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Education for Homeless Children and Youth: Consolidated State Performance Report Data — School Years 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13

September 30, 2014 Comments off

Education for Homeless Children and Youth: Consolidated State Performance Report Data — School Years 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13 (PDF)
Source: National Center for Homeless Education (U.S. Department of Education)

This September 2014 report provides a summary of the 2012-2013 state data collection required by the U.S. Department of Education of the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program. The 2012-2013 data also are presented in comparison to the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 data collections, as applicable.

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CRS — Common Core State Standards: Frequently Asked Questions (September 15, 2014)

September 25, 2014 Comments off

Common Core State Standards: Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Over the last two decades, there has been interest in developing federal policies that focus on student outcomes in elementary and secondary education. Perhaps most prominently, the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB; P.L. 107-110), which amended and reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), marked a dramatic expansion of the federal government’s role in supporting standards-based instruction and test-based accountability, thereby increasing the federal government’s involvement in decisions that directly affect teaching and learning.

Under the ESEA, states are required to have standards in reading and mathematics for specified grade levels in order to receive funding under Title I-A of the ESEA. In response to this requirement, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have adopted and implemented standards that meet the requirements of the ESEA. Since the ESEA was last comprehensively reauthorized by NCLB, recent developments have taken place that have possibly played a role in the selection of reading and mathematics standards by states: (1) the development and release of the Common Core State Standards; (2) the Race to the Top (RTT) State Grant competition and RTT Assessment Grants competition; and (3) the ESEA flexibility package provided by the Department of Education (ED) to states with approved applications. As of June 2014, 43 states, the District of Columbia, 4 outlying areas, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) had at some point adopted the Common Core State Standards. Indiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina recently became the first states to adopt and subsequently discontinue use of the Common Core State Standards.

Teacher Attrition and Mobility: Results From the 2012-13 Teacher Follow-up Survey

September 25, 2014 Comments off

Teacher Attrition and Mobility: Results From the 2012-13 Teacher Follow-up Survey
Source: National Center for Education Statistics

This First Look report provides some selected findings from the 2012-13 Teacher Follow-up Survey (TFS) along with data tables and methodological information. The TFS is a follow-up of a sample of the elementary and secondary school teachers who participated in the previous year’s Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS). The TFS sample includes teachers who leave teaching in the year after the SASS data collection and those who continue to teach either in the same school as last year or in a different school. The purpose of the Teacher Follow-up Survey is to determine how many teachers remained at the same school, moved to another school or left the profession in the year following the SASS administration.

How do states define alternative education?

September 17, 2014 Comments off

How do states define alternative education? (PDF)
Source: Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education

Key findings

  • Forty-three states and the District of Columbia have formal definitions of alternative education.
  • The literature suggests that the definition of alternative education should include target population, setting, services, and structure.
  • Alternative education serves primarily students with behavioral problems.
  • The most common alternative education services are regular academic instruction, counseling, social/life skills, job readiness, and behavioral services.
  • Exemptions to compulsory attendance laws for alternative education programs occur at the district level.

CRS — Common Core State Standards and Assessments: Background and Issues (September 2, 2014)

September 15, 2014 Comments off

Common Core State Standards and Assessments: Background and Issues (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Over the last two decades, there has been interest in developing federal policies that focus on student outcomes in elementary and secondary education. Perhaps most prominently, the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB; P.L. 107-110), which amended and reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), marked a dramatic expansion of the federal government’s role in supporting standards-based instruction and test-based accountability, thereby increasing the federal government’s involvement in decisions that directly affect teaching and learning.

Vital Signs: Sodium Intake Among U.S. School-Aged Children — 2009–2010

September 12, 2014 Comments off

Vital Signs: Sodium Intake Among U.S. School-Aged Children — 2009–2010
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Background:
A national health objective is to reduce average U.S. sodium intake to 2,300 mg daily to help prevent high blood pressure, a major cause of heart disease and stroke. Identifying common contributors to sodium intake among children can help reduction efforts.
Methods: Average sodium intake, sodium consumed per calorie, and proportions of sodium from food categories, place obtained, and eating occasion were estimated among 2,266 school-aged (6–18 years) participants in What We Eat in America, the dietary intake component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009–2010.

Results:
U.S. school-aged children consumed an estimated 3,279 mg of sodium daily with the highest total intake (3,672 mg/d) and intake per 1,000 kcal (1,681 mg) among high school–aged children. Forty-three percent of sodium came from 10 food categories: pizza, bread and rolls, cold cuts/cured meats, savory snacks, sandwiches, cheese, chicken patties/nuggets/tenders, pasta mixed dishes, Mexican mixed dishes, and soups. Sixty-five percent of sodium intake came from store foods, 13% from fast food/pizza restaurants, 5% from other restaurants, and 9% from school cafeteria foods. Among children aged 14–18 years, 16% of total sodium intake came from fast food/pizza restaurants versus 11% among those aged 6–10 years or 11–13 years (p<0.05). Among children who consumed a school meal on the day assessed, 26% of sodium intake came from school cafeteria foods. Thirty-nine percent of sodium was consumed at dinner, followed by lunch (29%), snacks (16%), and breakfast (15%).

Implications for Public Health Practice:
Sodium intake among school-aged children is much higher than recommended. Multiple food categories, venues, meals, and snacks contribute to sodium intake among school-aged children supporting the importance of populationwide strategies to reduce sodium intake. New national nutrition standards are projected to reduce the sodium content of school meals by approximately 25%–50% by 2022. Based on this analysis, if there is no replacement from other sources, sodium intake among U.S. school-aged children will be reduced by an average of about 75–150 mg per day and about 220–440 mg on days children consume school meals.

Does Gifted Education Work? For Which Students?

September 11, 2014 Comments off

Does Gifted Education Work? For Which Students? (PDF)
Source: UC Berkeley and University of Miami

Education policy makers have struggled for decades with the question of how to best serve high ability “gifted” students. A key issue of contention is whether eligibility for gifted programs should be based mainly on IQ, or on broader measures that take better account of both cognitive and non-cognitive skills. Using data from a large urban school district, we study the impacts of an intensive gifted education program that provides the same treatment to three distinct groups of fourth grade students: non-disadvantaged students with IQ scores of 130 or more; subsidized lunch participants and English language learners with IQ scores of 116 or more; and high-achieving students who do not meet the above IQ cutoffs, but qualify through high scores on state achievement tests. Regression discontinuity (RD) estimates based on the IQ thresholds for the first two groups show no effects on reading or math achievement. In contrast, RD estimates based on test score ranks for the high-achieving group show significant gains in reading and math, with treatment-on-the treated effects of 0.2 to 0.3 standard deviation units. Our results suggest that programs for high-potential students may be more effective for students selected on the basis of achievement than for those selected on the basis of IQ alone.

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