economy and the expectations represented in new Common Core State Standards, assessments must better represent more complex competencies.

In this report from Stanford University, Linda Darling-Hammond and Frank Adamson argue that the resources that are currently spent on student testing could support much higher quality assessments...

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The Education Trust-West report...

One-third of African-American Students in California Attend an L.A. County Public School: Report Paints a Detailed Portrait of How African-American Youth Fare in Los Angeles County Schools

On Tuesday, The Education Trust–West released At a Crossroads: A Comprehensive Picture of How African-American Youth Fare in Los Angeles County Schools. Using data from multiple sources, the report finds that academic and socioemotional outcomes for African-American students in L.A. County are poor overall. However, it also identifies school districts where African-American students are doing better on a range of outcomes including academic performance, graduation rates, A-G completion rates, suspension rates, special education identification rates, and health and wellness indicators...

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The Field Poll report...

Field Poll Finds Large Majority Opposes Allowing Teachers to Carry Concealed Weapons at School

By a 61% to 34% margin California voters think it is more important to impose greater controls on gun ownership than protecting the rights of Americans to own guns, according to a Field Poll released on Tuesday. This is a wider margin favoring gun control measures than observed in three previous Field Poll measures dating back to 1999.

Large majorities also support a series of specific gun control proposals being discussed by the California state legislature and others. These include:

 Increasing funding for efforts aimed at confiscating the guns of convicted felons (83%)...

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UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies report...

UCLA Psychologist’s Book Encourages Parents of Young Children on the Autism Spectrum

As a clinical psychologist and director of the Early Childhood Partial Hospitalization Program, an internationally recognized treatment program for young children with autism at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior at UCLA, Tanya Paparella (’00, Ph.D., Psychological Studies in Education) regularly meets with parents whose children have been diagnosed with autism.

“Parents are overwhelmed,” she says of their first reactions to a diagnosis. “They have to grapple with their own emotions, their hopes and dreams for their child, and the knowledge that for young children on the autism spectrum, there is the possibility that with the right intervention, their child could change significantly.”...

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The Foundation for Child Development report...

How Do Public Investments in Children Vary with Age?

A recent report from the Urban Institute, How Do Public Investments in Children Vary with Age? A Kids' Share Analysis of Expenditures in 2008 and 2011 by Age Group examines 2011 federal spending and 2008 total state and local spending on children ages 0-2, 3-5, 6-11, and 12-18.

The report answers the following questions:

  1. How much does the federal government spend on children of different ages?
  2. How have federal expenditures by age changed from 2008-2011?
  3. How does the distribution of expenditures by age vary across major federal programs?...

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National Council on Teacher Quality report...

Report Gives California Low Marks for Efforts to Ensure New Teachers Are Classroom-Ready

The National Council on Teacher Quality released its sixth annual State Teacher Policy Yearbook last week (Jan. 23), with a special focus on the state laws, rules and regulations that shape teacher preparation. This 2012 edition of the Yearbook provides California with a tailored analysis, Improving Teacher Preparation in California, which identifies the teacher preparation policy areas most in need of critical attention, as well as "low-hanging fruit," policies that can be addressed by California in relatively short order.

The state received a grade of “D” for its teacher preparation policies in 2012, with no improvement since 2011. The report didn’t find the situation to be a whole lot better elsewhere – the average grade across all 50 states and the District of Columbia is a “D...

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University of California Office of the President report...

For First Time, Latino Students Constitute Largest Segment of UC Freshman Applicants

The number of fall 2013 freshman applications to the University of California's nine undergraduate campuses has risen to record highs, with increases over the previous year ranging from 9.7 percent to 16.9 percent. Marking a milestone in California demographics, Chicanos-Latinos — the largest racial/ethnic group among state high school graduates — now are the largest ethnic group among California freshman applicants, according to figures released by the University of California on January 18.

The number of California students who applied for admission as freshmen grew by 6.2 percent over last year for a total of 99,129. All campuses saw gains in this category, demonstrating again the high demand for a UC education among the state's students...

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American Sociological Association report...

Parents’ Financial Help Linked to Lower College GPAs, Higher Graduation Rates

College students who aren’t studying hard may have their parents’ financial support to blame.

A new study by University of California, Merced, sociology professor Laura T. Hamilton found that students’ GPAs decreased with increased financial support from their parents. The study also found that students with financial aid from their parents were more likely to complete college and earn a degree. The study, “More is More or More is Less? Parental Financial Investments during College,” will appear in the February issue of the American Sociological Review and has been posted on the publisher’s website...

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The Center for Next Generation report...

Poverty Rate Runs Much Higher in Interior Than on Coast; Report Finds 23% of California Kids Living At or Below Poverty Line; 30% of Hispanic Children Impacted

California will face serious economic challenges and struggle to maintain its prosperity as a state if it fails to address mushrooming childhood poverty, according to a new report released Monday (Jan. 7) the Center for the Next Generation.

The report, “Prosperity Threatened: Perspectives on Childhood Poverty in California,” reviewed the latest US Census Bureau data and found that childhood poverty is endemic among California’s fastest-growing demographic segment – Hispanics – with nearly one in three Hispanic children in California living at or below the poverty line. The report contrasted these statistics with poverty data on seniors—of whom fewer than 1 in 10 live in poverty...

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National Center on Time and Learning report...

New Five-State Collaborative Will Re-Imagine School Day, Aiming to Increase Learning Time

Select public schools in Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Tennessee will significantly expand and redesign their school calendars starting in 2013 in an effort to radically improve learning for tens of thousands of students.

The schools are part of a collaborative effort announced December 3 by the five states, the Ford Foundation, and the National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL) to develop high-quality and sustainable expanded-time schools. The states will use a mix of federal and state funding to cover the cost of adding 300 hours of instruction and enrichment to the school year, and will receive technical assistance from NCTL and capacity building grants from the Ford Foundation...

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The Education Trust—West report...

Report Finds California Lagging Far Behind Other States in Implementing the Common Core Standards

Timed with the release of a new Education Trust—West (ETW) report on December 10, Catching up to the Core: Common Sense Strategies for Accelerating Access to the Common Core in California, a group of prominent advocates and education leaders are calling on California’s leaders to fully implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) adopted by the State Board of Education in 2010.

“Over the past two years, California has lagged in efforts to implement the Common Core while other states have accelerated forward,” said Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of The Education Trust—West, a statewide education policy, research, and advocacy organization...

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UC Davis report...

Research Project Designing Video Game to Put Kids in Charge of Their Own Health

As any parent knows, video games are a fact of life. So, too, is the childhood obesity epidemic in America. According to UC Davis School of Education Professor Cynthia Carter Ching, it is easy to blame one for the other.

But Ching and other researchers are turning this equation on its head in a new project that uses gaming to put youth in charge of their health.

With a two-year $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Ching and her colleagues J. Bruce German and Sara Schaefer from the UC Davis Foods for Health Institute and Marta Van Loan from the USDA Western Health Nutrition Center are teaming up with Play4Change, a not-for-profit company led by Ariel Hauter, to design a game that puts youth personal health and well-being at the center of a virtual universe...

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Vanderbilt University report...

Study Examines “Why Superintendents Turn Over”

Although superintendent turnover can hinder district reform and improvement, research examining superintendent exits is scarce. This study identifies factors contributing to superintendent turnover in California by matching original superintendent and school board survey data with administrative data and information hand-collected from news sources on why superintendents left and where they went. Among 215 superintendents studied beginning in 2006, 45% exited within three years. Using a multinomial framework to separate retirements from other turnover, the authors find that factors such as how highly the school board rates its own functioning and the superintendent’s performance and whether the superintendent was hired internally strongly predict non-retirement exits three years later...

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Journal of Health and Social Behavior report...

Behavior Problems, Not Depression, Linked to Lower Grades for Depressed Youths

Behavior problems, not depression, are linked to lower grades for depressed adolescents, according to a study in the December issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

“Behavior problems including attention issues, delinquency, and substance use are associated with diminished achievement, but depression is not,” said the study’s lead author Jane D. McLeod, a sociology professor and an associate dean at Indiana University. “Certainly, there are depressed youths who have trouble in school, but it’s likely because they are also using substances, engaging in delinquent activities, or have attention issues.”...

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Center for American Progress report...

Report Finds Teacher Evaluation Systems Yielding Mixed Results in Different States

A report released on November 13 by the Center for American Progress studied how departments of education in six states have implemented new teacher evaluation systems. The report found that many states lack the capacity to fully support the new systems, while others have scored some important successes and are on their way to building robust ways to support districts in teacher-evaluation work.

The Obama administration’s Race to the Top competitive grant program triggered an unprecedented wave of state teacher evaluation reform across the country. Most of the recent analysis on this topic has focused on the design of the evaluation instruments or the implementation of the new evaluations by districts and schools...

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Center for American Progress report...

Smarter Leave Policies Recommended
New Study Examines Cost of Teacher Absence

A new study from the Center for American Progress (released on November 6) sheds light on the often overlooked problem of excessive teacher absence and makes a case for how our nation’s school districts can improve student achievement and realize significant savings by developing smarter teacher leave policies. The paper examines new data collected by the federal government and concludes that the vast variation in teacher absence behavior means there is room in many districts and individual schools for teachers to have adequate access to paid leave while being absent less frequently.

For the first time ever, the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education included teacher absences as an item on its biennial Civil Rights Data Collection survey. The Department of Education calls the measure a “leading indicator” of student achievement...

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California Charter Schools Association poll report...

Over 100 New Charters Open in 2012-13
Poll Finds Californian Voters Show Increased Level of Awareness for Charter Schools

The California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) announced in late October that 109 charter schools opened across the state for the 2012-13 school year, surpassing last year's new charter school openings (100) and bringing the total number of charter schools in California to 1,065. In addition, enrollment grew by an unprecedented 70,000 students, or 17%, for a total of over 484,000 students in charters. California maintained its position as the state in the nation with the highest number of charter schools and charter school students. This growth comes despite intense funding, facilities and authorizing challenges faced by charter schools.

This school year, Los Angeles County had the largest charter school growth with 40 new charters, followed by 12 new charters in Sonoma County, ten in San Diego County, and six in Alameda County...

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Center on Education Policy reports...

Conservative Think Tank Rates Political Influence of Teachers Unions, State-by-State

On October 29, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now released an analysis of American teacher unions’ strength. Published weeks after the Chicago teachers’ strike and days before a hotly contested election, this study, How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison, ranks all fifty states and the District of Columbia according to the power and influence of their state-level unions.

To assess union strength, the Fordham-ERN study examined thirty-seven different variables across five realms: Resources and Membership; Involvement in Politics; Scope of Bargaining; State Policies; and Perceived Influence...

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Center on Education Policy reports...

Study Finds Teachers, School Climate Key to Latino Immigrants' Academic Success

Teachers and schools that value diversity have a big impact on the academic experiences of Latino immigrant children living in predominantly white communities. That's the finding of a new study by researchers at the University of Kentucky. The study appears in a special section of the September/October 2012 issue of Child Development on children from immigrant families.

Children who had a teacher who valued diversity felt more positively about their ethnicity than children who had a teacher who felt uncomfortable with diversity, the study found.

“This is important because feeling positively about their ethnicity was associated with children valuing school more...

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Center on Education Policy reports...

Two Reports Examining NCLB Waivers Released

The Center on Education Policy released two new reports on NCLB waivers this week.

These two reports examine issues related to the accountability systems that approved waiver states have created with the Obama Administration's No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) waiver requirements.

The first report, What Impact Will NCLB Waivers Have on the Consistency, Complexity, and Transparency of State Accountability Systems? compares the new accountability provisions in the waiver states with those in the NCLB statute. The report focuses on the complexity, transparency, and consistency of the new accountability systems in the waiver states, both on their own terms and in comparison with the NCLB statutory requirements...

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New America Foundation report...

Issue Brief "Counting Kids and Tracking Funds in Pre-K and Kindergarten" Gathers Data from Districts, States

This issue brief, produced by the New America Foundation's Early Education Initiative, addresses the dearth of reliable, complete, and comparable data on pre-K and kindergarten in school districts and local communities. The Early Education Initiative, in partnership with the New America Foundation's Federal Education Budget Project (FEBP), expanded the FEBP database to include data on publicly-funded pre-K at the state and school district levels. This brief pinpoints problems of incomplete data at the local level and explains why, in many cases, the data that do exist cannot be accurately compared to data in other districts or states. 

Even as the availability of data on K-12 education programs has exploded over the past decade, the American education system suffers from an acute lack of some of the most basic information about publicly funded programs for young children...

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USC study...

USC Study Finds Popular High School Students More Likely to Smoke than Less Popular Classmates

New research from the University of Southern California (USC) and University of Texas finds that popular students in seven Southern California high schools are more likely to smoke cigarettes than their less popular counterparts.

The study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, confirms trends observed in previous USC-led studies of students in the sixth through 12th grades across the United States and in Mexico.

“That we're still seeing this association more than 10 years later, despite marginal declines in smoking, suggests that popularity is a strong predictor of smoking behavior,” said Thomas W. Valente, Ph.D...

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EdSource survey report...

Counselors, Student Support Services Rated Highest Priority; Survey of School Discipline Policies Reveals a Patchwork of Practices across California

A first-of-its-kind survey of 315 school districts, representing 4.1 million California students, sheds new light on how discipline policies are being implemented in the state.

Conducted in the spring of 2012 and developed by EdSource, the survey of school district administrators most responsible for discipline policies encompassed districts enrolling two-thirds of public school students in California.

There are growing concerns about the effects of discipline policies on schools and students, and especially their disproportionate impact on African American and Latino students...

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Associated Press survey...

Survey Finds Parents of Private School Students More Likely to "Opt Out" of Immunization

A survey conducted by Associated Press, and published on September 10, found that parents who send their children to private schools in California are much more likely to opt out of immunizations than their public school counterparts. The survey also found that not even the recent re-emergence of whooping cough has halted the downward trajectory of vaccinations among these students.

The state surveys all schools with at least 10 kindergartners to determine how many have all the recommended immunizations. The AP analyzed that data and found the percentage of children in private schools who forego some or all vaccinations is more than two times greater than in public schools...

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Center on Education Policy study...

Study Finds More Rigorous Standards Will Pose Challenges; As States Embrace Higher Standards on Exit Exams, Schools and Students Will Feel the Impact

After more than a decade of growing reliance on high school exit exams, states are rethinking how they use these popular assessments, a new Center on Education Policy (CEP) report finds.

New data released on Thursday show that eight of the 26 states with exit exam policies have aligned these exams to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) or other college- and career-readiness standards, and 10 more states plan to do so in the near future, according to “State High School Exit Exams: A Policy in Transition,” the 11th annual report on high school exit exams by CEP at George Washington University...

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Pew study...

Study Cites New Milestones for Hispanics

The nation’s Hispanic student population reached a number of milestones in 2011, according to an analysis of newly available U.S. Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.

For the first time, the number of 18- to 24-year-old Hispanics enrolled in college exceeded 2 million and reached a record 16.5% share of all college enrollments. Hispanics are the largest minority group on the nation’s college campuses, a milestone first achieved last year (Fry, 2011). But as their growth among all college-age students continues to outpace other groups, Hispanics are now, for the first time, the largest minority group among the nation’s four-year college and university students. And for the first time, Hispanics made up one-quarter (25.2%) of 18- to 24-year-old students enrolled in two-year colleges...

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RAND Corporation report...

Study Finds Many Charter Schools Drawing Students Away from Private Schools

Charter schools are publicly funded schools that have considerable independence from public school districts in their curriculum development and staffing decisions, and their enrollments have increased substantially over the past two decades.

Charter schools are changing public and private school enrollment patterns across the United States. This study analyzes district-level enrollment patterns for all states with charter schools, isolating how charter schools affect traditional public and private school enrollments after controlling for changes for the socioeconomic, demographic, and economic conditions in each district...

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University of Illinois report...

Study: Fewer Obese Students Found in Schools Where Sale of Unhealthy Snacks, Beverages Is Restricted

Children and teens in states with strong laws restricting the sale of unhealthy snack foods and beverages in school gained less weight over a three-year period than those living in states with no such policies, according to a study published by researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Additionally, students who were overweight or obese in fifth grade were less likely to remain so by the time they reached eighth grade if they lived in a state with strong laws than if they lived in a state with no such laws.

The study will be published in the September 2012 issue of the journal Pediatrics.
To conduct the study, researchers examined state laws regarding what snack foods and beverages could be sold in schools outside of the federal school meals program...

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Center for American Progress report...

Report Finds Students of Color Are Being Shortchanged — Schools Spend $191 More on White Students

The Center for American Progress unveiled a new report on Wednesday that explores the racial inequities in state and local funding that persist in our nation's schools. According to the study, called “Unequal Education” schools across the nation continue to treat students of color differently than their white peers because of a federal loophole that permits districts to spend significantly less on schools with large populations of students of color.

Though nearly 60 years ago the landmark ruling in Brown v. the Board of Education overturned the concept that “separate” education could be “equal,” today schools remain incredibly segregated. This segregation leads to significant funding inequality...

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The Brookings Institution report...

Retention, Remediation May Reduce Later Drop-outs: Holding Struggling Kids Back Earlier Can Be Beneficial, New Brookings Policy Brief Finds

Recent evidence suggests that policies encouraging the retention and remediation of struggling readers in 3rd grade, as compared with similar students who are not retained, help boost their test scores in reading and math and reduce the likelihood of being held back later, according to a new policy brief released this month by the Brookings Center on Children and Families. These findings are especially important because students from poor and low-income families are falling further and further behind more advantaged students, in large part because of their low reading skills.

In the brief “Is Retaining Students in the Early Grades Self-Defeating?” Harvard professor Martin R. West reviews the research on social promotion and grade retention...

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University of Illinois report...

Much Shorter Lifespan, on Average, for High School Dropouts; Study Links Education, Longer Life Expectancy

Despite advances in health care and increases in life expectancy overall, Americans with less than a high school education have life expectancies similar to adults in the 1950s and 1960s, according to a study released this week.

“The most highly educated white men live about 14 years longer than the least educated black men,” says S. Jay Olshansky, professor of epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and lead author of the study. “The least educated black women live about 10 years less than the most educated white women.”...

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Civil Rights Project at UCLA report...

Study Finds California’s Disabled Students Much More Likely to Be Suspended

A recent report from the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the Civil Rights Project (at UCLA),estimates that more than 400,000 students were suspended and removed from classrooms at least one timeduring the 2009-10 school year in California -- enough to fill every seat in all the professional baseball and football stadiums in the state.

The California Department of Education reports over 750,000 totalsuspensions for the same year. These two estimates are consistent because many students were suspended two, three or even more times that year...

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Brookings Institution report...

New Study Examines Impact of Compulsory School Attendance

During his 2012 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama proposed that all states increase the age of compulsory school attendance to 18. Approximately 25 percent of public school students in the U.S. don’t obtain a regular high school diploma, a tragedy for them and a heavy burden for the nation and the communities and states in which they live. Certainly, America needs to address this problem, but is raising the compulsory school attendance (CSA) age a viable solution?

In Compulsory School Attendance: What Research Says and What It Means for State Policy, Brown Center at Brookings Director Russ Whitehurst and research assistant Sarah Whitfield seek to answer this question...

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Education Next report...

U.S. Ranks 25th Out of 49 Countries; Student Achievement Gains in U.S. Fail to Close International Achievement Gap

A new study of international and U.S. state trends in student achievement growth shows that the United States is squarely in the middle of a group of 49 nations in 4th and 8th grade test score gains in math, reading, and science over the period 1995-2009.

Students in three countries – Latvia, Chile, and Brazil – are improving at a rate of 4 percent of a standard deviation annually, roughly two years’ worth of learning or nearly three times that of the United States. Students in another eight countries – Portugal, Hong Kong, Germany, Poland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Colombia, and Lithuania – are making gains at twice the rate of U.S. students...

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The Center on Education Policy report...

SIG Schools Face Challenges in Restaffing

For many low-performing schools in Idaho, Maryland, and Michigan that were awarded federal school improvement grants (SIGs), replacing teachers and principals has proven to be the greatest challenge to implementation, according to a report released on July 11. Some SIG schools have also struggled to increase learning time for students, although others report fewer problems with this strategy. But one bright spot for several SIG schools in these states is that school climates appear to be getting better.

These are among the findings in a series of special reports by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) at The George Washington University. The reports focus on how SIG schools are addressing three major issues...

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California Competes Study report...

California Needs Two Million More College Graduates to Stay Economically Competitive

If current trends continue, California’s higher education system won’t produce the college degrees that the state needs to maintain its vitality and economic leadership, according to a report released June 7 by business and civic leaders.

The state’s public and private colleges and universities will graduate more than three million students with bachelor’s degrees and technical credentials between now and 2025, according to the report. However, the state will need more than five million to stay economically competitive, leaving a gap estimated at 2.3 million additional degrees needed...

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U.S. Department of Education report...

Five Percent of Programs Risk Losing Access to Federal Funds;
Only 35 Percent of Career Training Programs Meet All Federal Standards for Gainful Employment Regulation

On Tuesday (June 26), the Obama Administration released new data on career training programs, showing that some are at risk of losing access to federal funds.
The new data, which covers career training programs at public, for-profit and non-profit schools, show that five percent of them — all located at for-profit colleges — do not meet any of three key requirements of the Department's Gainful Employment regulation. Eventually, these for-profit programs could lose access to federal student aid if they cannot improve performance.

The national data released by the U.S. Dept. of Education is for informational purposes only...

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PPIC report...

Early Intervention Seen As Most Cost Effective Strategy;
Efforts to Help Struggling Students Pass High School Exit Exam Are Too Little, Too Late

State-funded support services for students who fail the California High School Exit Exam in grade 10 have helped only a small percentage of students go on to pass the test and obtain their diplomas, according to a report released Tuesday by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

The PPIC report assesses the impact of two state laws allocating funds to districts for tutoring and other services to help students pass the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE), which is administered several times before the end of grade 12.

One law, AB 128, funds tutoring and other support for students primarily in grades 11 and 12...

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American Sociological Association report...

Sociologists Find Alcohol Abuse Increases Social Isolation, Poor Grades among Teens

Rather than gaining “liquid courage” to let loose with friends, teenage drinkers are more likely to feel like social outcasts, according to a new sociological study.

Published in the June issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, the study shows alcohol consumption leads to increased social stress and poor grades, especially among students in schools with tightly-connected friendship cliques and low levels of alcohol abuse.

For their study, Robert Crosnoe, Aprile Benner and Barbara Schneider analyzed National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) data on 8,271 adolescents from 126 schools...

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EPE Research Center report...

Report Examines Challenges Facing Latino Students;
National Graduation Rate Keeps Climbing, But 1.1 Million Students Still Fail to Earn Diplomas

A new national report from Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center, released June 7, finds that the nation’s graduation rate has posted a solid gain for the second straight year, following a period of declines and stagnation. Amid this continuing turnaround, the nation’s graduation rate has risen to 73 percent, the highest level of high school completion since the late 1970s. The report shows that the nation’s public schools will generate about 90,000 fewer dropouts than the previous year. Nationwide improvements were driven, in large part, by impressive gains among Latino students...

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NCTQ report...

NCTQ Releases New Report: "What Teacher Preparation Programs Teach About K-12 Assessment"

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a nonpartisan research and advocacy group, has released a report that provides a comprehensive review to date of how schools of education are preparing teachers to use data generated by assessments of student learning. This report is an in-depth follow-up to a brief issued in March and provides a more complete portrait of what programs are doing to ready teachers in this crucial area of preparation.

Thanks to the large-scale investments federal and state governments have made over the past several decades in developing assessments and data systems, the key questions in schools and classrooms across the country have shifted from “Was the content taught?” to “How much have our students learned?”...

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Annie E. Casey Foundation report...

Neighborhood Conditions Impact Graduation Rates:
Students Living in Poverty and Reading Poorly in Third Grade Far Less Likely to Finish High School

Students who grow up in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty are significantly less likely to graduate from high school on time, particularly if they do not read proficiently in third grade, according to a recent data analysis released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

More than a third of poor students who live in poor neighborhoods and struggled with reading early on do not graduate from high school by the time they are 19, according to the study of nearly 4,000 students nationally. The same type of students — with low family incomes and weak third-grade reading skills — are more likely to graduate if they live in middle-class or affluent communities...

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CDC report...

Site Administrators Often Left Out of Reform Discussions: Changes Suggested in Evaluation of Principals

Principal evaluation systems should not be based solely on student achievement gains, but rather on the quality of a principal’s school-level leadership and performance, according to a new report released by the American Institutes for Research (AIR). Additionally, principals and other school-based leaders are being left out of education reform discussions, the report found.

“Principals’ voices, at times, have been lost in efforts to define effective school leadership and rapidly improve educational quality,” the report states.

For evaluation systems to accurately reflect a principal’s effectiveness, evaluations should focus on principals’ work and school-level leadership...

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CDC report...

Marked Increase Noted; New CDC Study Estimates 1 in 88 Children Identified As Having Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 88 children in the United States has been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a new study released March 29 that looked at data from 14 communities. Autism spectrum disorders are almost five times more common among boys than girls – with 1 in 54 boys identified.

The number of children identified with ASDs ranged from 1 in 210 children in Alabama to 1 in 47 children in Utah. The largest increases were among Hispanic and black children.

The report provides autism prevalence estimates from 14 areas. It was published March 30th in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report...

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American Heart Journal / UC Davis study report...

Fitness Training at Earlier Age Recommended:
UC Davis Study Finds That Increase in Obesity Among California Students Has Slowed

After years of increases in the rates of childhood obesity, a new UC Davis study shows that the increase slowed from 2003 to 2008 among California school children.

While encouraged by the results, the authors expressed concern about a group of youngsters currently driving the increase in obesity: children under age 10.

“Children who were obese entering the fifth grade remained obese in subsequent years as well, despite improvements in school nutrition and fitness standards,” said William Bommer, professor of cardiovascular medicine at UC Davis and senior author of the study. “And we suspect that this trend begins before kindergarten.”...

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A Children Now report...

One Million California Kids Live In High Poverty Areas:
One in Eight U.S. Children from High-Poverty Communities Lives in California

More than one million California children live in high-poverty areas, according to the new KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot released on February 23 by The Annie E. Casey Foundation and Children Now. That is more than the number of children in high-poverty areas in Arizona, New York and Massachusetts combined. Only Texas has more children living in high-poverty communities. Nationally, nearly 8 million (11%) children live in high-poverty areas, where at least 30 percent of residents live below the federal poverty level ($22,000 a year for a family of four).

Closer examination of localized data demonstrates the level of need across the state varies widely, with some areas seeing a much higher percentage of children living in high-poverty communities than others...

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American Sociological Association study report...

Asians as Likely as Whites to Engage in Stereotyping:
Education Doesn’t Increase Support for Affirmative Action among Whites, Minorities

Highly educated whites and minorities are no more likely to support workplace affirmative action programs than are their less educated peers, according to a new study in the March issue of Social Psychology Quarterly, which casts some doubt on the view that an advanced education is profoundly transformative when it comes to racial attitudes.

“I think this study is important because there’s a common view that education is uniformly liberalizing, and this study shows—in a number of cases — that it’s not,” said study author Geoffrey T. Wodtke, a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan.

Titled, “The Impact of Education on Intergroup Attitudes: A Multiracial Analysis,” the study analyzes the effects of education on racial attitudes...

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Education Trust—West report...

Report Details How California Shortchanges its Poorest School Districts of Millions in Funding

A new report released on Feb. 23 paints a step-by-step picture of startling inequities in California’s system of education funding that harm our state’s poorest school districts. In The Cruel Divide: How California’s Education Finance System Shortchanges its Poorest School Districts, The Education Trust—West reveals that California’s highest poverty districts—those with the largest concentrations of low-income students—receive $620 less per student from state and local sources than the state’s wealthiest districts. For a mid-sized school district of 6,000 students, that amounts to over $3.7 million per year.

“Students with the greatest needs should receive additional funding to accelerate their learning, close achievement gaps and help them catch up with their better off peers,” said Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of The Education Trust—West...

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Center on Education Policy study report...

Studies Examine Aftermath as Federal Efforts Wind Down: State Officials See Brighter Picture for Education Budgets Even as Federal Stimulus Funds Run Out

California’s budget picture looks bleak, but officials in many other states are predicting a brighter outlook for state spending on K-12 education this fiscal year compared with last year, though increases are unlikely to mean more money for state education agencies (SEAs) in most states, the Center on Education Policy (CEP) finds in two new reports.

State education officials in 37 states and the District of Columbia responded to a survey that is summarized in the reports released on Tuesday by CEP.

“There is a mixed picture for states. On the one hand there is a strong feeling that state funding for K-12 education hit bottom last fiscal year and is on the rebound,” said Diane Stark Rentner, interim director of CEP...

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California Budget Project report...

Economic Downturn, State Budget Crisis Have Been Especially Tough on Women

The impact of the economic downturn and California's ongoing budget crisis has fallen especially hard on the state's women, especially single mothers, according to a study released on Feb. 1 by the California Budget Project (CBP) in partnership with the Women's Foundation of California.

Falling Behind: The Impact of the Great Recession and the Budget Crisis on California's Women and Their Families shows that recent budget shortfalls have led to deep cuts to key supports for California families as well as to programs that help women, especially low-income women, to prepare for and find employment. In recent years, state policymakers have significantly cut spending on the CalWORKs Program, child care and preschool, Medi-Cal, in-home care, and postsecondary education...

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Foundation for Child Development study report...

"Child Well-Being Index" Compares States, Concludes Those with Higher Taxes are Better for Children

Investing in Public Programs Matters: How State Policies Impact Children's Lives focuses on the results of the 2012 STATE Child Well-Being Index (CWI) — a comprehensive state-level index of child well-being modeled after the Foundation for Child Development’s (FCD) NATIONAL CWI.

The STATE CWI draws from the most comprehensive set of data used to form a state index of child well-being. With these data, the STATE CWI ranks children’s well-being in seven different domains for each state and compares them across states. In addition to state rankings, this report includes new findings about the strength of relationships between state policies and selected economic and demographic factors indicative of child well-being...

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Center on Education Policy study report...

States Raise Concerns about Financial Challenges of Implementing Common Core State Standards

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) will be more rigorous than previous state academic standards, but most states do not expect to have them in place until the 2014-15 school year or later, according to a new report by the Center on Education Policy (CEP).

The report also finds that while state education agencies are taking steps to familiarize state and district officials with the new standards and are aligning curriculum and assessments, they caution that adequate resources and technology related to test administration remain major challenges to full implementation of the CCSS.

“Even in a time of limited funding and budget cuts, states are pushing ahead with their efforts to implement the Common Core State Standards,” said Nancy Kober, a CEP consultant and co-author of the study...

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JAMA report...

Childhood, Adolescent Obesity Remain a Major Focus of Public Health Efforts

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published an article on Jan. 17 describing new research and findings in the area of obesity among children and adolescents. Among the findings:

Childhood obesity continues to be a major focus of public health efforts in the United States. Obese children may be at risk for both short-term health consequences and long-term tracking of obesity to adulthood. In 2007-2008, 16.8% of US children and adolescents had a body mass index (BMI; calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) greater than or equal to the 95th percentile on the BMI-for-age growth charts and were considered obese. Although significant increases in obesity prevalence were seen in both sexes of children and adolescents during the 1980s and 1990s, between 1999-2000 and 2007-2008, significant increases were seen only at the highest cut point of BMI...

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American Sociological Association study report...

Study: Junk Food in Schools Contributes Less to Teen Obesity Problem than Junk Food Consumed at Home

While the percentage of obese children in the United States tripled between the early 1970s and the late 2000s, a new study suggests that — at least for middle school students — weight gain has nothing to do with the candy, soda, chips, and other junk food they can purchase at school.

“We were really surprised by that result and, in fact, we held back from publishing our study for roughly two years because we kept looking for a connection that just wasn’t there,” said Jennifer Van Hook, a Professor of Sociology and Demography at Pennsylvania State University and lead author of the study, which appears in the January issue of Sociology of Education...

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Harvard and Columbia study report...

Long-term Study Suggests Many Students Benefit From Early Contact with a Good Teacher

A new study by Harvard University researchers – which examined data from some 2.5 million students over a 20 year period – finds that elementary- and middle-school teachers who help raise their students’ standardized-test scores seem to have a wide-ranging, lasting positive effect on those students’ lives. The study suggests that benefits of early contact with a good teacher include higher earnings as these students mature into adult workers, as well as lower teenage-pregnancy rates. The study also finds that students who have early contact with a good teacher are also more likely to save for retirement.

The study, released in late December, made headlines in the New York Times and was featured in the PBS program “Newshour” on January 6.  Researcher Raj Chetty told Newshour...

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The Education Trust—West report...

Study Finds Low-Income Students Less Likely to be Taught by District's Top Teachers

The Education Trust—West has released the findings of a two- year-long study of data from the second largest school district in the nation, revealing profound inequities in access to effective teaching. In Learning Denied: The Case for Equitable Access to Effective Teaching in California’s Largest School District, The Education Trust—West finds that low-income students and students of color in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) are less likely to be taught by the district’s top teachers – the very teachers capable of closing the district’s achievement gaps. These inequities are exacerbated by teacher mobility patterns and quality-blind layoffs.

“This is one of the largest and most comprehensive analyses of this type ever completed, accounting for over 17,500 teachers and more than a million students,” said report co-author Carrie Hahnel, Director of Policy and Research at The Education Trust—West...

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Change the Equation report...

Inconsistent State Definitions Make It Hard to Judge Student Performance in Science

U.S. students risk falling behind in science education due to radically inconsistent state definitions of proficiency.  While teachers and parents are being told that students are meeting the standard for eighth-grade proficiency set by their state, they may actually be performing at levels substantially below their international counterparts and go on to struggle in high school, college and careers.

A new report, “All Over the Map,” was released last week by Change the Equation (CTEq), a network of more than 100 CEOs dedicated to creating widespread literacy in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), at the National Governor Association’s STEM Summit in Durham, N.C. For the first time, researchers put state definitions of “proficiency” in eighth-grade science against a common measuring stick – the 2009 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) eighth-grade science test. NAEP is a project of the U.S. Department of Education that measures student knowledge and achievement nationally...

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American Socioligical Association report...

Middle-Class Elementary Students Ask for Help More Often Than Working-Class Peers

WASHINGTON, DC, December 7, 2011 — Middle-class children ask their teachers for help more often and more assertively than working-class children and, in doing so, receive more support and assistance from teachers according to a study from the University of Pennsylvania.

The findings are reported in the December issue of the American Sociological Review in a paper entitled, “‘I Need Help!’ Social Class and Children’s Help-Seeking in Elementary School”, by Jessica McCrory Calarco, a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology in Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences.

The paper is based on Calarco’s dissertation research, a longitudinal ethnographic study of students in one socioeconomically diverse, public elementary school...

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Education and Urban Society report...

Study Examines Educational Experiences of Homeless Teenagers in "Doubled Up" Living Situations

Homeless youth face countless barriers that limit their ability to complete a high school diploma and transition to postsecondary education. Their experiences vary widely based on family, access to social services, and where they live. More than half of the 1.5 million homeless youth in America are in fact living "doubled up," staying with family or friends because of economic hardship and often on the brink of full-on homelessness.

“Educational Experiences of Hidden Homeless Teenagers – Living Doubled Up” – a recent study by University of the Pacific researcher Ronald E. Hallett – investigates the effects of these living situations on educational participation and higher education access. First-hand data from interviews, observations, and document analysis shed light on the experience of four doubled-up  adolescents and their families...

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American Association of University Women report...

AAUW Report Finds Sexual Harassment Widespread In Person and Online at Middle Schools, High Schools

Sexual harassment has long been an unfortunate part of the climate in middle and high schools in the United States. Often considered a kind of bullying, sexual harassment by definition involves sex and gender and therefore warrants separate attention. The legal definition of sexual harassment also differentiates it from bullying.

Based on a nationally representative survey of 1,965 students in grades 7–12 conducted in May and June 2011, Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment at School, a report released this week by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) provides fresh evidence about students’ experiences with sexual harassment, including being harassed, harassing someone else, or witnessing harassment. The survey asked students to share their reactions to their experience with sexual harassment and its impact on them. It also asked them about their ideas for how schools can respond to and prevent sexual harassment...

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AbilityPath.org report...

Children with Special Needs at Higher Risk of Obesity

Children with special needs are far more likely to be overweight or obese than their counterparts according to “Finding Balance: Obesity and Children with Special Needs,” the second in a series of reports produced by AbilityPath.org, an online resource and social community for parents and professionals serving the needs of adults and children with disabilities. This report, released earlier this month, focuses on how the obesity epidemic affects children with disabilities and special needs, presents not only the extent and causes of the problem, and identifies solutions for families and others caring for these children.

“For too long the national discussion about obesity has excluded millions of children who are most affected,” says Sheryl Young, CEO of Community Gatepath, the nonprofit organization that created AbilityPath.org. “This report and Parent Toolkit will allow parents and others to find the right balance of solutions as they work to improve the health, nutrition and fitness of their children with disabilities and special needs. This report shows there is hope and that it is well within reach.”...

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National Governors Association report...

Governors Issue Brief with Recommendations on "Preparing Principals to Evaluate Teachers"

During the past few years, more than 30 states have enacted legislation to change the way teachers are evaluated, according to a new issue brief released Tuesday by the National Governors Association (NGA). The new laws require annual evaluation of teachers and multiple evaluations of new teachers throughout the school year. The laws also require multiple measures be used to determine teacher effectiveness and that decisions related to tenure, compensation and employment be tied to the results of those evaluations.

Preparing Principals to Evaluate Teachers offers recommendations for changes in state policy, which include:

  1. Ensuring principals have access to training to use new teacher evaluation instruments, provide actionable feedback to teachers and are certified to conduct evaluations...

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EdTrust-West report...

Study Spotlights Negative Impact of Shorter School Year; Calls on State to Prevent Cuts to Learning Time

Turning Back the Clock: The Inequitable Impact of Shortening California’s School Year is a policy brief released on Monday by The EdTrust—West. The policy brief highlights research findings that confirm the critical importance of increased classroom time for improved student achievement, particularly for students in poverty and discusses the negative impact of decisions made to shorten California’s school year.

“Our policymakers have long applauded themselves for ensuring that California has some of the most rigorous academic standards in the nation,” said Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of The Education Trust—West, a statewide education advocacy organization that works to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement for students of color and students in poverty...

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EdSource report...

Study Finds More 11th Graders Taking Math Courses Needed for UC and CSU Admission

The proportion of California 11th graders who have taken at least the math courses they need to be eligible for admissions to the state's 4-year universities has increased from 35% in 2003 to 49% in 2010, according to a new issue brief released last week by the Bay Area-based group EdSource.

In California's Math Pipeline: Many Routes Through and Around College Prep Courses, an EdSource analysis of state testing data also documents wide variations in students’ progress in math in 2010 based on ethnicity, with Asian students twice as likely as African Americans to reach at least the Algebra II benchmark by their junior years.

(The 2011 data released this fall shows that the proportion of 11th graders who have taken at least Algebra II increased to 51%.)...

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American Sociological Review report...

Study: Growing Up in Poor Neighborhood Reduces Likelihood Minority Children Will Finish High School

Growing up in a poor neighborhood significantly reduces the chances that a child will graduate from high school, according to a study published in the October issue of the American Sociological Review. And, the longer a child lives in that kind of neighborhood, the more harmful the impact.

The study, by University of Michigan sociologists Geoffrey Wodtke and David Harding and University of Wisconsin-Madison sociologist Felix Elwert, is the first to capture the cumulative impact of growing up in America’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods on a key educational outcome — high school graduation...

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College Board report...

College Board Report Finds Latino College Completion Rate at Only 19.2%, While National Average is 41.1%

Despite an important demographic shift across the United States, a limited proportion of Latinos are earning college degrees. While Latino youth now represent the largest minority group in K-12 U.S. schools and are the fastest-growing segment of students, Latino college completion stands at just 19.2 percent – far below the national average of 41.1 percent. 

These are just some of the findings from a new report released last Friday by the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center at an event at Miami Dade College (MDC), the institution of higher education awarding more degrees to minorities than any other in the U.S...

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American Sociological Association report...

Study Finds Race and Poverty Often Unjustifiably Tied to School Security Measures such as Metal Detectors

Elementary, middle, and high schools with large minority populations — but not necessarily higher crime rates — are far more likely than others to require students and visitors to pass through metal detectors, according to new research.

In fact, the study finds that rates of student misbehavior and crime are only weakly and inconsistently related to school security measures.

“We find it disturbing that the adoption of school security is more closely related to student race and ethnicity and to socio-economic status than to actual criminal behavior,” said study co-author Aaron Kupchik, an associate professor of sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware...

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OECD report...

Economic Crisis Reinforces Value of a Good Education

People with university degrees have suffered far fewer job losses during the global economic crisis than those who left school without qualifications, according to the latest edition of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s annual Education at a Glance report, released earlier this month. The report concluded education and skills are crucial to improving a person’s economic and social prospects.

Unemployment rates among university graduates stood at 4.4% on average across OECD countries in 2009. But people who did not complete high school faced unemployment rates of 11.5%, up from 8.7% the year before. This adds to the huge problem of youth unemployment that today exceeds 17% in the OECD area...

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The Education Trust report...

Study Finds Strong Teacher Evaluation Systems with High Quality Feedback Benefit Teachers, Students

On Thursday, The Education Trust released “Fair to Everyone: Building the Balanced Teacher Evaluations that Educators and Students Deserve,” a new report outlining the importance of building stronger teacher evaluation systems to help all teachers become good and good teachers become great.

“Like all professionals, teachers want, need and deserve evaluation processes that accurately identify their strengths as well as areas in which they need to improve,” said Sarah Almy, director of teacher quality at The Education Trust and author of the report. “Right now, the evaluation systems in too many schools deny high-quality feedback and fail to provide paths to improvement...

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American Sociological Association report...

Bullying Victims Often Suffer Academically, Particularly High Achieving Blacks and Latinos

Victims of bullying often suffer academically, and this is particularly true for high achieving black and Latino students, according to new research.

“Although academic achievement is largely influenced by family background and school characteristics, our study suggests that the experience of being bullied also influences students’ grades,” said Lisa M. Williams, a doctoral student in sociology at Ohio State University, and lead author of the study. “We find that bullying has implications for achievement regardless of racial and ethnic background, but seems to be especially detrimental for subsets of certain racial and ethnic groups.”...

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Center for Budget and Policy Priorities report...

Study Finds Many States Making Shortsighted Cuts to Education, Undermining Future Efforts to Create Jobs

A new study from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities posits many states are taking a shortsighted approach to addressing budget shortfalls by relying on deep cuts to education and other areas in the coming fiscal year.

“These cuts will slow the nation’s economic recovery and undermine efforts to create jobs over the next year,” the report states.

The report calls the level of cuts unnecessary. While acknowledging some cuts are inevitable because of lower revenues, “(m)any states enacting deep cuts have failed to utilize other important tools in their budget-balancing toolkit, such as tapping reserves or raising new revenue to replace some of the revenue lost to the recession.”...

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Harvard University report...

U.S. Proficiency in Math, Reading Lags Behind Many Industrialized Nations, California Below U.S. Average

Results from a new study of student achievement show that U.S. students rank 32nd among industrialized nations in proficiency in math and 17th in reading.

The 32 percent of U.S. students who achieved proficiency in math compares to 75 percent of students in Shanghai, 58 percent in Korea, and 56 percent in Finland. Countries in which a majority – or near majority – of students performed at or above the proficiency level in math include Switzerland, Japan, Canada, and the Netherlands.

Comparing students’ math achievement across states, the study finds the highest performing state to be Massachusetts, where 58 percent achieve proficiency...

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Center on Education Policy report...

Study Finds Title I Students Making Gains in Reading and Math, Gradually Narrowing Achievement Gap

Achievement on state reading and math tests has improved in recent years for students participating in the Title I program in most of the states analyzed in a new study released Tuesday by the Center on Education Policy (CEP). For some grades and subjects, more than 90 percent of the 19 states showed gains for Title I students.

The largest of the federal aid programs for K-12 schools, Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 supports extra instructional services for low-performing students at schools with high rates of poverty and for all students at schools with the highest poverty rates...

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The Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute report...

Survey Finds Federal Expenditures on Children Down Again this Year, Predicts Further Drop in Years Ahead

On July 21, The Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute released “Kids’ Share 2011,” the latest in an annual series that examines trends in federal expenditures on children.

This fifth annual Kids’ Share report marks a milestone in the analysis of federal expenditures on children because available data now span 50 years, from 1960 to 2010. During the past half-century, the size and composition of expenditures on children has changed considerably. Back in 1960, the largest federal contributions to families due to the presence of children came from the dependent exemption, Social Security, and education. Fifty years later, the dependent exemption has much less relative value, and Medicaid, the earned income tax credit, and the child tax credit have become the three largest federal expenditures on children...

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Center for American Progress report...

Inequities of Funding in Low Income School Districts Examined in Two New Reports

The Center for American Progress released two reports on the challenge of school finance reform on Tuesday. Education is primarily a state responsibility, with more than 90 percent of funding coming from state and local sources. Low-income children tend to be concentrated in low-income school districts, and these children often attend schools that receive far fewer resources per pupil despite their greater need. These inequities need to be addressed, and some states – including Rhode Island – have reformed their school finance system to be more equitable, more transparent, and more accountable.

“In spite of the difficult adult conversations of the past week, the entirety of our nation’s economic future rests on our willingness and ability to effectively educate the next generation...

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American Sociological Review report...

College-Educated Undocumented Young Adults Face Same Limited Job Options as Their Parents

An article in the August issue of American Sociological Review examines the job prospects for college-educated young adults without legal immigration status, and finds that very often, they do not fare much better in the American economy than their parents.

Parents who move to the United States without legal status generally seek better opportunities for their young children. Their kids grow up Americanized: speaking English, attending public school, going to the prom, and dreaming about what they want to do when they grow up. 

Many assume these youths will achieve more than their parents...

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The Education Trust—West report...

Study Finds Few Students Prepared for College and Career; Reveals Widespread Student Tracking

California’s prosperity has long depended on the quality of its workforce, yet a new study finds that California’s high schools are falling short when it comes to preparing students for college and career. Indeed, just three quarters of students earn a high school diploma. Among those who do, few have completed the coursework needed to provide genuine college and career options.

On Monday, The Education Trust—West releases a new report, Unlocking Doors and Expanding Opportunity: Moving Beyond the Limiting Reality of College and Career Readiness in California High Schools, based on six years of work in school districts across California...

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National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) report...

New Edition of "State of Learning Disabilities" Report Updates Findings, Identifies Trends

On Wednesday, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) released its biennial report: State of Learning Disabilities: Facts, Trends and Indicators. The publication provides the authoritative national and state-by-state snapshot of learning disabilities (LD) in the United States, and their impact on the ability of students and adults to achieve educational success and employment. State of Learning Disabilities also clarifies what a learning disability is and explains the common misperceptions associated with LD.

“NCLD’s second edition of the State of Learning Disabilities gathers in one place the essential information that policy makers and the public need to understand about learning disabilities and the profound impact they have on millions of children and adults,” said James H. Wendorf, executive director of NCLD...

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National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) study report...

National Study Probes Shortcomings in Student Teaching Programs, Recommends Guidelines

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a nonpartisan research and advocacy group, released a national study on Thursday that provides a comprehensive review of student teaching arrangements. The findings reveal significant problems in the delivery of this critical element of teacher training.

The principal focus of the study, entitled Student Teaching in the United States, was to ascertain the institutional policies and practices regarding selection of the “cooperating teacher” – the classroom teacher whose job it is to mentor the student teacher. The study finds that almost 75 percent of the programs in the 134-institution sample (10 percent of all institutions) do not require the cooperating teacher to be an effective classroom instructor, and therefore a suitable mentor to a future teacher...

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National Governors Association Center for Best Practices report...

Study Recommends Strategies to Re-engage High School Dropouts, Get Them on Track for Graduation

At a time when educational attainment beyond high school is increasingly viewed as a necessary step toward employment, more than one million youth age 16 to 19 are not enrolled in school and do not have a high school diploma, according to a new 13-page issue brief released on Tuesday by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center).

To aid state efforts in diminishing that number, State Policies to Reengage Dropouts provides recommendations for re-engaging out-of-school youth. States have made considerable progress in preventing students from dropping out of school, yet few state efforts exist to re-engage dropouts and get them back on track to graduation. Dropout recovery presents a unique challenge for states...

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London School of Economics report...

Study Suggests Americans Could Learn from Effective British Programs That Reduce Child Poverty

The recent report, “Tackling Child Poverty & Improving Child Well-Being: Lessons from Britain,” authored by Jane Waldfogel of Columbia University and the London School of Economics, describes the recent efforts of the United Kingdom (UK) to end child poverty by 2020. Over the last decade, the UK government carried out an ambitious and multifaceted anti-poverty campaign – with significant results as they reduced child poverty by more than half. Remarkably, their success in reducing child poverty continued even during the recession, as child poverty fell again in the last year – in sharp contrast to the pattern for the US, where child poverty has now reached its highest level in 20 years.

Among the report’s conclusions:

In the United States, it is often thought that child poverty is an intractable problem...

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Standord University School of Medicine report...

Non-Genetic Factors Play Surprisingly Large Role in Determining Autism, According to New Study

A new Stanford University School of Medicine study of twins suggests that non-genetic factors play an unexpectedly large role in determining autism risk, turning upside down recent assumptions about the cause of this common, disabling developmental disorder.

From prior studies of shared autism in twins, scientists had estimated that 90 percent of autism risk was attributable to genes and only 10 percent to non-genetic environmental factors. But the new study — the largest ever of twins in whom at least one in each pair has autism — shows almost the opposite: It found that genes account for 38 percent of autism risk, with environmental factors explaining the remaining 62 percent...

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National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education report...

Rising Costs Putting Community College Out of Reach for Some First-Generation, Low-Income Students

Demand for community college courses as an affordable gateway to a baccalaureate is rising, but with no state help in sight to help cover rocketing tuition costs, too many students will never make it to graduation.

That’s the sobering conclusion of “Affordability and Transfer: Critical to Increasing Baccalaureate Degree Completions,” a new report released Thursday by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education (NCPPHE).

Tuition at public two-year colleges — traditionally the only affordable option for first-generation, low-income, and traditionally underserved college students — has increased much more rapidly than inflation over the past 20 years...

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Center on Educational Policy report...

National Survey Finds Teachers, Education Reforms Dropped as Districts Anticipate More Budget Cuts Next Year

After a year of dramatic budget reductions, a vast majority of districts across the country expect to cut deeper into teaching and other core services, with little relief in sight, according to a new study released this week by the Center on Education Policy (CEP), a national, independent advocate for public education and more effective public schools. The results are based on a nationally representative survey of over 450 school districts.

The report indicates that, until recently, some school districts have been able to cushion the blow of shrinking budgets by using federal economic stimulus money to help fill the gaps. But now that money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and Education Jobs funds are nearly depleted, school districts expect their budgets to tighten even more in the 2011-12 school year...

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National Center for Family Literacy resource report...

New Bilingual Online Resources Help Parents, Students Gain Access to College and Plan Careers

As the nation strives to remain competitive and add 5 million college degrees by 2020, the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) is releasing free information to help parents and families prepare for college.

The new set of multi-media resources will help people unfamiliar with navigating the U.S. college system gain access and information necessary for preparing and succeeding in college and beyond.

“Parents are a key to our nation reaching its educational goals,” said Sharon Darling, president & founder of NCFL. “In order to produce 5 million new degrees in a decade, we need to assure that more nontraditional adults are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education and that parents are well prepared to inform and nurture the educational aspirations of their children.”...

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Science Daily report...

Large-Scale Early Education Linked to Higher Living Standards and Crime Prevention 25 Years Later

High-quality early education has a strong, positive impact well into adulthood, according to research led by Arthur Reynolds, co-director of the Human Capital Research Collaborative and professor of child development, and Judy Temple, a professor in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. The study, released last week, is the longest follow-up ever of an established large-scale early childhood program.

In “School-based Early Childhood Education and Age 28 Well-Being: Effects by Timing, Dosage, and Subgroups,” published in the journal Science, Reynolds and Temple (with co-authors Suh-Ruu Ou, Irma Arteaga, and Barry White) report on more than 1,400 individuals whose well-being has been tracked for as much as 25 years...

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Center for American Progress Action Fund report...

Reauthorizing ESEA is Key to Economic Growth and Success for Nation's Students

Amidst bubbling discussion of the long overdue renewal of the nation’s federal education bill, the Center for American Progress Action Fund has released a new report, “A Way Forward” outlining its recommendations for revising the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA.

The report, which focuses on why federal investment in education is critical to economic growth, explains how we must make education the foundation for building the middle class and ensuring U.S. global competitiveness. The paper was released Tuesday at a Center for American Progress Action Fund event featuring key players in the reauthorization discussion...

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U.S. DOE and Asia Society report...

Report on How to Strengthen Teaching Profession Showcases Lessons from Around the World

The U.S. Department of Education and Asia Society released a report Monday entitled, “Improving Teacher Quality Around the World: The International Summit on the Teaching Profession,” addressing lessons shared during the two-day event held in New York City in March. The summit marked the first-ever convening of education ministers, teachers, and union leaders from high-performing and rapidly improving countries and regions.

The report, authored by Asia Society’s Senior Advisor for Education Vivien Stewart on behalf of the Summit’s partner organizations, outlines summit discussions and emerging lessons from around the world on how to strengthen the teaching profession. The discussions were framed around four overarching themes: Teacher Recruitment and Preparation; Development, Support, and Retention of Teachers; Teacher Evaluation and Compensation; and Teacher Engagement in Education Reform...

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Education Week and EPE Research Center report...

Nation’s Graduation Rate Rebounds, But Nearly 3-of-10 Students Still Fail to Earn a Diploma

A new national report from Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center finds that the nation’s graduation rate has increased significantly, following two consecutive years of declines and stagnation. With this dramatic turnaround, the nation’s graduation rate stands at 72 percent, the highest level of high school completion in more than two decades. The report shows that the nation’s public schools will generate about 145,000 fewer dropouts than the previous year. These new findings offer reason to believe that the past decade’s efforts to combat the nation’s dropout crisis are starting to produce results.

“Just as Americans have been following the stock market and employment reports for signs of an economic turnaround, education-watchers have been on the lookout for improving graduation rates for the better part of a decade,” said Christopher B. Swanson...

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EdSource report...

Study Finds Unions, Administrators Largely Agree on Ways to Strengthen Teacher Evaluation

In recent months, there has been considerable public debate regarding how teachers should be evaluated, often with a sharp focus on the use of student test scores, to make high-stakes employment decisions.

A new EdSource report, Envisioning New Directions in Teacher Evaluation, provides a less sensational but more optimistic view regarding this critical issue. The 21-page report finds that despite the sometimes heated rhetoric, teacher groups, administrators, and researchers in California tend to agree that, in most school districts, teacher evaluation systems are inadequate. They also are in relative accord on changes that could make teacher evaluations more effective and ultimately support the strengthening of instruction in California's public schools...

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NCEE report...

Study Finds School Districts Using New Flexibility To Reduce Popular Programs In Order to Balance Budgets

As the performance of students in one nation after another surpasses that of American students, and the states, in response, institute one reform after another, student performance has been slow to improve. A new paper released last week by the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: An American Agenda for Education Reform, examines this situation.

The study finds that countries in which students are outperforming American students have been pursuing strategies that the U.S. has not been pursuing, while the U.S. has embraced strategies that none of the best-performing countries have embraced.

According to NCEE President and CEO Marc Tucker, there is much for the U.S. to learn...

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RAND Education report...

Study Compares U.S. Schools with Education Strategies in Academically High Performing Countries

California school districts – wielding new fiscal flexibility granted by state lawmakers – cut deeply into several popular programs to balance local budgets, according to a study of 10 diverse districts released on Thursday.

Local educators in 2009 were granted total control over $4.5 billion that previously funded 40 regulated programs, a change made as Sacramento lawmakers cut educational spending by almost one-fifth. The new study begins to illuminate how local school boards changed spending on adult education, special programs for gifted students, new textbooks and other programs.

“District actions were driven mostly by the need to plug deficits in their budgets, rather than from careful evaluation of programs and priorities,” said Brian Stecher...

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ACT study report...

New ACT Study Shows Common Core Standards in Math and Reading to be Internationally Competitive

The new Common Core State Standards can help make the U.S. education system competitive with those of the highest-performing nations in the world, according to a new research report from ACT, Inc.

In the report, “Affirming the Goal: Is College and Career Readiness an Internationally Competitive Standard?,” ACT examines how performance standards in reading and math on PLAN®, its college and career readiness assessment for 10th graders, compare to performance on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a worldwide assessment of 15-year-old students’ academic achievement...

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Safe Kids USA report...

National Survey Finds Parents and Coaches Need More Youth Sports Safety Information

A majority of parents of young athletes recognize the importance of sports safety, but lack confidence in their own ability and the ability of coaches to prevent and recognize symptoms of key sports injuries according to a survey released recently by the group Safe Kids USA.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 3.5 million children age 14 and under are treated for sports-related injuries each year, and as many as half of these injuries are preventable. Commissioned by Safe Kids USA and Johnson & Johnson, the “National Survey of Parents’ Knowledge, Attitudes and Self-Reported Behaviors Concerning Sports Safety” finds that just 29 percent of parents surveyed feel coaches have the necessary skills to identify and prevent injuries and just 40 percent feel confident in their own abilities...

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Alliance for Excellent Education report...

Reducing Dropout Rate for Students of Color would Stimulate Economic Growth, Policy Brief Concludes

A new policy brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education, issued on the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown versus Board of Education civil rights decision, contends that raising the high school graduation rate among the nation’s students of color would lead to dramatic economic growth nationwide.

These findings, contained in “Education and the Economy: Boosting the Nation’s Economy by Improving High School Graduation Rates Among Students of Color and Native Students,” demonstrate the economic benefits that Alabama — as well as the nation as a whole — would likely see by improving the high school graduation rates of students of color and Native students...

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Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy and PACE report...

Study Offers Strategy for Bolstering Assessment Policy as States Begin Implementation of Common Core Standards

The adoption of the Common Core State Standards offers an opportunity to make significant improvements to the large-scale statewide student assessments that exist today, and the two U.S. Department of Education-funded assessment consortia – the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) – are making big strides forward. But to take full advantage of this opportunity the states must focus squarely on making assessments both fair and accurate.

A new report commissioned by the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy and Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), The Road Ahead for State Assessments, offers a blueprint for strengthening assessment policy...

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The California Endowment report...

Study Finds Healthier School Food Choices Dramatically Improve Student Eating Habits

An evaluation of two five-year programs developed by The California Endowment provides concrete evidence that communities can reshape their environments and inspire healthier choices among children and teens.

The evaluation focused on two major grant programs that ended in December 2010: Healthy Eating Active Communities (HEAC) and the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program (CCROPP). HEAC operated in six California communities: Baldwin Park, Chula Vista, Oakland, Santa Ana, South Los Angeles, and South Shasta County. CCROPP focused on eight counties in California’s Central Valley: Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tulare...

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American Journal of Psychiatry study report...

Study of Korean Children Suggests Autism May Be Much More Common Than Previously Thought

Autism may be more common worldwide than previously thought, according to researchers from the George Washington University (GW) and Yale University. The researchers conducted an autism prevalence study for the first time in South Korea and estimated that the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder is as high as 2.6 percent of the population of school-age children, equivalent to 1 in 38 children.

The study, “Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder in a Total Population Sample,” was published online on Monday in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The study reports on autism among approximately 55,000 children ages 7 to 12 years in a South Korean community...

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U.S. Department of Education report...

New Study Says Largest U.S. Minority Group Attains the Lowest Levels of Education

Hispanic success in education and in the labor market is of immediate and long-term importance to America’s economy, according to a new report released last Wednesday by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics and the U.S. Department of Education. The report shows that Hispanics have the lowest education attainment level overall of any group in the U.S.

Hispanics are by far the largest minority group in today’s American public education system, numbering more than 12.4 million in the country’s elementary, middle and high schools. Nearly 22 percent, or slightly more than one-in-five, of all pre-K-12 students enrolled in America’s public schools is Hispanic, but they face persistent obstacles to educational attainment...

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RAND report...

Study: Congress Should Expand School Performance Measures beyond Those Found in No Child Left Behind

Expanding measures of school performance beyond mathematics and English language arts will give educators better information when evaluating the academic achievements of schools, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

The report also finds that many states already measure student achievement beyond what is required in the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, popularly known as the “No Child Left Behind” Act, including test performance in additional subjects and growth in student performance over time.

Additionally, researchers find that an expanded set of measures allows for more accurate assessment of school outcomes that are widely valued, but often overlooked because of the current focus on math and language arts...

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Pediatrics report...

Study Finds Victims of Bullying and Bullies More Likely to See School Nurse

In a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, researchers concluded that kids involved in bullying were more likely to see the school nurse for illnesses and non-medical symptoms, in addition to injuries.

The report suggests that school administrators could enlist help from school nurses as "another way of trying to keep a gauge of what's happening among the students in school," according to Eric Vernberg of the University of Kansas in Lawrence, the study's lead author.

Recently, evidence has been piling up that being bullied can take a psychological toll on kids -- both during the bullying and later, when they are adults...

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PPIC report...

New PPIC Report Finds That the Type of Students a School Serves Often Predicts Evaluation under NCLB

A new report released this month by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) examines the thorny topic of school accountability under No Child Left Behind, and concludes that under NCLB’s mandates, some schools are being penalized as a result of factors that are, to a significant degree, beyond their control.

The report finds that “(the) schools that are least likely to meet NCLB’s 2014 goals . . . tend to have more economically disadvantaged students and English learners. Conversely, those that consistently meet their yearly NCLB goals have fewer such students, as well as smaller overall enrollments.”

Titled “Improving School Accountability in California,” the report notes that “California schools are required to hit rising proficiency rate targets that are central to the current system of school accountability...

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A UC Davis research report...

Research Examines Performance of English Learners from Various Ethnic, Geographic Backgrounds

Two research projects at UC Davis have yielded findings that will likely be of interest to educators working with students who are English Learners.

One research project found that an influential model for teaching reading and comprehension to English learners doesn’t work well for Cantonese-speaking children, according to new research from the University of California, Davis, School of Education.

Yuuko Uchikoshi, an assistant professor of education at UC Davis, presented her findings on April 11 at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association in New Orleans...

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NCTET report...

New Study Highlights Benefits of Enhancing Education Through Technology

The National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training (NCTET) last week released Profiles in Innovation: How the Enhancing Education Through Technology Program is Improving Teaching and Learning in America's Schools.

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and several educators delivered remarks in the nation’s capital before more than 150 education leaders from across the country, sharing these success stories and the importance of federal investment and the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program to America’s students. These profiles are being released at a critical time during the program’s history, with funding zeroed out in the pending FY11 federal appropriations bill...

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NAACP report...

Study Links Poor Schools, High Incarceration Rates

Last Thursday, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) announced a new report that examines a disturbing connection between high incarceration rates and poorly performing schools.

Titled “Misplaced Priorities: Over Incarcerate, Under Educate” the report tracks the steady shift of state funds away from education and toward the criminal justice system. For instance, the report finds that in Houston, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, more than 65 percent of the lowest-performing schools are in neighborhoods with the highest rates of incarceration. Researchers found that over-incarceration most impacts vulnerable, often minority populations, and that it destabilizes communities...

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American Federation of Teachers report...

Survey Finds Young Teachers Calling for Workplaces That Support High-Quality Teaching and Learning

Generation Y teachers — those in their mid-30s or younger — say that to keep them in teaching, schools should be transformed into workplaces that support high-quality teaching and learning, so eager but nearly overwhelmed novices will stay in the profession and can become highly effective, according to a report released last week by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the American Institutes for Research (AIR).

The AFT and AIR spoke with Generation Y teachers about what can be done to stem the tide of young teachers leaving the profession. The report is based on 11 nationally representative teacher surveys, seven focus groups with Gen Y teachers, and three case studies (in St. Francis, MN; Austin, TX; and Philadelphia, PA)...

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Center for American Progress report...

Study Recommends School Turnaround Strategy Should Be a Priority for ESEA Reauthorization

The Center for American Progress has released four recommendations the federal government should take in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) revision to ensure states and districts improve struggling schools.

In “Incentivizing School Turnaround,” by Jeremy Ayers and Melissa Lazarin, the authors recommend specific federal level action that could directly impact schools that are struggling.

The paper highlights four strategies the authors believe Congress should implement to turn around struggling schools...

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Foundation for Child Development report...

Study Offers Recommendations to PreK-3 Principals

Policymakers and educators recognize the critical importance of elementary school principals in leading effective schools to improve student achievement. 

In a new PreK-3rd Policy to Action Brief released this week by the Foundation for Child Development, author Sara Mead finds that principals are especially crucial in PreK-3rd settings where instructional leaders must align standards, curriculum, instructional strategies, and assessments from PreK through the elementary grades.

The brief specifies what principals can do to build high-quality PreK-3rd systems, and how policymakers can reduce barriers that constrain principals. 

Successful instructional leaders build strong PreK-3rd learning environments in several ways...

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A Proceedings in the National Academy of Sciences report...

Test Cheaters May Ultimately Be Fooling Themselves

A study published earlier this month in the Proceedings in the National Academy of Sciences suggests that students who cheat on tests are ultimately deceiving themselves.

The abstract from the study – conducted by researchers from the Harvard Business School and Duke University, and released online on March 7 – offered these conclusions:

“We find that those who exploit opportunities to cheat on tests are likely to engage in self-deception, inferring that their elevated performance is a sign of intelligence. This short-term psychological benefit of self-deception, however, can come with longer-term costs: when predicting future performance, participants expect to perform equally well — a lack of awareness that persists even when these inflated expectations prove costly...

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Alliance for Excellent Education report...

Study Finds Increasing High School Graduation Rate Boosts Job Creation, Home Ownership, and Car Sales

Cutting the high school dropout rate in half for just one class would likely lead to billions of dollars in increased earnings, provide a boost to home and automobile sales, and create more than 50,000 new jobs nationwide, according to a ground-breaking new study released this week by the Alliance for Excellent Education. The study also includes specific results for California, which are listed below.

“The best economic stimulus is a high school diploma,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “From the individual student to the bank branch manager, new car salesman, or realtor, everyone wins when more students graduate from high school.”...

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MetLife survey report...

MetLife Survey Finds Continuing Challenges in Preparing Diverse Learners for College and Careers

In the second part of an annual report released this week, more than 90 percent of all middle and high school teachers surveyed in the new MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Preparing Students for College and Careers say that strengthening programs and resources to help diverse learners with the highest needs meet college- and career-ready standards should be a priority in education. Among that group, 59 percent say helping diverse learners “must be done as one of the highest priorities in education.”

A large majority of parents of middle and high school students in the survey (84 percent) say addressing the needs of diverse learners should be a priority, including 57 percent who say it must be done as a “highest priority” in education...

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Texas Education Agency report...

Texas Reports A Majority of Latino Students

For the first time, students from a Hispanic/Latino background make up the majority of students enrolled in Texas public schools.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) reported this week that Hispanic students this school year account for 50.2 percent of the state's 4.9 million children enrolled in the state’s public schools, including pre-kindergarten and early childhood education.

Currently, there are an estimated 2.48 million Hispanic/Latino students in Texas public schools.

Hispanics last year made up nearly 49 percent of the students.

TEA spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe said Tuesday that the Hispanic population is the fastest-growing group of students...

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The Field Poll report...

Field Poll Finds Voters Support Extending State Taxes, Oppose Further Cuts to K-12 Education

A statewide survey undertaken collaboratively by the University of California, Berkeley and The Field Poll highlights some revealing findings about how registered voters would prefer dealing with the state’s unprecedented $25 billion budget deficit.

Among the findings were the following:

  1. There is no great willingness on the part of voters to increase taxes as a way of dealing with the huge budget deficit. However, majorities do support the idea of extending the temporary tax increases enacted by the state several years ago.
  2. A 61% majority prefer calling a special election to allow voters to decide on these issues rather than leaving it to the legislature to act...

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PPIC report...

Study Finds Repeating an Early Grade Can Benefit Struggling Elementary Students

Struggling students who repeat first- or second-grade can make significant short-term gains in their academic skills, according to a study of students in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) released this week by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). Most first-graders made sizeable improvements in reading skills when they repeated that grade, and second-graders made meaningful gains in English language arts and math in the year they were retained.

The study of early elementary school retention in LAUSD — which serves 11 percent of public school students in California — looks at which students are retained and how they fare academically during the year they repeat a grade...

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McGraw-Hill report...

Study Examines 'Best Practices,' Faults Low Status Accorded to Teachers in American Society

What can be learned from other countries to develop a more effective educational system for one’s own country? A new position paper released Wednesday by the McGraw-Hill Research Foundation addresses that question head-on, presenting some of the best educational practices from countries around the world. 

“What the U.S. Can Learn from the World’s Most Successful Education Reform Efforts” is the title of the paper. It is co-authored by Andreas Schleicher, the director of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), and Dr. Steven Paine, vice president of strategic planning and business development at CTB/McGraw-Hill and former state superintendent of schools in West Virginia...

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MetLife survey report...

Survey Finds Varying Views on College- and Career-Readiness and Student Expectations

The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, conducted by Harris Interactive (formerly Louis Harris and Associates, Inc.), each year since 1984, explores teacher’s opinions and brings them to the attention of educators, policy makers and the public. The Survey findings also inform MetLife Foundation’s support for education.

The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Preparing Students for College and Careers examines the priority that all students graduate from high school prepared for college and careers, what being college- and career-ready entails, and the implications of this goal for teaching. The results are based on a national survey of middle and high school teachers, students, parents of public school students, and business executives from Fortune 1000 companies conducted in fall 2010.

The findings are being released in two reports:...

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New America Foundation report...

Getting In Sync: Revamping the Preparation of Teachers in Pre-K, Kindergarten and the Early Grades

The New America Foundation's Early Education Initiative today released a report Tuesday that highlights problems nationwide with the licensing and preparation of teachers who work with young children in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first-, second- and third-grade classrooms. The report, "Getting in Sync: Revamping Licensure and Preparation for Teachers in Pre-K, Kindergarten and the Early Grades," shows that today's system is not set up to ensure teachers in pre-kindergarten through the third grade are well-prepared to work with young children.

The quality of the instruction that children receive in pre-kindergarten through the third grade (PreK-3rd) can make a lasting impact...

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Sacramento State University Institute for Higher Education, Leadership and Policy report...

Study Finds Lack of Priority on Technical Credentials, Calls for Simpler Pathways to Improve Student Success

In view of the urgent need to improve the economy and increase educational attainment in the state, the potential of the Career Technical Education (CTE) function of the California Community Colleges is not receiving sufficient attention, says a new report released this week by the Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy at Sacramento State University.

The report, “The Road Less Traveled: Realizing the Potential of Career Technical Education in the California Community Colleges,” found that CTE can be an important vehicle for helping to meet the state’s completion, workforce, and equity goals...

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California Charter School Association report...

California Charter School Association Releases Report on Charter School Performance and Accountability

The Portrait of the Movement report, released by the California Charter School Association last week, reviews charter school performance across California and provides a tool to press for greater accountability for low-performing charter schools.

Jed Wallace, president and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association, said “While we certainly have areas where we can as improve as a movement, I find it immensely gratifying to bring forward a report which demonstrates that in spite of all the challenges faced by charters, high numbers of charter schools are generating results that provide hope that public education's most intractable problems can be addressed.”...

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Center on Education Policy report...

Transformation Model Most Popular Intervention in Low-Performing Schools with SIG Grants

Changes in requirements for the federal School Improvement Grant program are having the intended effect of channeling more resources to low-performing high schools, according to a report released Wednesday on the federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program by the Center on Education Policy (CEP).

CEP’s analysis – which is based on anonymous results from two state surveys – also found that while states are using the funds to expand technical assistance to low-performing schools, some respondents reported that the SIG program could be better targeted to help schools in the most need of assistance...

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Center for American Progress report...

Principals Face Constraints and Opportunities in Hiring, Assigning, Evaluating, and Developing Teachers

The Center for American Progress released a new paper on Wednesday analyzing approaches principals can take to increase teacher effectiveness.

In “Principals’ Approaches to Developing Teacher Quality: Constraints and Opportunities in Hiring, Assigning, Evaluating, and Developing Teachers,” Morgaen L. Donaldson reports on a study of 30 principals working in charter and conventional schools in two northeastern states.

Three key findings emerged from the research:

  1. Charter school principals reported the same constraints as conventional principals with regard to carrying out these activities to increase teacher effectiveness...

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EdSource report...

State's Push for 8th Grade Algebra Yields Mixed Results – Preparation in Early Grades an Important Factor

According to 2010 statewide test data, since 2003 California schools have increased by 80% the number of students taking Algebra I in 8th grade. That change has been most dramatic among low-income, African American, and Latino students, many of whom did not previously have access to the course in the middle grades.

A new study from EdSource makes clear, however, that while the state’s push to put students into Algebra I in 8th grade has opened up opportunities for many, it has also had some negative consequences. The analysis included almost 70,000 8th grade students from 303 California schools and 195 school districts...

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Center on Education Policy report...

Federal and State Education Reforms to Hit a Budget Wall in Many States, CEP Report Finds

Federal stimulus funds have helped states build momentum for common school reform agendas, though state budget woes threaten to stall that progress, a new analysis by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) finds.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) gave states a one-time infusion of $100 billion to help avert teacher layoffs, stabilize education budgets and encourage education reforms that raise student performance. While the new CEP report finds that overall progress bodes well for change, trends suggest that state education budgets and staffing in many states may be insufficient, at least through 2011, to fully implement many critical ARRA reform activities...

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American Sociological Review report...

Study Suggests Popular Kids—But Not the Most Popular—Are More Likely to Torment Peers

While experts often view aggressive behavior as a maladjusted reaction typical of social outcasts, a new study in the February issue of the American Sociological Review finds that it’s actually popular adolescents—but not the most popular ones—who are particularly likely to torment their peers.

“Our findings underscore the argument that—for the most part—attaining and maintaining a high social status likely involves some level of antagonistic behavior,” said Robert Faris, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of California-Davis...

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Pathways to Prosperity Project report...

Achieve’s Report Shows that College and Career Readiness is the New Norm across the United States

Achieve's sixth annual "Closing the Expectations Gap" report, released last week, shows that in the six years since the National Governors Association and Achieve co-sponsored the National Education Summit on high schools, the goal of aligning the expectations for high school graduates with the demands of college and the workplace is the new norm across the United States.

“The biggest change we have seen since the Summit has been the broad acceptance by the general public, in addition to policymakers and business and education leaders, that all students should graduate from high school college- and career- ready,” said Mike Cohen, Achieve's president...

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Pathways to Prosperity Project report...

Harvard-Based Study Recommends Pathways Concept; Suggests College Degree Should Not Be the Only Goal

On Wednesday, the Pathways to Prosperity Project, which is based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, released a new report examining the reasons for the nation’s failure to sufficiently prepare so many young adults for a productive life.  The report also advances a vision for how the United States might regain the leadership in educational attainment it held for over a century. Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century contends that our national strategy for education and youth development has been too narrowly focused on an academic, classroom-based approach.  It is now clear that this strategy has produced only incremental gains in achievement and attainment, even as many other nations are leapfrogging the United States...

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Report based on State Teacher Policy Yearbook...

Study Proposes Plan for California Teacher Quality – California Gets D+ for Current Efforts

The National Council on Teacher Quality last week released its fourth annual State Teacher Policy Yearbook, reviewing state laws, rules and regulations that govern the teaching profession. The 2010 edition differs from earlier versions, providing a Blueprint for Change to help state policymakers prioritize among the many areas of teacher policy in need of reform.

Each state report identifies the policy areas most in need of critical attention, as well as “low-hanging fruit,” policies that can be addressed in relatively short order. The Blueprint for Change is based on an updated-for-2010 review and analysis of California's teacher policies...

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Foundation for Child Development study...

Declining Prospects for Middle Class Kids Will Be Worsened as Budget Cuts Hit Saftey Net Programs

America’s middle-class children have been steadily falling further behind their more privileged peers for the past quarter century – but the worst of the fallout has been held in check by essential policies and programs that could be unraveled, depending on key budget decisions, according to a new study released by the Foundation for Child Development. These findings arrive in advance of President Obama’s February 14 budget announcement – and what is likely to be a charged debate in Congress that will determine the future of these programs against other priorities.

“This report shows that we have a sleeping giant on our hands. For the past eight years, even before the ‘Great Recession’ hit, middle-class families have increasingly counted on essential public health care and early education supports to safeguard their children’s well-being,”...

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ACT report...

ACT Calls for National Skills Credentialing System

ACT, Inc. this week released a report presenting the case that we need to intensify national efforts to improve and validate the skills of our current and prospective workforce in order to correct the mismatch between skill demand and supply. The report sets forth the reasons why America needs a national workforce skills credentialing system.

Entitled “Breaking New Ground: Building a National Workforce Skills Credentialing System,” the report provides a framework for discussion among educators, employers, workforce development officials and other key stakeholders. “Our intention is to spark meaningful discussion,” said ACT CEO Jon Whitmore...

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U.S. Department of Education launch...

New Education Dashboard Offers State, National Data

The U.S. Department of Education on Monday launched a new website that provides access to key national and state education data. Known as The United States Education Dashboard, the new site is available at http://dashboard.ed.gov.

The Dashboard contains a range of cradle-to-career data.  On a single webpage, those interested will be able to view indicators of the nation's performance in education, gauge their state's progress and see how their state is performing compared to others. The indicators in the Dashboard focus on some key outcomes: Are we preparing young children to enter school? Are students making sufficient progress to graduate from high school and college?...

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Federal Communications Commission report

FCC Study Calls for Faster Broadband in Schools, Libraries

The Federal Communications Commission released a report on January 6 examining the state of broadband connectivity at schools and libraries receiving funds from the federal E-rate program, which provides support to help connect schools and libraries to the Internet.

The report is based on data from a survey conducted in 2010 that examined the success and challenges related to broadband use faced by schools and libraries.  This survey will help the Commission make data-driven policy decisions for the E-rate program by providing information on the educational and technological needs of schools and libraries...

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Study Report from the University of Chicago Press Book "Academically Adrift"

Study Finds Many College Students Make Little Progress during First Two Years

A new book titled “Academically Adrift,” just published by the University of Chicago Press, concludes that many college students are not making much progress from the work they did in high school during their first two years of study at a four-year college.

The book cites data from student surveys and transcript analysis to show that many college students have minimal classwork expectations. The book also tracks the academic gains (or stagnation) of 2,300 students at a range of four-year colleges and universities...

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Education Week Report Awards State Grades for Education Performance, Policy

California Earns a C- Grade in Report

Although economists have officially declared the “Great Recession” to be over, the nation and states continue to struggle back from the most severe economic downturn in generations and face new challenges in delivering a high-quality education to all students, according to Education Week’s annual education report card.

The nation receives a C when graded across the six distinct areas of policy and performance tracked by Quality Counts, an annual report by Education Week offering an ongoing assessment of the state of American education.

For the third year in a row, Maryland is the top-ranked state, earning the nation’s highest overall grade, a B+...

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Center for Advanced Research and Technology (CART) Program study

Study Indicates CART "Linked Learning" Program Increases Likelihood of College Attendance Across Ethnicity, Gender and Economics

A study released Tuesday by The Center for Advanced Research and Technology (CART) and The James Irvine Foundation, shows the Linked Learning education model in use at CART has successfully increased community college and CSU/UC attendance for all students regardless of gender, ethnicity or economic background.

In some cases, the seven-year matched pairs study found that attendance at CART more than doubled the rate of college entrance for minority students compared to California averages, and in all cases increased college enrollment rates compared to state and local student populations...

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California State PTA survey

Parents Single Out School Funding as State's Top Priority

Parents across the state overwhelmingly support the need to advocate for school funding, according to a survey released by the California State PTA, which represents nearly 1 million members.

Conducted in the fall of 2010, the survey of PTA leaders throughout California rated adequate school funding as the highest priority: 97.5 percent said they are interested or extremely interested in PTA continuing to advocate for it.

“As the Governor prepares to release a budget that may include new, deeper cuts to schools, it's critical that the public understands just how strong the desire for adequate funding is,” said Jo A.S. Loss, president of the California State PTA...

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MALDEF and NEA Collaborate

Report Aims to Improve Minority Parental Engagement in Children's Schools

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and the National Education Association  (NEA) released a report in late December that was jointly created by the two organizations entitled “Minority Parent and Community Engagement: Best Practices and Policy Recommendations for Closing the Gaps in Student Achievement.”

The report aims to increase the active involvement of minority parents in their children's schools by identifying obstacles to such engagement and recommending strategies for parents, schools and communities to come together and overcome these obstacles...

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Gates Foundation Funded Project report

Study Finds Student Test Scores, Perceptions Useful in Evaluating Teacher Performance

Preliminary findings in a study of teacher effectiveness – funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – were released last Friday.  The preliminary findings suggest that “value added” gauges based on growth in student test scores and students’ perceptions of their teachers could both be significant factors in designing a system for identifying and promoting teacher effectiveness – a finding that is likely to stir considerable discussion in education circles.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project in 2009 to develop and test multiple measures of teacher effectiveness...

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Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning report

Report Finds Budget Cuts Put Quality Teaching at Risk

Cumulative cuts of more than $20 billion from California’s schools over the past three years have made it tougher for teachers to help students meet increasing expectations for academic achievement and have badly damaged the state’s ability to recruit and prepare new teachers needed for the future, according to the annual report on California’s teaching workforce released today by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning.

“California’s teaching workforce is running on empty,” said Margaret Gaston, President and Executive Director of the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning. “The disinvestment in building a top quality teacher workforce is at odds with rising demands for students’ academic success...

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U.S. Census Bureau report

Census Bureau Posts Poverty Estimates, Used Help Determine Education Funding

The U.S. Census Bureau has released new Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) .

“The main objective of this program is to provide estimates of income and poverty for the administration of federal programs and the allocation of federal funds to local jurisdictions. In addition to these federal programs, state and local programs use the income and poverty estimates for distributing funds and managing programs,” according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In 2009, New Hampshire, Maryland, and Alaska counties had the lowest poverty rates for school-age children, according to data...

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Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics study report

Study Finds Gay Teens More Likely To Be Harshly Punished Than Straight Classmates

Lesbian, gay and bisexual adolescents are about 40 percent more likely than other teens to receive punishment at the hands of school authorities, police and the courts, according to a new study published this week in the medical journal Pediatrics.

The findings, based on a national sample of more than 15,000 middle and high school students, come at a time of heightened attention to the plight of gay teens.  While several high-profile bullying and suicide cases around the country have revealed the harassment of gay teens by their peers, the new data suggest gay teens also suffer a hidden bias when judged by school and legal authorities...

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America's Promise Alliance study report

New Study Suggests National Service Program Critical in Addressing "Dropout Epidemic"

America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and Johns Hopkins University’s Everyone Graduates Center this week released the report, “Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic,” detailing the progress and remaining challenges facing educational achievement among our nation’s youth yesterday.

The report finds that the U.S. graduation rate increased from 72 percent in 2002 to 75 percent in 2008, and the number of schools where 40 percent or more of the students do not graduate fell by 13 percent during the same period...

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Bellwether Education Partners report

Impact of Stimulus Funds Still Uncertain: Study Finds that Billions in Federal Aid Are Not Driving Education Reforms as Intended or Expected

Nearly two years after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided more than $100 billion in stimulus funding for public education in the United States, the net impact on school improvement is still undetermined.  According to a new study from Bellwether Education Partners, the to-date results of ARRA significantly lag behind the ambitious education intentions of the law.

“The ARRA has played an important role in closing district budget gaps created by state and local revenue losses, sustaining education spending, and saving jobs,” according to the report – titled “Conflicting Missions and Unclear Results: Lessons from the Education Stimulus Funds”...

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UC AAPI MRP report

New Report Disputes “Model Minority” View of Asian Americans, Finds Some Subgroups Face Barriers

On Thursday, California Assemblymember Mike Eng (D-Monterey Park), Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board President Mónica García, Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) executive director Stewart Kwoh, and the UC Asian American and Pacific Islander Policy Multicampus Research Program (UC AAPI Policy MRP), will be holding a press conference to release “The State of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Education in California” report.

This publication was produced by the UC AAPI MRP in collaboration with Assemblymember Eng...

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Public Policy Institute of California report

PPIC Study Says Reforms Would Create Fairer, More Transparent Approach to K-12 Funding

California can significantly improve the way it funds public schools by making strategic changes now, according to a report released Tuesday by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

The PPIC report outlines a strategy to reform California's school finance system — widely considered to be inadequately funded, inequitable, and overly complex. There is unlikely to be additional money available soon to address the first of these concerns — the level of funding. But the system can be made more equitable and transparent, and doing so would prepare the state to make the most of any additional resources in the future...

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Great Schools Foundation report

New Report on Black Male Achievement Declares Situation a "National Catastrophe"

A new study released on Tuesday finds that “young black males in America are in a state of crisis.”

The new report by the Council of the Great City Schools presents stark data on the differences between black and white academic and social achievement from the cradle to adulthood, describing “comprehensive challenges” facing African-American males nationwide and in the major cities.

“Black males continue to perform lower than their peers throughout the country on almost every indicator,” says the report titled A Call for Change: The Social and Educational Factors Contributing to the Outcomes of Black Males in Urban Schools...

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Center for Education Reform report

Studies Find Charter Schools Grew Nationally By Nine Percent in 2010; California Now Has 912 Charters

A new research study released this week by The Center for Education Reform finds that the number of US charter schools grew nationally by nine percent in 2010.  As of today, 5,453 charter schools now serve the families of more than 1.7 million American students.

Another study, released on Wednesday by the California Charter Schools Association, found that there are now 912 charter schools in the state – 115 more than the previous year.

From the very first charter school's doors opening in 1993, to just over 1,600 only ten years ago, to well over 5,000 schools today, charters have taken root in 39 states and the District of Columbia...

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UCLA study report

Study Finds Juvenile Offenders Often Released into Risky Neighborhood Environments

Roughly 100,000 juvenile offenders are released each year from U.S. correctional facilities and re-enter the community, but little research has been done on the types of neighborhoods they end up in, including the risks they face and the types of resources available to them.

A new study released in September by researchers at the UCLA School of Public Affairs and the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation's Prevention Research Center (PRC) helps fill this gap, measuring the rate of juvenile offenders released into each of Los Angeles County's more than 270 ZIP codes and examining specific neighborhood-level factors that could play a significant role in their reintegration or recidivism...

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American Institute for Research report

Low Academic Standards by Some States Result in Sizable Student Learning Expectations Gap

The gap in what students are expected to know in each state varies so greatly that the difference in student expectations between the states with the most rigorous assessments and those with the least stringent is twice the size of the national black-white achievement gap, according to a new report by the American Institutes for Research (AIR).

For comparison, while black students are falling nearly two grade levels behind their white peers in knowledge and achievement, what students are expected to know in one state may be up to four grade levels behind the expectations set in another state...

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Journal of the Society of Social Work study report

Does Release Time for Students for Religious or Moral Education Negatively Affect Test Scores?

This study from the Journal of the Society of Social Work and Research examines the relationship between release time and academic outcomes. Release-time programs allow public school students to be excused from classes to receive off-site religious or moral instruction. In large part due to the federal No Child Left Behind legislation, schools are under increasing pressure to raise test scores. Consequently, some observers have questioned release-time programs, based on the assumption that missed instructional time results in lower test scores...

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Center for American Progress report

Study Examines How Teacher Performance Assessments Can Measure and Improve Teaching

Though many agree the key to improving public education is placing highly effective teachers in classrooms, the nation lacks a practical set of standards to determine that new teachers are ready to teach — but this doesn’t have to be the case, argues Linda Darling-Hammond in a new paper released on Tuesday by the Center for American Progress.

This report, “Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness: How Teacher Performance Assessments Can Measure and Improve Teaching,” discusses an approach to the question of how to measure teacher effectiveness...

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National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education report

Developmental Sciences are Given Short Shift in Educator Preparation and School Reform

While the belief that teachers and school leaders must understand and address the needs of all children has become a core premise of how we prepare educators, too few enter the profession with an understanding of the developmental sciences, which research says have a critical impact on students’ ability to learn.

A new report from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the professional accrediting organization for schools, colleges, and departments of education, says that little effort has been made to ground school reform and educator preparation in the developmental sciences...

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ApplyWise.com and NextStepU survey report

Survey Finds Most Families with College-Bound Teens in Worse Financial Condition than Two Years Ago

As high school seniors prepare to complete college applications, a survey conducted by online college admissions counseling service ApplyWise.com and media company NextStepU shows the majority of families polled are going to struggle harder than ever to pay for their child’s college education.

The survey compared 2010 data with that of a similar survey the companies conducted in 2008. Results indicate that when selecting schools, parents say they are now less influenced by a college’s reputation and the look and feel of the campus, and more likely to select a school based on the availability of financial aid...

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A Family Acceptance Project report

Study Links School Bullying, Depression in Adulthood

New research has found that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth who do not conform to societal gender norms have compromised mental health that is clearly linked to the bullying and harassment they receive in school.  The study, to be published in the November 2010 edition of Developmental Psychology, analyzes the relationship between the victimization suffered by gender non-conforming LGBT students and their psychosocial adjustment as young adults.

Analyzing data from the Family Acceptance Project’s young adult survey, the authors examined the school-related experiences of 245 LGBT young adults, ages 21 to 25...

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National Academy of Sciences report

Study Says Education, Basic Research Needed To Counter Ongoing Economic Decline

The outlook for America's ability to compete for quality jobs in the global economy has continued to deteriorate in the last five years, and the nation needs a sustained investment in education and basic research to keep from slipping further, says a new report requested by the presidents of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, and authored by members of the committee that wrote the influential 2005 report, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future.”...

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McGraw-Hill Education report

Study Recommends Three "Imperatives" for Turning Around Underperforming Schools

A new white paper, “Pathways to High Performance: Turning Around Underperforming Public Schools,” was released by McGraw-Hill Education on Tuesday. Co-authored by Arthur Griffin, Jr., senior vice president, Urban Advisory Resource, at McGraw-Hill Education, and James Pughsley, Ed.D, education consultant and former superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (in Virginia), the white paper explores the topic of reinvigorating the morale and achievement records of low-performing public schools based on three fundamental imperatives...

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Lumina Foundation for Education report

Report Shows Wide Education Gap in California's Counties

At a time when the United States urgently needs to increase the number of Americans who hold a high-quality postsecondary degree or credential, a new report released this week by Lumina Foundation for Education shows that the rate of higher education attainment has barely moved.

The report found a huge differential between different parts of California in terms of the percentage of adults (age 25-64) who have completed a two-year or four-year college degree.  In the Bay Area counties, the percentage of adults with a college degree is high – 61.7 percent in Marin, 61.2 percent in San Francisco, 54.2 percent in Santa Clara, 54.1 percent in San Mateo...

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ACT report

Rigorous Core Curriculum Narrows Achievement Gap, According to New Report from ACT

Racial and income gaps in college success rates can be narrowed by ensuring that all students take a rigorous core curriculum in high school, according to a new study by ACT, Inc. The findings show that racial/ ethnic and family income gaps are reduced—in some cases dramatically—when entering students are academically prepared for college.

“Our country has allowed achievement gaps to exist for far too long,” said Cynthia B. Schmeiser, ACT Education Division president and chief operating officer. “The time has come to address this problem head on...

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National Science Board report

NSB Report Focuses on Identifying and Preparing the Nation's Human Capital

According to the new study issued Wednesday by the National Science Foundation, titled “Preparing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators,” the development of our nation’s human capital through our education system is an essential building block for future innovation.  Currently, the abilities of far too many of America’s young men and women go unrecognized and underdeveloped, and, thus, these individuals may fail to reach their full potential.  This represents a loss for both the individual and society.

There are students with high potential from every demographic and from every part of our country...

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American Heart Association report

Education Predicts Better Cardiovascular Health in Affluent Countries, But Not Elsewhere

In one of the first international studies to compare the link between formal education and heart disease and stroke, the incidence of these diseases and certain risk factors decreased as educational levels increased in high-income countries, but not in low- and middle-income countries.

Researchers — who reported their study this week in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association — also found that smoking rates unexpectedly increased with greater education level among women in high-income and low-and middle-income regions...

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Center for Education Policy report

Few Districts Familiar with Intervention Models – and Fewer Still Have Actually Tried Them

The Center on Education Policy (CEP) on Tuesday released a new report highlighting the extent to which school districts have experience implementing the four federally mandated school reform models meant to “turn around” the nation’s lowest-performing 5 percent of schools.  In order to receive the more than $3 billion allocated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for School Improvement Grants, districts must agree to use one of the four intervention models endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education:...

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Harvard University report

Study Confirms Students Who Progress during Kindergarten Earn More as Adults

There isn't a lot of research that links early childhood test scores to earnings as an adult. But new research reveals a surprising finding: Students who learn more in kindergarten earn more as adults. They are also more successful overall.

Harvard University economist John Friedman says he and a group of colleagues found that students who progress during their kindergarten year from attaining an average score on the Stanford Achievement Test to attaining a score in the 60th percentile can expect to make about $1,000 more a year at age 27 than students whose scores remain average...

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Journal of American Medical Association report

Hearing Problems on the Rise among Teens – Student Performance at School Impacted

Hearing loss among U.S. teenagers is on the rise, perhaps because of the use of devices such as earbuds for listening to music, according to researchers.

In a paper published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers surveyed a sample of children ages 12 to 19 in 2005 and 2006 and found that 19.5 percent had some hearing loss. That compares with a rate of 14.9 percent of children with some degree of hearing loss in a study covering the years 1988 to 1994. Hearing loss of 25 decibels or more – a level at which the children often became aware of the deficit – increased to 5.3 percent of the recent sample, from 3.5 percent in the earlier group...

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Wallace Foundation study report

New Study Confirms Education Leadership Raises Test Scores

The largest in-depth study of school leadership to date, this report gathers and analyzes quantitative data confirming that education leadership has a strong impact on student achievement, as measured by student test scores. The study shows that leadership makes its mark largely by strengthening a school’s “professional community” – an environment where teachers work together to improve classroom instruction. It also finds that rapid turnover of principals reduces student achievement. In addition, the study shows that although the principal remains the central source of leadership in schools, he or she is far from the only source...

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University of Cambridge report

Study Finds Education Lowers Dementia Risk

A team of researchers from the UK and Finland has discovered why people who stay in education longer have a lower risk of developing dementia – a question that has puzzled scientists for the past decade.

Examining the brains of 872 people who had been part of three large ageing studies, and who before their deaths had completed questionnaires about their education, the researchers found that more education makes people better able to cope with changes in the brain associated with dementia.

Over the past decade, studies on dementia have consistently showed that the more time you spend in education, the lower your risk of dementia...

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Fordham Foundation report

California English Standards Higher Than Common Core:
Common Core Standards Superior to English Standards in Most States, Study Finds

The K-12 academic standards in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics produced last month by the Common Core State Standards Initiative are clearer and more rigorous than those currently in use in three-quarters of the states, reports the Thomas B. Fordham Institute on the basis of a comparison released Tuesday.

Specifically, the Common Core standards are stronger than today’s ELA standards in 37 states and today’s math standards in 39 states. In 33 of those states, the Common Core bests both ELA and math standards...

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A NAFSA report

"At Risk" Students Benefit: Research Suggests Study Abroad Helps Improve, Rather Than Hinder, Academic Performance

The University System of Georgia has released a study finding that students who study abroad have improved academic performance upon returning to the home campus and higher graduation rates.

The GLOSSARI project – Georgia Learning Outcomes of Students Studying Abroad Research Initiative – also found that studying abroad helps, rather than hinders, academic performance of at risk students.

“The conventional wisdom is that students who are at risk should be discouraged from studying abroad altogether,” according to Don Rubin...

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A New England Journal of Medicine report

Study Finds School-Based Efforts in Nutrition, Exercise, Education Help Curb Student Obesity

School-based efforts at better nutrition, more exercise and improved education about healthy living can help kids who are most at risk for obesity keep the weight off, compared to children in schools without such programs, a new study suggests.

But the program failed to reduce the overall numbers of overweight and obese schoolchildren – those numbers fell by 4 percent over three years whether the 42 middle schools in the study had such initiatives or not, the researchers report...

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American Academy of Pediatrics report

Study Finds Television, Computer Games Harming Students Ability to Concentrate

Children who spend many hours a day glued to the TV or playing computer video games may be harming their ability to concentrate and focus on tasks in school, according to a new study released in the current issue of Pediatrics – The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

The study worked with a sample of 1,323 middle childhood participants who were assessed during a 13-month period by parent- and child-reported television and video game exposure as well as teacher-reported attention problems...

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U.S. Census Bureau releases

Nationwide Comparison of Education Spending By State, District

The U.S. Census Bureau has released a report comparing per-pupil spending by states and local school districts.

The report – which uses a different methodology than the annual tally compiled by the National Education Association – found that New York put more funding into education on a per-pupil basis than any other state ($17,173), while Utah spent the least ($5,765).

The national average, according to the Census Bureau, was $10,259 – higher than 34 states...

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California Budget Project releases

Race to the Bottom? New "School Finance Facts" Report

According to a new report titled “Race to the Bottom? California’s Support for Schools Lags the Nation”, released by the California Budget Project on Wednesday, state government support for education is anemic.

“By almost any measure California ranks near or at the bottom with respect to funding for public schools relative to other states.  Although such comparisons do not take into account how much it actually costs to provide a quality education to California’s students, they do provide one measure of whether California spends an appropriate amount on public schools...

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University of Nevada report

Twenty-Year Study Looked at 27 Nations: Books around the Home As Important As Parents' Education Level in Determining Level of Education Children Will Attain

Whether rich or poor, residents of the United States or China, illiterate or college graduates, parents who have books in the home increase the level of education their children will attain, according to a 20-year study lead by Mariah Evans, University of Nevada, Reno associate professor of sociology and resource economics.

For years, educators have thought the strongest predictor of attaining high levels of education was having parents who were highly educated.  But, strikingly, this massive study showed that the difference between being raised in a bookless home...

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LAO report

Categorical Flexibility Having a Positive Impact

On Tuesday, the Legislative Analyst released a report examining how school districts are using the categorical flexibility created in the state budget in February 2009.  This report represents the first official analysis of the impact of allowing school districts flexibility in how they spend categorical funds.

The LAO reports that “categorical flexibility is having a positive impact on local decision making and that the majority of districts generally appear to be using freed-up categorical funds to support core classroom instruction.”  The report goes on to make several recommendations to the Legislature about further expansion of categorical flexibility...

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CBP report

One in Four California Adults Can't Read a Newspaper:
California Budget Project Report Examines Funding for Adult Education Programs

LEducation in basic reading, writing, and math provides a gateway to better jobs and educational opportunities for many Californians, while ensuring that employers have a trained and competitive workforce. Several measures – including the fact that one out of four California adults cannot read an English-language newspaper – indicate a significant need for these programs in the state.

A new California Budget Project report, the second in a series called At a Crossroads, examines how California finances its basic skills education...

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RAND report

RAND Study Recommends Major Changes as Obama Administration Overhauls NCLB

Congress and the Obama administration should use the upcoming reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 to promote more consistent and rigorous academic standards across states, as well as more consistent and relevant teacher qualification requirements, according to a new RAND Corporation report.

The report finds that the flexibility provided for in the Elementary and Secondary Act – which originated in 1965 and was reauthorized as No Child Left Behind in 2001 – has expanded the patchwork of accountability systems across states...

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USC News report

USC Study Links Traffic-Related Pollution near School with Increase in Asthma among Students

Living near major highways has been linked to childhood asthma, but a new study led by researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) suggests that traffic-related pollution near schools is also contributing to the development of asthma in children.

The researchers found that the risk of developing asthma due to exposure at school was comparable to that of children whose exposure occurred primarily at home, even though time spent at school only accounted for about one third of waking hours...

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Center on Education Policy report

New Study Shows Progress for English Language Learners

A new study from the Center on Education Policy (CEP) finds that the percentages of English language learners (ELLs) meeting achievement benchmarks has increased since 2006.  According to the study, most achievement trends for ELLs are positive.  In the 10 states with the largest number of ELL test-takers, positive trends outnumbered negative trends.

The study, State Test Score Trends Through 2007-08: Has Progress Been Made in Raising Achievement for English Language Learners?, analyzes progress in achievement for ELLs on state tests from 2006—when federal regulations for testing ELLs and determining their progress under No Child Left Behind were finalized—to 2008...

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The Education Trust report

Closing the Hidden Funding Gap in America's Public Schools:
Schools with Low Income Students Often Get Less Funding, Less Experienced Teachers

A new report released last week by The Education Trust documents how budgeting practices in school districts across the country are shortchanging low-income students and undermining the power of federal investments in high-poverty schools.

“Close the Hidden Funding Gaps in Our Schools”shines a light on these widespread and unjust accounting practices and offers Congress a straightforward legislative path: Fix the so-called comparability provisions of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)...

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CHSE report

Civil Rights Coalition Urges Better Distribution of Teachers to Close the Achievement Gap

High-quality teachers are the strongest influence on academic outcomes, including graduation, yet those high-quality teachers are scarce in the high schools that serve the majority of students at risk for dropping out, according to an issue brief released last week by the Campaign for High School Equity (CHSE), based in Washington DC. CHSE urged the implementation of federal education policies to ensure equitable access to effective teachers by all students, including students of color and Native students. The group’s policy recommendations include improving strategies to recruit, support, and retain a diverse effective teacher workforce...

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UCSB report

Study Reveals Links between Poor Student Health and High School Dropout Rate

A report released last week by the California Dropout Research Project (CDRP) describes the connections between health and high school dropouts, two top priorities of the Obama administration. The latest report synthesizes existing research, examining several aspects of how health affects dropouts, and highlights three distinct pathways in which both are connected.

Childhood physical illness, childhood mental health problems and adolescent risk behaviors are the three pathways that link health and education.  Physical illnesses and chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes can prevent a child from succeeding...

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PEW Center report

Report Finds Good Pre-K Programs Produce Substantial Learning Gains for All Children

A report released Tuesday by the Pew Center for the States Research indicates that state pre-k programs with higher teacher qualification requirements improve children’s school readiness so states get the most out of their investment in early education. The new report provides examples of how states can use mandates, incentives and training programs to move toward more rigorous teacher preparation and more effective pre-k classrooms.

The report highlights the evidence showing that state-funded, voluntary pre-k can produce substantial learning gains for children from all social and economic backgrounds with long-term benefits far exceeding program costs...

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EdTrust report

Report Shows Varying Rates of Improvement in Low-Performing Schools

A report released Monday by The Education Trust shows that schools often lumped together as “low performing” are not all alike.  Examining data from reading and mathematics assessments for elementary and middle schools in ten states, the study’s authors found that some low-performing schools remain stuck year after year, and others that started low performing are among the fastest improvers in their states.

The report, “Stuck Schools: A Framework for Identifying Schools Where Students Need Change—Now!” examines what’s actually happening—and what is not—in our lowest performing schools...

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EdSource report

Study Links Performance to Clear Expectations, Data Use, Leader Evaluations:
Report Finds High-Performing Middle Schools Set High Goals, Hold All Accountable

High standards and plain old hard work – rather than simply searching for a charismatic principal – leads to higher achievement in middle schools.

That’s the major conclusion of new broad-based research study from EdSource, drawing on information gathered at hundreds of California schools.  The report finds that middle grades schools in which middle- and low-income students do well academically have a lot in common...

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WestEd report

Shortage Looms As Current Administrators Retire, Enrollment Rises:
Study Projects California's 10-Year Needs for New School Administrators by County and Region

A new report, "School-site Administrators: A California County and Regional Perspective on Labor Market Trends," highlights expected need for new principals and vice-principals driven by projected growth in student enrollment and looming retirements over the next 10 years.

The study indicates that the ten counties with the highest student enrollment will drive much of the overall numbers of school-site administrators needed in the coming decade...

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P-16 report

O'Connell Announces New Tool to Help Close the Achievement Gap, Improve School Climate

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell last week announced the availability of a new resource to help close the achievement gap by improving the culture and climate of the teaching and learning environment at schools.

The Workbook for Improving School Climate & Closing the Achievement Gap is designed to give teachers and school leaders step-by-step guidance on how to interpret and respond to the results of their state-sponsored school climate surveys...

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UCLA/IDEA report

UCLA Research Examines Effect of $17 Billion in State Budget Cuts on California's Students

A study from the UCLA Institute for Democracy, Education and Access gives a good indication of the devastating effect that $17 billion in cuts to California’s education budget has had on students.

The study compiled responses from 87 principals throughout the state. The principals represented various demographics, including school size and type, ethnic and socio-economic factors.

The report included six key findings:...

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UC Riverside Study report

Study Finds 84 Percent of Teachers Hold Unfavorable View of NCLB

Highly accomplished teachers assessing the merits of the No Child Left Behind Act give the federal legislation a mixed report card, according to a study by University of California, Riverside researchers that appeared this week in Policy Matters, a quarterly journal published by UCR.

Researchers Patrick Guggino, who earned his Ph.D. in education from UCR in 2008, and Steven Brint, professor of sociology, surveyed more than 740 of California’s most accomplished teachers to assess the effectiveness and unintended consequences of the No Child Left Behind Act...

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Education Next report

Are Boys Shortchanged in K-12 Schooling?

After decades of concern that girls were being shortchanged in male-dominated schools, there are now some people worrying about whether boys are actually the ones in peril.

In the article “Gender Gap,” available online and appearing in the forthcoming Spring 2010 issue of Education Next, Richard Whitmire, author of the book Why Boys Fail, and Susan McGee Bailey, principal author of the 1992 report How Schools Shortchange Girls debate whether schools are now shortchanging boys...

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Central Connecticut State University report

All of California's Major Cities Slide in National Literacy Rankings

Adding another bruise to the state’s reeling ego, literacy rates fell in every major California city in 2009 according to Central Connecticut State University’s (CCSU) annual ranking of literacy rates in major cities across the country. California and Texas cities represent sixteen of the bottom twenty five cities on the list—nine and seven cities, respectively. A “major city” is defined as having a population over 250,000.

Alone at the top of the list amongst its California peers, San Francisco fell from No. 5 to No. 12, wiping out a three year trend of increases from No. 9 in 2006 to No. 5 in 2008...

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Children Now 2010 report

K-12 Education Given "D":
Underperforming, Lagging Student Performance Cited

Significant changes to children’s health care and education policies are required for California to regain its financial footing and safeguard its future economic competitiveness. These are among the findings of a new study released today from Children Now, a leading nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to assuring all children have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

The 2010 California Report Card: Setting the Agenda for Children identifies many critical issues affecting children’s well-being and threatening to compromise public health and the economy...

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The Rural School and Community Trust releases

Why Rural Matters 2009:
State and Regional Challenges and Opportunities

This is the fifth biennial report released by The Rural School and Community Trust that analyzes the current condition of education in rural communities in all of the United States. The report also points to the needs of the individual states in rural education, thus requiring the state educational leaders to pay attention to issues that either were not or could not previously be addressed.

Some new statistical indicators and variables have been introduced in this new report to bring to light some other aspects of education in rural areas that were not either indicated or identified previously...

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LAO report series

California's Higher Education System:
Assessing California's Master Plan

A new series of reports from the Legislative Analyst’s Office seeks to inform California’s Legislature about the latest issues in higher education funding and policy.  This report provides an overview of the series and a comparison between the original Master Plan and our current state of affairs.

The 1960 Master Plan began as a basic framework for California’s higher education system and evolved into an amalgamation of both written and unwritten policies and goals embraced by the state...

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EdSource releases

California's Charter Schools: 2009 Update on Issues and Performance

This publication presents five articles that discuss separate issues regarding charter schools in California.

The first article, Focus on Quality, discusses several standards measuring a charter school’s success using standards developed from within and outside the industry.  Currently there is no consensus on this issue, and debate ranges from whether it would be best to apply charter-only standards or apply the same standards that are used for regular public schools.  Furthermore, once defined, how are successes to be replicated on broader scale, and in a sustainable manner?...

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National Center for Education Statistics releases

Financial Accounting for Local and State School Systems, 2009 Edition

This is an update of the 2003 manual, focusing on several key areas.  This manual serves as a guide to financial reporting for many states, school districts, and schools, while also seeking to create a recognizable national standard and concurrently acknowledging state and local unique qualities.

The 2009 revision focuses on clarifying definitions, detailing federal requirements, and assuring compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).  Obsolete language has been removed from accounting classification descriptions while other classifications have been added or expanded...

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Public Policy Institute of California releases

California School Finance Revenue Manual

A new report release by the Public Policy Institute of California accumulates the numerous revenue sources that California’s public school system has to tap into, and endeavors to organize that information into a coherent and accessible document.  This is a companion piece to an earlier report entitled “The Public Policy Institute of California School Finance Model.”  That earlier report looked at the specific amounts each school entity received during the 2005-2006 year.

The sources of revenue for school districts, local education agencies, charter schools, and non-profit organizations that support education are broken down into three categories:  local, federal, and state...

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U.S. Department of Education releases

The Condition of Education 2009

The U.S. Department of Education released this comprehensive report that looks at the status of the education system in America, examining four overarching interest areas:  participation, learner outcomes, graduation and education levels achieved, and school environments.  The report examines aggregated and disaggregated data within each interest area, and confines its data collection to the period between 1970 and 2007.

The education system is under stress throughout America.  Enrollment levels are projected to increase to beyond current capacity within the next decade...

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RAND releases

Preschool Adequacy and Efficiency in California:
Issues, Policy Options, and Recommendations

This is the fourth part of a multi-component study which examined California’s preschool education system.  Each of the three previous studies looked at specific elements within Pre-Kindergarten education system and were meant to act as informative sources for the fourth study.  The first study in this series looked at the need for Pre-Kindergarten programs that sought to elevate K-3 achievements.  The next study looked at the quality and level of access available to parents of Pre-Kindergarten students.  The last study analyzed the extent to which efficiencies in early care and education (ECE) programs can be improved...

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RAND releases

Early Childhood Education – Key in Closing California's Longstanding Achievement Gap

The best and most practical way to close California’s achievement gap – meaning the differential in academic performance by the state’s diverse ethnic and socioeconomic groups – may be to devote more resources to early childhood education.

That’s one conclusion of a new study released this week.  Titled “Preschool Adequacy and Efficiency in California,” the study is the fourth and final report in the RAND Corporation’s series on California’s preschool system.

The study was released as state government is nearly paralyzed by a growing budget crisis...

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EdSource releases

Algebra Policy in California:
Great Expectations and Serious Challenges

In July 2008, California's State Board of Education (SBE) sought to test all eighth-grade students in Algebra I, a decision that was challenged by the California Teachers Association and Association of California School Administrators, and is still being appealed in a California court.

The SBE's move was prompted in part by the vagueness perceived by many in California's mathematics standards.  The SBE’s decision has brought to the forefront a clear need for a reevaluation of California's math curricula, especially in late elementary and middle school grades...

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Policy Matters, California Senate, Office of Research releases

Could a New Way of Collecting Data Transform Education in California?

This report offers a look at what hopes lie in the upcoming transformations in how student and teacher data is collected and stored in California.  The state’s two new systems, California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) and California Longitudinal Teacher Integrated Data Education System (CALTIDES) will gather increased types of data on students and teachers into organized, computerized, disaggregated pools of information.

For students, not only the prerequisite demographic data such as gender and age, but also achievement data, program participation (Title I, ELS, etc.), and disciplinary history will follow each student throughout their educational career, as part of the CALPADS system...

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National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance releases

Report Studies Effects of Math Curricula on Achievement in Disadvantaged Schools

A report in February presented by the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance sought to study the effects of four different math curricula on achievement standards by students in disadvantaged schools.  The four math curricula used were Math Expressions (Expressions), Saxon Math (Saxon), Investigations in Number, Data, and Space (Investigations), and Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics (SFAW).  Publishers and developers were asked to submit proposals for including their curricula in the study.

First graders in 39 schools across the country were examined, which were chosen at random and were voluntary participants...

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Public Policy Institute of California releases

Closing the Gap: Meeting California's Need for College Graduates

By the year 2025, it is projected that California will have a serious gap between its need for college graduates and the number of actual degree holders, a gap projected to be nearly one million.  The Public Policy Institute of California addresses this issue in its recent report, Closing the Gap:  Meeting California’s Need for College Graduates, discussing both the causes and possible solutions.

First, the well-educated Baby Boomer generation is currently entering retirement age, and will continue to do so for the next 20 years.  Removing this valuable asset from the work force creates an obvious need...

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Public Advocates release

School Accountability Report Card: 2009 Investigative Report

This report looks at the trend of compliance levels by school districts in reporting and making available key information on school performance and conditions. In the past four years, there have been significant improvements in compliance among districts.

Despite the truncated time frame to report findings, many districts have shown an improved on-time record, up from 50% to 87% in the last five years. Additionally, 81% now offer their School Accountability Report Card (SARC) in various languages to meet the needs of the parents and students in their districts...

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Global Green USA releases

Healthier, Wealthier, Wiser:
A Report on National Green Schools

The Obama Administration is hailing the potential of green technology and is making it a key element of the economic revitalization and recovery effort now underway.  Education reform is also a part of this effort, which has led some to conclude, why not marry the two in the name of efficiency?  There are many benefits from the inclusion of green technology and building concepts in school construction for students, teachers, and the community.

Currently the Los Angeles Unified School District has 21 green schools planned, which will service 23,600 students...

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Mass Insight Education and Research Institute releases

The Turn Around Challenge:
Why America's Best Opportunity to Dramatically Improve Student Achievement Lies in our Worst Performing Schools

On March 11th in Washington, D.C., the Mass Insight Education and Research Institute held a conference to discuss the key components in its report Turn Around Challenge:  Why America's Best Opportunity to Dramatically Improve Student Achievement Lies in our Worst Performing Schools.  The main focus of the report concerns the bottom 5% of America's schools, the schools with the most opportunity for improvement.  These schools represent some 2.5 million students, mostly in high-poverty districts...

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The Institute of Education Sciences releases

Comparative Indicators of Education in the United States and Other G-8 Countries: 2009

The U.S. Department of Education, in cooperation with the Institute of Education Sciences, released the report Comparative Indicators of Education in the United States and Other G-8 Countries: 2009.  This is the fourth report in a series which assesses the national education systems of developed nations (G-8) to form a clearer picture of comparative performances. 

In a measure of 5-to-29 year olds, the segment of the population most likely to be enrolled in school, the U.S. has seen an increase in the size of this population, while other members of the G-8 have watched this population decline...

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The Legislative Analyst Office releases

Refocusing Teacher Retention Efforts

In February, the Legislative Analyst’s Office released a report which looked into the effectiveness of teacher recruitment and retention programs throughout California.

Five percent of California teachers lack full credentials and many teachers are asked to teach outside their area of matter expertise.  There are noticeable gaps in percentages of teachers who are fully credentialed between high performing and low performing schools.  In high performing schools, only 2% lack full credentials, while in low performing schools, that statistic jumps to 8%...

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EdSource releases

Making California's New Data System Work:
Quality is Key

EdSource releases its second brief in a series which looks at California's student data system, also known as CALPADS.  The report looks at what information should be collected on students, and who is responsible for that data collection at the district level, but goes on to point out that the infrastructure for collection varies widely across school districts.

The report utilizes a handful of case studies to illustrate those inconsistencies and the obstacles at the local level that exist for Local Educational Agencies (LEA's), such as capacity and funding...

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UCLA IDEA and UC ACCORD releases

CALIFORNIA EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY REPORT:
LISTENING TO PUBLIC SCHOOL PARENTS

California’s public schools continue to fall behind a majority of the rest of the nations’ public school systems, as detailed in a report released recently by UCLA  IDEA and UC ACCORD.  The California Education Opportunity Report stated that according to the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), California ranks 45th overall when measuring reading and mathematics skills of 4th and 8th graders aggregately.

The report also looks at differences between districts in both resources and performance measures...

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College Board releases

5th Annual AP Report to the Nation, California Supplemental

It has long been argued that AP© testing and doing well on those tests is an accurate indicator of how well a student will perform in college-level classes as well as an on-time graduation marker.  The College Board, a national administrator of college-entry tests, has recently released its results on student’s performance for 2008.  California students have shown marked increases in several areas.

California students tend to enroll at a higher rate than the national average. In 2008, 30.8% of California high school students were enrolled in at least one AP© exam, while the national rate was 25%...

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Public Policy Institute of California releases

Students with Disabilities and California’s Special Education Program

The PPIC has released a report examining California’s special education programs and the funding of those programs.   Different kinds of disabilities require varying levels of economic and time commitments.  This report examines the variables in both aggregated and disaggregated forms.  Increases in cases of autism and California’s mandate that requires students with disabilities pass the CAHSEE have brought funding and reporting in the area of special education to the forefront of educational reform.

The report states that while today’s students are beating historical trends, they are...

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The Legislative Analyst Office releases

2009-10 Budget Analysis Series:
Higher Education

Due to the very serious nature of the state’s fiscal problems and the likelihood that the Legislature will be discussing budget issues on a more accelerated pace this year, the Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) decided to depart from their traditional approach of publishing out their Analysis and the Prospective & Issues documents.

Instead, the LAO staff have been releasing a series of reports aimed at addressing the 2009-10 budget situation.  Since the series will relate to specific policy areas, our Reports & Research section will keep you up-to-date...

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The National Report Card on Higher Education releases

Measuring Up 2008:
The California Report Card on Higher Education

The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education has released its annual report card examining California’s education system.  In 4 of the 6 indicators used, California has remained static or shown some improvement.  While initially this seems like an overall improvement, one must remember that the state has either remained static or shown slight improvement in areas where it was already seriously lagging.

More Californians overall have earned bachelor’s degrees; however, there are racial disparities...

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The Legislative Analyst Office releases

Improving Academic Success for Economically Disadvantaged Students

Despite efforts by the state to improve the academic performance of economically disadvantaged (ED) students, with 40% of all categorical spending geared towards such programs, these students still perform well below both California and national ED students. There are many programs set up to address the barriers to receiving and achieving a quality education for ED students, like Head Start, but there is no overarching authority which is held accountable for the path and success of these students...

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Children Now releases

California Report Card 2009, Setting the Agenda for Children

Children Now has published its annual report card, grading the state in the areas of health and education, and the report card is that of an underachieving student. California's education system serves a diverse population, numbering 10 million children between the ages of 0 and 18, yet "California ranks near the bottom on national measures of student achievement."  Also, nearly 10% are or at risk of being without medical coverage at a time when a number of health issues threaten their futures...

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The Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation releases

Relationships, Rigor, and Readiness:
Strategies for Improving High Schools

If high school students are to meet the challenges and opportunities of life after high school, such as attending college or entering into the labor market, those schools must change.  Currently half of America’s high school students are graduating on time and under prepared for life after.  MDRC recently published a report looking at key areas where high schools can be improved so as to maximize the number of graduates who are college or work-ready.  Themes arose from the conference and the subsequent research it generated...

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The Public Policy Institute of California releases

California's Future Workforce:
Will There Be Enough College Graduates?

According to a recent study by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), there will be serious divergence between the supply of college educated workers and a need for those workers. By 2025, when the current 50-64 group, who have a higher percentage of bachelor's degrees than other age groups, will reach retirement age, creating an immediate need for similarly educated workers.  As current trends go, Deborah Reed at PPIC predicts that there will be more jobs than qualified workers...

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EdSource releases

From High School to Community College:
Same Students, Different Goals

A growing number of high school graduates are enrolling in California's community colleges. However, there is a gap between the objectives and assessment tools used at either level to advance the education of their students. The readiness for college-level work in English language arts and mathematics of both high school students and community college students is the focus of a new report by EdSource, High School to Community College: New Efforts to Build Shared Expectations, published in November...

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National Assessment of Education Progress releases

Measuring the Status and Change of NAEP State Inclusion Rates for Students with Disabilities

Recently, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) released a report which sought to address the fluctuations of state-level inclusion rates of students with disabilities (SDs).  These fluctuations have called into question the validity of NAEP’s data.  In an effort to address those concerns, NAEP developed a two-pronged approach to reassess the data.  While the report does not address explanations behind state-level reported results, the NAEP does look at the measures and the method of measure currently used, making several suggestions on improving both...

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Children Now releases

Educationally Insufficient?
An Analysis of the Availability and Educational Quality of Children's E/I Programming

In 1990, Congress enacted the Children's Television Act (CTA) which required television stations to air three hours a week of educational programming in exchange for the free use of publicly-owned airwaves.  However, there is a missing element within the CTA, basic standards by which to qualify and quantify the content of educational programming.  Standards delineating what constitutes "educational" programming are open to interpretation and, as a consequence, have led to shows such as The Flintstones being used by broadcasters to fulfill their weekly three-hour obligation...

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EdSource releases

California's Emerging Education Data System:
A Status Report

The first in a series of briefs published by EdSource, California's Emerging Education Data System:  A Status Report looks at the burgeoning sector of educational information systems in California. 

After years of delay, the California Department of Education is finally moving towards rolling out its California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS).  This will begin the process of bringing the California K-12 education system into compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001...

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The California Research Bureau releases

Child Care Funding Sources for California School Districts

The State of California supports child care and child development (including pre-school) programs that serve two main purposes: 1)  To provide affordable child care for lower-income working families; and 2) To promote healthy child development and school readiness.  Some programs serve both purposes.

This report is an informational tool for policymakers, school districts, and others. It compiles and organizes a range of programmatic and fiscal information about the State’s child care programs, and provides comparisons among programs...

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EdSource releases

How California Compares:
Demographics, Resources and Student Achievement

This report provides some answers regarding how California compares with the rest of the country and the four next-largest states – Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois – which are the most likely to face similar challenges.  Of equal important are the issues the data and and analyses raise about the young people in this State is education, its commitment to its public schools, and its progress in helping its students succeed.

California has set high expectations for the academic achievement of its students...

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The Policy Analysis for California Education releases

  • Conditions of Education in California 2008

In this edition of Conditions in Education in California six of California's leading policy scholars provide analysis of the urgent educational challenges facing our State. The report provides baseline data on the current performance of California's schools and students, and makes specific recommendations for policy changes that will support long-term improvement.

 

To view this report in its entirety...

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RAND Research releases

Childcare Quality Rating and Improvement Systems
What Can We Learn from Early Adopters?

This research brief summarizes an assessment of child-care quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS) in five states and provides recommendations for designing, implementing, and refining such systems.  This study is based on a small number of in-depth interviews with key stakeholders in each state; therefore, the conclusions and recommendations serve only as a starting place in filling the knowledge gap about designing and implementing QRISs.

According to the results, cost issues strongly affected their choice of components and component measures...

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RAND Research releases

Improving Arts Education is Key to Stemming Audience Decline

This report examines whether current arts and education policies address the challenges created by diminishing demand.  The figure offers a framework for understanding supply, access, and demand as they relate to the arts.  Supporting the supply of artworks is a vast infrastructure of artists, people who train artists, arts-producing and – presenting organizations, and many other contributors to the creation, display, and performances of artworks.  Supporting the demand for the arts are individuals and institutions that help draw people into engagement with works of art and teach them what to notice and value in encounter...

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RAND Research releases

A Violent Education:
Corporal Punishment of Children in US Public Schools

In this report, the ACLU and Human Rights Watch found that children ranging in age from 3 – 19 years old are routinely physically punished for minor infractions such as chewing gum, talking back to the teacher, or violating the dress code, as well as for more serious transgressions such as fighting.  Corporal punishment, legal in 21 states, typically takes the form of “paddling,” during which an administrator or teacher hits a child repeatedly on the buttocks with a long wooden board.  The report shows that, as a result of paddling, many children are left injured, degraded, and disengaged from schoo...

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