Reading, writing, ‘rithmetic – retention? Third-graders face new reading standard

Reading, writing, ‘rithmetic – retention? Third-graders face new reading standard

Tuesday, July 23, 2013
By JONATHAN REID
Cronkite News

Reading rules

Beginning this year, a third-grader whose reading score “falls far below the third-grade level” on Arizona standardized tests will be held back for a year. Some aspects of the Move On When Reading law:

Exceptions:
• A child who is an English learner and has had fewer than two years of English language instruction.
• A child with a disability.

Schools must:
• Identify and notify the parents of at-risk students in preschool through third grade.

Strategies for students with reading deficiencies:
• Assign the student to a different teacher for reading during the next school year.
• Take a summer reading class.
• Take an online reading class.
• Offer additional reading time during the repeated year.

WASHINGTON – Arizona children entering third grade this year are the first who will have to prove that they can read at an acceptable level or face being held back.

The Arizona Department of Education estimates that the law taking effect this fall will force about 1,500 children to repeat third grade next year. Another 17,000 third graders are at risk of being held back under the new rule, said Pearl Chang Esau, president of Expect More Arizona.

The state has spent millions helping schools gear up for Move On When Reading, which was approved by state lawmakers in 2010 to make sure that children are proficient at reading at the “critical milestone” of third grade.

“We see that third grade is a very important turning point in which if students are reading proficiently they are more likely to be successful,” Chang Esau said.

Third grade is the last year when children are “learning how to read,” said Cindy Daniels, director of Moving On When Reading at the Arizona School Boards Association. In fourth grade, she said, the curriculum “flips and you’re reading to learn.”

Arizona is one of 15 states and the District of Columbia that has passed reading-retention measures for third graders, according to the Education Commission of the States.

The new law requires that any third-grader whose reading score “falls far below the third-grade level” on Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test be held back for one year.

Schools must offer strategies to help improve the reading of those children who are held back, offering them additional reading time during the school year or online or summer classes, for example.

There were 84,000 second-graders in the state last year. The new law would apply to most of those incoming third-graders, but it exempts children who are mentally disabled and some English-language learners.

A key feature of the Arizona law is that schools are expected to use state test scores to identify children at risk of falling behind before they reach third grade.

“When I put my head on the pillow at night I don’t want a third grader to be retained,” said Daniels.

To help educators make the transition, the state gave $40 million a year in 2012 and 2013 to local school districts. Daniels said school officials have been “ecstatic” about the funding, which has been used on a variety of resources, from hiring reading coaches to buying more books.

Each district must submit an annual literacy plan to the state board to get the funding.

Chang Esau called the funding an “important start,” but pointed to the 1,500 third graders who are still expected to be held back this year.

“That’s just far too many,” she said.

Chang Esau hopes that the state will continue funding for third-grade reading in the future or, better yet, increase the amount.

“We definitely need more resources if we are going to be serious about ensuring that all of our students are reading proficiently by third grade,” she said.

Daniels, a former principal and reading teacher, said that while teachers are under increased pressure this year to raise literacy levels, she feels that the two-year transition period has helped them prepare.

“I really feel that we are on a very solid foundation and ready for this,” she said.

It is unclear at this point what will happen when the AIMS test is phased out in 2015 for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

“At this moment the law stands as is . . . but there’s still dialogue that has to take place” with officials in charge of implementing the test, Daniels said.

But for now, Daniels is focused on helping teachers adopt the new law.

“Hopefully they (teachers) will feel supported by us and call me at any time,” said Daniels, who has been traveling to schools around Arizona. “We would do anything possible to help them through this. I’m a party of one but I’m passionate.”

Read More…..

Posted in Hot Topics | Leave a comment

Should University Systems Be Graded, Too?

Should University Systems Be Graded, Too?

By D. D. GUTTENPLAN Published: July 21, 2013

LONDON — Depending on whom you ask, a proposed new international testing system will either be the next big thing in higher education or a pointless, expensive rankings exercise that will be used to criticize faculty at hard-pressed colleges and universities. Reporters and Editors At a meeting in its headquarters in Paris last month, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released a study on whether it would be possible to test what students around the world actually learn in colleges and universities. In November, the organization will decide whether to press ahead with the new system, Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes, or Ahelo.

For Andreas Schleicher, the O.E.C.D.’s chief education adviser, the new system is the obvious follow-up to the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, an influential exam that tests 15-year-olds around the world in mathematics, science and reading every three years. The most recent results, from the 2009 test, pleased Shanghai, South Korea and Finland, which were at the top of the tables, and caused hand-wringing in countries like the United States, which ranked considerably further down. In part, Dr. Schleicher sees Ahelo as a response to the rising influence of university rankings, which are widely reported in the media and which tend to emphasize research over teaching. “We need some language to talk about teaching quality and learning outcomes that isn’t tied to research,” he said. “If we don’t have a way of measuring teaching then we are going to have to rely on reputation — which only tells you about the past.” Patti M. Peterson, an official at the American Council on Education, which represents college and university presidents, said “trying to take very different systems of higher education and measure across them” is a doomed effort.

Dr. Peterson, who oversees the education council’s international work, questioned whether Ahelo’s aim — “to support improvement in learning outcomes” — would be achieved. She worried that the test could become “a Trojan horse for rankings.” “If it’s really about improvement, why not let the institutions be anonymous?” Dr. Peterson said. Her doubts were echoed by John Aubrey Douglass, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who is a prominent critic of the Collegiate Learning Assessment, a U.S. test that served as a model for Ahelo. “If the purpose is for institutions to use the data from this test for self-improvement, you’re not going to get there,” he said by telephone from Berkeley. “But once it’s in the market these things are hard to unseat.”

He compared Ahelo to the SAT college entrance exam in the United States. “The SAT has long been shown to correlate poorly with academic success,” he said. “But it’s impossible to get rid of because so many colleges use it and there is no incentive to develop a better replacement.” “Ahelo has, surprisingly, become highly controversial in recent months,” said Philip Altbach, director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College. “Many continue to wonder whether it is possible to obtain reliable data from countries with quite different approaches to the curriculum, different arrangements for access to higher education, and other variables.” According to Dr. Schleicher, initially, “we had great doubts that it would be possible to develop a test that works across languages and cultures.” But he added, “Now we believe it is possible.” There has also been considerable criticism of Ahelo’s cost.

So far, the O.E.C.D. has spent about $13 million on the project, even though there is no confirmation it will go ahead. “Why is it necessary to do a very, very, very expensive multilingual, multinational test?” Dr. Peterson of the American Council on Education said. Dr. Schleicher said Ahelo “is not going to be a cheap test.” “If you want to measure creativity or collaboration, that’s very hard to do in a multiple-choice test,” he said. “But we’re pretty confident that if countries are willing to spend the money we can give them something.” He used the standardized test for 15-year-olds as an example. “If countries in the O.E.C.D. area would improve the performance of their education systems by just 25 PISA points — which is what Poland achieved over the last six years — the long-term economic gain accruing to students over their lifetime would be about $115 trillion,” he said.

The Ahelo proposal covers three areas: economics, engineering and generic skills. The first two parts were chosen for being more amenable to cross-cultural comparison than other fields, while the generic portion is meant to test the kind of skills thought to be attractive to employers. One sample generic skills exercise asks students to imagine they work for the mayor’s office in a town where a three-eyed catfish has been caught in a lake, causing panic among residents and calls for a nearby factory to be closed. Pulling together media reports, environmental data and the testimony of scientists and other interested parties, the students have to prepare a briefing assessing the likelihood that the mutation was caused by chemical contamination, parasites or inbreeding. Michael J. Feuer, dean of the graduate school of education at George Washington University, remains skeptical about the relevance of such tasks.

“There’s a fantasy about educational testing — that we can come up with a dipstick and know exactly what the oil level is,” he said by telephone from Washington. “In relying on test scores to make judgments about institutions, you end up undermining the morale of people who are being judged with only part of their story included.” Many of Ahelo’s critics are worried that a test intended to allow universities to compare themselves with similar institutions in other countries would be seized upon by lawmakers and politicians.

“There’s a fear factor about how ministers use data and piggyback on the latest educational trends,” Dr. Douglass of the University of California said. “One result is a movement toward uniformity in how things are taught. We want to be informed, but we don’t all want to be the same.” Dr. Schleicher shares that concern. “A tool you design for improvement gets corrupted when you use it for accountability,” he said. Still, he seemed unfazed by the controversy. “I’ve been through the same thing with PISA,” he said. “In the beginning everybody said, ‘Not me!’ Now they are all part of it.” “Ahelo is going to reveal the truth about quality in higher education,” he said. “Not everybody is going to like the results.”

Read More…

Posted in Hot Topics | Leave a comment

Common Science Standards Get Thumbs Up From Wash. State Board

Common Science Standards Get Thumbs Up From Wash. State Board

By Erik Robelen on July 16, 2013 1:32 PM

The state board of education in Washington voted last week to recommend adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards. The final decision rests with state Superintendent Randy Dorn, who has signaled strong support for the standards but has yet to take formal action.

Five other states have adopted the standards since they were finalized in April, including Rhode Island, Kansas, Kentucky, and Maryland. (In Kentucky, the board’s vote on adoption is still subject to a regulatory process that includes review by legislative committees.)

Washington State and the other five were among the 26 “lead state partners” that helped to develop the standards. While most, if not all, of those states are expected to eventually adopt, one key question is how many other states may follow suit. As I reported recently, Florida’s department of education is gathering public feedback on the standards now.

Maryland and Vermont voted to adopt the standards on the same day in late June.

Washington state Superintendent Randy Dorn “is fully supportive of the standards,” said spokeswoman Kristen Jaudon in an email. But as for taking action to adopt them, she said, “he would like to wait until he’s had a chance to communicate with our state senate and make sure all interested parties are in the loop.

The Washington state board of education spent about two hours last week discussing the Next Generation Science Standards. Officials from the state education agency first made a presentation. Following their presentation, a panel of experts explored the standards, including representatives from Washington STEM and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and a high school science teacher who is a past president of the Washington Science Teachers Association. The agenda is here. Also, if you’ve got 10 hours to spare, you can listen to an audio recording of the entire board meeting here.

For further analysis on the issue of states adopting the science standards, check out thisEducation Week story from early this year.

Read More……

 

Posted in Hot Topics | Leave a comment

Young Children’s Well-Being Is Rising

Young Children’s Well-Being Is Rising, Federal Indicators Suggest

By Alyssa Morones on July 12, 2013 4:30 PM

By guest blogger Alyssa Morones

Children who experienced at least some early child care beyond their parents or relatives performed better in reading and math in kindergarten than those who were cared for only by relatives, according to a new federal data release, which includes a special section on kindergarten.

America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being,” released today by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, is the latest of 16 annual reports which summarizes national indicators of the well-being of children and their families, monitoring changes as they occur each year. This year’s report includes 41 key indicators, spread across seven domains: family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health. The widespread applicability of this data is reflected in its demographic findings: In 2012, there were 73.7 million children ages 0-17 in the United States, making up nearly 24 percent of the population.

This year, data indicated that the percentage of infants born preterm declined, as did the number of births to adolescents. The percentage of children without a usual source of health care also decreased. A report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation recently revealed that, in 2011, 32 percent of children lived with parents lacking steady employment—a number that has seen steady increases since the start of the recession in 2008. The federal report, however, indicated some improvement, finding that the percentage of children living with at least one parent with full-time employment had increased since 2011.

While these numbers were promising, other indicators were less so. For example, there was an increase in the percentage of 12th graders who reported binge drinking.

Kindergarten Profiled

This year’s report included a special section highlighting kindergartners’ reading, mathematics, and science achievement, as well as approaches to learning. The report was based on data from the ongoing federal Early Childhood Longitudinal Study tracking children who started kindergarten in 2010-11. As expected, entering kindergartners from households with incomes near and below the federal poverty line had lower reading, math, and science scores than children from households with incomes at least 200 percent of the poverty level.

Interestingly, the data also may help assuage some working-parent guilt: Students who attended center- or home-based preschool with someone other than a relative had better reading and math scores at the start and end of kindergarten than did children who had been cared for only by parents or other relatives. And students with both parents working full-time or one full- and one part-time employed parent had higher math and reading scores than those with only one parent working. Moreover, both the gap between children who attended preschool with a non-relative and those who did not, and the gap between children with two versus one working parent had not entirely closed by the end of the child’s kindergarten year.

Posted in Hot Topics | Leave a comment

Earning Associate Degree Before Transferring to 4-Year College Has Advantage

Earning Associate Degree Before Transferring to 4-Year College Has Advantage

By Caralee Adams on July 11, 2013 2:23 PM

A new study out underscores the value of getting an associate degree, rather than just attending a community college, before transferring to a four-year university. It can increase the likelihood of completing a bachelor’s degree, save students money, and improve their earnings compared with that of earlier transfers.

This information comes from a study by Clive Belfield of the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University.

The economic benefit of getting an associate degree before going to a four-year school can add up to nearly $50,000 over 20 years. The researchers attribute this to cheaper community college tuition and the fact that many transfer students drop out before getting their bachelor’s degree.

Most students don’t have access to information that would help them decide the best time to transfer, the study notes. The researchers suggest that community colleges—and the state systems of which they are a part—create stronger incentives for making the completion of an associate degree before transfer a priority for students.

This research is based on an analysis of students who attended the North Carolina Community College System between 2001 and 2010. Some previous studies have concluded that students do better when they start at four-year colleges and that beginning in community colleges diverts students from attaining a bachelor’s degree. Yet that finding does not take into account the fact that attending community college is less expensive than a four-year college and that many transfer students do not go on to obtain a bachelor’s.

This new CCRC examination finds that while transfer students who go on to earn a bachelor’s degree without an associate degree earn slightly more over 20 years than those who complete an associate degree before transferring ($803,000 vs. $764,400), the net-benefit difference is actually $50,000 when considering the higher costs of early transfer and the likelihood of dropping out without earning a bachelor’s degree.

Read More…..

Posted in Hot Topics | Leave a comment

Strengths and Failings in America’s Career and Tech Education

July 11, 2013

Report Sees Strengths and Failings in America’s Career and Tech Education

By Goldie Blumenstyk

Washington

Career- and technical-education programs offered by employers and colleges in the United States are diverse and decentralized, and those traits, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, are both their strength and their failing.

The United States has “an exceptionally rich” array of offerings in career and technical education, said Simon Field, a co-author of the report, “A Skills Beyond School Review of the United States.” The options in the United States for attending college part time, or as an adult or returning student, are also an advantage.

But that diversity of institutions, programs, credentials, and oversight policies carries a downside, Mr. Field said, speaking at a presentation about the report at the New America Foundation’s headquarters here. “There is a risk that diversity can cause confusion in the minds of students and employers” about which programs are of high quality and worth the money.

Another concern, said the report’s other co-author, Małgorzata Kuczera, is that accountability in the programs is “relatively weak and fragmented,” especially given the amount of public and personal spending on such training. In 2008 that spending totaled about $68-billion, the report estimates.

The OECD has conducted similar studies in 25 other countries over the past five years. “Other countries tend to be more demanding” before awarding funds and accreditation, Ms. Kuczera said, citing for example a policy in Sweden that requires career programs to include work-based training for them to qualify for public support.

“The blend of relatively weak quality assurance with increasing tuition fees, constrained public budgets, and broader economic distress creates a dangerous mix with financial risks both for individuals and lending bodies, including the federal government,” the report warns.

While some of the criticism, particularly concerning accreditation, was not new, panelists responding to the report said it highlights issues that are already of concern.

The report’s emphasis on better tailoring career and technical training to the real-world needs of employers, for example, resonated with Brent Weil, a senior vice president of the Manufacturing Institute, an affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers.

For many of the association’s members, which include many companies with fewer than 20 employees, traditional career and technical training “is teetering to the point of irrelevance,” he said. Colleges “are missing an opportunity to engage.”

Through its Right Skills Now program, the association has identified a series of national industry-recognized certificates for skills that are useful to employers and that provide the basis for a pathway to further learning.

The association has been encouraging colleges to incorporate training for the certificates. Already 113 community colleges are doing so, and this past spring the association announced the first 42 colleges to qualify for its “M List” of institutions that are actively issuing such certificates.

Read More……

Posted in Hot Topics | Leave a comment

Academic achievement gap is narrowing

Academic achievement gap is narrowing, new national data show

By , Published: June 27 E-mail the writer

The nation’s 9-year-olds and 13-year-olds are posting better scores in math and reading tests than their counterparts did 40 years ago, and the achievement gap between white students and those of color still persists but is narrowing, according to new federal government data released Thursday.The scores, collected regularly since the 1970s from federal tests administered to public and private school students age 9, 13, and 17, paint a picture of steady student achievement that contradicts the popular notion that U.S. educational progress has stalled.

“When you break out the data over the long term and ask who is improving, the answer is . . . everyone,” said Kati Haycock, president of the Education Trust, a nonprofit organization that works to close the achievement gap between poor and privileged children. “And the good news, given where they started, is that black and Latino children have racked up some of the biggest gains of all.”The data, part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress long-term trend study, come from tests given every four years in math and reading. The most recent results, from tests 50,000 students took in 2012, show that 9-year-olds and 13-year-olds did better in both math and reading than students who took the first reading test in 1971 and the first math test in 1973.

Although the younger test-takers made significant progress, test scores of 17-year-olds remained relatively flat. But the 17-year-olds who struggle the most — those in the bottom percentiles — did show gains in 2012 compared with 40 years ago.

Read More… 

Posted in Hot Topics | Leave a comment

Check out The Nation’s Report Card: Trends in Academic Progress 2012 from NAEP

The Nation’s Report Card:
Trends in Academic Progress 2012

June 2013

Author: National Center for Education Statistics

Download The Nation’s Report Card: Trends in Academic Progress 2012 PDF File (5.6 MB)


Cover image of The Nation's Report Card: Long-Term Trend 2012 report.Executive Summary

Nine- and 13-year-olds make gains

Racial/ethnic and gender gaps narrow

Since the 1970s, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has monitored the academic performance of 9-, 13-, and 17-year-old students with what have become known as the long-term trend assessments. Four decades of results offer an extended view of student achievement in reading and mathematics. Results in this report are based on the most recent performance of more than 50,000 public and private school students who, by their participation, have contributed to our understanding of the nation’s academic achievement.

Nine- and 13-year-olds make gains

Both 9- and 13-year-olds scored higher in reading and mathematics in 2012 than students their age in the early 1970s. Scores were 8 to 25 points higher in 2012 than in the first assessment year. Seventeen-year-olds, however, did not show similar gains. Average reading and mathematics scores in 2012 for 17-year-olds were not significantly different from scores in the first assessment year.

Since the last administration of the assessments in 2008, only 13-year-olds made gains—and they did so in both reading and mathematics.

Trend in NAEP reading and mathematics average scores for 9-, 13-, and 17-year-old students

Reading

Image of a line graph with three horizontal lines showing average scores for age 9, age 13, and age 17 students. The X axis is labeled year and shows various years from 1971 through 2012. The Y axis is labeled scale score and shows a range of scores from 0 to 500. Each horizontal line consists of two assessment variations: original assessment format and revised assessment format. There are two data points in the transition year between original and revised formats. For Reading age 9: The original format was used, In 1971 = 208, significantly different from 2012; In 1975 = 210, significantly different from 2012; In 1980 = 215, significantly different from 2012; In 1984 = 211, significantly different from 2012; In 1988 = 212, significantly different from 2012; In 1990 = 209, significantly different from 2012; In 1992 = 211, significantly different from 2012; In 1994 = 211, significantly different from 2012; In 1996 = 212, significantly different from 2012; In 1999 = 212, significantly different from 2012; In 2004 = 219; The revised format was used, In 2004 = 216, significantly different from 2012; In 2008 = 220; and In 2012 = 221. For Reading age 13: The original format was used, In 1971 = 255, significantly different from 2012; In 1975 = 256, significantly different from 2012; In 1980 = 258, significantly different from 2012; In 1984 = 257, significantly different from 2012; In 1988 = 257, significantly different from 2012; In 1990 = 257, significantly different from 2012; In 1992 = 260; In 1994 = 258, significantly different from 2012; In 1996 = 258, significantly different from 2012; In 1999 = 259, significantly different from 2012; In 2004 = 259, significantly different from 2012; The revised format was used, In 2004 = 257, significantly different from 2012; In 2008 = 260, significantly different from 2012; and In 2012 = 263. For Reading age 17: The original format was used, In 1971 = 285; In 1975 = 286; In 1980 = 285; In 1984 = 289; In 1988 = 290, significantly different from 2012; In 1990 = 290, significantly different from 2012; In 1992 = 290, significantly different from 2012; In 1994 = 288; In 1996 = 288; In 1999 = 288; In 2004 = 285; The revised format was used, In 2004 = 283, significantly different from 2012; In 2008 = 286; and In 2012 = 287.

Mathematics

Image of a line graph with three horizontal lines showing average scores for age 9, age 13, and age 17 students. The X axis is labeled year and shows various years from 1973 through 2012. The Y axis is labeled scale score and shows a range of scores from 0 to 500. Each horizontal line consists of three assessment variations: original assessment format, and revised assessment format, and extrapolated data. There are two data points in the transition year between original and revised formats. For Mathematics age 9: The scores were extrapolated In 1973 = 219, significantly different from 2012; The original format was used, In 1978 = 219, significantly different from 2012; In 1982 = 219, significantly different from 2012; In 1986 = 222, significantly different from 2012; In 1990 = 230, significantly different from 2012; In 1992 = 230, significantly different from 2012; In 1994 = 231, significantly different from 2012; In 1996 = 231, significantly different from 2012; In 1999 = 232, significantly different from 2012; In 2004 = 241; The revised format was used, In 2004 = 239, significantly different from 2012; In 2008 = 243; and In 2012 = 244. For Mathematics age 13: The scores were extrapolated In 1973 = 266, significantly different from 2012; The original format was used, In 1978 = 264, significantly different from 2012; In 1982 = 269, significantly different from 2012; In 1986 = 269, significantly different from 2012; In 1990 = 270, significantly different from 2012; In 1992 = 273, significantly different from 2012; In 1994 = 274, significantly different from 2012; In 1996 = 274, significantly different from 2012; In 1999 = 276, significantly different from 2012; In 2004 = 281, significantly different from 2012; The revised format was used, In 2004 = 279, significantly different from 2012; In 2008 = 281, significantly different from 2012; and In 2012 = 285. For Mathematics age 17: The scores were extrapolated In 1973 = 304; The original format was used, In 1978 = 300, significantly different from 2012; In 1982 = 298, significantly different from 2012; In 1986 = 302, significantly different from 2012; In 1990 = 305; In 1992 = 307; In 1994 = 306; In 1996 = 307; In 1999 = 308; In 2004 = 307; The revised format was used, In 2004 = 305; In 2008 = 306; and In 2012 = 306.
Image of a key identifying the extrapolated, the original, and the revised assessment trendlines.

See complete data for reading age 9age 13, and age 17.
See complete data for mathematics  age 9age 13, and age 17.
* Significantly different (p < .05) from 2012.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), various years, 1971–2012 Long-Term Trend Reading and Mathematics Assessments.

Top

Racial/ethnic and gender gaps narrow

Closing achievement gaps is a goal of both national and state education policy. The results from the 2012 NAEP long-term trend assessments show some progress toward meeting that goal. The narrowing of the White – Black and White – Hispanic score gaps in reading and mathematics from the 1970s is the result of larger gains by Black and Hispanic students than White students. Only the White – Hispanic gap in mathematics at age 9 has not shown a significant change from the early 1970s.

Female students scored higher in reading than male students at all three ages. The 2012 results show 9-year-old males making larger score gains than females. This has led to a narrowing of the gender gap at age 9 as compared to 1971.

In mathematics, male 17-year-old students scored higher than female students. The gender gap at age 17 narrowed because female students made gains from 1971 to 2012, but 17-year-old male students did not.

Reading
Characteristic Student group Score changes from 1971 Score changes from 2008
Age 9 Age 13 Age 17 Age 9 Age 13 Age 17
Overall All students Up 13 Up  8 No significant change. No significant change. Up  3 No significant change.
Race/ethnicity White Up 15 Up  9 Up  4 No significant change. No significant change. No significant change.
Black Up 36 Up 24 Up 30 No significant change. No significant change. No significant change.
Hispanic1 Up 25 Up 17 Up 21 No significant change. Up  7 No significant change.
Gender Male Up 17 Up  9 Up  4 No significant change. No significant change. No significant change.
Female Up 10 Up  6 No significant change. No significant change. Up  3 No significant change.
Score gaps White – Black Narrowed Narrowed Narrowed No significant change. No significant change. No significant change.
White – Hispanic Narrowed Narrowed Narrowed No significant change. Narrowed No significant change.
Female – Male Narrowed No significant change. No significant change. No significant change. No significant change. No significant change.

 

Mathematics
Characteristic Student group Score changes from 1973 Score changes from 2008
Age 9 Age 13 Age 17 Age 9 Age 13 Age 17
Overall All students Up 25 Up 19 No significant change. No significant change. Up  4 No significant change.
Race/ethnicity White Up 27 Up 19 Up  4 No significant change. No significant change. No significant change.
Black Up 36 Up 36 Up 18 No significant change. No significant change. No significant change.
Hispanic Up 32 Up 32 Up 17 No significant change. No significant change. No significant change.
Gender Male Up 26 Up 21 No significant change. No significant change. No significant change. No significant change.
Female Up 24 Up 17 Up  3 No significant change. Up  5 No significant change.
Score gaps White – Black Narrowed Narrowed Narrowed No significant change. No significant change. No significant change.
White – Hispanic No significant change. Narrowed Narrowed No significant change. No significant change. No significant change.
Female – Male2 No significant change. No significant change. Narrowed No significant change. No significant change. No significant change.
Up arrow Indicates score was higher in 2012
No significance arrow Indicates no significant change in 2012
1 Reading results for Hispanic students were first available in 1975. Therefore, the results shown in the 1971 section for Hispanic students are from the 1975 assessment.
2 Score differences between male and female students in mathematics were not found to be statistically significant (p < .05) at age 9 in 1973, 2008, or 2012, and at age 13 in 1973 and 2012.
NOTE: Black includes African American, and Hispanic includes Latino. Race categories exclude Hispanic origin.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), various years, 1971–2012 Long-Term Trend Reading and Mathematics Assessments.

 

Read More….

Posted in Must Read Reports | Leave a comment

Check out OECD’s Education at a Glance 2013 Report

OECD report takes the pulse of education worldwide

Posted on 25 June 2013 by 

By Pauline Rose, director of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report

Which country devotes the highest proportion of its public spending to education?* And which country has the highest percentage of 25- to 34-year-olds with upper secondary education?** The answers to these and many other vital questions about education policy can be found in Education at a Glance 2013, the annual education report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

OECD report coverThe report shows that many countries are still struggling with youth unemployment, and looks at the relationship between education levels and employment. Only 4.8% of people with tertiary degrees in OECD countries were unemployed in 2011, while 12.6% of people who had not completed secondary education were unemployed, according to the report. The OECD countries that provide vocational programmes to help young people learn skills targeted for the labour market are doing better, however: Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and Luxembourg have kept youth unemployment below 8% by providing vocational programmes for a high number of graduates. These findings show that education systems need to better prepare students by giving them the skills needed for work, as we highlighted in the 2012 EFA Global Monitoring Report.

To provide the kind of good-quality education that prepares students for employment, schools first need good teachers – and one way to attract good teachers is to pay them well. The OECD report provides an interesting insight into how different countries value their teachers, by comparing teachers’ salaries with salaries in other occupations that require the same level of education.

 

On average, teachers in OECD countries earn 80% to 89% of the salaries of other full-time workers with tertiary education in the same country. Lower secondary teachers in Canada, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Portugal, South Korea and Spain all earn higher salaries, on average, than non-teachers. At the other end of the spectrum, lower secondary teachers in the Czech Republic, Iceland, Italy, the Slovak Republic and the United States earn close to half of the salary of non-teachers.

Salaries have a direct impact on the attractiveness and prestige of teaching, and on schools’ ability to attract talented teachers. The economic crisis has lowered average teacher salaries across OECD countries with available data, for the first time since 2000, by around 2% at all levels of education between 2009 and 2011, which is likely to make it harder for education systems to attract and retain the best teachers. Our upcoming2013-14 EFA Global Monitoring Report will look at how investing wisely in teachers can improve learning outcomes, particularly for the disadvantaged. In the meantime, we recommend that you look through the OECD report: it is full of revealing information about how OECD countries approach education, and how these policies affect learning and employment.

* Mexico devotes the highest proportion of its public spending to education.
** South Korea (Republic of Korea) has the highest percentage of 25- to 34-year-olds with upper secondary education.

Read More… 

Posted in Must Read Reports | Leave a comment

Preparing students for the workforce using real-world problem solving

What Works in Schools Is Real Work

By Anthony Jackson on June 28, 2013 4:43 AM

Today is the first day of Asia Society’s Partnership for Global Learning Conference featuring a plenary presentation by Brandon Busteed, Executive Director of Gallup Education. For those of you who can’t join us in NYC, we share with you his blog on Gallup’s new findings regarding the importance of 21st century skills in the workplace, especially real-world problem-solving.

By Brandon Busteed

The best type of curriculum for preparing students for the workforce is one that focuses on real-world problem-solving. It sounds simple, but for the first time, we have clearly established a link between students learning 21st century skills and future work success.

The results of a Gallup/Microsoft Partners in Learning/Pearson Foundation study show that young workers in the U.S. who reported learning 21st century skills in their last year of school are more likely to say they have higher work quality. In fact, those reporting high levels of 21st century skill development in school are twice as likely to have higher work quality compared with their peers who had low 21st century skill development.

Gallup BlogChart1.jpg

In the study, the 21st century skills include knowledge construction, real-world problem-solving, collaboration, self-regulation, skilled communication, technology, and global awareness. Of all these, real-world problem-solving is the most important factor of higher work quality. Positive responses to the following two items have the strongest link to work quality:

  1. “Worked on a long-term project that took several classes to complete”
  2. “Used what you were learning about to develop solutions to real-world problems in your community or in the world”

Together, these skills learned in school are strongly linked to perceived higher quality work later in life—but not nearly enough young Americans report regular school-based exposure to them. In a Gallup/Microsoft Partners in Learning/Pearson Foundation nationally representative poll of young Americans aged 18 to 35 who are students or are employed, 59% strongly agree or agree that they developed most of the skills they use in their current job outside of school. For example, while a vast majority of respondents (86%) say they “used computers or technology to complete an assessment or project” during their last year of school, hardly any (14%) report using collaborative technologies such as video conferencing or online collaboration tools that people use in today’s workplace.

Now that we know the importance of these skills—real-world problem-solving in particular—we have a lot of work to do to reorient our education system to focus on them. For students to be successful in the workplace, we need to expose them to long-term projects, help them apply knowledge to real-world problems, and ask them to use technology in ways that are more like how people use it in the real world.

It is not surprising that young Americans with college degrees are significantly more likely to experience 21st century skills in school than those with only a high school degree. But, there is an indication that we are making solid progress across our education system in recent years, as the youngest Americans in our study (those ages 18 to 22) are more likely to have experienced 21st century skills compared with those between the ages of 23 and 35. Recent pushes to incorporate project-based learning in school could be influencing this result, which suggests that we are on the right track and need to keep moving in this direction.

We also learned something stunning about the role of teachers in students’ future work success: When students have more voice in their education and their aspirations are known, levels of 21st century skills and work quality later in life are significantly higher. The study found that young Americans who say they had teachers who “cared about my problems and feelings” and who “knew about my hopes and dreams” were much more likely to report experiencing more 21st century skill development, which in turn links to work success. Simply put, teachers who care about students’ hopes and dreams plus real-world problem-solving equals better life outcomes.

These findings combined with decades of Gallup’s best research on what should be the New Bill of Rights for All Students, give us a clear mandate on what we should be doing in schools.

The vision for what we should be doing in schools: Students have teachers who care about them, know their hopes and dreams, and help them discover what they like to do and what they do best. Students work hard applying what they are learning over long-term projects involving collaborative technologies that aim to solve real-world problems.

 

 

Read More….. 

Posted in Hot Topics | Leave a comment