Archive for the ‘K-12’ Category

Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K-12 Music Education in the United States: 2015

July 15, 2015 Comments off

Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K-12 Music Education in the United States: 2015
Source: National Association of Music Merchants Foundation

Music has been found in every society since the dawn of recorded human history. What is it about this art form that has so permeated hearts and minds through the ages? Modern research has been instrumental in shedding light on this important question and is leading us to a deeper understanding of the power of music to improve the human condition and positively impact our lives and communities.

Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K-12 Music Education in the United States: 2015, conducted by Grunwald Associates LLC. In this study, we invited communites nationwide to provide us with information about their music education programs. Owing to many political and economic factors, it is a common narrative that acccess to music education in not universal and is often under threat for reduction or elimination. Against this backdrop, this study measures the beliefs and attitudes about music education through the eyes of the two most important and knowledgeable stakeholder groups: teachers and parents.

The Income-Achievement Gap and Adult Outcome Inequality

July 14, 2015 Comments off

The Income-Achievement Gap and Adult Outcome Inequality (PDF)
Source: Federal Reserve Board

This paper discusses various methods for assessing group differences in academic achievement using only the ordinal content of achievement test scores. Researchers and policymakers frequently draw conclusions about achievement differences between various populations using methods that rely on the cardinal comparability of test scores. This paper shows that such methods can lead to erroneous conclusions in an important application: measuring changes over time in the achievement gap between youth from high- and low-income households. Commonly-employed, cardinal methods suggest that this “income-achievement gap” did not change between the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth (NLSY) 1979 and 1997 surveys. In contrast, ordinal methods show that this gap narrowed substantially for reading achievement and may have narrowed for math achievement as well. In fact, any weighting scheme that places more value on higher test scores must conclude that the reading income-achievement gap decreased between these two surveys. The situation for math achievement is more complex, but low-income students in the middle and high deciles of the low-income math achievement distribution unambiguously gained relative to their high-income peers. Furthermore, an anchoring exercise suggests that the narrowing of the income-achievement gap corresponds to an economically significant convergence in lifetime labor wealth and school completion rates for youth from high- and low-income backgrounds.

See also: Achievement Gap Estimates and Deviations from Cardinal Comparability (PDF)

Computer science in high school graduation requirements

July 7, 2015 Comments off

Computer science in high school graduation requirements (PDF)
Source: Education Commission of the States

Computer science and coding skills are widely recognized as a valuable asset in the current and projected job market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 37.5 percent growth from 2012 to 2022 in the “computer systems design and related services” industry — from 1,620,300 jobs in 2012 to an estimated 2,229,000 jobs in 2022.

Yet some reports point to an alarming absence of female and minority students in courses such as Advanced Placement (AP) computer science. Of AP Computer Science A exam takers in the Class of 2013, 81 percent were male and 82.5 percent were white or Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander. reports nine out of 10 K-12 schools don’t offer computer programming coursework.

This ECS Education Trends report identifies states that are allowing or requiring districts to apply computer science coursework toward completion of high school graduation requirements in math, science or foreign language. This report also highlights several states that require computer science courses to fulfill requirements for a specialized diploma or endorsement to the standard high school diploma.

Understanding the Underserved Learner: The Condition of STEM 2014

June 30, 2015 Comments off

Understanding the Underserved Learner: The Condition of STEM 2014 (PDF)
Source: ACT
From email:

Understanding the Underserved Learner: The Condition of STEM 2014 is an ACT report that determines underserved students’ interest and their college and career readiness in math- and science-related areas. Students’ readiness in these areas could affect their STEM career opportunities and help address the national deficit of skilled STEM workers.

The report, released today, identifies underserved learners using student characteristics that are often related to a lack of access to high-quality educational and career planning opportunities and resources.

+ Underserved students make up a large portion of the potential STEM target group. Of the 899,684 students from the 2014 graduating class who reported an interest in STEM, more than 418,000 (47%) were underserved students.

+ Underserved graduates are just as likely as ACT-tested students overall to be interested in STEM—49 percent have an interest in STEM in each case.

+ Underserved students are far less prepared for success in college STEM coursework than are students overall. For example, only 25 percent of underserved STEM students met the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in science, compared to 59 percent of students who are not underserved. Erasing this readiness gap in science would help more than 140,000 students become ready for first-year college science coursework.

More Canadian parents opting for home schooling their children; 29 per cent increase between 2007 and 2012

June 23, 2015 Comments off

More Canadian parents opting for home schooling their children; 29 per cent increase between 2007 and 2012
Source: Fraser Institute

n increasing number of Canadian families are choosing to home school their children, according to a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

The study, Home Schooling in Canada: The Current Picture—2015, notes that 21,662 Canadian children were registered as ‘home school students’ (with likely more not officially registered) in 2012, an increase of 29 per cent over a five-year period.

The study references the mounting academic literature about home schooling across North America and builds upon earlier Fraser Institute research from 2001 and 2007. It finds that while decisions to homeschool in the past were ideologically or religiously driven, families are now choosing the option for more pragmatic reasons.

For example, parents are choosing education-at-home because it corresponds with their personal circumstances such as having children involved in time-consuming extra-curricular activities; a child with a health or learning disability; or because the family lives in a remote location or travels extensively.

Why Wait 100 Years? Bridging the Gap in Global Education

June 15, 2015 Comments off

Why Wait 100 Years? Bridging the Gap in Global Education
Source: Brookings Institution

In the last 200 years, the number of children attending primary school globally has grown from 2.3 million to 700 million today, covering nearly 90 percent of the world’s school-age children. But the gulf in average levels of education between rich and poor countries remains huge. Without a fundamental rethinking of current approaches to education, it’s going to take another 100 years for children in developing countries to reach the education levels achieved in developed countries. Something needs to change.

State approaches to funding dual enrollment

June 15, 2015 Comments off

State approaches to funding dual enrollment (PDF)
Source: Education Commission of the States

Research shows that students who dually enroll are more likely to finish high school and succeed in postsecondary education than their peers with a similar grade point average (GPA), test scores, demographics, etc. Yet in many states, students and parents are largely — if not entirely — responsible for covering dual enrollment course costs, placing these courses out of reach of students in greatest need.

This Education Commission of the States policy analysis explores approaches states are taking to minimize — or completely eliminate — tuition and other costs for dually enrolled students. For each state highlighted, this report describes the state’s mechanism for funding dual enrollment, the potential benefits and drawbacks of each approach, student access and program outcomes, and considerations on the politics or culture underlying these funding approaches.