Tuesday, August 26, 2008

California teachers report

Williams Settlement Impacts Reported Out-of-Field Assignments
A new report released by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing announces an 88% increase in under-qualified teachers providing instruction to English learners in California.
Commission on Teacher Credentialing. (2008). Assignment Monitoring in California of Certificated Employees by County Offices of Education, 2003-2007. Sacramento: Author.

Interent use study

A new Pew study asserts that almost a half of internet users access search engines daily, and about 60% email daily. Other popular Internet activities include checking the news (39% do it daily) and checking the weather (30% do it daily).

Fallows, D. (2008). Search engine use. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project. http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Search_Aug08.pdf

Social networking study

What Kids Learn from Social Networking
Researchers have documented the educational benefits of social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook.
Students observed for the study listed technology skills as the top lesson learned, followed by creativity, being open to new or diverse views and communication skills.
Greenhow, C. (2007). What Teacher Education Needs to Know about Web 2.0: Preparing New
Teachers in the 21st Century. In C. Crawford, D. A. Willis, R. Carlsen, I. Gibson, K.
McFerrin, J. Price & R. Weber (Eds.), Society for Information Technology and Teacher
Education International Conference 2007 (pp. 1989-1992). San Antonio, Texas, USA:
Video of research: http://www1.umn.edu/urelate/newsservice/Multimedia_Videos/social_network.htm

Global tech access report

U.S. Policies Slow Tech Access
The United States has slipped to number 9 on the World Economic Forum's World annual Global Competitiveness Report.
That list is not a look at school performance, but at business-centric measures of tech-friendly government policies and high-tech usage rates. The U.S. dominated the tech index for years, dropped to fifth place in 2006 and then to number 8 in 2007. Though the U.S. scores well in ICT usage, regulatory issues lowered the score. Sweden tops the list, followed by Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Honk Kong, and South Korea.

World library report

The new IFLA/FAIFE World Report details Internet access in libraries in 116 countries, is now available to order. This report provides an overview of how libraries around the world are tackling barriers to freedom of access to information and freedom of expression:how libraries are challenging anti-terror legislation, increasing women’s access to information, and raising awareness of HIV/AIDS.
IFLA/FAIFE. (2008). Access to libraries and information: towards a fairer world. The Hague: IFLA.

Parent-child relations studies

A new study has found that students' anxieties often are based on exaggerated perceptions of what their parents expect. Many parents and students hold different perceptions of what the parents' expectations are. Students often are trying to meet goals far tougher than the ideals their parents have in mind.
Agliata, A., & Renk, K. (2008, Sep.) College Students’ Adjustment: The Role of Parent–College Student Expectation Discrepancies and Communication Reciprocity. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 37(8).

A separate study is among the first to examine how parenting styles remain a strong influence on how students adjust to college. Students reported making smoother transitions to college if they have at least one parent whose style combines warmth, a demanding nature and democracy -- the same combination that is best for young children.
McKinney, C., & Renk, K. (2008). Differential Parenting Between Mothers and Fathers: Implications for Late Adolescents. Journal of Family Issues, 29, 806 - 827.

Kindergarten retention study

Few lasting benefits to delaying kindergarten
Students held back from kindergarten for a year may score better in the first few months of school, but they lose almost all that advantage by the eighth grade, according to a new study. "If it were true that older kids are able to learn at a faster rate, then the differences in test scores should get bigger as kids progress and the material gets more difficult. But we really see the opposite," said co-author Darren Lubotsky. "Older kids do better at first and younger kids do worse, but they catch up."
Elder, T., & Lubotsky, D. (2008).
Journal of Human Resources. [in press]

Gaming studies

Video Games Can Aid Students, Surgeons
Researchers who gathered in Boston for the American Psychological Association Convention detailed a series of studies suggesting video games can be powerful learning tools -- from increasing younger students' problem-solving potential to improving the suturing skills of laparoscopic surgeons.
In one Fordham University study, 122 students in fifth, sixth and seventh grades were asked to think out loud for 20 minutes while playing a game they had never seen before.While older children seemed more interested in just playing the game, younger children showed more interest in setting up a series of short-term goals needed to help them learn the game.
An Ohio State University study of 33 laparoscopic surgeons found that those who played video games were 27 percent faster at advanced surgical procedures and made 37 percent fewer errors than those who didn't.
Uniuversity of Wisconsin-Madison researchers found that World of Warcraft encouraged scientific thinking, like using systems and models for understanding situations and using math and testing to investigate problems.

Dropouts and literacy report

U.S. Losing Ground in Education and Workforce Development
According to a new repor, soaring dropout rates among high school students and diminished literacy skills among adults pose a serious threat to the nation's economic future.
A growing percentage of U.S. workers is not prepared for careers in fields with growth potential such as health care, advanced manufacturing, and alternative energy. Studies show that one in three young people in this country drop out of high school before earning their diploma, while nearly thirty million adults lack basic literacy skills.
National Commission on Adult Literacy . (2008). Reach Higher, America: Overcoming Crisis in the U.S. Workforce. New York: Author.

Math instruction report

Report Profiles High Schools With Effective Math Instruction
A new report finds that access to high-level math classes and knowledgeable, effective teachers is crucial to preparing high school students for college and beyond. Researchers found that successful schools
shared three things in common in regard to their ability to provide effective math programs: offering high-level math courses and support for all students; providing intensive professional development for teachers to improve their subject knowledge and teaching skills; and using student progress and evaluations to help teachers tailor their lessons.
WestEd. (2008). Rethinking High School: Supporting All Students to Be College-Ready in Math. San Francisco: WestEd.

California exit exam study

This report e
xamines early indicators that identify fourth-grade students in San Diego who are at risk of failing the California High School Exit Exam, discusses implications for when and how to intervene to address those factors, and makes policy recommendations.
Zau, Andrew C.; & Julian R. Betts. (2008). Predicting Success, Preventing Failure: An Investigation of the California High School Exit Exam. San Francisco: Public Policy Institute of California.

ELL achievement study

This study examines the extent to which English language learners (ELL) are concentrated in large, low-achieving public schools, and the degree to which this isolation contributes to the gap in math scores between ELL students and others.
Fry, Richard. (2008). The Role of Schools in the English Language Learner Achievement Gap. Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center.

Career academies report

This report examines the long-term impact of the Career Academies high school reform initiative on primarily Hispanic/Latino and African-American students: their labor market participation and outcomes, such as earnings; postsecondary education; and family stability.

MDRC. (2008). Career Academies: Long-Term Impacts on Labor Market Outcomes, Educational Attainment, and Transitions to Adulthood. New York: Author.

Califronia education funding policies analysis

This report provides an overview of the policy priorities of the proposed funding reform, and analyzes the revenue school districts would receive under simulations of the proposal's various versions, compared with the revenue they actually received in 2004-2005.
Reinhard, Ray; Heather Rose; Ria Sengupta; Jon Sonstelie. (2008). Funding Formulas for California Schools II: An Analysis of a Proposal by the Governor's Committee on Education Excellence. San Francisco: Public Policy Institute of California.

African American males and graduation report

This report highlights the gaps in high school graduation rates between African-American men and their white counterparts and the disparities between school resources and quality. Charts the best- and worst-performing states and districts for African-American men.

Schott Foundation for Public Education. (2008).
Given Half a Chance: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males. Cambridge, MA: Author.

College choice studies

Cost not always a factor in college searches: Many U.S. families don't rule out pricey colleges even if their child isn't planning on a well-paying career, according to a new Sallie Mae survey of undergraduates enrolled during the 2007-08 school year and their parents. Despite their moderate incomes, middle-class students reported attending private four-year universities at nearly the same rate as more affluent students (20 percent, compared to 22 percent).
SLM Corp. (2008). Survey of Parents of College Bound Freshmen. Wilkes-Barre, PA: Author.

Math calculator study

Calculators don't subtract from learning
Elementary students who have already learned basic math skills can work through more questions and make fewer errors if they use a calculator without hurting their scores on subsequent tests, according to a recent study. "It is important children first learn how to calculate answers on their own, but after that initial phase, using calculators is a fine thing to do," said co-author Bethany Rittle-Johnson.
Rittle-Johnson, B., & Kmicikewycz, A. (2008). When generating answers benefits arithmetic skill: The importance of prior knowledge. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 101(1), 75-81.

Homework study

Homework may not boost all students' test scores
More math homework may help top students as well as those who struggle, but average students may reap less benefit from additional assignments when it comes to improving test scores in the subject, according to a new study. Only roughly 40% of students who were observed in the study would benefit in a significant way from an additional hour per night of homework, the researchers concluded.
Henderson, D., & Eren, O. (2008).
The impact of homework on student achievement. Econometrics Journal, 11(2), 326-348.

Nutrition and achievement study

Good nutrition linked to better test performance
Learners with access to a more nutritious diet in early childhood may score higher on intellectual tests in adulthood, notwithstanding how much education they receive overall, according to new data. The findings "suggest an effect of exposure to an enhanced nutritional intervention in early life that is independent of any effect of schooling," the study's authors conclude.
Aryeh D. Stein; Meng Wang; Ann DiGirolamo; Ruben Grajeda; Usha Ramakrishnan; Manuel Ramirez-Zea; Kathryn Yount; Reynaldo Martorell. Nutritional Supplementation in Early Childhood, Schooling, and Intellectual Functioning in Adulthood: A Prospective Study in Guatemala. Archives ofPediatriatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2008;162(7):612-618

teens and smoking studies

Teens lured by screen smoking, tobacco promotions
Movies that feature cigarettes, as well as the tobacco industry's smoking-related promotions, prompt teenagers to smoke, according to a recent report. Although smoking declined to 21% of the U.S. adult population in 2006 from 42% in 1965, some 4,000 teenagers still light up for the first time each day and 1,000 of them become habitual smokers.
Zosia Kmietowicz. (2008). BMA calls for ban on smoking images that "keep the habit cool" among children British Medical Journal, 337:a713

Mass media has the power to both encourage tobacco use, especially among young people, and to discourage it. This is the first report to make the conclusion that there is a causal relationship between exposure to depiction of smoking in the movies and youth beginning to smoke
Melanie Wakefield. (2008). The Role of the Media in Promoting and Reducing Tobacco Use. Reckvill, MD: U. S. National Cancer Institute.

Science teaching study

Science more understandable when first explained in plain language
Students taught scientific concepts in plain English before learning technical terms performed better on exams, according to a study by Stanford faculty. "Teaching using a content-first approach yields greater conceptual understanding ... as well as an improved ability to understand and use science language," the researchers said.
Bryan A. Brown and Kihyun Ryoo. (2008). Teaching science as a language: A ldquocontent-firstrdquo approach to science teaching Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 45(5), 529-553.

Immigrants study

Second-generation immigrants performing well
The children of immigrants in New York City not only do better than their parents but also do well when compared with native-born youth from comparable backgrounds, according to a study authored by three professors who tracked more than 3,000 people, mostly in their 20s. Most of the second-generation participants spoke English fluently and many credited their parents' and community's encouragement for their career and academic successes.
Mollenkopf, J., et al. (2008). Inheriting the City: The Children of Immigrants Come of Age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Multimedia learning report

Increasing Learning Through Media
In general, multimodal learning has been shown to be more effective than traditional, unimodal learning, according to a report from from Cisco Systems. The report concludes that adding visuals to verbal (text and/or auditory) learning can result in significant gains in basic and higher-order learning. The findings in the report provide insights into when interactivity augments multimodal learning of moderately to complex topics, and when it is advantageous for students to work individually when learning or building automaticity with basic skills.
Cisco Systems. (2008). Multimodal Learning Through Media. San Jose, CA: Author.

Technology report

Maximizing the Potential of Technology
A nationwide report found that ensuring high-speed broadband access for all students has become a critical national issue, especially when considering the necessity for use of technology in assessment, accountability, engagement and preparing students for work and life in the 21st century. The report identifies the key issues facing the educational community related to robust connectivity and recommends how states and districts can successfully implement high-speed broadband in their schools. The report also provides stakeholders and policymakers with strategies and models for bringing this critical issue to the national and state policy level.
State Educational Technology Directors Association. (2008). High-Speed Broadband Access for All Kids: Breaking through the Barriers. Glen Burnie, MD: Author.

Perspectives on Education poll

Civic Index Reveals Public Views on Education

A national poll shed new light on the public's views on school progress,
politicians' commitment to education, and the strength of
community commitment to helping improve education. The online Civic Index measures public attitudes toward education and assesses ten categories of community support
determined by the public and experts to be critical factors outside the
school to support and sustain quality public schools. The poll reveals
that even when other issues seem at the forefront of news, Americans
still care deeply about education.
Public Education Network. (2008). Civic index for quality public education.

ELL study

Research on Educating ELLs Draws Surprising Conclusions

The summer issue of American Educator examined two recent
reviews of research on educating English Language Learners (ELLs).
Currently, one in nine public-school students in K-12 is an ELL, and
demographers estimate that in twenty years that proportion could
swell to one in four. Stanford education professor Claude
Goldenberg says the research suggests that teaching students to
read in their first language promotes higher levels of reading
achievement in English.
Goldenburg, C. (2008, Summer). Teaching English language learners. American Educator, 8-44.