Reports & Research

Updated: June 19, 2017

 

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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