New research supports planned diversity, tactic at issue in US Supreme Court case to be decided this spring.

More funding for urban schools is only half the way to fix them, according to Barry A. Gold, PhD., an expert on organizational change who is Associate Professor of Management at Pace University's Lubin School of Business and author of a just-published study of recent school finance changes in New Jersey, Still Separate And Unequal: Segregation And The Future Of Urban School Reform (Teachers College Press, 2007).

Gold's research shows that to improve educational opportunity for urban students, teachers need to teach them the same way suburban students are taught. Moreover, some form of integration is necessary. _

Gold documents and analyzes the implementation of the first four years of the landmark 1998 New Jersey Supreme Court Abbott V ruling and the first three years of the 2002 federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act. In four high-poverty, low-achievement urban elementary schools in New Jersey, these unprecedented reforms proposed to change all elements of the schools except their population characteristics two were African American and two were Latino. Hence a related but more important research question was: Can separate education be equal? According to Gold, the answer is still no.

Gold found that teaching and learning did not improve and, in many cases, became less effective. This was primarily because administrators and teachers rejected the reforms or modified them to fit their idea of appropriate education for urban students, which as they understand it is different than the kind that suits suburban students. By focusing on test scores, in a powerful example of an unintended consequence NCLB actually increased the use of ineffective teaching methods rote drill and obsessive reiteration of "the basics" that often are used in the urban education that the Abbott V mandates tried to change.

According to Gold, the lingering socio-cultural ecology of segregation, which Abbott V and NCLB did not try to alter, insidiously reproduced the less effective kind of urban education.

In June 2007, the United States Supreme Court will rule on the use of planned diversity to achieve racial balance in public schools. The January 8, 2007 edition of the NPR program "Justice Talking" (>) is an excellent debate on the complex issues. Still Separate and Unequal: Segregation and the Future of Urban School Reform supports planned diversity to improve equality of educational opportunity, particularly under the conditions of extreme segregation that is characteristic of most metropolitan regions in the United States.
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

Inclusion Practices for English Language Learners

Doctoral student Bethany Plett has been selected as the winter 2007 recipient of the Theodore R. Sizer Dissertation Scholars Award. Presented by the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) and named for its founder and chair emeritus, the Sizer Dissertation Scholar Awards encourage a new generation of scholars to conduct research on CES schools and further an understanding of the effectiveness of innovative school practices. Award recipients receive a grant to conduct research or complete their dissertation, as well as a stipend to present their research at the CES annual conference.
The award recipient, Bethany Plett, is completing her Ph.D. at Texas A&M University and her dissertation topic is: Inclusion of English Language Learners in Conversion Small Schools.
"The role of research has been central to the work of CES from its inception and we are pleased to support this outstanding scholar in her efforts to inform the practices of educators," said Dr. Sizer. "With courage of conviction, clarity of purpose, and commitment to inquiry, this researcher stands to contribute to a large body of evidence that affirms students' capacity to excel when they are known well and engaged in authentic tasks."
The Sizer Dissertation Scholar Awards were established, in part, to assess the effectiveness of the CES Common Principles, a set of pedagogical ideas laid out by Dr. Sizer in his groundbreaking work Horace's Compromise in 1984. "For more than 20 years, CES has had a lasting impact on school transformation efforts, sitting at the nexus between theory and practice," said CES executive board member Jacqueline Ancess, co-director of the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching at Columbia University's Teachers College. "In the selection of this scholar, we honor the contribution of Ted Sizer to American education."
The following is an abstract of the award recipient's research:
Inclusion of English Language Learners in Conversion Small Schools
This qualitative study investigates, through interviews and observations, the tension produced by the practical challenge of teaching English language learners (ELL) in five conversion small schools. Philosophically and practically, the school programs range between providing limited inclusion of ELL students in mainstream classes to programs that strive to increase ELL mainstream inclusion. Through the theoretical lenses of reproduction and resistance theory, the results of the study examine the CES principle of equity as it applies to English language learners in small schools. The results of the study will also contribute to a set of recommendations for creating ELL programs in conversion small schools.
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

How Much Are Public School Teachers Paid?

In this new report, Jay P. Greene and Marcus A. Winters provide systematic data on how much public school teachers are paid, relative to other white-collar professionals. Because discussions about teacher pay rarely reference these data, the policy debate on education reform has proceeded without a clear understanding of these issues.

This report compiles information on the hourly pay of public school teachers nationally and in 66 metropolitan areas, as collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and compares the hourly income of public school teachers to those of workers in similar professions. Nationwide, the average public school teacher earned $34.06 per hour in 2005, which is 36% more per hour than the average non-sales white-collar worker and 11% more than the average professional specialty and technical worker.

Full-time public school teachers work on average 36.5 hours per week, compared with 39.4 hours per week for white-collar workers, and 39.0 hours per week for professional specialty and technical workers. Nationwide, public school teachers are paid, on average, 61% more per hour than private school teachers. The authors find no relationship between higher teacher pay rates in metropolitan areas and improved high school graduation rates.

You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

NYC Small High School Reforms Boost Student Performance

A report examining the first group of new small high schools in New York City that opened four years ago finds that the schools are making significant progress with impressive graduation rates. According to “Rethinking High School: Inaugural Graduations at New York City’s New High Schools,” these small schools are beating the odds with graduation rates that are 20 percentage points higher than the citywide rate.

The average graduation rate for the sample schools was 79%, in contrast to the citywide average of 58%. The report also found that 81% of the seniors at the new schools applied to college, and of those who applied, 85% were accepted to two or four-year institutions. Those rates were achieved despite the fact that over 80% of the schools’ graduates did not meet New York State standards in English and Math when they entered ninth grade.

The report, developed by WestEd, a non-profit education research, development and service organization, and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, examined preliminary data from 14 new small high schools that opened in September 2002 as part of the Children First reform agenda implemented by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein and the New Century High Schools Initiative, which is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Open Society Institute, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"Our research shows that these new schools are doing exactly what they set out to do," said Tracy Huebner, a senior research associate at WestEd and the report's principal author. "These schools show that a culture of high expectations, rigorous academics, and individualized attention accompanied by the appropriate supports help students to succeed in their secondary education."

The schools surveyed also had higher attendance and ninth-grade promotion rates, two predictors of graduation rates, according to WestEd. The most recent data available indicate that the average attendance rate at the 14 new schools was 89% in 2004-05. The ninth-grade promotion rate across the featured schools was 92% in the same year and 91% in 2005-06, according to the report.

Each of the 14 schools examined had successfully created a “college-going” culture through academic programs that emphasize the new “3 Rs” – rigor, relevance and relationships. For example, the schools provide increased access to advanced courses, better preparation for Regents exams, and extra support to help struggling students catch up; connect curricula to students’ personal experiences, contemporary issues and career opportunities; and encourage strong relationships between teachers, students and their families to give students more individualized attention and to enable their families to support them.

“The results in this report reflect four years of hard work and dedication on the part of the schools’ teachers, principals and partners, as well as students and their families,” said Robert L. Hughes, President of New Visions for Public Schools, which created, together with the New York City Department of Education, the United Federation of Teachers, and the Council of Supervisors and Administrators, the schools featured in the report as well as many of the other new small schools in New York City. “The challenge for New Visions and for other partners engaged in school reform is to apply the lessons learned here across all schools, both new and old, to ensure that more students reach higher levels of personal and academic achievement.”

To date, the New York City Department of Education, in partnership with local and national school developers, including New Visions, the College Board, ISA, Urban Assembly, and the Internationals Network for Public Schools, has created 197 new small secondary schools, 47 of which will graduate classes this June.

The WestEd researchers recommended that concrete steps be taken to “scale up” and expand the new schools work so that it can be sustained. The report’s recommendations include: aligning K-8 reforms with high school improvement strategies, expanding rigorous course offerings through partnerships or online learning, addressing enrollment and space challenges, applying the lessons of small schools to broader secondary reform, and tracking students after graduation.

The WestEd report can be found at
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

Whole-Language Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

Primary reading programs aren't always what they claim

Amid ongoing debate about the federal Reading First program, a new report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute exposes ineffective reading programs that dishonestly claim to be "scientifically-based" and thereby qualify for millions of dollars in public funds intended to help struggling children learn to read.

In the report, Whole-Language High Jinks, reading expert Louisa Moats offers advice for school officials, parents, and teachers about how to spot the fakes and identify programs that truly work.

"If this were medicine, the F.D.A. would never approve these reading nostrums as 'safe and effective,'" commented Fordham Institute president Chester E. Finn, Jr. "Tort lawyers would be bringing class action suits against their vendors. The papers would be full of allegations of fraud, misrepresentation, and actual harm done by them. Education, alas, is not nearly so rigorous. Yet with the futures of countless schoolchildren at stake (not to mention lots of money), school districts would be wise not to take claims about programs' research evidence at face value. Dr. Moats performs a valuable service by helping consumers detect the phonies."

Moats, a psychologist and widely respected authority on early reading, authored a previous Fordham report in October 2000 called Whole Language Lives On. In it, she uncovered many whole-language programs hiding behind the phrase "balanced literacy" in order to win contracts from school districts and avoid public scrutiny.

Seven years later, such programs still exist—and still try to pull the wool over educators' eyes. Worse, major school systems, including Denver, Salt Lake City, and New York City, continue to adopt them, misled by materials that "talk the talk," touting the five elements of effective reading instruction identified by the National Reading Panel, but which are actually just whole-language programs in disguise.

"The failures of whole language are many—especially for the two-fifths of children who are at risk of reading failure right out of the gate," notes Moats. To ensure that a program isn't just offering platitudes, she offers a useful list of warning signs to help educators spot whole-language wolves disguised as lambs. Some key indicators that the program isn't as "scientifically-based" as it promises:

Use of memorization and contextual guessing, instead of direct, systematic teaching for word recognition and actual comprehension;
Rejection of explicit phonics, spelling, or grammar instruction;
Application of the whole-language principles for English language learners.
To ensure that a reading program is based on scientific evidence of effectiveness, administrators and teachers should ask a series of probing questions about it, including these:

Does the program

Have valid screening measures in place to identify children at risk and provide them with early/extra instruction in word recognition, comprehension, and writing skills?
Interweave multiple language components (such as speech sounds, word structure, word meaning, and sentence structure) together in the same lesson?
Support reading comprehension by focusing on a deep understanding of topics and themes rather than developing a set of shortcut strategies?
"This report's findings help to explain why the federal government has to be prescriptive in its implementation of Reading First," said Michael J. Petrilli, Fordham's Vice President for National Programs and Policy. "Anyone can put the label 'scientifically-based' on the cover of their reading program. But if we want to do right by kids, we need to dig below the surface. If the policy is to fund only programs that truly work, officials at all levels need to fend off the charlatans."

The full report can be found at
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!



If high school dropouts of the nation’s class of 2006 had instead earned their diplomas with their classmates, the U.S. economy could have benefited from an additional $309 billion in wages over these students’ lifetimes, according to conservative calculations by the Alliance for Excellent Education in its new brief, The High Cost of High School Dropouts: What the Nation Pays for Inadequate High Schools, funded by MetLife Foundation.

The average annual income for a high school dropout in 2004, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, was over $9,000 less than for a high school graduate. Graduating all students, therefore, increases overall earnings potential, which, in turn, benefits the nation with increased purchasing power and higher tax receipts.

The Alliance’s brief argues that dropouts drain the nation’s economy by lowering tax revenues and increasing the cost of social programs. High school graduates, on the other hand, make higher wages and live longer. They are less likely to be teen parents, commit crimes, and rely on government healthcare.

“Although there has been a very slight increase in high school graduation rates, the pace of improvement is glacial compared with the growing and urgent need to ensure all of our students are prepared for success in the 21st century,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “As Congress prepares to renew the No Child Left Behind law this year, it must address the continuing hemorrhage of wages and taxes resulting from each class of high school dropouts.”
“Measuring the impact of increased high school graduation rates in dollars and cents drives home the serious challenges we all face when students drop out,” said Sibyl Jacobson, president of MetLife Foundation.

The High Cost of High School Dropouts: What the Nation Pays for Inadequate High Schools is available at

The number of dropouts was determined using enrollment data for the ninth grade 2002-2003 school year (National Center for Educational Statistics, Common Core of Data: 2002) and the high school graduation rate in 2006 (Editorial Projects in Education, 2006), which was then multiplied by the $260,000 estimated lifetime earnings difference between a high school dropout and a high school graduate (Rouse, 2005).
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

$730 Million More Needed for Education, Study says_

The sticker shock was fierce: about $100 million more a year, for seven years, to get Montana children up to state and national education standards.__

That's the bottom line of a new study commissioned by the Montana Quality Education Coalition. MQEC won a 2004 court decision declaring school funding inadequate in Montana.

To see the full report:
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

Report Finds Merit Pay Has Positive Effects

Study of Little Rock schools in program reveals higher test scores for
students, improved work environment for teachers.

A new evaluation of a teacher pay-for-performance program in Little Rock finds that it produces significant gains in student performance on standardized tests and a more positive work environment for teachers. The Achievement Challenge Pilot Project at Meadowcliff and Wakefield elementary schools offers teachers and staff bonuses that vary based on the magnitude of increases in student achievement.

Gary Ritter, who holds an endowed chair in education policy at the University of Arkansas, will present the findings of this study at a news conference at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16 at the State Capitol, Old Supreme Court Meeting Room. The full report is available at

According to researchers in the UA department of education reform, these bonuses led to significantly greater learning gains than had been achieved by the same students prior to the program and by students at comparison schools. The introduction of merit bonuses produced an additional 3.5 normal curve equivalent points on a nationally normed math test. This gain in achievement after one year’s time is roughly equal to one-sixth of the test score gap between white and black students, on average, nationwide.

That is, if the observed benefit of the merit pay program were to compound for six years, it would close the black-white test score gap.

“As Arkansas policy-makers consider ways to recruit, retain and reward effective public school teachers, they may well consider the responses from the teachers in these Little Rock elementary schools,” said Joshua Barnett, a lead researcher of the study. “These teachers do reveal dissatisfaction with the status quo and a desire to be rewarded fairly for their work.”

In the merit pay program, teachers could earn a bonus worth as much as $11,000. In 2005-06, teachers and staff at Meadowcliff were awarded bonuses totaling $200,926, while those at Wakefield received $228,300 in performance bonuses. For the 2006-07 school year, the program was expanded to include three more elementary schools: Geyer Springs, Mabelvale and Romine. The program began at Meadowcliff in 2004-05, and Wakefield was added in 2005-06.

A survey of teachers at participating and comparison schools found a more positive work environment at schools where the merit bonuses were available. In addition, teachers at schools participating in the merit pay program were not more likely to report counterproductive competition among faculty.

The study was supervised by Ritter, director of the Office for Education Policy in the department of education reform. Jay P. Greene, who holds the endowed chair in education reform, and graduate students Joshua Barnett and Marcus A. Winters also participated in the evaluation. The research team will continue to examine the program next year with a larger sample size of students and teachers to determine whether these initial benefits persist. The program is funded by the Little Rock School District, the Little Rock Public Education Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, the Hussman Foundation and the Brown Family Foundation. Financial support for the evaluation was provided by the Walton Family Foundation.

“The Achievement Challenge Pilot Project merit pay system should be considered as one policy option to improve the status quo and compensate teachers, and then be subject to rigorous evaluation to continually test its effectiveness,” Ritter said.

National Education Association Response:

The National Education Association issued a preliminary response Monday, Jan. 22, to a review of the beginning of a merit pay experiment for teachers in Little Rock elementary schools:

Synopsis and Review
“Evaluation of Year One of the Achievement Challenge Pilot Project in the Little Rock Public School District” by Joshua H. Barnett, Gary W. Ritter, Marcus A. Winters, and Jay P. Greene
The Study
This is the first installment of a multi-year study of elementary schools in the Little Rock School District that are participating in the Achievement Challenge Pilot Project (ACPP), a merit pay program. ACPP pays classroom teachers and school employees cash bonuses based on gains made by students on norm-referenced test scores for math, reading and language. The project started with funding from the Public Education Foundation of Little Rock (the Walton Family Foundation is among its donors), which continues as its major source of support. According to sources at the Arkansas Education Association, this study has the same financial backer, which raises the concern of how credible it is for the same entity that underwrites the merit pay program to be responsible for evaluating its effectiveness. Surely, an evaluation of the program could benefit from an independent analysis.
The ACPP program currently operates in five of Little Rock’s 34 elementary schools, with three of the schools beginning in 2006-07. The five schools all have high percentages of minority students and students who qualify for free and reduced lunches, as well as low academic achievement. This study encompasses two ACPP schools, one which started in 2004-05 and one that started in 2005-06. Three “comparison schools” were also included in the study.
The authors undertook two analyses:
1) a statistical analysis (fixed effects model) of changes in norm-referenced test scores for fourth and fifth graders. Due to “data limitations”, only math scores were used and only one of the two ACPP schools (along with all three comparison schools) was included in the study. _2) A survey of teachers, asking them about behaviors and attitudes related that the authors considered related to merit pay. Teachers in the two ACPP schools and three comparison schools were surveyed.
The Study’s Findings
The authors contend that:
1. Their statistical model (a “fixed-effects” model) estimated that “schools where the ACPP operated in 2005-06 showed an improvement of 3.5 normal curve equivalent points. For the average student, this gain represents an improvement of nearly 7 percentile points.”
2. The comparison of teacher surveys in the ACPP vs. non-ACPP schools suggested that that they: _- were no more innovative than comparison teachers._- were no more likely to work harder than comparison teachers._- were more satisfied with their salaries than comparison teachers._- reported no more counterproductive competition than comparison teachers._- their work environment became more positive than comparison teachers._- were less likely than comparison teachers to agree that low-performing students were a “burden” in the classroom._- were more likely than comparison students to report that the academic performance of their students had improved over the past year.
Overall, the authors concluded that “while the results from this first year study suggest positive impacts of the ACPP, we believe the second year study with five schools involved in the ACPP will greatly assist in expanding on and explaining the first year findings.”
While headline of the press release announcing the study boldly states that says the “Report Finds Merit Pay Has Positive Effects,” upon closer examination there are several reasons to question whether the reported findings live up to the hype. Overall, it is important to keep in mind that these are preliminary findings based on incomplete data from the first year of a multi-year study. At best, it is premature to be calling ACPP a success in achieving any of its stated goals. More probably, it is irresponsible to make any claims about the effectiveness of ACPP on the basis of this study.
1. Modest Effects
One of the authors described the findings as “modest” and while encouraging to those who carried out the study, they “certainly wouldn't say we're thrilled by any stretch.” (Associated Press, 1/16/07)
2. Narrow Scope
The study is very limited in its scope. Due to “data limitations,” only math scores were included in the analysis (p.6). Reading and language test scores were omitted. Further, “due to the limits of available data,” the estimates are based on students in only one of the two ACPP schools. (p.7). Thus, “even though nearly 2,000 students attend the schools involved in the evaluation, approximately 500 students were part of the student achievement evaluation.” (p.12) These data limitations alone make the results highly questionable.
It is difficult for other trained statisticians to further evaluate the results of the study of the impact of ACPP on test scores because the specifications, equations, coefficients, and significance tests are not shown in the report and are only partially and briefly discussed.
_It is also worth noting that there is no discussion of each school’s status in school improvement plans under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) guidelines, which could be a very significant factor in affecting the behavior and attitudes of teachers in each of the schools. While the percentages of students rated as “proficient” in math and literacy tests were considered as criteria in selecting the comparison schools, the authors did not make clear the distinction between norm-reference tests (which were used in their analysis) and criteria-referenced tests that are used as benchmarks for determining school improvement status. Thus, according to sources at the Arkansas Education Association, a paradoxical situation exists where teachers in ACDD schools earned bonuses based on norm-referenced tests while their same schools were put on improvement plans based on the results of criteria-related tests.
3. Lack of causality
The comparison of survey data of teachers in schools with and without ACPP does not take into account any other factors that might explain differences between the two groups. While the authors conduct simple significance tests on averages for survey answers for schools in and out of the ACPP program, this alone is not sufficient to infer that these differences can be attributed to ACPP.
For example, the authors also imply that greater “satisfaction with salaries” can be attributed to the presence of merit pay while it may actually just be an effect of higher pay. It is not possible for teachers in ACPP schools to have pay deducted because of low test scores. It is only possible to receive a bonus on top of regular pay for improved test scores. Though the actual percentage of teachers receiving bonuses was not reported, it was reported that over was $200,000 in bonuses was divvied up in one ACPP school and nearly $230,000 was awarded in the other school in 2005-06. No additional pay was awarded in any of the comparison schools. Thus, any differences in pay satisfaction might be more attributable to higher pay than any incentive effect.
Setting aside this overall lack of causality, it is interesting to note that while the authors hypothesize that merit pay may “motivate current teachers to improve the performance of students through additional effort and innovation, where teachers work to learn and implement new effective teaching strategies,” their survey found no difference between the two groups of teachers in how “innovative” they were or in reporting that they worked “harder.” The authors do not discuss this apparent lack of support for key behavioral theories about why merit pay would lead to higher student achievement in the first place.
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

Task Force on the Education of Maryland’s African-American Males Report

The task force was asked to evaluate Maryland’s progress in addressing persistent academic achievement problems imperiling African-American boys and men.

Recommendations include placing the most-effective teachers in the highest-need classrooms, hiring more black male teachers, reducing the number of black males in special education classes, ensuring that every public high school in the state offers advanced placement classes and that the number of black males in those classes reflects the school’s demographics.

To see the full report:

To read a related article:
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

Enhancing Science and Math Education

Rising Above The Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future (2006)

…The National Academies was asked to respond to the following questions: What are the top 10 actions, in priority order, that federal policymakers could take to enhance the science and technology enterprise so that the United States can successfully compete, prosper, and be secure in the global community of the 21st century? What strategy, with several concrete steps, could be used to implement each of those actions? The National Academies created the Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century to respond to this request…
The four recommendations focus on actions in K_12 education (10,000 Teachers, 10 Million Minds), research (Sowing the Seeds), higher education (Best and Brightest), and economic policy (Incentives for Innovation) that are set forth in the following sections…


Recommendation A:

Increase America's talent pool by vastly improving K_12 science and mathematics education. Implementation Actions The highest priority should be assigned to the following actions and programs. All should be subjected to continuing evaluation and refinement as they are implemented.

Action A-1: Annually recruit 10,000 science and mathematics teachers by awarding 4-year scholarships and thereby educating 10 million minds. Attract 10,000 of America's brightest students to the teaching profession every year, each of whom can have an impact on 1,000 students over the course of their careers. The program would award competitive 4-year scholarships for students to obtain bachelor's degrees in the physical or life sciences, engineering, or mathematics with concurrent certification as K_12 science and mathematics teachers. The merit-based scholarships would provide up to $20,000 a year for 4 years for qualified educational expenses, including tuition and fees, and require a commitment to 5 years of service in public K_12 schools.

A $10,000 annual bonus would go to participating teachers in underserved schools in inner cities and rural areas.

To provide the highest-quality education for undergraduates who want to become teachers, it would be important to award matching grants, on a one-to-one basis, of $1 million a year for up to 5 years, to as many as 100 universities and colleges to encourage them to establish integrated 4-year undergraduate programs leading to bachelor's degrees in the physical and life sciences, mathematics, computer sciences, or engineering with teacher certification. The models for this action are the UTeach at the University of Texas and California Teach at the University of California.

Action A-2: Strengthen the skills of 250,000 teachers through training and education programs at summer institutes, in master's programs, and in Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) training programs. Use proven models to strengthen the skills (and compensation, which is based on education and skill level) of 250,000 current K_12 teachers.

· Summer institutes: Provide matching grants to state and regional 1- to 2-week summer institutes to upgrade the skills and state-of-the-art knowledge of as many as 50,000 practicing teachers each summer. The material covered would allow teachers to keep current with recent developments in science, mathematics, and technology and allow for the exchange of best teaching practices. The Merck Institute for Science Education is one model for this action.

· Science and mathematics master's programs: Provide grants to research universities to offer, over 5 years, 50,000 current middle school and high school science, mathematics, and technology teachers (with or without undergraduate science, mathematics, or engineering degrees) 2-year, part-time master's degree programs that focus on rigorous science and mathematics content and pedagogy. The model for this action is the University of Pennsylvania Science Teachers Institute.

· AP, IB, and pre-AP or pre-IB training: Train an additional 70,000 AP or IB and 80,000 pre-AP or pre-IB instructors to teach advanced courses in science and mathematics. Assuming satisfactory performance, teachers may receive incentive payments of $1,800 per year, as well as $100 for each student who passes an AP or exam in mathematics or science. There are two models for this program: the Advanced Placement Incentive Program and Laying the Foundation, a pre-AP program.

· K_12 curriculum materials modeled on a world-class standard: Foster high-quality teaching with world-class curricula, standards, and assessments of student learning. Convene a national panel to collect, evaluate, and develop rigorous K_12 materials that would be available free of charge as a voluntary national curriculum. The model for this action is the Project Lead the Way pre-engineering courseware.

Action A-3: Enlarge the pipeline of students who are prepared to enter college and graduate with a degree in science, engineering, or mathematics by increasing the number of students who pass AP and IB science and mathematics courses. Create opportunities and incentives for middle school and high school students to pursue advanced work in science and mathematics. By 2010, increase the number of students who take at least one AP or IB mathematics or science exam to 1.5 million, and set a goal of tripling the number who pass those tests to 700,000.

Student incentives for success would include 50% examination fee rebates and $100 mini- scholarships for each passing score on an AP or IB science or mathematics examination. Although it is not included among the implementation actions, the committee also finds attractive the expansion of two approaches to improving K_12 science and mathematics education that are already in use:

· Statewide specialty high schools: Specialty secondary education can foster leaders in science, technology, and mathematics. Specialty schools immerse students in high-quality science, technology, and mathematics education; serve as a mechanism to test teaching materials; provide a training ground for K_12 teachers; and provide the resources and staff for summer programs that introduce students to science and mathematics.

· Inquiry-based learning: Summer internships and research opportunities provide especially valuable laboratory experience for both middle-school and high-school students…

To read the entire report:
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

No one strategy is best for teaching reading

No one strategy is best for teaching reading, FSU professor shows

For decades, a debate has simmered in the educational community over the best way to teach children how to read. Proponents of phonics, the "whole language and meaning" approach and other teaching methods long have battled for dominance, each insisting that theirs is the superior strategy.

Now, a Florida State University researcher has entered the fray with a paper in the prestigious journal Science that says there is no one "best" method for teaching children to read.

Carol M. Connor is an assistant professor in the FSU College of Education and a researcher with the Florida Center for Reading Research. Along with colleagues from FSU and the University of Michigan, she wrote "Algorithm-Guided Individualized Reading Instruction," published in Science’s Jan. 26 issue. (The magazine is available online to subscribers at Connor’s paper shows that lots of individualized instruction, combined with the use of diagnostic tools that help teachers match each child with the amounts and types of reading instruction that are most effective for him or her, is vastly preferable to the standard "one size fits all" approach to reading education that is prevalent in many American elementary schools.

"There is too much of a tendency in education to go with what ‘sounds’ really good," Connor said of various educational trends that come into and fall out of fashion. "What we haven’t done very well is conduct comprehensive field trials and perform the rigorous research that are the norm in other fields of science. With this study, we sought to do just that — to take a systematic approach to what works, what doesn’t, and why" when teaching students to read.

The researchers found that "the efficacy of any particular instructional practice may depend on the skill level of the student. Instructional strategies that help one student may be ineffective when applied to another student with different skills." The trick, then, is to more precisely determine the reading skill level of each child and then find a way to cater the curriculum to each student’s individual needs.

"Instead of viewing the class as an organism, we’re trying to get teachers to view the students as individuals," Connor said.
While that may sound daunting to the typical first- or second-grade teacher, Connor has turned to technology to offer a helping hand. She, Frederick J. Morrison and Barry Fishman, professors at the University of Michigan, have developed "Assessment to Instruction," or A2i, a Web-based software program. A2i uses students’ vocabulary and reading scores and their desired reading outcome (i.e. their grade level by the end of first grade) to create algorithms that compute the recommended amounts and types of reading instruction for each child in the classroom. The software then groups students based on learning goals and allows teachers to regularly monitor their progress and make changes to individual curricula as needed.

A2i currently is being tested by about 60 elementary-school teachers in one Florida county. However, "right now A2i is just a research tool," Connor said. "Hopefully we’ll be able to make it available more widely as time goes on."
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

Do the Math: Cognitive Demand Makes a Difference

Extending high expectations to all students in mathematics is a relatively
new idea.

Learning math can be tough. Not learning it is tougher. Many students lack access to higher-level mathematics courses and teaching at all levels of precollege schooling. This is unacceptable in the face of the ever-expanding technical demands posed by higher education and the 21st-century job market. Research reveals that strong academic experience is needed for both college and the workforce. Raising the cognitive demand in the curriculum is necessary for enhancing students’ career prospects.

Recent trends show progress, such as growth in the number of minority students taking higher-level mathematics classes and earning degrees in mathematics. Still, there is much work to be done.

Curriculum policies that limit course options restrict opportunities to learn for traditionally underserved students. This problem is compounded by the sorting of students according to ability within the same mathematics classes and the low quality of some mathematics instruction in elementary and middle schools. Bringing less advantaged students into higher mathematics study and preparing our future leaders in mathematics and science are not mutually exclusive ends. If we teach math at a higher level of cognitive demand, even in the early grades, we can look forward to a future in which high mathematics achievers better reflect the country’s diverse population. To accomplish this, schools need to be staffed by well prepared teachers, and high curriculum standards should be a priority. Teaching in high-performing schools requires a learning environment that supports sustained student engagement on both basic skills and cognitively demanding conceptual mathematics tasks.

To read the full report:
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

More Kids ‘On Track’ at School — 1 in 4 Gifted —_According to Census Bureau Report on ‘A Child’s Day’

Seventy-five percent of children 12 to 17 years old enrolled in school were academically “on track” (at or above the grade level for peers their age) in 2003, up 6 percentage points since 1994, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest report on how kids are spending their days.
A Child’s Day: 2003 [PDF] is the third examination of children’s well-being and their daily activities based on the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Nearly 1 in 4 children in the 12- to 17-year-old age group were in a special class for gifted students or did advanced work in an academic subject.
Other highlights:
• Parents were more likely to impose restrictions on TV viewing in the last decade. For example, about 67 percent of children 3 to 5 had limits on what television shows they could watch, when, and for how long in 2003, up significantly from 54 percent in 1994.
• Eating with a parent was less likely to occur for teenagers than children under 6. In 2003, 24 percent of children 12 to 17 ate breakfast with a parent every day in a typical week, while 58 percent ate dinner together. Among children under 6, 57 percent ate breakfast with mom or dad, and 79 percent were at the table for dinner.
• About 72 percent of kids under 6 were praised by mom or dad three or more times per day, compared with 51 percent of children 6 to 11 years old and 37 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds.
• Children 1 to 2 were read to an average of 7.8 times in the previous week of the survey, while children 3 to 5 were read to an average of 6.8 times in the previous week.
• In 2003, 18 million children (38 percent) under 12 had been cared for regularly in a non-relative child care arrangement at some point in their childhood. Nearly half (47 percent) of 3- to 5-year-olds had been in non-relative child care — most likely preschool.
• Children 12 to 17 were more likely than children 6 to 11 to participate in sports (42 percent and 36 percent, respectively). About one-third of both groups participated in club activities.
• Aside from normal progression within a school system, 24 percent of children 6 to 11 and 41 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds had changed schools at some time since first grade. For both age groups, there was little change in these percentages since 2000, but both were lower than those reported in 1994.
• Eleven percent (2.7 million) of children 12 to 17 had been expelled or suspended from school at least once in 2003. Boys (14 percent) were more likely than girls (8 percent) to have been suspended.
• About 30 million children participated in the National School Lunch Program in 2003, including 1.6 million kids under 6, 15 million 6- to 11-year-olds and 13.4 million children 12 to 17.
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

The Role of Recess in Children’s Cognitive Performance and School Adjustment

The Role of Recess in Children’s Cognitive Performance and School Adjustment

The authors suggest that the recess period serves a positive purpose in the primary school curriculum, counter to the current practice of minimizing recess in many schools across North America and the United Kingdom. The authors’ position is embedded in the larger debate about school accountability; they argue that school policy should be based on the best theory and empirical evidence available. They support their argument for the importance of recess with theory and with experimental and longitudinal data showing how recess breaks maximize children’s cognitive performance and adjustment to school.

To read the full report:
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

Parents' high school completion critical factor in literacy performance of children

The children of parents who have not completed high school are more likely to struggle with reading and writing, says a landmark University of Alberta study that proves family literacy programs can make a difference not only on the child's reading ability but the parents as well.

Despite assumptions about the benefit of literacy programs this study is the first to offer quantitative proof that parent-child literacy interventions for families of low educational and low income backgrounds do work. The study was conducted by Dr. Linda Phillips, professor in the Department of Elementary Education and Director of the Canadian Centre for Research on Literacy and her colleagues, Dr. Ruth Hayden and Dr. Stephen Norris.

"This study is unique because it attempted to look at the corresponding relationship between the mother and father's educational level and how well kids do on early screening tests," said Phillips, director of the Canadian Centre for Research on Literacy. "It became so definitive that based upon parental educational levels, we could predict how the kids would do. What this tells us is that it is critical for students to finish high school or this vicious circle of literacy will never improve if we don't improve the education level of parents and would-be parents across the country."

Over five years, Phillips and her research team followed 47 low-income and low-educational families. The program, "Learning Together," saw individual sessions for the parents and the children--between three and five years old--as well as a joint adult-child session. It consisted of eight units of study taught for 90 hours across 12 weeks of instruction designed to improve children's literacy, parent's literacy and the parents' ability to help their children. Control group families were matched with the treatment families on all demographic factors, starting with the age and sex of the child. These families carried on their lives without intervention but followed the same testing and interviewing pattern as the matched families in the treatment groups.

The study was grounded on the premise that parental interactive strategies and the quantity and variety of print materials available in the home are factors that affect children's preparation for meaningful formal literacy instruction.

For example, the study showed that everyday activities often taken for granted such as reading flyers, writing grocery lists and singing songs together in the car can and do foster collective learning for both parents and children.

"Parents in the study noted that their children were able to write their own names, make lists, read to pets and dolls, memorize texts of shared books, make labels for objects and more," says Phillips. "Not only did some of these kids take off like wildfire but their parents' reading improved at the same time. And the gains that these families made from participating in the program were sustained over time."

In collaboration with the Centre for Family Literacy, the National Literacy Secretariat, and the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network, the five-year longitudinal study included families from five communities.
Comprehensive results of the study are reported in the book, Family Literacy Matters: A Longitudinal Parent-Child Literacy Intervention Study by Linda M. Phillips, Ruth Hayden and Stephen P. Norris and published by Temeron Books, Inc.
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

Survey reveals problem of cyber-bullying in schools

A survey into teachers’ experiences of cyber-bullying has revealed that bullying by mobile phone, email or over the internet is a growing problem In England.

The survey revealed that 17 per cent of respondents have experienced this type of bullying. These incidents ranged from upsetting emails and unwelcome text messages, to silent phone calls and the malicious use of websites and internet chat rooms.

A secondary school teacher from the North East, experienced cyber-bullying by a colleague at work, who refused to speak to him face to face, and would only communicate by sending abrupt, aggressive emails or text messages. This went on for a long period of time and left Mark with reduced self confidence and feeling very excluded at work. He discussed the issue with his manager, but felt that it was dealt with poorly, and that his situation was dismissed as not important. Mark has now moved to another role.

Having been subject to derogatory and false statements placed on a website over several months, another respondent, a secondary school teacher from the Midlands said it was a major factor in his decision to retire early from teaching. “I found the nature of the comments about me to be very hurtful,” he recalls. Even leaving the school hasn’t stopped the abuse. “More recently comments about me have reappeared on the website,” he says “It seems that, even in retirement, my detractors can’t leave me alone.”

The results also showed that 53 per cent of respondents did not know whether their school has a code of conduct to address cyber-bullying, and 39 per cent said their schools did not. Of those whose schools do have a code of conduct to address this issue, 19 per cent said it is not properly enforced and 72 per cent don’t know if it is.

The cyber-bullying survey ran from November 2006 to January 2007 with 379 respondents.

The survey revealed:
17 per cent of respondents have been bullied by mobile phone, email or over the internet_Of those who have been bullied in this way:
• 45% received emails designed to upset or enrage them
• 38% received unwelcome text messages that they found upsetting
• 38% received silent calls
• 15% received threatening text messages
• 12% said photos were sent to them or other people which made them feel embarrassed, threatened or uncomfortable
• 10% read messages via an internet chat room which were designed to upset or enrage them
• 7% received one or more emails threatening them
• 7% received threatening messages via an internet chat room.

When asked who they were bullied by:
• 34% said pupils
• 33% did not know
• 31% said their manager
• 21% said their colleagues
• 7% said pupils' parent.

Of those who have experienced bullying or threats, it affected them in the following ways:
• 63% said it reduced their confidence and self esteem
• 57% said their productivity or teaching effectiveness was reduced
• 49% became ill or stressed but carried on working
• 43% said it affected their home life
• 20% were scared to go to work
• 17% took sick leave, suffering from illness and stress
• 8% were scared outside of work.

Regarding Codes of Conduct to address cyber-bullying:
• 9% said their school does have a Code of Conduct to address this issue
• 39% said their schools did not have a Code of Conduct to address cyber-bullying
• 53% didn’t know
• Of those whose schools did have a Code of Conduct, only 19% said it was properly enforced.
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

Universal Education Achievable and Affordable

Educating All Children: A Global Agenda, a new book from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, examines the impact of providing high-quality education to every child in the world between the ages of 6 and 16. According to the authors, achieving universal basic and secondary education, by the middle of the 21st century, is both possible and affordable. The volume presents a cohesive picture of past, present, and future steps necessary to achieve this goal.

The Academy study concludes that achieving universal primary and secondary education is both urgently needed and well within the ability of wealthy nations to fund. Five changes are essential to achieve universal primary and secondary education by mid- century:
• Open discussions, nationally, regionally, and internationally, on what people want primary and secondary education to achieve — that is, the goals of education
• A commitment to improving the effectiveness and economic efficiency of education
• A commitment to extending high-quality secondary education to all children
• Recognition of the diverse character of educational systems in different countries, and adaptation of aid policies and educational assessment requirements to local contexts
• More funding from rich countries for education in poor countries

Although greater numbers of people are completing primary, secondary, and tertiary education than ever before, ensuring universally available high-quality schooling still faces major obstacles. In Educating All Children, leading experts discuss the current state of education and how to measure global educational progress, the history of compulsory education, political and financial obstacles to expanding education, the role of educational assessment and evaluation in developing countries, cost estimates for providing universal education (and why they differ so widely), the potential consequences of expanded global education, and the relationship between education and health.

Universal primary education has long been advocated in international forums, but the editors contend that secondary education must also be universally available. They note that many benefits of education do not accrue until students have had ten years or more of schooling and that “primary education is more attractive if high-quality secondary education beckons.”

At the current rate of progress, the international commitment to universal primary education by 2015, as expressed in the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, will not be met. According to the study, by 2015, roughly 114 million children – most in the world’s poorest countries — will still not be enrolled in primary school and almost twice that number will not be receiving a secondary education.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown commented "Educating All Children: A Global Agenda is a timely reminder of the importance of universal access to education in the fight against poverty.” Stephen P. Heyneman, Professor of International Education Policy at Vanderbilt University said, “This is among the most interesting books on education and development I have read in a decade.”

Educating All Children: A Global Agenda is published by the MIT Press.
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

A new language barrier -- Why learning a new language may make you forget your old one

Traveling abroad presents an ideal opportunity to master a foreign language. While the immersion process facilitates communication in a diverse world, people are often surprised to find they have difficulty returning to their native language. This phenomenon is referred to as first-language attrition and has University of Oregon psychologist Benjamin Levy wondering how it is possible to forget, even momentarily, words used fluently throughout one's life.

In a study appearing in the January, 2007 issue of Psychological Science, Levy and his colleague Dr. Michael Anderson discovered that people do not forget their native language simply because of less use, but that such forgetfulness reflects active inhibition of native language words that distract us while we are speaking the new language. Therefore, this forgetfulness may actually be an adaptive strategy to better learn a second language. In the study, native English speakers who had completed at least one year of college level Spanish were asked to repeatedly name objects in Spanish. The more the students were asked to repeat the Spanish words, the more difficulty they had generating the corresponding English labels for the objects. In other words, naming objects in another language inhibits the corresponding labels in the native language, making them more difficult to retrieve later.

Interestingly, the study also showed that the more fluent bilingual students were far less prone to experience these inhibitory effects. These findings suggest that native language inhibition plays a crucial role during the initial stages of second language learning. That is, when first learning a new language, we have to actively ignore our easily accessible native language words while struggling to express our thoughts in a novel tongue. As a speaker achieves bilingual fluency, native-language inhibition becomes less necessary, accounting for the better performances of fluent bilingual speakers in the study. Although the value of suppressing previously learned knowledge to learn new concepts may appear counterintuitive, Levy explains that "first-language attrition provides a striking example of how it can be adaptive to (at least temporarily) forget things one has learned."
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

Study raises doubts on K-8

Johns Hopkins University researchers have concluded that expanding elementary schools to sixth, seventh and eighth grades does not help adolescents do better academically…

"District after district is getting misled by thinking our K-8 schools are doing better than our middle schools," said Douglas Mac Iver, a Hopkins education researcher who has studied middle schools for more than a decade.
Shutting down a middle school in a neighborhood with gang violence and open-air drug markets to open a new school will not insulate the students from those influences, he said: "The grade span itself is not some magic bullet…"
Hard to teach
For several decades, educators have debated where to put 11- to 14-year-olds, the most difficult-to-teach age because of the rapid physical and emotional development that occurs during those years.
Historically, when most children left school after eighth grade, schools were organized in one building. Then, in the middle of the 20th century, educators decided to keep sixth-graders in elementary schools and move seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders into junior high schools.

Change came again in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when school districts began building middle schools for sixth through eighth grades, which today is the most common configuration, according to Alan Summers, director of professional development at the National Middle School Association.

"Currently, there is no research that says what should be the most effective grade configuration," Summers said.

The Mac Ivers' research did not look just at test scores from one grade at a middle school compared with the same grade at a K-8 school, as most school systems do.

The research went deeper, investigating how good a job middle schools did in educating the students over three years. The researchers looked at the growth students achieved in their three middle school years.

The research could help guide administrators deciding how to reform middle schools in their districts.

What it shows, Mac Iver said, is that the quality of the teaching, the curriculum and other factors matter just as much…

Math programs
Mac Iver said his research indicates that students who were taught using several different reform math programs scored higher than their peers who did not use those programs.

"Our research has consistently shown the positive effects of National Science Foundation-supported reform mathematics programs on student achievement," he said, adding that it must include coaching for teachers and other kinds of teacher training...

Teachers are key
Summers believes the pitfall in creating K-8 schools is that the school might not be large enough to provide teachers who specialize. For instance, a math teacher in a small school might have to teach Algebra I and other levels of math, or math and science, and therefore might not be as experienced in teaching one subject.
And he said that sometimes the developmental needs of middle-schoolers are lost in K-8 schools.

"The desire to go to K-8 is fine as long as you treat them as early adolescents and not elementary school kids," he said.

To read the complete article please go to:,0,3226203.story?coll=bal-local-headlines
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

Funding Gaps 2006

(School finance policy choices at the federal, state, and district levels systematically stack the deck against students who need the most support from their schools, according to a report released by the Education Trust.

The report, Funding Gaps 2006, builds on the Education Trust’s annual studies of funding gaps among school districts within states. For the first time the report includes data and analysis on:

• How federal Title I funds widen rather than narrow the education funding gaps that separate wealthy states from poor states; and,
• How funding choices at the school district level provide enhanced funding to schools serving higher concentrations of affluent students and white students at the expense of schools that serve low-income students and students of color.

“With the help of two noted scholars, Goodwin Liu and Marguerite Roza, this year’s funding gap report paints a fuller – and even more painful – picture of how funding choices made at every level shortchange low-income students and students of color,” said Kati Haycock, the president of the Education Trust. “And while fairer funding systems will not alone redress all of the inequities in our education system, getting the funding right—at every level—will begin to make real our national aspiration of a fair shot for every child.”

How the Federal Government Makes Rich States Richer

Goodwin Liu, Assistant Professor of Law at Boalt Hall School of Law and co-director of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity at the University of California at Berkeley, analyzed the distribution of Title I funds and shows that the program’s state allocation formula reinforces rather than reduces funding gaps between wealthy and poor states.

Liu’s analysis finds that the state expenditure factor in the Title I formula results in highly unequal allocations of federal aid per poor child. For example, Maryland has fewer poor children than Arkansas but receives 51 percent more Title I aid per poor child, even though Arkansas dedicates more of its taxable resources to education than wealthier Maryland. Similarly, Massachusetts has fewer poor children and exerts less effort against its tax base to fund education than poorer Oklahoma, but receives more than twice as much Title I aid.

In short, Title I tends to reward wealthy states that can raise funds for education with relatively little effort while shortchanging poorer states, including those that make relatively greater effort to fund education.

“Poor children are concentrated in relatively poorer states. Instead of providing relatively more help to these kids, Title I provides less,” Liu said. “If we are serious about ensuring that every child in America meets high standards, then we must develop a federal school finance policy equal to the task.”

How States Shortchange the Districts that Most Need Help
In the paper’s second analysis—an update of the annual Education Trust funding gap analysis –co-authors Ross Wiener and Eli Pristoop of the Education Trust examine patterns in state and local funding across districts in the same state . Wiener and Pristoop find that in about half of the states studied, the highest poverty and highest minority districts received fewer resources than the lowest poverty and lowest minority districts. On average, states and localities spend $908 less per student in districts educating the most students of color, and $825 less per student in districts educating the most low-income students as compared to what is spent in the wealthiest and whitest districts.

After a 40 percent adjustment – the same adjustment used in the Title I formula to analyze state funding policies to low-income students – six states have funding gaps between the lowest and highest poverty districts that exceed $1,000 per child: Illinois, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Based on the same adjustment, 12 states have funding gaps between highest and lowest minority districts that exceed $1,000 per child: Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

However, other states—including Massachusetts and Kentucky – target more money to high-poverty districts, and use meaningful accountability measures to ensure that the funds are used to make real progress.

“Ignoring or condoning funding gaps only makes it harder to tackle the substantive problems and inequities in public schools,” said Wiener, vice president for practice and policy at the Education Trust. “There are many complicated issues in reforming the current system, but fairly funding schools is not one of them.”

How Districts Shortchange Low-income and Minority Students

The final analysis in the report looks at distribution of funds within school districts. University of Washington Research Assistant Professor Marguerite Roza shows that, despite district bookkeeping practices that make funding across schools within the same district appear relatively comparable, substantially less money is spent in high-poverty and high-minority schools.

Teacher salaries are the clearest example. Roza looks at salary expenditures in a variety of districts and finds troubling inequities in the allocation of this key resource among schools in the same district. For example in Austin, a city with one of the largest salary gaps, the gap in average teacher salaries between the highest and lowest poverty schools within the district amounted to $3,837. In a school of 25 teachers that gap amounts to $95,925 less per year for a low-income school; in a school with 100 teachers, the gap increases to $383,700 per year.

Roza’s analysis also shows that salaries are not the only problem: districts routinely assign a larger share of their unrestricted funds to lower-poverty schools, as well. Although districts distribute earmarked funds such as Title I mostly to higher need schools, they undercut the purpose of those dollars—to provide “extras” for low-income students—by sending a higher percentage of flexible state and local funding to lower poverty schools.

"The spending patterns and funding gaps within districts exacerbate educational inequalities for low-income and minority students. Sadly, these funding inequities are buried in widely accepted and outmoded district-level accounting practices,” said Roza.

Among the report’s recommendations:

• At the Federal Level: The state expenditure factor in the Title I formula should be eliminated, and Title I funding should compensate for differences in state capacity to fund education.

• At the State Level: States need to assess relative challenges across districts and ensure that funding is commensurate with the challenges, and set equity standards for all school districts.

• At the School District Level: Districts need to publish transparent budgets and allocation figures to provide for greater accountability of local spending patterns.

“The funding inequities documented in this report, though deeply ingrained in our education systems, are not immutable. We can and should change these distribution practices so they direct resources first to the areas of greatest need,” said Haycock.

To read the full report:

Technical Appendix:
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

Visual Ways to Engage Reluctant Readers

Bringing the Outside In
Visual Ways to Engage Reluctant Readers

The reading that we value in school is becoming further and further distanced from the literacy students experience in their outside lives. Inside the classroom, we ask our students to immerse themselves in print texts and write purposefully. Once out the door, they are text-messaging, blogging, engaging in online multi-player games, and expertly integrating words, images, and music to create original texts. Can we import these textual spaces and literacies into English class to help re-connect students who don't see themselves as readers and writers?
English educator Sara Kajder's answer is an emphatic “yes,” and in Bringing the Outside In she demonstrates myriad ways to employ students' outside talents in the classroom.

To read the book, please go to:
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

What Works - Early Childhood Education

What Works - Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education consists of activities and experiences offered by schools, preschools, child care centers, and family child care providers to promote the development of children from infancy to age 8. These activities and experiences may be guided by curricula or established practices designed to improve children's development and competencies in one or more domains, including cognition, language, literacy, math, social-emotional development, and physical development.

The What Works Clearinghouse review in this topic area focuses first on early childhood education interventions (curricula and practices) designed for use in center-based settings with 3- to 5-year-old children who are not yet in kindergarten or children who are in preschool, with a primary focus on cognitive and language competencies associated with school readiness (language, literacy, math, and cognition). Interventions and studies with a primary focus on socio-emotional development and approaches to learning may be addressed in a subsequent phase of the review. The review also includes a focus on center-based early childhood education interventions designed to improve the school readiness skills of preschool children with developmental delays or diagnosed disabilities. These may be inclusive interventions used with all children or targeted interventions designed specifically for children with developmental delays or diagnosed disabilities.
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

What Works - Character Education

What Works - Character Education

Character Education is an inclusive concept regarding all aspects of how families, schools, and related social institutions support the positive character development of children and adults. Character in this context refers to the moral and ethical qualities of persons as well as the demonstration of those qualities in their emotional responses, reasoning, and behavior. Character is associated with such virtues as respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring, and citizenship. Character education programs are activities and experiences organized by a provider for the purpose of fostering positive character development and the associated core ethical values (also described as moral values, virtues, character traits, or principles).

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) review of this topic focuses on character education programs designed for use in elementary, middle, or high schools with attention to student outcomes related to positive character development, prosocial behavior, and academic performance. Closely related program areas, such as social-emotional learning, conflict resolution, violence prevention, social skills training, service learning, and the like, may be addressed in future WWC reviews but are not intended to be covered by this one.
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

What Works - Dropout Prevention

What Works - Dropout Prevention

Dropping out of school continues to be an issue of national concern because of its links with poor labor market prospects, higher rates of public assistance receipt, and higher rates of substance use and incarceration. Recent estimates indicate that the rate of students who are not attending and have not completed school has been remarkably constant in the last two decades, even as other indicators of risky teen behavior such as pregnancy have declined.

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) review of dropout prevention examines secondary school (middle school, junior high school, and high school) as well as community-based interventions designed to help students stay in school and/or complete school. These interventions can include services and activities such as incentives, counseling, monitoring, school restructuring, curriculum design, literacy support, or community-based services to mitigate factors impeding progress in school. They can operate in a public or private school setting, postsecondary institutions, or in a community facility such as a youth center or community-based organization.
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

What Works - Elementary School Math

What Works - Elementary School Math

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) review of this topic focuses on math curricula designed for use in elementary schools with attention to student outcomes related to math achievement. Elementary school is defined in this review as a school with any of the six grades, kindergarten through fifth grade. Elementary school math curricula are math programs that specify clear learning goals for students; extend over the course of a semester or more; are central to students' regular instruction; and are based on text materials, manipulatives, computer software, videotapes, other materials, or any combination thereof. Closely related programs such as supplemental math programs, and instructional practices such as computer-assisted instruction, may be addressed in future WWC reviews, but are not included in the current review.
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

What Works - Middle School Math

What Works - Middle School Math

In the wake of generally disappointing results from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), educators and policymakers are promoting improvements in U.S. students' math proficiency. Driving the push for improvements in mathematics achievement for all is a recognition that mathematical competency is essential for all segments of the population, and a belief that mathematical literacy is an important part of becoming an informed and competent citizen in a technological society.

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) review focuses on interventions based on a curriculum, which contain learning goals that spell out the mathematics that students should know and be able to do, instructional programs and materials that organize the mathematical content, and assessments.
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

What Works - English Language Learning Reports

English language learners (ELLs) are among the most academically at-risk groups in our schools today and their numbers will rise steadily in the near future. On average, ELL students receive lower grades, score below their classmates on standardized reading and mathematics tests, and are often judged by their teachers as academic "underachievers." The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) review focuses on interventions designed to improve the English language literacy and/or academic achievement of elementary school students who are English language learner.

This WWC review focuses on ELL elementary school students, meaning the intervention is offered to students in K-6 classrooms. In addition, curricula are being characterized based on whether they target special subpopulations of children (e.g., learning disabled, language impaired, ESL). The review could include studies in which students may no longer be considered limited English proficient by the school, but where students still possess limited English language skills. Students who no longer are considered limited English proficient, but who were considered ELL in the preceding two school years, often possess limited English language proficiency. Therefore, findings for such students are of high value for teachers and administrators.

Only research on interventions that are replicable (i.e., documented well enough that they can be reproduced, which are generally materials-based designed for a specific sub-population of ELLs) will be reviewed. Studies that compare differing languages of instruction (e.g. teaching first graders in Spanish vs. English) were excluded. Furthermore, the review excluded studies where all instruction is conducted in a students' native language. The purpose of this review is to determine which approaches for teaching academics to second language learners are effective. A study of teaching reading or mathematics in a students' native language is a legitimate mathematics or reading study, but does not provide information on how to deal with the challenging task of teaching academic material to students using a language that they have not yet mastered. Should a study provide evidence about the merits of a broad theory for language acquisition and not offer information on a curriculum that can be used in today's schools, the study will be considered as outside the scope of the review.

Recent Reports:

(Read the Intervention Reports:

Intervention: Instructional Conversations and Literature Logs | October 26, 2006_Developer: William Saunders and Claude Goldenberg, published by the Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence (CREDE)_The goal of Instructional Conversations is to help English language learners develop reading comprehension ability along with English language proficiency. Instructional Conversations are small-group discussions. Acting as facilitators, teachers engage English language learners in discussions about stories, key concepts, and related personal experiences, which allow them to appreciate and build on each others' experiences, knowledge, and understanding. Literature Logs require English language learners to write in a log in response to writing prompts or questions related to sections of stories. These responses are then shared in small groups or with a partner.

Intervention: Vocabulary Improvement Program for English Language Learners & Their Classmates | October 19, 2006_The Vocabulary Improvement Program for English Language Learners and Their Classmates (VIP) is a vocabulary development curriculum for English language learners and native English speakers (grades 4-6). The 15-week program includes 30-45 minute whole class and small group activities, which aim to increase students' understanding of target vocabulary words included in a weekly reading assignment

Intervention: Read Naturally | October 5, 2006_Read Naturally is designed to improve reading fluency using a combination of books, audio-tapes, and computer software. This program includes three main strategies: repeated reading of English text for oral reading fluency development, teacher modeling of story reading, and systematic monitoring of student progress by teachers. Students work at a reading level appropriate for their achievement level, progress through the program at their own rate, and work, for the most part, on an independent basis. The Read Naturally strategy is designed to increase time spent reading by combining teacher modeling, repeated reading, and progress monitoring._Read the Intervention Report.
Intervention: Enhanced Proactive Reading | September 28, 2006_Enhanced Proactive Reading, a comprehensive, integrated reading, language arts, and English language development curriculum, is targeted to first-grade English language learners experiencing problems with learning to read through conventional instruction. The curriculum is implemented as small group daily reading instruction, during which English Language Learners instructors provide opportunities for participation from all students and give feedback for student responses.

Intervention: Fast ForWord Language | September 28, 2006_Fast ForWord Language is a computer-based instructional program developed to build cognitive skills students need to improve English language proficiency and reading skill. It consists of seven game-like exercises, including nonverbal and verbal sound discrimination, phonological processing, vocabulary recognition, and language comprehension. Each exercise begins with basic skills and builds up to more complex skills. The difficulty of each task is continuously adapted so that students would get about 80% of the items correct.

Intervention: Reading Mastery / SRA / McGraw-Hill | September 28, 2006_Reading Mastery is a direct instruction program designed to provide explicit, systematic instruction in English language reading. Reading Mastery is available in two versions, Reading Mastery Classic levels I and II (for use in grades K-3) and Reading Mastery Plus, an integrated reading-language program for grades K-6. The program begins by teaching phonemic awareness and sound-letter correspondence and moves into word and passage reading, vocabulary development, comprehension, and building oral reading fluency. Later lessons continue to emphasize accurate and fluent decoding while teaching students the skills necessary to read and comprehend and to learn from expository text. Lessons are designed to be fast-paced and interactive. Students are grouped by similar reading level, based on program placement tests. The program includes placement assessments and a continuous monitoring system.

Intervention: Read Well | September 21, 2006_Read Well is a research-based reading curriculum designed to improve student literacy. This program includes explicit, systematic instruction in English decoding, sustained practice of decoding skills and fluency, and instruction in vocabulary and concepts presented in text. It also provides support for English language learner (ELL) students through scaffolded lesson instruction and oral language priming activities._Read the Intervention Report.
Intervention: Arthur | September 14, 2006_Developer: WGBH Boston and Cookie Jar Education, Inc. Arthur, a book-based educational television program designed for children ages 4-8, is popular among preschool and kindergarten students. The program is based on the storybooks, by Marc Brown, about Arthur, an 8-year-old aardvark. Each show is 30 minutes in length and includes two stories involving characters dealing with moral issues. The show has been used as a listening comprehension and language development intervention for English language learning students.
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

Report of the National Literacy Panel for Language Minority Children and Youth

The long-awaited Report of the National Literacy Panel for Language Minority Children and Youth is now available. The full report is published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. This research review was funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development and was conducted by the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) and SRI International. . An Executive Summary of the panel’s findings is available at

The panel was appointed in 2002 by the U. S. Department of Education to conduct a review of the research on the literacy development of English language learners. The review is particularly important because U.S. schools now serve more than 14 million children from households where English is not the primary language, and because No Child Left Behind—the federal education law—requires that federally-funded educational programs be supported by research. Various national studies indicate that second language learners have not fared well in U.S. schools when it comes to reading achievement. The panel included major scholars in second language learning and literacy. Panel members deliberated for three years before completing their work. The report they prepared analyzes existing evidence on teaching reading and writing to language-minority students and identifies gaps in the available research. Among their findings are: • It is possible to improve the literacy learning of English language learners. • Explicit instruction in key aspects of literacy, such as phonemic awareness, phonics, oral reading fluency, reading comprehension, vocabulary, and writing, is beneficial, but such instruction must be adjusted to effectively meet the needs of secondlanguage learners. • Language-minority students who are literate in their first language do better in the acquisition of English literacy.

Peggy McCardle, Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, writes in a foreword to the book that this report is “important” and that “it will contribute to an ongoing, national effort to…address the educational needs of language-minority children.” Other scholars describe it as a “must read book,” “unprecedented and thorough,” and say that it represents a “blueprint for a long-term research agenda.”

Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. is a scholarly publisher specializing in high-quality books on literacy aimed primarily at the research community. They are publishing the National Literacy Panel report under the title Developing Literacy in Second Language Learners, edited by Diane August and Timothy Shanahan. To place an order for this book online, please visit LEA's website at

About CAL The Center for Applied Linguistics is a private nonprofit organization working to improve communication through better understanding of language and culture. Established in 1959, CAL has earned a national and international reputation for its contributions to the fields of bilingual education, English as a second language and foreign language education, literacy education, dialect studies, language policy, refugee orientation, and the education of linguistically and culturally diverse adults and children. CAL's staff of researchers and educators conduct research, design and develop instructional materials and language tests, provide technical assistance and professional development, conduct needs assessments and program evaluations, and disseminate information and resources related to language and culture. For more information about CAL, visit
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

Trends in Elementary Science Education

Many elementary school teachers, the proverbial jacks-of-all-trades, face a trio of issues when it comes to teaching science: they don't like science, they don't feel confident in their knowledge of science, and they don't know how to teach science effectively...

Various forces both from within education (such as NCLB) and from without (such as global competition) are combining to give a new push to K–12 science education reform. Through the practice of inquiry-based science, a reform promoted by National Science Education Standards, even young students can learn about the authentic enterprise of science: reasoning based on evidence from the natural world.

To read complete article please go to:
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

University of Florida Study: Teacher Merit Pay Boosts Student Standardized Test Scores

A carrot for teachers helps students stick to the books, according to a new University of Florida study that finds merit pay for instructors equates to better test scores for their pupils.
Pay incentives for teachers had more positive effects on student test scores than such school improvement methods as smaller class sizes or stricter requirements for classroom attendance, said David Figlio, a UF economics professor. The study, by Figlio and UF economics professor Lawrence Kenny, has been accepted for publication in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Public Economics.
"This research provides the first systematic evidence of a relationship between individual teacher performance incentives and student achievement in the United States," Figlio said. "We demonstrate that students learn more when teachers are given financial incentives to do a better job."
Students at schools with teacher pay-for-performance programs scored an average of one to two percentage points higher on standardized tests than their peers at schools where no bonuses were offered, Figlio said.
"While many explanations have been offered for the disappointing performance of primary and secondary schools, one untested hypothesis lays the blame on there being little or no incentive for teachers to do a good job," he said. "Good teachers make no more than uninspired, mediocre teachers."
The UF study found the effects of these pay incentives were strongest in schools with students from the poorest families, perhaps because those schools have the most to gain from the incentive plan, Figlio said.
"Many teachers complain that poor parents often are uninvolved in their children's education," he said. "Since there appears to be less parental monitoring in schools serving poorer families, these schools stand to have a greater potential for improvement."
Figlio and Kenny collected surveys from 534 schools that were among 1,319 public and private schools participating in a national study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education beginning in 1988. They also collected data on the frequency and magnitude of school salary incentives, analyzing it in relation to student achievement. That achievement was measured in the earlier U.S. Department of Education study on eighth-graders, with follow-up surveys done in 10th and 12th grades.
About 16 percent of American schools have teacher pay-for-performance programs in place, Figlio said. Such financial incentives were the rule rather than the exception early in the 20th century, but they gradually became less prevalent starting in the 1960s, probably because of the rising strength of teachers' unions, he said.
Many teachers criticize these bonus plans, saying they raise questions about fairness and they destroy cooperation among teachers.
"It's important to note that the form of performance pay we're looking at is linked to student outcomes rather than principal assessments," Figlio said. "One reason why performance pay based on principal assessments is not very effective is that principals are under a huge amount of pressure to say that everybody is excellent."
One proposal that links teachers' bonuses to student performance is a Florida plan that awards the top 10 percent of teachers in each school district a 5 percent bonus based on student gains on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. Figlio believes such an approach, using standardized tests, recognizes individual teacher accomplishments without destroying the incentive of teachers within a school to work together.
"This is important because one of the major criticisms of performance pay systems is that teaching is a collaborative enterprise," he said. "If a principal has to identify a single excellent teacher, it could end up pitting one colleague against another."
The study also found that merit pay proposals that targeted only a few teachers for bonuses were more effective than programs in which large numbers of instructors received some kind of reward, Figlio said. "Doling out merit pay to most teachers seems to provide them with little incentive to do a better job," he said.
Figlio said he believes the ideal merit pay system would reward both individual teachers as well as teams of teachers.
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

Binge drinking is common among high school students

Binge drinking is common among high school students in the United States and is strongly associated with sexual activity, violence, and other risky behaviors, according to a new study, Binge Drinking and Associated Health Risk Behaviors Among High School Students, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and published in the January 2007 issue of Pediatrics.

The study analyzed data from the 15,214 high school students who completed the 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. CDC scientists found 45 percent of the students reported past-month alcohol consumption, and 64 percent of students who drank reported binge drinking (defined as having five or more drinks of alcohol in a row). High school boys and girls who drank alcohol had similar rates of binge drinking: 67 percent and 61 percent, respectively. Among students who engaged in binge drinking, 69 percent reported doing so on more than one occasion in the past 30 days.

The researchers also found that the likelihood of engaging in other risk behaviors - including sexual activity, smoking, and physical fighting - was greater for binge drinkers than for drinkers who did not binge and for nondrinkers.

“Our study clearly shows that it’s not just that students drink alcohol, but how much they drink that most strongly affects whether they experience other health and social problems,” said Dr. Jacqueline Miller, Medical Officer on the CDC’s Alcohol Team and the lead author of the report. “It also underscores the importance of implementing effective strategies to prevent underage and binge drinking, such as enforcing the minimum legal drinking age and reducing alcohol marketing to youth, which can help us change social norms regarding the acceptability of underage and binge drinking.”
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!

Children’s Chances for Success Vary Dramatically By State, Report Warns

Study Examines State Efforts to Connect Education & Training From
Birth to Adulthood; Launches State Achievement Index for Grades K-12
State Highlights Reports Include Detailed Findings for Each State

A child born in Virginia is significantly more likely to experience success throughout life than the average child born in the United States, while a child born in New Mexico is likely to face an accumulating series of hurdles both educationally and economically, according to an analysis published by Education Week.

The analysis by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center is based on the “Chance-for-Success Index,” which tracks state efforts to connect education from preschool through postsecondary education and training. The index was developed by the EPE Research Center for Quality Counts 2007: From Cradle to Career, Connecting American Education From Birth to Adulthood, produced by Education Week with support from the Pew Center on the States. The report is available online at

The Chance-for-Success Index provides a perspective on the importance of education throughout a person’s lifetime and is based on 13 indicators that highlight whether young children get off to a good start, succeed in elementary and secondary school, and hit key educational and income benchmarks as adults. Virginia, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire rank at the top of the index, while Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, and New Mexico lag significantly behind the national average in descending order.

“Smart states, like smart companies, try to make the most of their investments by ensuring that young people’s education is connected from one stage to the next—reducing the chances that students will be lost along the way or require costly remedial programs to acquire skills or knowledge they could have learned right from the start,” said Virginia B. Edwards, the editor and publisher of Education Week and Quality Counts.

The 13 indicators that make up the index capture key performance or attainment outcomes at various stages in a person’s lifetime or are correlated with later success. For example, in the early-childhood years, indicators include the percent of children living in families that earn a decent wage and the percent of children with at least one parent who has a postsecondary degree – factors that research shows have an impact on how well children perform in school.

“Overall, the Index captures the cumulative effects of education experience from birth through adulthood and pinpoints the chance for success at each stage and for each state,” said Christopher B. Swanson, the director of the EPE Research Center. “We find that a child’s life prospects depend greatly on where he or she lives.”

Virginia, for example, earns the highest Chance-for-Success score. The average child in Virginia starts out ahead of the curve: less likely to live in a low-income family and more likely to have college-educated parents. Those early advantages are amplified during the elementary-through-postsecondary years, when the typical young person enjoys higher achievement and is more likely to finish high school and continue on to college than in other states. Virginia’s well-educated adult population and strong economy offer ample opportunities to realize the returns to schooling as individuals enter the workforce. Similar conditions prevail in other high-ranking states, including Connecticut, Minnesota, and New Jersey.

A near-mirror image of this pattern occurs in the steadily declining trajectories of states like New Mexico. There, weak school performance is unable to overcome, and may exacerbate, the early sociodemographic disadvantages of poverty, linguistic isolation, and low parental education. Among adults in New Mexico, educational attainment, income, and rates of steady employment all fall significantly below the national average. Other low-ranking states, such as Louisiana, Arizona, and Texas, share many of the same characteristics.

“When states make smart choices about how they educate our children – from pre-K through college – they are making smart investments in the economic future of their communities,” said Mary Jo Waits, center director for the Pew Center on the States. “This year’s Quality Counts report shines the spotlight on those states that have given their children the greatest chance for success and those states that have more to do in preparing their young people for the challenges they will face as adults.”

In general, the Index shows that individuals born in the South and the Southwest are least likely to experience success, while those residing in the Northeast and the North Central states are more likely to do so.

Tracking School, College, and Workforce Readiness

For the first time since its debut in 1997, Quality Counts tracks state efforts to create a more seamless education system, based on more than 80 indicators in five categories: childhood well-being, early-childhood education, K-12 education, postsecondary education, and economy and workforce development. The report examines the extent to which states have defined what young people need to know and be able to do to move successfully from one stage of education to the next. In general, the report finds far more activity in the early years. For example, 42 states report having early-learning standards aligned with the academic expectations for elementary schools, and 13 states have a formal definition of school readiness.

In contrast, to date, there appears to be far more goodwill than actual policy results when it comes to aligning high school graduation standards with college- and workforce-readiness standards. Only 11 states, for example, have adopted a formal definition of college readiness.

New Achievement Index Launched

To help provide a picture of K-12 performance across states, Quality Counts also includes a new State Achievement Index that ranks each state based on whether its students are significantly above or below the national average or are making progress on 15 indicators. But while the Chance-for-Success Index focuses on a range of academic and other indicators throughout an individual’s lifetime, the Achievement Index focuses solely on performance during the K-12 years. It is based on a combination of current performance outcomes and gains states have made over time.

Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Connecticut, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia, and Washington State are the top performers on the achievement index, while the District of Columbia, Louisiana, Alabama, Hawaii, New Mexico, West Virginia, and Mississippi perform at the bottom in descending order.

Grades Put on Hold

As Quality Counts moves from an exclusive focus on K-12 education to a broader perspective on the connections between K-12 education and the other systems with which it intersects, Education Week is taking the opportunity to rethink the report’s core indicators. For that reason, the 2007 report does not grade the states, and it does not include indicators related to school climate, teacher quality, or school finance, as it has in past years. Indicators on state standards, assessments, and accountability systems in K-12 are still included.

State Highlights Reports and Online Extras

Individual findings for each state—including state performance on the Chance-for-Success and State Achievement indices—are included in state highlight reports, available online on at

There will be a series of online chats about Quality Counts 2007 at, including: · From Cradle to Career: Connecting American Education from Birth Through Adulthood: Friday, January 5, 12 p.m. Eastern · College Readiness: Wednesday, January 10, 3 p.m. Eastern · Early-Childhood Education: Friday, January 12, 12 p.m. Eastern
You have read this article with the title January 2007. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!