Sunday, July 11, 2010

Online socializing survey

The social benefits of internet use will far outweigh the negatives over the next decade, according to experts consulted in a recent survey.They say this is because email, social networks, and other online tools offer “low friction” opportunities to create, enhance, and rediscover social ties that make a difference in people’s lives.
Pew Research Center. (2010). Future of the Internet. Washington, DC: Author.

College students' study research

New research, conducted by two California economics professors, shows that over the past five decades, the number of hours that the average college student studies each week has been steadily dropping. According to time-use surveys, the average student at a four-year college in 1961 studied about 24 hours a week. Today’s average student hits the books for just 14 hours.
Babcock, P., & Marks, M. (2010).
Review of Economics and Statistics.

The 2009 National Survey of Student Engagement found that 62 percent of college students studied 15 hours a week or less — even as they took home primarily As and Bs on their report cards. On the positive side, the report shows that a variety of colleges and universities have shown steady improvement in the quality of undergraduate education, as measured by students’ exposure to and involvement in effective educational practices.
National Survey of Student Engagement. (2009). Assessment for Improvement. Bloomington, IN: NSSE.

Don't give them half a loaf ...

Some excerpts from Diane Ravitch's "Friend of Education" Speech at the NEA. The entire speech can be found at:

"Since my book appeared in early March, … I would say that I have met so far about 20,000 teachers, and after today I think I am going to increase it to 30,000. And in all of this time, aside from the right-wing think tanks, I haven’t seen met a single teacher who likes what’s happening. I haven’t met a single teacher who thinks that No Child Left Behind has been a success. I haven’t met a single teacher who thinks that Race to the Top is a good idea."

"Why has the Obama Administration built its education agenda on the punitive failed strategies of No Child Left Behind?"

"I have been told by some people in the Obama Administration that the way to stop the narrowing of the curriculum is to test everything."

"The single most reliable predictor of test scores is poverty, and poverty, in turn, is correlated to student attendance, to family support, and to the school’s resources."

"And perhaps we should begin demanding that school districts be held accountable for providing the resources that schools need."

"Instead of the current wave of so-called reforms, we should ask ourselves how to deliver on our belief that every student in this nation should learn not only basic skills, but should have a curriculum that includes the arts, history, geography, civics, foreign languages, mathematics, science, physical education, and health. But instead of this kind of rich curriculum, all they are getting is a heavy dose of high-stakes testing and endless test preparation. And as the stakes increase for teachers and schools, there will be more emphasis on test prep and not what children need."

"We need experienced principals who are themselves master teachers. We do not need a wave of newcomers who took a course called 'How to be a principal.' We need superintendents who are wise and experienced educators, not lawyers and businessmen."

"Stand up to the attacks on public education. Don’t give them half a loaf, because they will be back the next day for another slice, and the day after that for another slice. Don’t compromise."

Friday, July 9, 2010

Middle school health study

Intervention helps at-risk middle-school students stay healthy
Middle-school students are healthier when schools intervene in their exercising and eating, according to results of a recent study. Intervention methods used over a three-year period were found to reduce obesity rates among minority and low-income middle-school students, who are often at risk for long-term health problems.
National Institutes of Health. (2010). Healthy study.

Charter school teacher retention study

Teachers at charter schools are more than twice as likely to leave the profession as their peers at traditional public schools, according to a new study. Charter school teachers tend to be younger than teachers at traditional schools, and less likely to have standard certification, according to the study. The implication is that they’re more likely to see teaching as a temporary gig en route to another career. The schools, generally located within poorly performing neighborhoods and districts, also tend to enroll more challenging students than the bulk of traditional schools.

National Center on School Choice.(2010). Teacher turnover in charter schools. Nashville: Author.
College expenses and financial aid have become increasingly larger considerations for parents and students, driving more qualified students away from enrolling in four-year colleges. Fewer low- and moderate-income high school graduates are attending college in America, and fewer are graduating. Enrollment in four-year colleges was 40% in 2004 for low-income students, down from 54% in 1992, and 53% in 2004 for moderate-income students, down from 59% over the same period. If that trend has continued, low- and moderate-income students who don’t move on to college face an even darker outlook. The unemployment rate for 16- to 19-year olds averaged 17% in 2004, the jobless rate for people over age 25 with just a high school diploma averaged 5% the same year. So far this year, those figures have jumped to 25.8% and 10.6%, respectively.

Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. (2010). The rising price of inequality. Washington, DC: GPO.

Connected Teens research

Trends in social media and cloud computing are often examined through the lens of younger users and broadband users, who have consistently been more actively engaged online when compared with other groups. This presentation highlights new research on teens, young adults and social media use while also identifying a new leading edge group that deserves the same attention: those who own four or more internet-connected devices.
Pew Internet & American Life Project

Information Literacy indicators report

This report provides a basic conceptual framework based on for measuring
information literacy and is designed to serve as a reference to facilitate
the elaboration of information literacy indicators. The framework facilitates measuring information
literacy through which achievements at both international and national
levels can be demonstrated and future efforts can be better focused.
Catts, R., & Lau, J. (2010). Towards information literacy indicators. Hague: UNESCO.

Minority access study

Minority children have fewer opportunities than their white peers to gain access to high-quality health care, education, safe neighborhoods and adequate support from the communities where they live, according to a nationwide survey of professionals who work with young people. Of the professionals surveyed, 59 percent said young white children in their communities have "lots of opportunity" to play in violence-free homes and neighborhoods, while only 36 percent said the same about Hispanic children, 37 percent about African-American children and 42 percent about Native American children.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation