Subject: Studies in the News 06-29 (July 5, 2006)


CALIFORNIA RESEARCH BUREAU
CALIFORNIA STATE LIBRARY
Studies in the News:
Education Supplement


Contents This Week

Introductory Material EDUCATION
   Boys and high school graduation rates
   Latino achievement gap
   African-American achievement gap
   Average freshman graduation rates
   Overstating male achievement lag
   No Child Left Behind penalties avoided
   LAUSD-commissioned performance review
   Future of higher education
   Higher education rankings
   Higher education gender disparity
   Foreign students in U.S.
   Virginia restructures higher education
   Reducing tuition at Stanford
   Hurricane relief payments for schools
   Hispanic-serving institutions
   Early literacy development
   Literacy of America's college students
   Teaching reading in Alabama
   Reading readiness for college
   School finance and Prop 98
   Transforming the teaching profession
   Better teachers bring higher scores
   Urban school enrollment declines
   Uncovering school violence
PREVIOUSLY IN STUDIES IN THE NEWS
   Studies in the News, July-August 2005
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News is a very current compilation of items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau to supplement the public policy debate in California’s Capitol. To help share the latest information with state policymakers, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library’s website. This week's list of current articles in various public policy areas is presented below.

Service to State Employees:

  • When available, the URL for the full text of each item is provided.

  • California State Employees may contact the State Information & Reference Center (916-654-0206; cslsirc@library.ca.gov) with the SITN issue number and the item number [S#].

  • All other interested individuals should contact their local library - the items may be available there, or may be borrowed by your local library on your behalf.

The following studies are currently on hand:

EDUCATION

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

Leaving Boys Behind: Public High School Graduation Rates. By Jay P. Greene and Marcus A. Winters, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. (The Institute, New York, New York) April 2006. 26 p.

Full Text at: www.manhattan-institute.org/pdf/cr_48.pdf

["A new study found that barely half of Los Angeles Unified School District students receive their high school diplomas. The LAUSD ranks 86th out of the nation's 100 largest school districts in its graduation rate. The district's Latino males had the lowest graduation rates at 39 percent, followed by black males at 49 percent." Los Angeles Daily News (April 20, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S62901]

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Latino Achievement in America. By Education Trust. (The Trust, Washington, DC) 2006. 2 p.

Full Text at: www2.edtrust.org/NR/rdonlyres/7DC36C7E-EBBE-43BB-8392-CDC618E1F762/0/LatAchievEnglish.pdf

["Reading achievement among Latinos climbed substantially throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, but progress stopped during the next decade. The pattern for mathematics achievement is similar."]

[Request #S62902]

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African American Achievement in America. By Education Trust. (The Trust, Washington, DC) 2006. 2 p.

Full Text at: www2.edtrust.org/NR/rdonlyres/9AB4AC88-7301-43FF-81A3-EB94807B917F/0/AfAmer_Achivement.pdf

["Reading achievement among African Americans climbed substantially throughout the 70s and 80s, and the achievement gaps between them and White students narrowed by more than half. But in the 90s, progress stopped and those gaps began to widen again. The patterns for mathematics achievement look very similar."]

[Request #S62903]

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The Average Freshman Graduation Rate for Public High School From the Common Core of Data: Schools Years 2002-03 and 2003-04. By Marilyn Seastrom, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and others. (The Center, Washington, DC) 2006. 18 p.

Full Text at: nces.ed.gov/pubs2006/2006606.pdf

["This report presents the average freshman graduation rate for public high school students for school years 2002-03 and 2003-04.... Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia experienced increases in the rate, one state experienced no change, and 15 states [including California]experienced declines in the rate over this two-year period."]

[Request #S62904]

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The Evidence Suggests Otherwise: The Truth About Boys and Girls. By Sara Mead, Education Sector. (The Sector, Washington, DC) June 2006. 21 p.

Full Text at: www.educationsector.org/usr_doc/ESO_BoysAndGirls.pdf

["A new study looking at long-term trends in test scores and academic success argues that widespread reports of U.S. boys being in crisis are greatly overstated and that young males in school are in many ways doing better than ever. The report concludes that much of the pessimism about young males seems to derive from inadequate research, sloppy analysis and discomfort with the fact that although the average boy is doing better, the average girl has gotten ahead of him." Washington Post (June 28, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S62905]

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ACADEMIC ASSESSMENT

"Schools Find Test Loophole" By Frank Bass and others. IN: Sacramento Bee (April 18, 2006) A1+.

["Schools receiving federal poverty aid must demonstrate annually that students in all racial categories are progressing or risk penalties that include extending the school year, changing curriculum or firing administrators and teachers.... States are helping public schools escape potential penalties by skirting that requirement. And minorities who historically haven't fared as well as whites in testing make up the vast majority of students whose scores are excluded.... One of the consequences is that educators are creating a false picture of academic progress."]

[Request #S62906]

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AUDITS AND INVESTIGATIONS

Review of the Organizational Structure and Operations of the Los Angeles Unified School District. By the Council of the Great City Schools. Prepared for the Los Angeles Unified School District. (The Council, Washington D.C.) January 2006. 330 p.

Full Text at: www.cgcs.org/pdfs/LA%20Report.pdf

["The city’s public school system finds itself in 'district improvement' status under the No Child Left Behind law.... The school district itself is only modestly prepared for some of the challenges that it faces in the years to come, including increasing pressures for greater student achievement, more diversified offerings, further budget cuts, and better parent involvement."]

[Request #S62908]

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HIGHER EDUCATION

American Higher Education: How Does It Measure Up for the 21st Century? By James B. Hunt Jr. and Thomas J. Tierney, National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. (The Center, San Jose, California) May, 2006. 23 p.

Full Text at: www.highereducation.org/reports/hunt_tierney/Hunt_Tierney.pdf

["To an unprecedented extent, more Americans must prepare for, enroll in, and successfully complete degree and certificate programs. As the baby boomers—the most highly educated Americans in history—retire, their replacements will come primarily from the expanding minority and low-income groups, populations.... These essays are maps for charting our course through the critical economic and educational challenges and opportunities of this new century."]

[Request #S62909]

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A World of Difference. A Global Survey of University League Tables. By Alex Usher and Massimo Savino, Education Policy Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) January, 2006. 63p.

Full Text at: www.educationalpolicy.org/pdf/World-of-Difference-200602162.pdf

["University rankings are a standard feature in most countries with large higher education systems. Rankings were originally published by US News and World Report to meet a need for more transparent, comparative data about educational institutions. Reviled by critics but popular with parents, copy-cat ranking systems began popping up all over the world. There is no agreement as to what indicates quality."]

[Request #S62910]

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The Gender Gap in California Higher Education. By the California Postsecondary Education Commission. (The Commission, Sacramento, California) June 2006. 12 p.

Full Text at: www.cpec.ca.gov/Agendas/Agenda0606/Tab_07.pdf

["A report has found a widening gender gap on the campuses of the University of California and California State University.... Enrollment of young women exceeded that of men since 1983.... Only 43.6 percent of students enrolled at UC and CSU in 2004 were male -- even though men comprise more than 51 percent of the state's college-age population." San Jose Mercury News (June 23, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S62911]

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Restoring U.S. Competitiveness for International Students and Scholars. The Association of International Educators and Global Exchange. (The Association, Washington, DC) June 19, 2006. 12 p.

Full Text at: www.nafsa.org/_/Document/_/restoring_u.s.pdf

["During the 2003-04 academic year, the number of foreign students in the United States dropped for the first time in three decades —- by 2.4 percent. Foreign enrollments continued declining the following year. According to the report, preliminary data for 2005-6 suggest that foreign enrollments were flat... [The report] praises the State Department for reducing the visa delays and other obstacles foreign students and scholars face, but says more needs to be done." Chronicle of Higher Education (June 23, 2006) A44.]

[Request #S62912]

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Checks and Balances at Work: The Restructuring of Virginia's Public Higher Education System. By Lara K. Couturier. (National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, San Jose, California) June 2006. 105 p.

Full Text at: www.highereducation.org/reports/checks_balances/virginia.pdf

["The General Assembly passed legislation in 2005 granting public colleges new freedom from state control in areas such as spending, tuition and personnel management while also requiring the schools to meet specific goals set by the state.... Under the new system, each school submits a six-year plan that must be evaluated. Schools seeking the top level of autonomy have been required to draft management agreements that must pass certification by state officials." Richmond Times Dispatch (June 7, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S62913]

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New Financial Aid Policy for Undergraduates. By the Financial Aid Office, Stanford University. (The University, Palo Alto, California) March 2006.

["Families with modest incomes no longer will be required to help pay the education costs of their children attending Stanford University in an attempt to encourage more economically disadvantaged students to apply. This year, Stanford parents who made less than $45,000 a year contributed an average of $2,650 toward the cost of their child's education... Parents no longer will have to pay that. In addition, families with incomes between $45,000 and $60,000 will see their annual contribution halved, to an average of $3,800." San Francisco Chronicle (March 16, 2006) 1.]

Press Release. 2 p.

Financial Aid Policy. 2 p.

[Request #S62914]

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K-12 EDUCATION

States Receive Additional K-12 Hurricane Relief Payments. By Federal Information for States. FFIS Issue Brief. 06-24. (FFIS, Washington, DC) April 26, 2006. 3 p.

Full Text at: www.ncsl.org/ffis/subs/ib/2006/IB06-24.pdf

["In the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Congress provided special elementary and secondary education assistance to states directly affected by the hurricanes as well as states receiving students displaced.... To date, $461 million of this assistance has been distributed to states. The remaining $184 million will be allocated based on fourth quarter student counts and final adjustments."]

[Request #S62915]

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LATINOS

Inventing Hispanic-Serving Institutions: The Basics. By Deborah A. Santiago, Excelencia in Education. (Excelencia in Education, Washington, DC) 2006. 24 p.

Full Text at: www.edexcelencia.org/pdf/InventingHSIsFINAL.pdf

["Almost half of all Latino students in higher education are enrolled in just six percent of the institutions of higher education in the United States.... Hispanic-Serving Institutions are important institutions for Latinos, yet little research exists on them. The defining characteristic of HSIs is their Hispanic enrollment, not their institutional mission.... This brief ... offers an overview of how these institutions are contributing to Latino student success."]

[Request #S62916]

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LITERACY

Teaching Early Literacy: Development, Assessment, and Instruction. By Diane M. Barone, University of Nevada, Reno, and others. (Guilford Press, New York, New York) 2005. 246 p.

["Grounded in cutting-edge theory and research about literacy development, this book is filled with practical assessment and instructional ideas for teachers of pre-K through grade 3.... The book highlights ways to work effectively with English language learners and their families.... Other topics covered include creative uses of technology and ways to incorporate popular culture into the classroom." Publisher's Announcement (2006) 1.] NOTE: Teaching Early Literacy... is available for loan.

[Request #S62917]

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The Literacy of America's College Students. By Justin D. Baer and others, American Institutes for Research (The Institutes, Washington, DC) 2006. 56 p.

Full Text at: www.air.org/news/documents/The%20Literacy%20of%20Americas%20College%20Students_final%20report.pdf

["The study examines the literacy of U.S. college students, providing information on how prepared these students are to continue to learn and use the skills that they will need in the years to come. Such an examination provides a valuable set of indicators of performance in higher education, informing such issues as the relationship among educational experience, literacy, and preparedness for the job market.... Because literacy is not a single skill used in the same manner for all types of printed and written information, the study measured literacy along three dimensions: prose literacy, document literacy, and quantitative literacy."]

[Request #S62918]

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READING

Sustaining Focus on Secondary Reading: Lessons and Recommendations from the Alabama Reading Initiative. By Amy Bacevich, University of Michigan, and Terry Salinger, American Institutes for Research. Prepared for the Carnegie Corporation of New York. (The Institutes, Washington, DC) June 2006. 49 p.

Full Text at: www.air.org/publications/documents/ARI%20Popular%20Report_final.pdf

["Alabama may serve as a role model for other states that want to teach reading to students in middle schools and high schools.... The Alabama Reading Initiative is mostly a program for elementary students but is offered to students in several middle schools and high schools, state officials say.... The national study found the Alabama reading program survived an initial lack of support and lack of flexibility to become a potential model for the country." The Huntsville Times (June 8, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S62919]

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Reading Between the Lines: What the ACT Reveals about College Readiness in Reading. By ACT. (ACT, Iowa City, Iowa) 2006. 63 p.

Full Text at: www.act.org/path/policy/pdf/reading_report.pdf

["Only 51 percent of 2005 ACT-tested high school graduates are ready for college-level reading -— and, what’s worse, more students are on track to being ready for college-level reading in eighth and tenth grade than are actually ready by the time they reach twelfth grade.... Only the readiness of Asian American students, Native American students, and white students has experienced some net increase since 1994."]

[Request #S62920]

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SCHOOL FINANCE

School Finance in California and the Proposition 98 Guarantee. By the California Budget Project. (The Project, Sacramento, California) April 2006. 6 p.

Full Text at: www.cbp.org/2006/0604_prop98.pdf

["This paper examines the history of school finance prior to Proposition 98; the provisions of Proposition 98; the law's implementation and impact on school finance; current budget debates regarding education finance; and how California's school spending compares to other states."]

[Request #S62921]

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TEACHER DEVELOPMENT

Teaching at Risk: Progress and Potholes. By The Teaching Commission. (The Commission, New York, New York) Spring 2006. 84 p.

Full Text at: www.theteachingcommission.org/press/pdfs/ProgressandPotholes.pdf

["The Teaching Commission ... released a final report urging state and local leaders to go 'far further, far faster' in transforming the teaching profession.... The Commission ... gives state, local and federal leaders disappointing grades for their work in four crucial areas: transforming teacher compensation; reinventing teacher preparation; overhauling licensing and certification; and strengthening leadership and support."]

[Request #S62922]

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TEACHERS

Teaching Inequality: How Poor and Minority Students Are Shortchanged on Teacher Quality: A Report and Recommendations. By Heather G. Peske and Kati Haycock. (Education Trust, Washington, DC) June 2006. 20 p.

Full Text at: www2.edtrust.org/NR/rdonlyres/010DBD9F-CED8-4D2B-9E0D-91B446746ED3/0/TQReportJune2006.pdf

["A comprehensive study ... has finally proven what anecdotal evidence has long suggested: Poorly qualified teachers drag down student achievement.... Low-income and minority children benefit the most from good teachers, the study found. The researchers evaluated teachers in Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio, ranking schools according to a teacher quality score." Chicago Tribune (June 9, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S62923]

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URBAN SCHOOLS

"There Goes the Enrollment: High Rents Are Changing the Face of Crowded L.A. Neighborhoods: Schools are Feeling the Effects." By Nancy Cleeland. IN: Los Angeles Times. (June 11, 2006) 2 p.

Full Text at: www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-enroll11jun11,0,785496,print.story?coll=la-home-headlines

["Public school enrollment is dropping fast in some of the most notoriously crowded neighborhoods of Los Angeles as soaring rents and property values displace low-income, mostly immigrant families.... An analysis, grouped by ZIP Codes, found an unmistakable pattern: Families with children are leaving the city's core.... Lower enrollments bring the gift of more manageable playgrounds and even a spare room or two. But they also raise concerns for those being pushed out and for the long-term future of the schools."]

[Request #S62924]

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VIOLENCE

School Violence and No Child Left Behind: Best Practices to Keep Kids Safe. By Lisa Snell, Reason Foundation. (The Foundation, Los Angeles, California) 2005. 50 p.

Full Text at: www.rppi.org/ps330.pdf

["While the general data show a decline in school violence, this is not true for every school. [This report] recognizes the general decline in school violence but is most concerned with policies for those schools that still have a high rate of crime and incentives to underreport crime. It is critical that parents have information about which schools are safe and which schools have crime on campus."]

[Request #S62925]

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PREVIOUSLY IN STUDIES IN THE NEWS
[This section links to items in Studies in the News since the last Education Supplement.]

"Education." IN: Studies in the News, (April-June 2006).

[Includes: "Student achievement patterns;" "Reframing education in public schools;" "Higher education's value;" "Barriers to college transfers;" "Status of the teaching profession;" "Immigrant children and early education;" "The unraveling of No Child Left Behind;" "Efforts to finance prekindergarten;" "Educating Latino students;" "Dropouts seek credentials and degrees;" "Economy needs more educated workforce;" "Outside UC compensation audit;" "State UC compensation audit;" "Educational inequality and NCLB;" "Computers in education;" "Equity in higher education;" "UC compensation, accountability, and transparency;" "Gay and Lesbian students in public schools;" "Court blocks exit exam;" "Court reinstates exit exam;" and "Federal family education loan programs."]

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