Archive

Archive for the ‘K-12’ Category

Long-Run Effects of Free School Choice: College Attainment, Employment, Earnings, and Social Outcomes at Adulthood

April 10, 2015 Comments off

Long-Run Effects of Free School Choice: College Attainment, Employment, Earnings, and Social Outcomes at Adulthood
Source: Cato Institute

search on the effectiveness of educational programs has centered on evaluating shortterm outcomes, such as standardized test scores. Education aims ultimately to improve lifetime well-being, however, so attention has shifted recently to long-term consequences. Outcomes examined in the literature include post-secondary educational attainment, early adult earnings, years of completed schooling, labor market outcomes, young adult crime, and college entry, choice and completion.

My research examines the long-term consequences of free school choice programs offered to primary school students at the transition to secondary school. The main question is whether the effects of free school choice persist beyond high school and lead to long-term enhancements in human capital and well-being.

To address this issue, I examine a school-choice experiment conducted two decades ago in Tel Aviv, Israel. In Lavy (2010) I analyzed the short- and medium-term effects on cognitive outcomes and schooling attainment during middle and high school. With the passage of time, I can now evaluate whether school choice among public schools has a long-term impact on social and economic outcomes. This research provides the first evidence of links between school choice and students’ employment, earnings, and social outcomes at adulthood. I examine the impact on various types of post-secondary schooling that vary by quality, along with the impact on employment, earnings, and welfare-dependency at about age 30. This work thus presents a wide characterization of school choice’s impact at adulthood.

My results show that the school-choice experiment increased a wide range of post-secondary schooling measures. Two decades after students made their school choice at the end of primary school, treated students are 4.7 percentage points more likely to enroll in postsecondary schooling and to complete almost an additional quarter-year of college schooling, in comparison to students in the control group. These gains reflect a 15 percent increase relative to pre-program averages, and they are similar to the program-induced gains in highschool matricualtion outcomes (Lavy 2010).

Categories: Cato Institute, education, K-12

Mapping the Growth of Statewide Voucher Programs in the United States

April 6, 2015 Comments off

Mapping the Growth of Statewide Voucher Programs in the United States (PDF)
Source: Center for Evaluation & Education Policy (University of Indiana)

A new brief comparing statewide voucher programs finds all are growing as never before in the last five years. The brief, “Mapping the Growth of Statewide Voucher Programs in the United States,” examines four statewide voucher systems for students in general education programs (open to all students): Wisconsin, Ohio, Louisiana, and Indiana.

NAEP Report Shows Small Gains for Fourth- and Eighth-Graders in Vocabulary Skills Needed for Reading Comprehension

April 1, 2015 Comments off

NAEP Report Shows Small Gains for Fourth- and Eighth-Graders in Vocabulary Skills Needed for Reading Comprehension
Source: National Center for Education Statistics (National Assessment of Educational Progress)

The nation’s fourth- and eighth-grade students made small gains from 2011 to 2013 in how well they use words to gain meaning from the passages they read, according to a newly released report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation’s Report Card. The report, Vocabulary Results From the 2013 NAEP Reading Assessment, also shows that one of the biggest gains in vocabulary knowledge was made by eighth-grade Hispanic students, whose improvements have narrowed the achievement gap with white students at that grade level since 2009.

Rather than presenting words in isolation, NAEP’s focus on vocabulary acknowledges that key distinctions and nuances of word meaning arise in the context of particular reading passages. Each vocabulary question asks how a particular word contributes meaning to the reading passage in which it appears.

NAEP scores and reports the reading comprehension results on the NAEP reading assessment independently from the vocabulary results, but the 2013 results confirm a strong correlation between the two: Students who had the highest vocabulary scores were the same ones performing above the 75th percentile in reading comprehension; students who had the lowest vocabulary scores were at or below the 25th percentile in comprehension.

CREDO Study Finds Urban Charter Schools Outperform Traditional School Peers

April 1, 2015 Comments off

CREDO Study Finds Urban Charter Schools Outperform Traditional School Peers
Source: Center for Research on Education Outcomes, Stanford University

Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), the nation’s foremost independent analyst of charter school effectiveness, released today a comprehensive Urban Charter Schools Report and 22 state-specific reports that combine to offer policymakers unprecedented insight into the effectiveness of charter schools.

Across 41 regions, urban charter schools on average achieve significantly greater student success in both math and reading, which amounts to 40 additional days of learning growth in math and 28 days of additional growth in reading. Compared to the national profile of charter school performance, urban charters produce more positive results. CREDO’s National Charter School Study results in 2013 found that charter schools provided seven additional days of learning per year in reading and no significant difference in math.

In Defense of Snow Days

March 27, 2015 Comments off

In Defense of Snow Days
Source: Education Next

This study provides a fresh look at the impact of instructional time lost due to weather-related student absences, as well as to school closings. Using student-level data from Massachusetts, I find that each one-day increase in the student absence rate driven by bad weather reduces math achievement by up to 5 percent of a standard deviation, suggesting that differences in average student attendance may account for as much as one-quarter of the income-based achievement gap in the state. Conversely, instructional time lost to weather-related school closings has no impact on student test scores.

What could explain these apparently conflicting results? It appears that teachers and schools are well prepared to deal with coordinated disruptions of instructional time like snow days but not with absences of different students at different times. In short, individual absences and not school closings are responsible for the achievement impacts of bad weather.

Education Technology and the Twenty-First-Century Skills Gap

March 26, 2015 Comments off

Education Technology and the Twenty-First-Century Skills Gap
Source: Boston Consulting Group/World Economic Forum

Today’s fast-changing world requires students who not only possess strong skills in areas such as language arts, math, and science but must also be adept at skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, persistence, collaboration, and curiosity. The requisite twenty-first-century skills fall into three broad categories: foundational literacies, competencies, and character qualities.

All too often, however, students in many countries are not acquiring these skills. A study that included nearly 100 countries reveals large gaps in selected indicators for many of these skills. For example, the U.S. performs relatively well on many skills when compared with the entire world. But when compared with high-performing peers such as Japan, Finland, or South Korea, the U.S. shows significant skills gaps in numeracy and scientific literacy. Some countries display gaps between our broad categories of skills. For example, relative to other OECD countries, Poland and Ireland perform well on a range of indicators representing foundational literacies but lag behind other OECD countries in areas such as critical thinking and curiosity. Gaps such as these are clear signs that too many students are not getting the education they must have to prosper in the twenty-first century, and countries are not finding adequate numbers of the skilled workers they need to compete.

Numerous innovations in the education technology space are beginning to show potential for helping address skills gaps. These technologies could both lower the cost and improve the quality of education.

A new report by the World Economic Forum, written in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group and titled New Vision for Education: Unlocking the Potential of Technology, examines ways that education technology can enhance learning as one tool in a portfolio.

2015 Brown Center Report on American Education: How Well Are American Students Learning?

March 25, 2015 Comments off

2015 Brown Center Report on American Education: How Well Are American Students Learning?
Source: Brookings Institution

The 2015 Brown Center Report (BCR) represents the 14th edition of the series since the first issue was published in 2000. It includes three studies. Like all previous BCRs, the studies explore independent topics but share two characteristics: they are empirical and based on the best evidence available. The studies in this edition are on the gender gap in reading, the impact of the Common Core State Standards — English Language Arts on reading achievement, and student engagement.

Part one examines the gender gap in reading. Girls outscore boys on practically every reading test given to a large population. And they have for a long time. A 1942 Iowa study found girls performing better than boys on tests of reading comprehension, vocabulary, and basic language skills. Girls have outscored boys on every reading test ever given by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)—the first long term trend test was administered in 1971—at ages nine, 13, and 17. The gap is not confined to the U.S.

Part two is about reading achievement, too. More specifically, it’s about reading and the English Language Arts standards of the Common Core (CCSS-ELA). It’s also about an important decision that policy analysts must make when evaluating public policies—the determination of when a policy begins. How can CCSS be properly evaluated?

Part three is on student engagement. PISA tests fifteen-year-olds on three subjects—reading, math, and science—every three years. It also collects a wealth of background information from students, including their attitudes toward school and learning.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,034 other followers