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The Nation’s Report Card: 2014 U.S. History, Civics, and Geography Assessments at Grade 8

April 29, 2015 Comments off

The Nation’s Report Card: 2014 U.S. History, Civics, and Geography Assessments at Grade 8
Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Nationally, eighth graders’ average scores on the NAEP U.S. history, geography, and civics assessments showed no significant change in 2014, compared to 2010—the last assessment year. However, several student groups have made gains. In 2014, eighteen percent of eighth-graders performed at or above the Proficient level in U.S. history, 27 percent performed at or above the Proficient level in geography, and 23 percent performed at or above the Proficient level in civics. Students performing at or above the Proficient level on NAEP assessments demonstrate solid academic performance and competency over challenging subject matter.

This interactive report presents average score and achievement level results of the nation’s eighth-grade students by gender, race/ethnicity, parental education levels, and other student groups. The report also describes classroom practices and students’ attitudes regarding these subjects, and features sample questions and student performance on those questions. Below is an overview of the results and the assessment content for the 2014 U.S. history, geography, and civics assessments.

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.

Achievement Gap Narrows as High School Graduation Rates for Minority Students Improve Faster than Rest of Nation

March 19, 2015 Comments off

Achievement Gap Narrows as High School Graduation Rates for Minority Students Improve Faster than Rest of Nation
Source: U.S. Department of Education

Graduation rates for black and Hispanic students increased by nearly 4 percentage points from 2011 to 2013, outpacing the growth for all students in the nation, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

What’s more, the gap between white students and black and Hispanic students receiving high school diplomas narrowed over that time, the data show.

Public Elementary and Secondary School Arts Education Instructors

March 6, 2015 Comments off

Public Elementary and Secondary School Arts Education Instructors
Source: National Center for Education Statistics

This Statistics in Brief uses data from two administrations of the Fast Response Survey System to present findings related to the different types of school staff (e.g., full-time staff, part time staff) used to provide arts instruction in public elementary and secondary schools; the extent to which public elementary schools used arts specialists (i.e., education professionals with a teaching certificate in an arts discipline who provide separate instruction in that discipline) to provide arts education to students; and the prevalence of arts instruction facilities in public elementary schools.

New Guidance to Help Protect Student Privacy in Educational Sites and Apps

March 3, 2015 Comments off

New Guidance to Help Protect Student Privacy in Educational Sites and Apps
Source: U.S. Department of Education

When signing up for a new technology, digital service, or app, there’s a simple little check box near the end that most of us don’t give much thought. But for schools and districts, agreeing to a terms of service agreement could have big implications for student privacy.

Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Education released model terms of service guidance to help schools identify which online educational services and apps have strong privacy and data security policies to protect our students.

Some terms of service agreements are a tough read, even for lawyers, so the hope is that our new guidance will help school officials decide what’s right for their school and students.

Today’s guidance helps officials look for provisions that would allow the service or company to market to students or parents, provisions on how data is collected, used, shared, transferred, and destroyed, and it also guides schools on making sure they’re satisfying parental access requirements, as well as proper security controls.

Early High School Dropouts: What Are Their Characteristics?

February 20, 2015 Comments off

Early High School Dropouts: What Are Their Characteristics?
Source: National Center for Education Statistics

This Data Point uses data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09) to examine the extent to which high school students drop out of school between the ninth and eleventh grade and how dropout rates vary by sex, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. HSLS:09 is a nationally representative, longitudinal study of more than 23,000 ninth-graders in 2009. HSLS:09 surveyed students, their parents, math and science teachers, school administrators, and school counselors.

School Practices and Accountability for Students With Disabilities

February 17, 2015 Comments off

School Practices and Accountability for Students With Disabilities (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences

The purpose of the study is to provide policy-relevant information about the education of students with disabilities by examining their inclusion in school accountability systems, and the use of school practices that may relate to their educational outcomes, in both schools that are accountable and schools that are not accountable for the performance of the SWD subgroup. The hypothesis underlying the study is that school- level accountability for the SWD subgroup may lead schools to adopt different school and instructional practices with the goal of improving the educational outcomes for this student population. While this study does not assess the effectiveness of these practices, the de scription of differences in school practices may identify topics for further research.

This report presents descriptive findings focusing on school practices related to staffing, student support, instructional time, educational placements, teacher collaboration, and professional development in schools explicitly held accountable for the performance of the SWD subgroup (i.e., “SWD – accountable schools”) and schools that are not accountable for the performance of the SWD subgroup (i.e., “non- SWD – accountable sc hools”).

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