On the Radar: A Stockpile of Education Research

Comparability of State and Local Expenditures Among Schools Within Districts

-- U.S. Department of Education
“Across all districts and schools (including both Title I and non–Title I schools), 47 percent of schools had state and local personnel expenditures per pupil that were more than 10 percent above or below their district’s average. However, some expenditure differences were related to school grade level: these data show that high schools and middle schools tended to have higher per-pupil personnel expenditures than elementary schools in their districts. After controlling for school grade level by examining expenditure patterns separately for elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools, the percentage of schools with state and local personnel expenditures per pupil that were more than 10 percent above or below their district’s average for their school grade level was 36 percent for elementary schools, 30 percent for middle schools, and 42 percent for high schools."

The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings
-- Anthony P. Carnevale, Stephen J. Rose and Ban Cheah
“A college degree pays off — but by just how much? In this report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, we examine just what a college degree is worth — and what else besides a degree might influence an individual’s potential earnings.” (Page 2)
“[S]ince 1999, the premium on college education has grown to 84 percent. In other words, over a lifetime, a Bachelor’s degree is worth $2.8 million on average.” (Page 2)

“Despite a general earnings boost conferred by a degree, earnings vary greatly depending on the degree type, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and occupation of an individual. The findings are stark: Women earn less at all degree levels, even when they work as much as men. On average, women who work full-time, full-year earn 25 percent less than men, even at similar education levels. At all levels of educational attainment, African Americans and Latinos earn less than Whites. For example, African Americans and Latinos with Master’s degrees have lifetime earnings lower than Whites with Bachelor’s degrees.” (Page 4)

What Are Kids Getting Into These Days? Demographic Differences in Youth Out-of-School Time Participation
-- Harvard Family Research Project

Findings from 2006 that show out-of-school time programming impacts for children based on demographics and family characteristics like
  • Family Income
  • Race

2008–09 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study
-- National Center for Education Statistics (U.S. Department of Education)

Selected Findings from the Study.

Enrollment and demography of 2007–08 first-time bachelor’s degree recipients
• Twenty-three percent of 2007–08 first-time bachelor’s degree recipients majored in a business-related field; 16 percent in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM); 16 percent in a social science; and 12 percent in the humanities (table 1).
• About 20 percent of 2007–08 first-time bachelor’s degree recipients had parents whose highest level of educational attainment was a high school diploma or less (table 2).
• Forty-four percent of 2007–08 first-time bachelor’s degree recipients completed a bachelor’s degree within 48 months of their initial postsecondary enrollment, another 23 percent within 49–60 months, and an additional 9 percent within 61–72 months (table 3).

Financing for 2007–08 first-time bachelor’s degree recipients
• Sixty-six percent of 2007–08 first-time bachelor’s degree recipients borrowed to finance their degree, and of these, the average cumulative amount borrowed was $24,700. Federal borrowers, 62 percent of graduates, took out an average of $18,200 in federal loans over the course of their undergraduate education. Those who borrowed from state or private sources, 36 percent of graduates, took out a cumulative average of $13,900 in these loans, 95 percent of which were private loans (table 4).

Education and employment after college of 2007–08 first-time bachelor’s degree recipients
• As of the 2009 interview date, 30 percent of 2007–08 first-time bachelor’s degree recipients had enrolled in another education program or had been accepted to a program and would enroll in the 2009–10 academic year following the interview date. Three percent had entered or were entering a program leading to another undergraduate certificate or degree, and the remainder had entered or were entering a graduate or first-professional certificate or degree program (table 5).
• When interviewed about a year after completing their degree requirements, 84 percent of 2007–08 first-time bachelor’s degree recipients were working. Nine percent of 2007–08 first-time bachelor’s degree recipients were unemployed (i.e., looking for work but not working), and 7 percent were not in the labor force (table 6).
• Among 2007–08 first-time bachelor’s degree recipients who were employed full time, one-quarter earned less than $27,457 in 2009, while another quarter earned more than $49,200 in 2009. The median earned income was $36,000 (table 7).
• Ten percent of 2007–08 first-time bachelor’s degree recipients had taught at the K–12 level: 2 percent started before receiving the 2007–08 degree and 8 percent since. As of the 2009 interview, 5 percent of 2007–08 first-time bachelor’s degree recipients had prepared to teach at the K–12 level but not taught, and 10 percent were considering teaching but had neither taught nor prepared to teach (table 8).

What Kinds of K-12 Education Policies Is Congress Most and Least Well Suited to Make? Perspectives from Inside and Outside
-- Charles Barone, Democrats for Education Reform & Elizabeth Debray, University of Georgia

"Aside from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which was a multifaceted bill that contained both the largest investment and the fewest number of policy specifics of any federal education bill in history, Congress has not passed a major K-12 education law in almost decade. And the stage is set very differently than when Congress passed its last major K-12 education bill, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2001."

"[W]e aim to critically assess the capabilities and limitations of Congress as an education policymaker."

METCO Merits More: The History and Status of METco

by Susan Eaton and Gina Chirichigno

"Massachusetts’ METCO program (Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity) enables about 3,300 students who live in Boston and Springfield to attend opportunity-rich suburban schools. Since the vast majority of the students in METCO are either African American or Latino and most suburban districts remain overwhelmingly white, METCO fulfills two goals: it creates a degree of racial and ethnic diversity and provides students who’d otherwise attend challenged school districts the opportunity to attend schools with reputations for rigor and excellence."

The Undereducated American  http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/undereducatedamerican.pdf
-- Anthony P. Carnevale & Stephen J. Rose

Interstate Survey: What do voters say about K-12 Education in Six States? http://www.edchoice.org/CMSModules/EdChoice/FileLibrary/606/Interstate-Survey---What-Do-Voters-Say-About-K-12-Education-in-Six-States.pdf
"Our analysis of wage and employment data shows that the United States has been underproducing college-educated workers for decades. Postsecondary education is in high demand among employers—and as the recovery takes hold and hiring resumes, it will continue to be in high demand. The undersupply of postsecondary-educated workers has led to two distinct problems: a problem of efficiency and a problem of equity. Without enough talent to meet demand, we are losing out on the productivity that more postsecondary-educated workers contribute to our economy. Moreover, scarcity has driven up the cost of postsecondary talent precipitously, exacerbating inequality. The result is that, as we lose our global lead position in percentage of the workforce with postsecondary credentials, we have become the global industrialized leader in income inequality.""To resolve these twin dilemmas, we propose adding an additional 20 million postsecondaryeducated workers to the economy and increasing degree attainment rates. Specifically, this means that of these new 20 million people:
  • 15 million would hold Bachelor’s degrees.
  • 1 million would hold Associate’s degrees.
  • 4 million would have attended some college, but earned no degree."

--Paul DiPerna
  • States: Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York

"The core purpose of the Interstate Survey series is to survey statistically representative statewide samples and report the levels and gaps of voter opinion, knowledge, and awareness when it comes to K-12 education and school choice reforms—particularly with respect to state performance, education spending, graduation rates, achievement rankings, charter schools, virtual schools, tax-credit scholarships, and school vouchers.  This is the first of a series of ―polling papers that we will release in the coming months."

Student Schools Revisited: Beneath the Averages 
--Education Trust

"In this paper, we’ll examine what happens when we add subgroup data into our Stuck Schools framework. The results of this analysis demonstrate yet again what many educators, parents, and policymakers have known for a long time: Overall averages often mask huge gaps. Schools that are 'high performing' are not necessarily high performing for all the children they serve. And though some schools that started out behind for a particular subgroup make substantial gains for these students, others don’t improve at all."
"To be clear, the national and local conversations on how to identify and turn around our nation’s lowest performing schools are much needed and long overdue. However, in concentrating only on those schools with the lowest overall results, we run the risk of overlooking huge numbers of low-income students and students of color who are not getting the education they need. To ensure all students get the educational opportunities they deserve, we must begin by maintaining a lasersharp focus on the performance of all groups of students at all schools."

Report Card on the Effectiveness of Teacher Training Programs
-- Tennessee Higher Education Committee & State Board of Education
"The SAS Institute, Inc. performed the analysis of teacher effect data for beginning teachers (defined as those with 1 to 3 years of experience) from all teacher preparation programs in the state. The goals of the study were: (1) to identify teacher training programs that tend to produce new teachers who are highly effective as well as to identify programs that tend to produce new teachers who are very ineffective, and (2) to determine if a teacher training program is above or below the reference distribution for each level of effectiveness with a fair and reliable statistical test. This report allows programs to differentiate between the performance of traditionally licensed and alternatively licensed teachers in comparison to three reference populations. A more detailed explanation of how to interpret the reference populations can be found in the section above."

Portal Report: Teacher Preparation and Student Test Scores in North Carolina
--The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill & Carolina Institute for Public Policy

"In this study, we focus on 12 “portals,” or entryways into teaching in North Carolina public schools.  The twelve represent different combinations of formal education and other preparation to teach.  For teachers who are fully certified to teach prior to entering the classroom, we group teachers by the type of provider from which they received their highest degree: University of North Carolina institutions, a North Carolina private college or university, or an out of state college or university, and by the type of their highest degree: undergraduate or graduate."

"Overall, we find that UNC undergraduate prepared teachers, who constitute nearly 1/3 of the North Carolina teacher workforce, perform near the middle of the pack, better in 14 comparisons, worse in 9, and similarly to teachers from other portals in 74 comparisons.  On balance, teachers from private colleges and universities in North Carolina perform similarly to UNC prepared undergraduates.  Teachers prepared as undergraduates in NC private institutions lag their UNC counterparts in high school mathematics but private prepared graduate degree holders outperform them in three, in high school science by a wide margin.  UNC graduate prepared teachers perform neither better nor worse than their undergraduate counterparts."
"In contrast to these portals whose performance lags UNC prepared teachers, Teach For America corps members outperform them 5 of the 9 times they can be reliably compared.  Teach For America teachers are chosen competitively from applicants graduating from top colleges and universities, provided with intensive training during the summer before entering the classroom, and supported through ongoing professional development during their two years in the program.  Teach For America corps members make up a scant 0.3 percent of the North Carolina teacher workforce."

Making a Difference? The Effect of Teach For America in High School 
--Urban Institute

"Teach for America (TFA) selects and places graduates from the most competitive colleges as teachers in the lowest-performing schools in the country. This paper is the first study that examines TFA effects in high school. We use rich longitudinal data from North Carolina and estimate TFA effects through cross-subject student and school fixedeffects models. We find that TFA teachers, on average, have a positive effect on high  school student test scores relative to non-TFA teachers, including those who are certified in-field. Such effects exceed the impact of additional years of experience and are particularly strong in math and science."

Increasing Principal Effectiveness: A Strategic Investment for ESEA 
-- Center for American Progress

"School principals are second only to teachers among school-based factors that influence student achievement and they are critical to attracting and retaining effective teachers and other school staff.  Or as Chris Cerf, New Jersey commissioner of education, says: “Pick the right school leader and great teachers will come and stay. Pick the wrong one and, over time, good teachers leave, mediocre ones stay, and the school gradually (or not so gradually) declines. Reversing the impact of a poor principal can take years.” Effective principals are also crucial to implementing reforms to human capital systems for teachers, such as rigorous selection and evaluation systems and meaningful professional development."

Democrats for Education Reform: Creating a Winning Legislative Campaign -- The Colorado Story
-- Scott Laband

"In May of 2010, Colorado legislators passed an ambitious education reform bill for the purpose of ensuring that all of Colorado’s students benefit from a great teacher in every classroom and a great leader in every school. The fact that Senate Bill 10-191 was introduced, let alone passed, in an election year, by a Democrat, in a legislature held by Democratic majorities in both chambers, and overseen by a Democratic Governor, defies conventional political wisdom."

"As a result of its strong policy provisions and a successful political strategy, Senate Bill 10-191 is becoming a national model for education reform. Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) led the coalition of advocacy organizations that made this work possible, including Stand for Children, Colorado Succeeds, and many others. Given their firsthand experience, DFER developed this case study and action guide to help provide reform-minded legislators and advocacy organizations around the country with a roadmap to pursue similar policies in their respective legislatures."

Carnegie Perspective: Getting Ideas into Action: Building Networked Improvement Communities in Education
-- Anthony S. Bryk, Louis M. Gomez, Alicia Grunow

"We argue that large societal concerns such as improving community college success are complex problems composed of multiple strands (with numerous embedded micro-level problems) that play out over time and often interact with one another. More specifically, graduation rates in community colleges are an aggregate consequence of numerous processes such as courses taken, advising systems, course scheduling, etc. One does not improve graduation rates directly except by decomposing this big presenting problem into its constituent component processes, then analyzing the interconnections among them. It is within the problem system where students actually progress or fail." (p. 5)

"In this essay, we focus on an alternative social organization for this activity network: How might one structure and guide the varied and multiple associated efforts necessary to sustained collective action toward solving complex improvement problems? Drawing on Englebart (1992), we call this kind of organization a networked improvement community. We detail a set of structuring agents necessary for productive to occur across such a community. We attend to how this form of social organization might come into existence and sustain participation over time in order to advance real improvements for significant numbers of students." (p. 5)

Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons from PISA for the United States

"Globalisation and modernisation are rapidly posing new and demanding challenges to individuals and societies alike. Increasingly diverse and interconnected populations, rapid technological change in the workplace and in everyday life, and the instantaneous availability of vast amounts of information are just a few of the factors contributing to these new demands. in this globalised world, people compete for jobs not just locally but internationally. The integrated worldwide labour market means that highly-paid workers in wealthier countries are competing directly with people with much the same skills but who demand less compensation in lower-wage countries. The  same is true for people with low skills. the competition among countries now revolves around human capital and the comparative advantage in knowledge." (p.1)
"This volume draws lessons from the education systems of a selection of top-scoring and rapidly improving countries as measured by the oecd Programme for international Student assessment (PiSa – described below). While this volume relates these lessons to the education reform agenda in the united States, they may have resonance for a wide range of countries and different types of education systems aspiring for excellence in educating their young people. This volume defines countries as high-performing if: almost all of their students are in high school at the appropriate age, average performance is high and the top quarter of performers place among the countries whose top quarter are among the best performers in the world (with respect to their mastery of the kinds of complex knowledge and skills needed in advanced economies as well their ability to apply that knowledge and those skills to problems with which they are not familiar); student performance is only weakly related to their socio-economic background; and spending per pupil is not at the top of the league tables. Put another way, this volume defines superior performance as high participation, high quality, high equity and high efficiency" (p.1)

Race is Not Neutral: A National Investigation of African American and Latino Disproportionality in School Discipline
-- Russel J. Skiba, Robert H. Horner, Choong-Geun Chung and M. Karega Rausch, Seth L. May and Tary Tobin in School Psychology Revie, Vol. 40, No. 1

Findings from the abstract:
  • Results indicate that African American and Latino families are more likely than their White peers to receive expulsion or out of school suspension as consequences for the same or similar problem behavior. 
  • These results extend and are consistent with a long history of similar findings, and argue for direct efforts in policy, practice, and research to address ubiquitous racial and ethnic disparities in school discipline.

District of Columbia Public Schools: Defining Instructional Expectations and Aligning Accountability and Support
-- The Aspen Institute

"After spending decades introducing curriculum and instructional programs with little to show in the way of student achievement results, the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), under the leadership of Chancellor Michelle Rhee, decided to shift its focus. Emphasizing what to teach had yielded few results. Dogged by its standing as perhaps the poorest performing urban school system in the country, DCPS decided to address head-on the issue of how to teach. The goal was straightforward: to ensure instructional excellence in every classroom. The system set out to achieve this goal by defining the elements of effective instruction, creating a common understanding of those elements system-wide, and developing an accountability and support system aligned to these elements. This work represented a profound shift for a system whose hallmarks had been teacher autonomy and isolation and the use of instructional materials as the default curriculum." (p. 1)

"While DCPS is in many ways unique, these learnings can apply to any district that is making an effort to establish standards and aligned evaluation and compensation systems. They provide important guidance, particularly for well-established bureaucratic systems, about how to approach this work in a way that drives both instructional excellence and a retooling of the central office to support instructional improvement, and ultimately student learning." (p. 2)

Preparing Students for College and Careers: Part 2, Teaching Diverse Learners
-- The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher

"Part 2 of the survey examines views among middle and high school teachers, students, parents and business executives from Fortune 1000 companies on what it takes to graduate each and every student from high school ready for college and a career, and  the  implications for teaching diverse learners  – students whose low income status, limited English fluency, or learning disabilities make learning more difficult. The survey also explores both teacher and student perceptions of differentiated instruction efforts and teacher attention to individual students, and compares opinions regarding school and teacher quality." (p. 1)

Preparing Students for College and Careers: Part 1, Clearing the Path
-- The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher

"...[T]he new MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Preparing Students for College and Careers (2010) shares the perspectives of key stakeholders: middle and high school teachers, students, parents, and business  executives from Fortune 1000 companies as  the voice of employers. The survey documents consensus and differences in views about an emerging national goal for  all students,  examines  the challenges entailed in enabling  each and every student to achieve it and  provides  a starting point on a major new journey  for American education and society over the next decade.   The nation’s vision is to implement higher standards for college and career readiness, assure all students achieve them and regain international leadership in educational attainment by 2020." (p. 3)

Characteristics of the 100 Largest Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts in the United States: 2008–09
-- U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics

"This report describes the characteristics of the 100 largest public elementary and secondary school districts in the United States and its jurisdictions. These districts are defined as the 100 largest according to the size of their student population. The information in this report was provided by state education agency officials to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for inclusion in the Common Core of Data (CCD). The report uses data from the 2008–09 school year and includes student membership and staff in public schools and school districts in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Bureau of Indian Education, the Department of Defense dependents schools (overseas and domestic), and the four outlying areas (American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).  This report also includes graduate counts, high school dropout rates, and graduation rates for the 2007–08 school year and revenues and expenditures for fiscal year (FY) 2008."

A Call for Change: The Social and Educational Factors Contributing to the Outcomes of Black Males in Urban Schools 
-- The Council of the Great City Schools

"The purpose of this study is to bring much-needed attention to the comprehensive challenges of Black males in the United States. Black males continue to perform lower than their peers throughout the country on almost every indicator. And while much work over the years has gone into addressing the challenge of the Black–White achievement gap, there has been no concerted national effort focused on the education and social outcomes of Black males specifically. There is no specified office within the U.S. Department of Education; no primary federal source to collect and maintain data on Black males; no legislative projects within local, state, or national budgets; no attention on the collection of information on this set of issues outside of a few dedicated organizations; no national policy that would drive resources or attention to the issue; and no federal education program on the educational status of Black males. While there are educators, researchers, policymakers, governmental leaders, faith-based leaders, civil rights leaders, and others intent on improving the quality of life for Black males, their efforts are often too disconnected and too uncoordinated to match the comprehensive nature of the problem. This is a national catastrophe, and it deserves coordinated national attention."

Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century
-- Harvard Graduate School of Education (Ferguson & Schwartz), February 2011

"The Persistence of The forgotten half One of the most fundamental obligations of any society is to prepare its adolescents and young adults to lead productive and prosperous lives as adults. This means preparing all young people with a solid enough foundation of literacy, numeracy, and thinking skills for responsible citizenship, career development, and lifelong learning. For over a century, the United States led the world in equipping its young people with the education they would need to succeed. By the middle of the 19th century, as Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz write in their book, The Race between Education and Technology, 'the U.S. already had the most educated youth in the world.' At the turn of the 20th century, just as Europe was catching up, the rapid spread of the 'high school movement' helped the U.S. vault ahead again..."

"...Yet as we end the first decade of the 21st century, there are profoundly troubling signs that the U.S. is now failing to meet its obligation to prepare millions of young adults. In an era in which education has never been more important to economic success, the U.S. has fallen behind many other nations in educational attainment and achievement. Within the U.S. economy, there is also growing evidence of a 'skills gap' in which many young adults lack the skills and work ethic needed for many jobs that pay a middle-class wage. Simultaneously, there has been a dramatic decline in the ability of adolescents and young adults to find work. Indeed, the percentage of teens and young adults who have jobs is now at the lowest level since World War II."

Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future  
-- National Academy of Science. Download your FREE copy of the book --> http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11463

"The committee identified two key challenges that are tightly coupled to scientific and engineering prowess: creating high-quality jobs for Americans, and responding to the nation’s need for clean, affordable, and reliable energy. To address those challenges, the committee structured its ideas according to four basic recommendations that focus on the human, financial, and knowledge capital necessary for US prosperity. The four recommendations focus on actions in K–12 education (10,000 Teachers, 10 Million Minds), research (Sowing the Seeds), higher education (Best and Brightest), and economic policy (Incentives for Innovation) that are set forth in the following sections. Also provided are a total of 20 implementation steps for reaching the goals set forth in the recommendations."

Learning About Teaching: Initial Findings from the Measures of Effective Teaching Project 
-- MET Project, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
"In fall 2009, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project to test new approaches to measuring effective teaching. The goal of the MET project is to improve the quality of information about teaching effectiveness available to education professionals within states and districts—information that will help them build fair and reliable systems for measuring teacher effectiveness that can be used for a variety of purposes, including feedback, development, and continuous improvement. The project includes nearly 3000 teachers who volunteered to help us identify a better approach to teacher development and evaluation, located in six predominantly urban school districts across the country: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Dallas Independent School District, Denver Public Schools, Hillsborough County Public Schools (including Tampa, Florida), Memphis City Schools, and the New York City Department of Education. As part of the project, multiple data sources are being collected and analyzed over two school years, including student achievement gains on state assessments and supplemental assessments designed to assess higher-order conceptual understanding; classroom observations and teacher reflections on their practice; assessments of teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge; student perceptions of the classroom instructional environment; and teachers’ perceptions of working conditions and instructional support at their schools."

How the World's Most Improved Systems Keep Getting Better 
-- McKinsey & Company
"We followed a two-step process to select the school systems that form the subject of this research. First, we identified systems that have achieved significant, sustained, and widespread gains in student outcomes on  international and national assessments from 1980 onwards. We differentiated these systems according to two categories, to ensure representation from both developed and developing country contexts. The first set, “sustained improvers,” comprises systems that have seen five years or more of consistent rises in student performance spanning multiple data points and subjects; this group includes the systems of Singapore, Ontario, and Poland. The second set, “promising starts,” are systems in developing countries or emerging areas that have begun data supported reform efforts only recently, but which have already seen significant improvement over two to three years. The promising starts include the systems of Madhya Pradesh (India), Minas Gerais (Brazil), and Western Cape (South Africa)."

Michelle Rhee Launches Students First on Monday, December 6, 2010
"Former Washington schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee launched an advocacy group Monday that will support political candidates and school districts embracing big changes in public education. Through the group, Students First, Ms. Rhee hopes to raise $1 billion to dole out to political candidates who support her policies and to local school districts that adopt the reforms, such as linking teacher tenure to student test scores."

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