Archive

Archive for the ‘K-12’ Category

Department of Education Releases New Parent and Community Engagement Framework

April 10, 2014 Comments off

Department of Education Releases New Parent and Community Engagement Framework
Source: U.S. Department of Education

The fourth quarter of the school year is generally a time of preparation for schools and districts as they finalize next year’s budget, student and teacher schedules, and professional development for the upcoming school year. During this time of preparation, it is important that schools and districts discuss ways that they can support parents and the community in helping students to achieve success.

To help in this work, the U.S. Department of Education is proud to release a framework for schools and the broader communities they serve to build parent and community engagement. Across the country, less than a quarter of residents are 18 years old or younger, and all of us have a responsibility for helping our schools succeed. The Dual Capacity framework, a process used to teach school and district staff to effectively engage parents and for parents to work successfully with the schools to increase student achievement, provides a model that schools and districts can use to build the type of effective community engagement that will make schools the center of our communities.

About these ads

PISA 2012 Results: Creative Problem Solving: Students’ skills in tackling real-life problems (Volume V)

April 1, 2014 Comments off

PISA 2012 Results: Creative Problem Solving: Students’ skills in tackling real-life problems (Volume V)
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

This fifth volume of PISA 2012 results presents an assessment of student performance in creative problem solving, which measures students’ capacity to respond to non-routine situations in order to achieve their potential as constructive and reflective citizens. It provides the rationale for assessing problem-solving skills and describes performance within and across the 44 countries and economies that took part in the assessment. In addition, the volume highlights the relative strengths and weaknesses of each school system and examines how they are related to individual student characteristics, such as gender, immigrant background and socio-economic status. The volume also explores the role of education in fostering problem-solving skills.

New Report: 20,000 California Students Arrested or Ticketed in 2009-10, Vast Majority Are Youth of Color

March 27, 2014 Comments off

New Report: 20,000 California Students Arrested or Ticketed in 2009-10, Vast Majority Are Youth of Color
Source: The Labor/Community Strategy Center (Community Rights Campaign)

The Community Rights Campaign (CRC) and the Black Organizing Project (based in Oakland) released a report that presents startling new data on the role of police officers in schools and the need to address this statewide problem within the new Local Control Funding Formula.

“The New ‘Separate and Unequal’: Using California’s Local Control Funding Formula to Dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline” highlights the dramatic expansion in school police forces across the state, with many districts now employing more than 50 police officers. As a result, many schools now rely on law enforcement personnel to handle routine school disciplinary matters, resulting in well over 30,000 California students being referred to the police in just one school year. At least 20,000 students were arrested or given a police ticket, and over 90% of them were youth of color.

Expansive Survey of America’s Public Schools Reveals Troubling Racial Disparities

March 25, 2014 Comments off

Expansive Survey of America’s Public Schools Reveals Troubling Racial Disparities
Source: U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released today the first comprehensive look at civil rights data from every public school in the country in nearly 15 years.

This is the first time since 2000 that the Department has compiled data from all 97,000 of the nation’s public schools and its 16,500 school districts—representing 49 million students. And for the first time ever, state-, district- and school-level information is accessible to the public in a searchable online database at crdc.ed.gov.

“This data collection shines a clear, unbiased light on places that are delivering on the promise of an equal education for every child and places where the largest gaps remain. In all, it is clear that the United States has a great distance to go to meet our goal of providing opportunities for every student to succeed,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “As the President’s education budget reflects in every element—from preschool funds to Pell Grants to Title I to special education funds—this administration is committed to ensuring equity of opportunity for all.”

Career and Technical Education Dual Enrollment: A Strategy for College Completion and Workforce Investment

March 21, 2014 Comments off

Career and Technical Education Dual Enrollment: A Strategy for College Completion and Workforce Investment (PDF)
Source: Education Commission of the States

Dual enrollment programs are expanding – and so are dual enrollment programs with a career and technical education (CTE) focus. The most recent data available from the National Center on Education Statistics show that 82 percent of high schools had students enrolling in dual enrollment coursework in 2010-11. Nearly half of the schools had students participating in dual enrollment with a CTE focus. That translates into roughly 601,500 students enrolled in CTE dual enrollment courses that year.

2014 Brown Center Report on American Education: How Well Are American Students Learning?

March 20, 2014 Comments off

2014 Brown Center Report on American Education: How Well Are American Students Learning?
Source: Brookings Intitution

This year’s Brown Center Report on American Education represents the third installment of volume three and the 13th issue overall since the publication began in 2000. Three studies are presented. All three revisit a topic that has been investigated in a previous Brown Center Report. The topics warrant attention again because they are back in the public spotlight.

Part I summarizes the recent controversy involving the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and its treatment of Shanghai-China. The PISA is a test given to 15-year-olds every three years in math, reading, and science. Sixty-five national and subnational jurisdictions participated in the 2012 PISA. When the scores were released in December 2013, no one was surprised that Shanghai-China scored at the top in all subjects. But what has been overlooked by most observers—and completely ignored by the authorities running PISA—is that Shanghai’s population of 15-year-olds is sifted and shaped in ways that make its scores incomparable to those of any other participant.

Part II is on homework, updating a study presented in the 2003 Brown Center Report. That study was conducted at a time when homework was on the covers of several popular magazines. The charge then was that the typical student’s homework load was getting out of control. The 2003 study examined the best evidence on students’ homework burden and found the charge to be an exaggeration.

Part III is on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Forty-five states have signed on to the Common Core and are busy implementing the standards. How is it going? Admittedly, the Common Core era is only in the early stages—new tests and accountability systems based on the standards are a couple of years away—but states have had three or four years under the standards. Sufficient time has elapsed to offer an early progress report.

How States Use Student Learning Objectives in Teacher Evaluation Systems: A Review of State Websites

March 18, 2014 Comments off

How States Use Student Learning Objectives in Teacher Evaluation Systems: A Review of State Websites
Source: Institute of Education Sciences

This report provides an overview of how states define and apply student learning objectives (SLOs) in evaluation systems. The research team conducted a systematic scan of state policies by searching state education agency websites of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. to identify tools, guidance, policies, regulations, and other documents related to the use of SLOs in teacher evaluation systems. The researchers reviewed each relevant document to code the requirements, components, and uses of SLOs, which are summarized in a brief report and a series of searchable tables. The report and tables were produced in response to research questions posed by the Northeast Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance (NEERA), one of eight research alliances working with REL Northeast & Islands.

Impact of the New U.S. Department of Agriculture School Meal Standards on Food Selection, Consumption, and Waste

March 14, 2014 Comments off

Impact of the New U.S. Department of Agriculture School Meal Standards on Food Selection, Consumption, and Waste (PDF)
Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Background:
The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently made substantial changes to the school meal standards. The media and public outcry have suggested that this has led to substantially more food waste.

Purpose:
School meal selection, consumption, and waste were assessed before and after implementation of the new school meal standards.

Methods:
Plate waste data were collected in four schools in an urban, low-income school district. Logistic regression and mixed-model ANOVA were used to estimate the differences in selection and consumption of school meals before (fall 2011) and after implementation (fall 2012) of the new standards among 1030 elementary and middle school children. Analyses were conducted in 2013.

Results:
After the new standards were implemented, fruit selection increased by 23.0% and entrée and vegetable selection remained unchanged. Additionally, post-implementation entrée consumption increased by 15.6%, vegetable consumption increased by 16.2%, and fruit consumption remained the same. Milk selection and consumption decreased owing to an unrelated milk policy change.

Conclusions:
Although food waste levels were substantial both pre- and post-implementation, the new guidelines have positively affected school meal selection and consumption. Despite the increased vegetable portion size requirement, consumption increased and led to significantly more cups of vegetables consumed. Significantly more students selected a fruit, whereas the overall percentage of fruit consumed remained the same, resulting in more students consuming fruits. Contrary to media reports, these results suggest that the new school meal standards have improved students’ overall diet quality. Legislation to weaken the standards is not warranted.

Obama Administration Takes Action to Protect Americans from Predatory, Poor-Performing Career Colleges

March 14, 2014 Comments off

Obama Administration Takes Action to Protect Americans from Predatory, Poor-Performing Career Colleges
Source: U.S. Department of Education

The Obama Administration announced today new steps to address growing concerns about burdensome student loan debt by requiring career colleges to do a better job of preparing students for gainful employment—or risk losing access to taxpayer-funded federal student aid.

The proposed regulations released by the U.S. Department of Education will help to strengthen students’ options for higher education by giving all career training programs an opportunity to improve, while stopping the flow of federal funding to the lowest-performing ones that fail to do so.

Connecting Individual K-12 STEM Subjects Has Potential Advantages, Poses Challenges

March 13, 2014 Comments off

Connecting Individual K-12 STEM Subjects Has Potential Advantages, Poses Challenges
Source: National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council

A new report from the National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council examines current efforts to connect the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines in K-12 education, both in formal classroom settings and informal learning environments, and suggests research to help determine the conditions most likely to lead to positive outcomes such as greater student retention and achievement, improved college-readiness skills, and increased interest in pursuing a STEM-related career. A short video illustrating today’s STEM education landscape and the potential benefits and challenges of integrated approaches also was released in conjunction with the report. The report and video note that the recently published Next Generation Science Standards, which encourage integration between science concepts and engineering practices, provide an impetus for considering integration.

Delivering Opportunity and the Redesigned SAT

March 5, 2014 Comments off

Delivering Opportunity and the Redesigned SAT
Source: College Board

When students open their SAT test books in spring 2016, they’ll encounter an SAT that is more focused and useful than ever before. The full specifications of the exam along with extensive sample items for each section will be available on April 16, 2014. Major changes are described below.

The Basics

  • The redesigned SAT will first be given in spring 2016.
  • The SAT will be offered in print and, at selected locations, on computer.
  • There will be three sections: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, Math, and the Essay.
  • The length of the SAT will be about three hours, with an added 50 minutes for the essay. Precise timing will be finalized after further research.
  • The exam will once again be scored on a 400- to 1600-point scale. The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section and the Math section will each be scored on a 200- to 800-point scale. Scores for the Essay will be reported separately.

A Comparison of Growth Percentile and Value-Added Models of Teacher Performance

March 5, 2014 Comments off

A Comparison of Growth Percentile and Value-Added Models of Teacher Performance (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor

School districts and state departments of education frequently must choose between a variety of methods to estimating teacher quality. This paper examines under what circumstances the decision between estimators of teacher quality is important. We examine estimates derived from growth percentile measures and estimates derived from commonly used value-added estimators. Using simulated data, we examine how well the estimators can rank teachers and avoid misclassification errors under a variety of assignment scenarios of teachers to students. We find that growth percentile measures perform worse than value-added measures that control for prior year student test scores and control for teacher fixed effects when assignment of students to teachers is nonrandom. In addition, using actual data from a large diverse anonymous state, we find evidence that growth percentile measures are less correlated with value-added measures with teacher fixed effects when there is evidence of nonrandom grouping of students in schools. This evidence suggests that the choice between estimators is most consequential under nonrandom assignment of teachers to students, and that value-added measures controlling for teacher fixed effects may be better suited to estimating teacher quality in this case.

New From the GAO

February 28, 2014 Comments off

New From the GAO
Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. School Lunch: Implementing Nutrition Changes Was Challenging and Clarification of Oversight Requirements Is Needed. GAO-14-104, January 28.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-104
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/660426.pdf

2. Defense Transportation: DOD Can Better Ensure That Federal Agencies Fully Reimburse for Using Military Aircraft. GAO-14-189, February 27.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-189
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/661196.pdf

3. Electronic Health Records: VA and DOD Need to Support Cost and Schedule Claims, Develop Interoperability Plans, and Improve Collaboration. GAO-14-302, February 27.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-302
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/661207.pdf

4. Financial Audit: U.S. Government’s Fiscal Years 2013 and 2012 Consolidated Financial Statements. GAO-14-319R, February 27.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-319R

Testimonies

1. VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment: Further Program Management Improvements Are Needed, by Daniel Bertoni, director, education, workforce and income security, before the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. GAO-14-363T, February 27.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-363T

2. Critical Infrastructure Protection: Observations on DHS Efforts to Identify, Prioritize, Assess, and Inspect Chemical Facilities, by Stephen L. Caldwell, director, homeland security and justice, before the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, House Committee on Homeland Security. GAO-14-365T, February 27.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-365T
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/661180.pdf

3. Internet Pharmacies: Most Rogue Sites Operate from Abroad, and Many Sell Counterfeit Drugs, by Marcia Crosse, director, health care, before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, House Committee on Energy and Commerce. GAO-14-386T, February 27.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-386T
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/661178.pdf

4. Oil And Gas Management: Continued Attention to Interior’s Human Capital Challenges Is Needed, by Frank Rusco, director, natural resources and environment, before the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, House Committee on Natural Resources. GAO-14-394T, February 27.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-394T
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/661173.pdf

Press Release

1. U.S. Government’s 2013 Financial Report Reflects Continuing Financial Management and Fiscal Challenges. February 27.
http://www.gao.gov/press/challenges_governments2013financial_report.htm

Department of Education Releases New Guidance on Protecting Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services

February 25, 2014 Comments off

Department Releases New Guidance on Protecting Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services
Source: U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) released new guidance today to help school systems and educators interpret and understand the major laws and best practices protecting student privacy while using online educational services.

The guidance summarizes the major requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) that relate to these educational services, and urges schools and districts to go beyond compliance to follow best practices for outsourcing school functions using online educational services, including computer software, mobile applications and web-based tools.

10 Years of Advanced Placement Exam Data Show Significant Gains in Access and Success; Areas for Improvement

February 20, 2014 Comments off

10 Years of Advanced Placement Exam Data Show Significant Gains in Access and Success; Areas for Improvement
Source: College Board

Research shows that students who succeed in rigorous course work such as Advanced Placement are developing college-level knowledge and skills while still in high school. These students are more likely than their peers to earn college degrees on time, providing an opportunity to save significant amounts of money. The College Board’s 10th Annual AP Report to the Nation, released today, shows that state leaders and educators are making significant progress in expanding both access to and success in AP.

Over the past decade, the number of students who graduate from high school having taken rigorous AP courses has nearly doubled, and the number of low-income students taking AP has more than quadrupled. Impressively, educators’ work to bring more students into Advanced Placement courses has resulted in a larger increase in the number of qualifying AP Exam scores (the scores typically required for college credit) than in the number of low AP scores.

Categories: College Board, education, K-12

Is Kindergarten the New First Grade? The Changing Nature of Kindergarten in the Age of Accountability

February 18, 2014 Comments off

Is Kindergarten the New First Grade? The Changing Nature of Kindergarten in the Age of Accountability (PDF)
Source: EdPolicyWorks (University of Virginia)

Recent accounts suggest that accountability pressures have trickled down into the early elementary grades, and that kindergarten today is characterized by a heightened focus on academic skills. This paper documents substantial changes in kindergarten classrooms between 1998 and 2006, using two large nationally-representative data – sets. Nearly all measures examined changed substantially over this period, and always in the direction consistent with a heightened academic focus. While in 1998, 31 percent of kindergarten teachers indicated that most children should learn to read in kindergarten, in 2006 65 percent of teachers agreed with this statement. Time on literacy rose by 25 percent from roughly 5.5 to 7 hours per week and exposure to social studies, science, music, art and physical education all dropped.

A Generation Later: What We’ve Learned about Zero Tolerance in Schools

February 18, 2014 Comments off

A Generation Later: What We’ve Learned about Zero Tolerance in Schools (PDF)
Source: Vera Institute of Justice

In considering different strategies for promoting productive and safe school environments, it can be difficult to know what works and what doesn’t. In particular, longstanding debates about zero tolerance policies leave many people confused about the basic facts. How do these policies that mandate specific and harsh punishments affect individual students and the overall school environment? Have zero tolerance policies helped to create a school-to-prison pipeline as many people argue? And if the costs outweigh the benefits, are there alternatives to zero tolerance that are more effective?

This publication aims to answer these questions by drawing on the best empirical research produced to date, and to identify the questions that remain unanswered. Most importantly, this publication strives to be practical. We believe that with a clearer understanding of the facts, policymakers and school administrators can join with teachers and concerned parents to maintain order and safety in ways that enhance education and benefit the public interest.

CRS — The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B – Key Statutory and Regulatory Provisions

February 11, 2014 Comments off

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B – Key Statutory and Regulatory Provisions (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via MSPB Watch)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is both a grants statute and a civil rights statute. As a grants statute, IDEA provides federal funding for the education of children with disabilities and requires, as a condition for the receipt of such funds, the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) (i.e., specially designed instruction provided at no cost to parents that meets the needs of a child with a disability). In FY2013, $12 billion was appropriated for IDEA. In 2011, 6.5 million children ages 3 through 21 received educational services under IDEA.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is both a grants statute and a civil rights statute. As a grants statute, IDEA provides federal funding for the education of children with disabilities and requires, as a condition for the receipt of such funds, the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) (i.e., specially designed instruction provided at no cost to parents that meets the needs of a child with a disability). In FY2013, $12 billion was appropriated for IDEA. In 2011, 6.5 million children ages 3 through 21 received educational services under IDEA.

New From the GAO

February 7, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Nanomanufacturing: Emergence and Implications for U.S. Competitiveness, the Environment, and Human Health. GAO-14-181SP, January 31.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-181SP
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/660592.pdf
Podcast - http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/660285

2. K-12 Education: Characteristics of the Investing in Innovation Fund. GAO-14-211R, February 7.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-211R

New From the GAO

January 30, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Child Welfare: Federal Agencies Can Better Support State Efforts to Prevent and Respond to Sexual Abuse by School Personnel. GAO-14-42, January 27.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-42
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/660376.pdf
Podcast: http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/660282

2. Homeowners Insurance: Multiple Challenges Make Expanding Private Coverage Difficult. GAO-14-179, January 30.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-179
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/660530.pdf

3. Imminent Danger Pay: Actions Needed Regarding Pay Designations in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility. GAO-14-230R, January 30.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-230R

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 774 other followers