Reports & Research

Updated: August 26, 2019

 

A new NCLD & Understood report...

Dispelling Myths Around Learning Disabilities

When Temple Grandin – a pioneer in the field of animal behavior who also has autism – worked on a farm milking cows, she had difficulty remembering each step in the process. No matter how many times she was shown how to do it, the information wouldn’t stay straight in her head. “I absolutely cannot remember a sequence of instructions,” she explains.

Despite being a brilliant engineer with incredible spatial intelligence – she could mentally picture a complex device, see each individual part in action, and disassemble it in her head – she almost lost her job because she failed at far simpler duties. Eventually, she taped a checklist to the wall that outlined each step in the process, saving herself from getting fired.

A new report from the National Center for Learning Disabilities and Understood – two national leaders in supporting children with learning disabilities – attempts to dispel many of the misconceptions that teachers have about learning disabilities, including autism, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADD/ADHD, and other processing disorders...

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A Sacramento Bee article...

Fewer California Students Attending Private, Religious Schools

The number of California students enrolled in private schools has fallen by nearly 25 percent since 2000 – dragged down by a significant drop in the number of students attending religious schools.

About 479,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade attended private schools during the 2018-19 school year, compared to about 536,000 a decade prior and 637,000 in 2000, according to the California Department of Education.

The number of students in secular private schools – roughly 130,000 – has remained fairly steady since 2000. Religious schools have taken the biggest hits. The number of students enrolled in religion schools in California has dropped from about 506,000 in 2000 to about 339,000 during the last school year...

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A USC research report...

USC Research Finds E-Cigarette Cartoon Ads May Increase Young Adults’ Likelihood of Vaping

Like the infamous “Joe Camel” advertisements for cigarettes in the 1980s and 90s, the use of cartoon characters in ads for e-cigarettes and e-liquids may be attracting young people to the nicotine-delivery products, according to a new USC study.

The newly published research, which also found that recognition of the cartoon images among those who had never used e-cigarettes was positively associated with expectations that the products would taste good and enhance socializing, was published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

“Among young adults who had never used e-cigarettes, we found a significant effect of cartoon-based marketing on their likelihood of using the products in the future,” said Jon-Patrick Allem, co-leader of the study and assistant professor of research at the Keck School of Medicine of USC...

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PPIC report...

The Impact of Expanding Public Preschool on Child Poverty in California

High-quality child care and preschool programs have numerous benefits—such as promoting the early development of children’s social, emotional, and academic skills, and supporting work among parents or other caregivers. Yet child care can also be a significant expense. Many Californians would like to see more children enrolled in preschool, but without policy changes to help families with the costs, the additional financial burden would substantially increase child poverty in the state.

Subsidized child care is a key part of the social safety net that in effect boosts the resources available to low-income families by reducing a significant expense they might otherwise bear. At present, most subsidized child care and preschool programs in California require that families have incomes below specified levels—and often families must meet work requirements as well. But current program funding is not adequate to serve all eligible children...

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A USDA study...

Analysis: Study Reveals Higher School-Nutrition Standards Had Remarkably Positive Results for American Children

The U.S. Agriculture Department has good news it seemingly wants nobody to know about.

On April 23, the USDA released its “School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study,” with no news release, no fanfare. The link on the USDA website disappeared for several days after that and was altogether inaccessible before reappearing under a different URL.

The USDA says the study was “the first nationally representative, comprehensive assessment” of school meals after the implementation of the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, a key initiative of the Obama administration that mandated healthy changes in food at schools...

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CSBA report...

CSBA Releases “The Landscape of Special Education in California,” Covering the Laws, Regulations and Best Practices

Special education plays a critical role as schools strive to increase equity and improve outcomes for California’s 6.2 million public school students. To help guide this work, the California School Boards Association has released: The Landscape of Special Education in California: A Primer for Board Members. The report provides an extensive look at the state’s special education system, including its laws, structures and best practices.

The report is divided into five sections: 

  1. California’s Children and Youth with Disabilities provides facts about California’s students with disabilities and an overview of key issues related to disabilities...

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Learning Policy Institute report...

Teacher Qualifications Emerge as Major Predictor of Student Achievement in New Report

In some California school districts, students of color are reaching extraordinary levels of academic achievement – defying trends and exceeding the performance of students of similar backgrounds in other districts across the state. A new report by the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) examined which districts have excelled at supporting the learning of students of color as well as White students, taking into account their socioeconomic status.

The report also looked into the practices in these districts to see what might be making the difference and found that teacher qualifications are the most significant school-related predictors of student achievement, as measured by California’s new assessments in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics.

The new report, California’s Positive Outliers: Districts Beating the Odds, finds that the proportion of teachers holding substandard credentials – such as emergency permits, waivers and intern credentials – is significantly and negatively associated with student achievement for all students...

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A Edutopia.org report...

Teachers Can Make a Difference: When Girls Don’t See Women as Scientists, They May Not See Their Future Selves as Scientists, Either

When boys and girls were asked to draw a scientist in a study several decades ago, the results revealed a stunning bias: 99.4 percent of the drawings depicted a male scientist. Out of 5,000 drawings collected between 1966 and 1977, only 28 were of female scientists, all of which were drawn by girls.

Since then, nearly 80 studies have repeated this experiment with over 20,000 students across all grade levels, and the results of all these studies were reviewed in a meta-analysis published last year.

KEY FINDINGS OF THE META-ANALYSIS

1. Children are drawing female scientists more often: In the original 11-year study, less than 1 percent of the drawings collected from boys and girls were of female scientists. That number rose over the decades, reaching “28 percent on average in later studies,” according to the meta-analysis...

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A new UCLA Civil Rights Project report...

The Promise of Historic Brown v. Board School Desegregation Ruling ‘At Grave Risk,’ Report Says

Sixty-five years ago, the Supreme Court declared that segregated public schools were “inherently unequal” and unconstitutional, smashing a 1896 ruling that permitted “whites-only” and “Negroes-only” schools. The historic Brown vs. Board of Education decision ordered that public schools must be integrated, launching a decades-long struggle to end systemic inequality in American life.

After all these years, a new report says that while Brown vs. Board may have led to desegregation in other parts of American society, it has been unsuccessful in its stated mission: to integrate public schools.

Now, the promise of the ruling is “at grave risk,” according to the report titled “Harming our Common Future: America’s Segregated Schools 65 Years after Brown.”...

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California Community College survey report...

More than Half of Community College Students Face Food Insecurity and Nearly 20 Percent Have Faced Homelessness

More than half the students attending a California community college have trouble affording balanced meals or worry about running out of food, and nearly 1 in 5 are either homeless or do not have a stable place to live, according to a survey released today.

Nearly 40,000 students from 57 community colleges participated in the assessment of basic needs security released by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice.

“California’s community colleges are the primary driver of upward social and economic mobility for millions of residents,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley...

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