Some of the News Fit to Print
ABOUT HIGHER ED
COLLEGE READY IN CALIFORNIA
High school achievement tests can be good predictors of how students will fare in community college, according to new research that adds to the case for using more than just placement tests to decide which students need to take remedial courses. However, the study also identified a “disturbing” achievement gap, with Latino and black students being less likely than their Asian and white peers to take and pass transfer-level college courses. And that the gap occurs even among students who performed well on their high school tests. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
ONLY HALF OF FIRST-TIME COLLEGE STUDENTS GRADUATE IN SIX YEARS
There is an abundance of evidence showing that going to college is worth it. But that’s really only true if you go to college and then graduate, and the United States is doing a terrible job of helping enrolled college students complete their educations. A new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center digs deeper into these graduation rates. It finds that of the 1.9 million students enrolled for the first time in all degree-granting institutions in fall 2006, just over half of them (54.1 percent) had graduated within six years. Another 16.1 percent were still enrolled in some sort of postsecondary program after six years, and 29.8 percent had dropped out altogether. The post is from The New York Times’ Economix blog.
STUDENTS SHOW PROGRESS UNDER TEACHER-BONUS SYSTEM
A performance-bonus system that made use of "student learning objectives"—academic growth goals set by teachers in consultation with their principals—helped improve student achievement in schools using the measure, concludes a new study issued today. The study, by the Community Training and Assistance Center, a Boston-based nonprofit technical-assistance and policy-evaluation firm, found that students taught by participating teachers in math improved on average at a rate 12 percent higher than those in comparison schools. That rate of growth was enough to narrow gaps with their peers in those comparison schools, who started somewhat ahead of them. In reading, students in participating schools also improved by a rate that was 13 percent greater than that of their peers in comparison schools. The post is from Education Week’s Teacher Beat blog.
STUDY FINDS KIPP SCHOOLS BOOST ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
A new report finds that students in KIPP charter schools experience significantly greater learning gains in math, reading, science, and social studies than do their peers in traditional public schools. The study, which analyzed data from 43 middle schools run by KIPP, officially known as the Knowledge Is Power Program, was conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, a research center based in Princeton, N.J. It concludes that students in the charter program, over a three-year period, gained an additional 11 months of learning in math, eight additional months in reading, 14 additional months of learning in science, and 11 additional months of learning in social studies when compared to students in comparable traditional public schools. The post is from Education Week’s Charters and Choice blog.
AMERICORPS TO PLAY A PART IN TURNING AROUND SCHOOLS
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has announced the launch of a new 15-million 5-year program to put AmeriCorps volunteers into the halls and classrooms of the nation’s worst schools in order to help the students most at-risk of dropping out to graduate high school. In total, 650 AmeriCorps members will be taking up posts in 60 schools around the country and will be working to help students not only earn their diploma but also to improve their math and reading skills. The article is from EducationNews.org.