Wednesday, February 29, 2012

California district spending report

There is wide variation in per-pupil state spending across California school districts with some low-income districts receiving $620 less per student than is received in more affluent districts, according to a new report. The report also found some disparities in the other extreme and among districts serving students of similar demographic backgrounds. For example, in 2009-10, the latest data available, per-pupil revenue was $14,076 in Palo Alto versus $7,679 in Milpitas, both unified districts serving K-12 students. But clearly, affluence counts: In San Mateo County, the Woodside elementary district took in $18,894 per student, while Millbrae elementary got $7,362.
Education Trust-West. (2012). the cruel divide. Oakland, CA: Author.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Technology and learning study

The emergence of widespread Internet connectivity, social networking and mobile computing all have contributed to the creation of a new type of learner, according to a recent study.95 percent of teenagers now use the Internet. Students today are more self-directed, more inclined to collaborate and rely on feedback from peers, and are better-equipped to obtain information, the report states.
Pew Research Center. (2011). Teens, Kindness and Cruelty on Social Network Sites. Washington, DC: Author.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Jersey school library impact study

Effective school libraries contribute to student success
The New Jersey Association of School Librarians released findings February 15 of a three-year study
, which explored the value of quality school libraries to education in New Jersey. The findings show that New Jersey school libraries and school librarians contribute in rich and diverse ways to improvements in student test scores and increased interest in reading.
Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries. (2012). Princeton, NJ: Rutgers University.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Common Core impact study

Will the Common Core State Standards improve student achievement? Not according to a new study out today. The crux of the argument in the report is that there is not much of a connection between standards—even rigorous ones—and student achievement. A 2009 Brookings study that found no connection between the quality of states' standards and their students' NAEP scores. Researcher Loveless examines NAEP scores from 2003 to 2009 and finds no correlation between the quality of states' standards and NAEP gains during that period. Loveless also looks at performance standards, or the "cut points" set for proficiency on states' tests, to examine the argument that the presumed higher cut scores on the future tests for the common standards will help drive better student achievement. Again, he finds that cut scores are unrelated to NAEP performance.

Loveless, T. (2012). How well are American students learning? Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.

Canadian Internet use study

This study investigates how digital technologies are being integrated into classrooms, how they enhance learning, and what the impact on the teacher-student relationship is. While Canadian educators believe that digital technologies can enrich students’ learning, there are still significant challenges to overcome in making this happen – with one of the main barriers being students’ lack of digital literacy skills. And school filters and policies that ban or restrict networked devices in the classroom take away the very opportunities young people need to develop digital literacy skills such as good judgment and responsible use. “This study makes it clear that young Canadians need to learn digital literacy and digital citizenship in their schools, and that teachers need to be provided with the tools, support and learning opportunities to be able to teach them those skill."
Media Awareness Network. (2012).
Young Canadians in a Wired World, Phase III: Teachers' Perspective. Ottawa: Author.

School library impact study

A survey of 700 New Jersey librarians explored the values of quality school libraries to education. A sample of effective school libraries was used to identify the key criteria that enables these libraries to thrive and contribute to the learning agendas of the schools:

• The school library is a learning center linked to classroom instruction;

• The school library supports the school’s mission to produce literate and informed learners who can thrive in a digital, knowledge-based world;

• The school library is a 21st-century classroom that provides an understanding of the information and technology students will confront as digital citizens;

• The school library sets the stage for student-initiated inquiry and

• The school librarian is a co-teacher who undertakes an active role in engaging in shared instruction.
New JerseyCenter for International Scholarship in School Libraries. (2012). The New Jersey Study of School Libraries: One Common Goal — Student Learning. Princeton, NJ: Rutgers,

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Computer education report

This report is an initial response to a “call-for-action” by the Computer Science Teachers Association (CCEAN), which consists of computer science education leaders from the K-12, community college and university level including teachers, administrators, professors and researchers, along with California educational policy staff, including from the California Department of Education. CCEAN is working to address the need for educational policy changes and educational reform regarding computer science education in California. The report describes the general K-12 education landscape in California as a foundation and provides details related to the current computer science education landscape, including but not limited to: computer science courses available to students, credentialing of computer science teachers, professional development opportunities for educators, and funding opportunities related to the support of computer science education.
California Computing Education Advocacy Network (CCEAN). (2012). In Need of Repair: The State of K-12 Computer Science Education in California