Subject: Studies in the News 07-12 (March 7, 2007)


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


Contents This Week

Introductory Material EDUCATION
   Benefits for after-school programs
   Transforming leadership
   Strengthening NCLB
   Improving alternative education
   Evaluation of high school exit exam
   Few community college students graduate or transfer
   Adjunct faculty and graduation rates
   Dropout rates predictable and preventable
   Bill Gates recognized for work reforming schools
   NCLB shows limited school improvement
   Teacher contracts and school reform
   Funding gap between low-income and wealthier areas
   Districts spend extra money on wealthy schools
   Parents improve literacy instruction
   State responsibility to transform higher education
   Tenured faculty numbers decline
   National Report Card on Higher Education
   Fewer minority students at flagship universities
   Trends in college pricing
   College graduates for the global economy
   UC transfer rates decline --- minority rate rises
   Private vs public research universities
   Afterschool task force recommends changes
   Improving science education
   State preschools short of space
   California schools improve financially
   Government aid declines for college students
   Undereducated future workforce
PREVIOUSLY IN STUDIES IN THE NEWS
   Studies in the News, January - February 2007
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

The Impact of After-School Programs that Promote Personal and Social Skills. By J. A. Durlak and R. P. Weissberg, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. (The Collaborative, Chicago, Illinois) 2007. 49 p.

Full Text at: www.casel.org/downloads/ASP-Full.pdf

["After-school programs succeeded in improving youths’ feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem, positive feelings and attitudes toward school, positive social behaviors, school grades and achievement test scores. They also reduced problem behaviors (e.g., aggression, noncompliance and conduct problems) and drug use. In sum, after-school programs produced multiple benefits that pertain to youths’ personal, social and academic life."]

[Request #S71201]

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The High Cost of High School Dropouts: What the Nation Pays for Inadequate High Schools. By the Alliance for Excellent Education. Prepared for the MetLife Foundation. (The Alliance, Washington, DC) January 2007. 6 p.

Full Text at: www.all4ed.org/publications/HighCost.pdf

["According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average annual income for a high school dropout in 2004 was more than $9,000 less than for a high school graduate. By increasing overall earnings potential, high school grades benefit the state and nation with increased purchasing power and higher tax receipts. Also, dropouts are a drain on the economy because they are likely to increase the cost of social programs while high school graduates are less likely to become teen parents, commit crimes and rely on government health care."]

[Request #S71202]

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ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

Building on Results: A Blueprint for Strengthening the No Child Left Behind Act. By Margaret Spellings, U.S. Department of Education. (The Department, Washington, DC) January 2007. 20 p.

Full Text at: www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/nclb/buildingonresults.pdf

["The proposals would give local school officials new powers to override both teachers' contracts and state limits on charter schools in the case of persistently failing schools.... The administration also proposed requiring states to publicize how their students perform on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, side by side with student performance on state exams. The move is intended to pressure states to make their own standards more rigorous." New York Times (January 25, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71203]

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AUDITS AND INVESTIGATIONS

Improving Alternative Education in California. By Paul Warren, Legislative Analyst’s Office. (The Office, Sacramento, California) February 2007. 36 p.

Full Text at: www.lao.ca.gov/2007/alternative_educ/alt_ed_020707.pdf

[“The state doesn't do enough to keep track of what happens to the more than one in 10 high school students who attend alternative schools in California. Information that is available suggests many of them are not making progress. The schools are supposed to be a safety net for students at risk of dropping out or who have behavioral or other problems. Instead, the state's accountability system ‘allows schools and districts to use referrals to alternative schools as a way to avoid responsibility for the progress of low-performing students.’ ” AP Newswire (February 7, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71204]

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On The Clock: Rethinking the Ways Schools Use Time. By Elena Silva, Education Sector. (The Sector, Washington, DC) January 2007. 14 p.

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

["The report recommends that policymakers collect data on how time in schools is spent, adapt each program to the school's specific context, and model school calendars after existing, successful programs.... The No Child Left Behind Åct presents new opportunities to design and fund quality extended-learning programs for students.... Schools receiving Title I funds are encouraged under the law to increase learning time through extended-day, extended-year and summer programs. These funds can be used to coordinate extended-time programs, engage parents in the process, or pay teacher salaries."]

[Request #S71205]

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COMMUNITY COLLEGES

Rules of the Game: How State Policy Creates Barriers to Degree Completion and Impedes Student Success in the California Community Colleges. By Nancy Shulock and Colleen Moore, Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy, California State University, Sacramento. (The Institute, Sacramento, California) February 2007 16 p.

Full Text at: www.csus.edu/ihe/PDFs/Rules%20of%20the%20Game%20FINAL.pdf

[“Only one-fourth of California's community college students seeking a degree transferred to a university or earned an associate's degree or certificate within six years, a report found. Community colleges receive most of their state funding based on enrollment, which leads some institutions to allow students to register late and postpone exams until enrollment is reported to the state. The strategy boosts funding but not academic excellence. The report raised concerns over some state policies, such as one requiring a college to spend at least 50% of its budget on direct classroom instruction instead of on support staff, such as academic and financial aid advisors. The report calls for policymakers and community college officials to work together to increase completion rates, making specific suggestions on the financial and instructional constraints that state policy has over community colleges.” Los Angeles Times (February 2, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71206]

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"Effects of Part-Time Faculty Employment on Community College Graduation Rates." By Daniel Jacoby. IN: Journal of Higher Education, vol. 77, no. 6 (November/December 2006) pp. 1081-1103.

[“A national analysis of graduation and program completion rates at community colleges has found that institutions with higher percentages of full-time faculty members have higher completion rates.... While the use of adjuncts is widespread and growing in all sectors of higher education, it is particularly prevalent at two-year institutions.... Community colleges also fill many sections (a majority in some subject areas on some campuses) with part timers. Administrators frequently say that given their institutions' enrollment growth and tight budgets, they have little choice.” Inside Higher Ed (October 16, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S71214]

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DROPOUT RATES

Unfulfilled Promise: The Dimensions and Characteristics of Philadelphia’s Dropout Crisis, 2000-2005. By Ruth Curran Nield, and Robert Balfanz, Center for Social Organization of Schools, Johns Hopkins University. (The Center, Baltimore, Maryland) 2006. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.csos.jhu.edu/new/Neild_Balfanz_06.pdf

[“Dropping out of high school is predictable and preventable, especially in large city public schools that produce many of the nation’s dropouts." According to [the report] most dropouts leave school because they are not attending regularly and are failing courses. For high school students who have been abused and neglected, are in foster care or receive an out-of-home placement in the juvenile justice system, the probability of dropping out is 75 percent or higher. The report provides a comprehensive policy agenda and sets goals and timetables for which leaders across public agencies will be held accountable.” Ascribe Newswire (October 20, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S71207]

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EDUCATION POLICY

Influence: A Study of the Factors Shaping Education Policy. By Christopher B. Swanson and Janelle Barlage, Editorial Projects in Education Research Center. (The Center, Bethesda, Maryland) December 2006. 120 p.

Full Text at: www.edweek.org/media/influence_study.pdf

[“Bill Gates, the world's richest man, beat out politicians, educators and policy wonks to be named the most influential person in American education during the past decade by [a] research center. Gates is leaving his mark by supporting the creation of small high schools and pumping millions into charter schools, publicly funded and privately run schools. California schools and organizations have received $160 million from Gates, helping fund charter schools everywhere from Los Angeles to East Palo Alto and support the creation of small schools in San Francisco and Oakland.” Inside Bay Area (December 13, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S71208]

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EDUCATIONAL REFORM

NCLB Implementation in California: Does the Golden State Deserve a Gold Star? By Julian Betts, University of California, San Diego and Public Policy Institute of California. Prepared for the American Enterprise Institute/Thomas B. Fordham Foundation Conference (The Institute, Washington, D.C.) November 30, 2006. 42 p.

Full Text at: www.aei.org/docLib/20061130_BettsPaper.pdf

[“This paper will provide a description of California’s accountability system and how it relates to the system required by NCLB, and how the choice, Supplemental Services and LEA improvement programs are being implemented. The end goal is to present a discussion, based on data as well as a series of interviews, of the extent to which California is realizing the promise of NCLB, and the degree to which experience in California points to reforms to NCLB that might make the federal law more effective.”]

[Request #S71209]

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Frozen Assets: Rethinking Teacher Contracts Could Free Billions for School Reform. By Marguerite Roza, Education Sector. (The Sector, Washington, D.C.) January 2007. Various pagings.

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

[“One potentially valuable source of funds for reform are common provisions in teacher contracts that obligate schools to spend large amounts of money on programs that lack a clear link to student achievement. Money spent on seniority-based raises and generous health plans for more veteran teachers might be better used for raising minimum salaries to recruit younger educators who meet high teaching standards. Resources spent meeting mandatory class-size targets or hiring a prescribed number of classroom aides might be better used to hire teachers to provide after-school tutoring to low-performing children. Teacher contracts often deny school leaders the flexibility to make such trade-offs in the eight key areas the report examines.” Education Sector, Press Release (January 8, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71210]

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ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION

Funding Gaps: 2006. By The Education Trust. (The Trust, Washington, D.C.) December 20, 2006. 16 p.

Full Text at: www2.edtrust.org/NR/rdonlyres/CDEF9403-5A75-437E-93FF-EBF1174181FB/0/FundingGap2006.pdf

[“Los Angeles Unified and other school districts nationwide give more money and assign more experienced teachers to campuses in wealthier areas, shortchanging low- income and minority students who need more resources to succeed, a national study says. The report also found that districts think the tax revenue they get specifically for low-income and minority students is sufficient, so they spend unrestricted funds on 'extras' such as teacher's aides and full-day kindergarten at more affluent schools.” Los Angeles Daily News (December 21, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S71211]

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ETHNIC, RACIAL & CULTURAL DIVERSITY

Children Left Behind: How Metropolitan Areas Are Failing America’s Children. By Dolores Acevedo-Garcia and others, Center for the Advancement of Health, Harvard School of Public Health. (The School, Boston, Massachusetts) January 2007. 42 p.

Full Text at: diversitydata.sph.harvard.edu/children_left_behind_final_report.pdf

["Black and Hispanic children live in families that experience many disadvantages, but disparities among individuals and families are exacerbated by vast inequalities in neighborhood and school environments.... Children not only lived in separate neighborhoods but in ones with strikingly different socioeconomic profiles.... For indicators of health, the income and homeownership of their neighborhoods, residential and school segregation, and school poverty, black children fared most poorly....The average black child lived in a neighborhood with a poverty rate of 21%, compared to a neighborhood poverty rate of 8% for the average white child, 19% for the average Hispanic child, and 11% for the average Asian child."]

[Request #S]

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FAMILY LITERACY

Family Literacy. By the Family Strengthening Policy Center. Policy Brief. No. 19. (National Human Services Assembly, Washington, DC) 2007. 24 p.

Full Text at: www.nassembly.org/fspc/documents/Brief19.pdf

["Parent involvement in literacy instruction has a significant, positive impact on children's reading acquisition that is equivalent to a 10-point score gain on literacy tests. In addition, 43 percent of adults were employed after participating in family literacy programs, compared with 14 percent prior to enrolling."]

[Request #S71213]

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HIGHER EDUCATION

Transforming Higher Education: National Imperative—State Responsibility. By J. Bell, National Conference of State Legislatures. (The Conference, Denver, Colorado) 2006. 13 p.

["One recommendation calls for states to tie funding to performance by requiring universities and colleges to report results to the legislature, or by granting money based on degree completion or the number of students who return for their sophomore year. Oklahoma, for example, rewards schools that improve retention and graduation rates. Other proposals include defining clear goals, setting up a structure to 'house' ongoing discussions about higher education, predicting and planning for demographic trends, encouraging partnerships with the business community, and finding a balance between merit- and need-based financial aid." Publisher's Announcement (November 2006) 1.]

[Request #S71215]

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Consequences: An Increasingly Contingent Faculty. By John W. Curtis and Monica F. Jacobe, American Association of University Professors. (The Association, Washington, DC) December 2006. 19 p.

Full Text at: www.aaup.org/NR/rdonlyres/F05FF88E-B2A8-4052-8373-AF0FDAE060AC/0/ConsequencesAnIncreasinglyContingentFaculty.pdf

[“While U.S. colleges and universities are hiring an increased number of part-time professors, the percentage of full-time tenured professors is decreasing. The most surprising statistic is that students are taught by the 65 percent of faculty who are not in line for tenure.... Universities should make an effort to hire more full-time faculty on tenure track and improve the working conditions of part-time faculty.” University Wire (December 12, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S71216]

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Measuring Up 2006: The National Report Card on Higher Education. By the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. (The Center, San Jose, California) 2006. 32 p.

Full Text at: measuringup.highereducation.org/_docs/2006/NationalReport_2006.pdf

["California's younger adults, ages 25 to 34, are falling behind older adults, ages 35 to 64, in attaining a college degree. Internationally, the proportion of younger adults with a college degree in California is only 73% of the proportion in Japan, the top-performing nation on this measure. California is also surpassed by Canada, Korea, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Belgium."]

[Request #S71217]

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Engines of Inequality: Diminished Equity in the Nation’s Premier Public Universities. By Danette Gerald and Kati Haycock, The Education Trust. (The Trust, Washington, D.C.) 2006. 25 p.

Full Text at: www2.edtrust.org/NR/rdonlyres/F755E80E-9431-45AF-B28E-653C612D503D/0/EnginesofInequality.pdf

[“Overall, the nation's top public universities are getting ‘whiter and richer,’ even as high-school graduating classes grow more diverse.... The nation's public flagship universities are becoming less accessible to students who are from low-income families or who are members of underrepresented minority groups.... We assigned each flagship a grade, the most common of which were D’s and F’s.... Just four institutions -- the Universities of Hawaii, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Vermont -- earned B's. No A's were awarded.” Chronicle of Higher Education (December 1, 2006) 18.]

[Request #S71218]

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Trends in College Pricing. By the College Board. (The Board, Washington, DC) 2006. 28 p.

Full Text at: www.collegeboard.com/prod_downloads/press/cost06/trends_college_pricing_06.pdf

["The cost of obtaining a four-year university degree continues to outpace inflation, and in an era of declining federal aid, students are increasingly relying on private bank loans to finance their education. The cost of tuition and fees at four-year public universities rose 6.3% from 2005 to 2006, capping an inflation-adjusted increase of 35% over five years. At the same time, the amount of federal financial aid available through Pell Grants declined to a new low." Los Angeles Times (October 25, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S71219]

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College Learning for the New Global Century. By the National Leadership Council for Liberal Education. Prepared for the Association of American Colleges and Universities. (The Association, Washington, DC) January 2007. 12 p.

Full Text at: aacu-secure.nisgroup.com/advocacy/leap/documents/GlobalCentury_ExecSum_final.pdf

["To succeed in today’s global economy, college graduates will need much more cross-disciplinary knowledge -— in science, global cultures, technology, and society; an expanded set of advanced skills, including communication, teamwork, and analytic reasoning; and much more practice in applying what they learn to real-world problems.... The new report identifies essential aims, learning outcomes, and guiding principles for a 21st century college education, and calls on colleges and universities to remap the curricula in all fields of study." Publisher's Announcement (January 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71220]

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Percent Change in All Applicants Who Reported a California Community College as their Last School, by Ethnicity and Campus, 2005, 2006 and 2007. By the Office of the President, University of California. (The University, Oakland, California) January 2007. Table; 2 p.

Full Text at: www.ucop.edu/news/factsheets/2007/fall+2007+app_table+7.pdf

[“More black, Latino and American Indian students are determined to transfer from two- to four-year colleges next year -- although the overall number of transfer applications is down. Transfer applications rose 2.8 percent for African Americans, 7.9 percent for American Indians and 0.4 percent for Latinos. UC officials expressed disappointment that their efforts to help students at two-year schools transfer to UC have been less than successful overall.” San Francisco Chronicle (January 27, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71221]

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Can Public Research Universities Compete? By Steven Brint, University of California, Riverside. (Center for Studies in Higher Education, Berkeley, California) 2006. 35 p.

Full Text at: repositories.cdlib.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1082&context=cshe

["Many leaders of public research universities worry about falling behind private research universities at a time when private university finances have improved dramatically and state support for higher education has declined... The private model, at its best, generates a high proportion of future leaders, stronger educational reputations, and leads to the accumulation of more institutional wealth. However, the public model remains viable and successful, principally because it typically generates larger faculties. The total societal contribution of public research universities, as measured by human capital development and research publication, is greater than that of private universities."]

[Request #S71222]

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K-12 EDUCATION

A New Day for Learning. By the Time, Learning, and Afterschool Task Force. Prepared for the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. (Edutopia, San Rafael, California) January 2007. 42 p.

Full Text at: www.edutopia.org/pdfs/ANewDayforLearning.pdf

["The Task Force calls for immediate action to design a comprehensive learning system throughout the day, early to late, and year round. The nation’s steady progress as an economy and as a society will end 'unless we profoundly change our thinking and policies about when, where and how children learn and develop' contends (Task Force Chairman) Vincent L. Ferrandino, Executive Director of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. All stakeholders involved with the development of children — whether it is educational, emotional, physical, or creative — need to tear down the barriers we’ve imposed on ourselves and partner more effectively to create a new learning day for children.” Publisher's Announcement (January 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71223]

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MATHEMATICS & SCIENCE TEACHING

Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8. By the Committee on Science Learning, Kindergarten Through Eighth Grade. Edited by Richard A. Duschl and others. (National Academies Press, Washington, DC) 2007. 336 p.

["Improving science education in kindergarten through eighth grade will require major changes in how science is taught in America's classrooms, as well as shifts in commonly held views of what young children know and how they learn. After decades of education reform efforts that have produced only modest gains in science performance, the need for change is clear." NOTE: Taking Science... will be available for loan.]

[Request #S64835]

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PRESCHOOL

California’s Preschool Space Challenge: What Preschool Advocates, Parents and Policy-Makers Need to Know. By Molly Munger, Advancement Project, and others. (The Project, Los Angeles, California) February 15, 2007. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.advanceproj.org/preschool/release.pdf

[“Classroom space in California public preschools is at such a premium that 21% of eligible 4-year-olds would be unable to attend if they all attempted to enroll, according to a statewide study. Facilities are in especially short supply in areas where there are poor children of color, children whose parents did not graduate from high school and children whose parents do not speak English as their primary language. The issue is especially important as research shows that early schooling improves students' academic success in later years.” Los Angeles Times (February 16, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71225]

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SCHOOL FINANCE

Report to the Superintendent of Instruction: Annual Financial Report of California’s K-12 Schools. By Steve Westly, California State Controller. (State Controller’s Office, Sacramento, California) October 2006. 33 p.

Full Text at: www.sco.ca.gov/aud/k-12audit/2006/k-12aud.pdf

[“The financial health of most of California’s 978 school districts and 58 county offices of education improved during FY 2004-05. As a whole, California’s local educational agencies received more money than they spent, an improvement over last fiscal year. The number of districts and county offices of education filing negative or qualified interim certifications decreased, from 79 in FY 2004-05 to 46 in FY 2005-06. In addition, the number of school districts engaged in multi-year deficit spending decreased, from 339 districts in FY 2003-04 to 228 districts in FY 2004-05.’]

[Request #S71226]

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STUDENT AID

Government Loans and Grants Cover Less of College Costs. By Joydeep Roy, Economic Policy Institute. Economic Snapshots. (The Institute, Washington, DC) November 15, 2006. 2 p.

Full Text at: www.epi.org/printer.cfm?id=2557&content_type=1&nice_name=webfeatures_snapshots_20061115

[“[The snapshot] looks at the increasing percentage of student loans borrowed through banks and other private institutions, which often carry higher interest rates than subsidized Stafford loans and can be difficult to acquire for poor and minority students.... Federal grants and subsidized loans are covering less of the tuition bill. Pell Grants, one of the largest sources of federal help for low-income college students, have not kept up with college prices at four-year public and private colleges over the last 20 years.” EPI News (November 2006) 1.]

[Request #S71227]

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WORKFORCE PREPARATION

America's Perfect Storm: Three Forces Changing Our Nation's Future. By Irwin Kirsch and others, Educational Testing Service. (ETS, Princeton, New Jersey) January 2007.

["This study makes an effort ... to project a disturbing future, including a sharply declining middle class in addition to the lost ground in literacy.... U.S. workers may be significantly less literate in 2030 than they are today. The reason: Most baby boomers will be retiring and a large wave of less-educated immigrants will be moving into the workforce.... The report's author and others suggest increasing attention and resources to early childhood education, to the social factors that affect young children, to continuing adult education, and to programs that keep kids from dropping out of school and address the achievement gap." Christian Science Monitor (February 6, 2007).]

Full Report. 34 p.
http://www.ets.org/Media/Education_Topics/pdf/AmericasPerfectStorm.pdf

Executive Summary. 6 p.
http://www.ets.org/Media/Education_Topics/pdf/ExecSummAmPerfectStorm.pdf

[Request #S71228]

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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, (January 2007 - February 2007).

[Includes: "College transfer students' degree success;" "Trends in school choice;" "Judge scuttles mayor's school takeover plan;" "Extra pay urged at poor Massachusetts schools;" "Teaching and California's future;" "California children less likely to succeed;" "No Child Left Behind achievement gaps;" "Holes in school accountability;" "Innovations in successful charter schools;" "Criticism of UC's expansion planning;" "Enrollment in early childhood education;" "California infant/toddler program guidelines;" "Promise of preschool in California;" "Effects of preschool expenditures on 4th grade test scores;" "Parent involvement and school readiness;" "Improving higher-ed accountability;" "Accelerating Latino success in higher education;" "Keeping college affordable;" "Pre-kindergarten expansion and community providers;" "Transitions for young special needs children;" "Cultural competence in out-of-school programs;" "Partnerships between Head Start and state pre-k;" and others.]

[Request #S71229]

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