Blog

Posts Tagged studies-stats

SAT Report: Only 43 Percent of 2012 College-Bound Seniors Are College Ready

On the heels of a report from the ACT that found that only about half of ACT-takers are prepared for college, a new SAT report (PDF) finds that only 43 percent of SAT-takers are prepared for college success.

The report shows that 43 percent of students who took the SAT in the class of 2012 met the SAT College & Career Readiness Benchmark score of 1550. The score indicates a 65 percent likelihood of achieving a B- average or higher during the first year of study at a four-year college. According to the College Board, the makers of the SAT, research shows the SAT benchmark is “associated with higher rates of enrollment in four-year colleges, higher first-year college GPAs and higher rates of retention beyond the first year.” Based on this finding, the report advocates for greater rigor in schools, and applauds the shift to the Common Core standards.

The report also highlights the increasing diversity of SAT-takers. For the first time, nearly half of students who took the test were minority students, and 36 percent of test-takers indicated that their parents’ highest level of education was a high school diploma or less. However, the report does not share these students’ performance on the SAT.

Read the full report here (PDF).

Posted in: Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

New study finds that re-segregation is growing in public schools across the country

A new report, conducted by The Civil Rights Project, found that U.S. schools are growing more segregated, even as the U.S. population grows more and more diverse.

New York, Illinois, Michigan, and California top the list for the most segregated states for African American students. According to the data, two-fifths of Black students attend a school that is less than 1 percent White. In Michigan, a third of Black students attend a school  that is less than 1 percent White. Researchers say this segregation is worse than the south before Brown v. Board of Education. The data also shows that southern states, like Arkansas and Tennessee, are growing more and more segregated. Latino students also face segregation, especially in western states like California and New Mexico where the percentage of Latino students in public schools is highest.

How does Washington state stack up? Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics for the 2009-2010 school year, researchers found that Washington has one of the highest percentages of Latino enrollment in public schools (16.8 percent). Of those students, 53.9 percent attend schools that are 50 to 100 percent minority. By comparison, Rhode Island has a Latino student population of 18 percent, and 74.1 percent of them attend schools that are between 50 to 100 percent. Oregon’s Latino student population is slightly larger than Washington at 20.4 percent. However,  only 39.8 of Oregon’s Latino public school students attend a school that is 50 to 100 percent minority.

Researchers point to the elimination of desegregation assistance under the Reagan administration for the increase in public school segregation. When it comes to the implications of segregation, the researchers write, “The new segregation that has grown out of that diversity is multiracial, affects many more districts, involves language and immigrant issues as well as isolation by race, ethnicity and poverty. It is also spreading. If one examines the testing and graduation statistics on the state department of education websites, the relationship between failure to meet state standards and this segregation is an obvious reality, although it is virtually invisible in policy discourse. Resegregated schools tend to have severe problems of educational performance but as far as this issue goes, most states have taken a pass.”

Read the full report here (pdf). Read the Education Week coverage here.

Posted in: Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

The anatomy of a successful turnaround school

Though the final data for turnaround schools will not be released until later this year, the American Institutes of Research, Policy Studies Associates, the Urban Institute, and Decision Information Resources have collaborated to share an initial review of what makes a turnaround school successful.

The organizations found several key factors in taking a low-performing school and changing it to a more successful one with the momentum to keep improvements. The study included schools with the lowest 5 percent of performance in Florida, North Carolina and Texas, with achievement in the bottom 15th percentile for that state and less than 40 percent student growth over time in both reading and mathematics.

About half the schools identified as initially low-performing were able to show some signs of improvement within three years; another 35 percent showed no increase in student-achievement status or growth. But the study found 15 percent of schools were true turnarounds: They improved the number of students reaching proficiency in math or reading by at least 5 percentile points, with student growth rates in the 65th percentile statewide.

Turnaround rates varied considerably by state and subject, with schools much more likely to improve poor performance in mathematics than in reading, and only 3 percent to 4 percent able to improve in both subjects at once. Those two-subject-turnaround schools were more likely than other schools to report low turnover of highly qualified teachers and more technical assistance with data use.

Read more about the study in Education Week.

Posted in: Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

The "vital signs" of WA's STEM education

Change the Equation has released a new study that shows the state of STEM education across the U.S. Vital Signs looks at the demand for and supply of STEM skills, what states expect of students, students’ access to learning opportunities and the resources schools and teachers have to do their work.

The report overview notes that while Washington’s students have made some progress in math over the past ten years, student access is limited when it comes to content challenging enough to prepare them for college and careers in the STEM field. According to the report, “Washington’s high school graduation requirements in math and science do not align with college entrance requirements, which may contribute to the high cost of math remediation for its underprepared college students.”

The study also shows that students in Washington spend significantly more time doing hands on projects than the national average, (89 vs. 74 percent) but spend less time talking about the “kinds of problems engineers solve” in the classroom (11 vs. 15 percent). Further, deep gaps exist between students of color and their white peers in science and math scores, as shown in the graph below:

While serious issues persist, the report does commend Washington’s commitment to adopting the Common Core standards and its return on investment when in comes to spending on STEM. In fact, Washington “gets a larger return on its investment in math and science education than most other states do. It spends $19,244 per proficient student in math and science, placing it in the top quintile for all states for the return on its investment.”

Explore the data for yourself here or download a summary version here (PDF).

Posted in: Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

The challenge to afford quality child care

Studies continue to show the benefits of quality early childhood education, but access to these programs is often limited by family income. A report from Child Care Aware details these costs from across all 50 states.

One of the report’s major findings is that child care exceeds most other costs for families. In fact, in 40 states and the District of Columbia, the average annual cost of center-based infant care exceeded 10 percent of the state’s median income for a two-parent family. The report also notes the cost of child care compared to other education costs. In 35 states and the District of Columbia, the average annual cost for center-based care for an infant was higher than year’s in-state tuition and related fees at a four-year public college.

While costs are often difficult for families to meet, single parents especially struggle to pay for child care. In many cases, the average cost of child care is far out of reach for a single parent. Among the 50 states, the annual cost of center-based infant care averaged 38 percent of the state median income for a single mother. The annual cost of center-based care for a 4-year-old child averaged 31 percent of the state median income for a single mother.

In Washington, the average annual costs are $10,920 to send an infant to a center and $8,320 to send a four-year-old to a center, ranking the state 12th most expensive for infant care and 29th most expensive for four-year-old care. These upper and middle rankings in cost are reflected in comparisons to other costs in this state. For example, it is 15 percent more expensive to send a four-year-old to a child care center than it is to send a student to the state’s average four-year public university. Child care costs are equivalent to nearly 13 percent of the average Washington family of four’s income and are almost as high as the average mortgage payment in the state.

It is no surprise that with these costs, the report found that some parents are removing their children from licensed programs to informal child care settings to better make ends meet. Given the tremendous impact quality care has on children’s long-term development and success in school, the report suggests that the “current approach to [funding and supporting] child care is not sufficient with today’s goals to ensure that children in low-income families, especially those receiving public funding, are in quality care and to ensure that all children start school ready to learn.”

The report concludes that “parent choice in child care is a national policy objective. But, when the only choice parents have is among poor quality settings, that is not a real choice.”

Read the full report here (PDF).

Posted in: Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

Study: Bilingualism Can Ease Poverty's Effects

A soon to be published study shows that bilingualism is an asset for students, including those who live in poverty.

The study found that though the bilingual students from low-income homes knew fewer vocabulary words than their monolingual peers, their ability to focus and remain on-task despite distractions was much higher. The study also found that bilingual children had better memory recall and visual processing skills.

Authors suggest that this study not only adds to the growing evidence that bilingualism is an asset to students, but that teaching a second language may be part of effective interventions for students in poverty.

“This is the first study to show that, although they may face linguistic challenges, minority bilingual children from low-income families demonstrate important strengths in other cognitive domains,” study author Engel de Abreu said in a news release.

Read the full, unedited manuscript of the study here (PDF).

Posted in: Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

More effort needed retain high-performing teachers, study finds

A new study from TNTP finds that urban schools are systematically neglecting their best teachers, and documents a national failure to retain enough of the best teachers

The report, titled The Irreplaceables (PDF), focuses on the experiences teachers so successful at advancing student learning that they are nearly impossible to replace. Schools rarely make a strong effort to keep these teachers despite their success.

Because of this, the best and worst teachers leave urban schools at strikingly similar rates. The nation’s 50 largest districts lose approximately 10,000 of these high-performing teachers each year. Meanwhile, about 40 percent of teachers with more than seven years of experience are less effective at advancing academic progress than the average first-year teacher.

The study attributes negligent retention patterns to three major causes:

1. Inaction by school principals. The study shows that less than 30 percent of high-performing teachers plan to leave for reasons beyond their school’s control. Simple strategies, like public recognition for a job well done, boost their plans to stay by as many as six years. Yet two-thirds indicated that no one had encouraged them to return for another year.

2. Poor school cultures and working conditions. Schools that retain more high-performing teachers have strong cultures where teachers work in an atmosphere of mutual respect, leaders respond to poor performance, and great teaching is the priority. Turnover rates among the best teachers were 50 percent higher in schools lacking these traits.

3. Policies that impede smarter retention practices. A number of policy barriers hamper principals from making smarter retention decisions. Because of inflexible, seniority-dominated compensation systems, for example, 55 percent of these high-performing teachers earn a lower salary than the average low-performing teacher.

The report offers two major recommendations to policymakers and school leaders to help change these barriers to keeping high-performing teachers. The authors suggest making retention of the best teachers a top priority by monitoring and improving working conditions, paying teachers what they’re worth and creating new pathways for advancing their careers. They also suggest expecting high levels of performance from teachers and reconsidering hiring and firing practices to encourage high-performers and counsel out low-performers.

Read the full report here (PDF).

Posted in: Blog

Leave a Comment (2) →

Budget cuts hit Adult Basic Ed programs

The State Board of Community and Technical Colleges is predicting that its member schools will serve 10,000 fewer Adult Basic Education (ABE) students this year than in the previous year. This is because, while the 2012 legislative session left Washington’s community and technical colleges with about the same levels of funding as the year before, previous years’ cuts are finally making their impact. After several years of absorbing growing enrollments despite significant financial disincentives to do so, community and technical colleges are making cuts they feel they can no longer avoid to ABE programs.

ABE students tend to be low-skilled and low-income. Many of them speak English as a second language, and many are people of color. People of these demographics make up the fastest growing segment of the population in Washington, and are a vital part of Washington’s future workforce.

Funding for ABE programs has decreased an average of $1,200 per student this year, a real hardship considering that ABE students do not qualify for federal financial aid and only five percent of ABE students are employed at a living wage. Colleges have significantly reduced ABE classes, primarily because they generate little revenue.

For more in this topic, complete with graphs, see the latest Seattle Jobs Initiative Beyond the Headlines here

Posted in: Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

Putting grad rates on the map-Washington at the bottom

Education Week has released a new application to help you explore graduation rates across the United States. Using data from the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, Ed Week compiled demographic, school, and graduation information for every district and state in the nation.

The project shows that Washington’s graduation rates have stayed essentially static since 1999, hovering at around 68 percent, while the national average has increased from well below Washington’s average to just above it. The national average for graduation rates is 70.3 percent, leaving Washington below average when it comes to graduation. In fact, according to this formula, Washington is 42nd in the nation when it comes to graduating students from high school in four years.

The app also allows you to see data from your specific district and compare your district’s performance with its statistically predicted performance.

Try the map for yourself. For more information on how the data was collected and calculated, visit this page.

Posted in: Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 1 of 2 12