from the Education
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May 14, 2013
New from ECS
Learning Time Expands Across the United States
An overview of federal, state, and district efforts to expand student learning time and close achievement gaps suggests significant headway has been made across the country at every level. State legislatures in New York and Florida have passed bills to expand learning time. Seven states created turnaround districts to empower districts or schools to control budgets, staffing, and school schedules. Chicago expanded the school day and the school year for all of its 340,000 students. “We are seeing a policy convergence today like no other,” said Jeremy Anderson, president of the Education Commission of the States (ECS). “Expanding learning time is one proven solution to help all students reach greater levels of achievement.” (National Center on Time & Learning and ECS)
When Schools Get Fs
Assigning failing grades to low-achieving schools as an accountability tool can have a positive, substantive effect. Other grades, however, do not appear to have the same effect. (New to the ECS Research Studies Database)
Early Warning Signs as Predictors
Equipping schools to implement interventions to address chronic absenteeism and course failure in 9th grade is a crucial strategy for increasing both high school graduation and college enrollment. (New to the ECS Research Studies Database)
Simulated Funding Formula Includes Readiness Outcomes
Arizona legislation enacted this spring creates a four-year outcome-based funding simulated pilot program. Through the program, the department of education will estimate what funding the participant districts and charter schools would have received if 50% of funding were based on attainment of outcomes (to be determined by a joint legislative committee, but related to academic outcomes for grades K-12 and college- and career-readiness outcomes for grades 7-12). Districts and charter schools would receive an additional $250 simulated dollars for each student who earned a minimum 3.0 grade-point average on a dual or concurrent enrollment math or science course.
Once Enrolled, Preschoolers Considered of Compulsory Age
Iowa H.F. 351, signed into law in April, adds a new section to require a child who has reached the age of 4 by September 15 and who is enrolled in the statewide preschool program to be considered to be of compulsory attendance age unless the parent or guardian of the child submits written notice to the district of the parent's or guardian's intent to remove the child from enrollment in the preschool program.
Latino College Enrollment Exceeds Whites’
For the first time, Latino high school graduates passed whites in college enrollment rates. In the fall class of 2012, according to a report, 69% of Latino high school graduates enrolled in college compared to 67% of their white counterparts. The achievement gap hasn't closed, however. Latinos are still less likely to enroll in a four-year institution, more likely to be part-time students, and less likely to complete a bachelor's degree than whites. The original data source is the October school enrollment supplement of the Current Population Survey collected by the Census Bureau. (Pew Hispanic Center)
Economically, Things Don’t Look So Good
State and local sectors will see a gap between revenue and spending that will grow through 2060 “absent any policy changes,” according to simulations released last month. Near term, the good news is that state and local governments saw an increase in tax receipts after 2008’s decline, which went into 2009. Long term, the decline is mostly due to rising health-related costs of state and local expenditures on Medicaid and health care compensation for state and local government employees and retirees. The simulations are in the aggregate and cannot be used to predict outcomes in individual states and localities. (U.S. Government Accountability Office)
Bullying Harassment and Violence
Bullying—a major health risk for children, youth, and young adults—has its epicenter in schools, colleges, and universities. Focusing on bullying in educational settings, a task force examined bullying in educational settings and as it related to school reform, teacher education, administrator education, special education, and cultural diversity. Practical short- and long-term recommendations are presented in 11 briefs. (American Educational Research Association)
As the World Shrinks
Just as the Education Commission of the States was created in 1964 so states could know what other states had done in each education area, the Organization for European Cooperation and Development (OECD) has launched the OECD Education Policy Outlook, which reviews policies and practices that have been initiated across OECD member countries focusing on key policy areas: raising student outcomes, supporting school improvement, and organizing education systems to deliver education policy more effectively. Country-specific education profiles will be published online with four new countries added every six months. Each profile provides a snapshot of how individual countries’ are tackling their key education challenges by reviewing their context, challenges, and policy responses. They started with Australia, Czech Republic, Ireland, and New Zealand. (OECD)
What Exactly Is a College Education Worth?
As tuition goes up, the long-unquestioned value of a college degree is being questioned. Factors to consider include education's cost and returns on investment, which vary widely by college and major. Authors look at new ways to measure tuition cost against other variables using College Scoreboard, state databases, U.S. News, and College Reality Check, for example, and call for the postsecondary system to give better information on the value of a college education. (Education Sector)
Accelerating Students through Developmental Math
So many community college students end their educations in the veil of tears that is remedial math that the Lumina Foundation launched a national initiative called Achieving the Dream, a network of some 200 colleges dedicated to remediation reform, among them Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas. Broward compressed traditional 16-week courses into eight; Tarrant compressed a series of modules into courses that are largely self-paced. How has it worked out? Both programs were scaled up and resulted in higher success rates and lower withdrawal rates. (MDRC)
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