Subject: Studies in the News 07-26 (May 23, 2007)


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


Contents This Week

Introductory Material EDUCATION
   Leadership that brings results
   API scores improve
   Math and reading scores lagging
   Freshman not prepared for college
   High school academic expectations
   Schools need to emphasize writing instruction
   Caution urged in use of college-entry tests
   Testing companies under scrutiny
   Class of 2007 doing well on exit exam
   Exit exam results challenged
   Limited English proficiency students
   CSU freshmen lag in math and English
   More college faculty hold part-time positions
   Higher education pay inequalities
   Court rejects LA mayor's school takeover
   Governors want more control over NCLB
   Benefits of education for native peoples
   Despite troubles, states praise Reading First
   Reading First paying off
   Audit of Reading First Program
   School governance and finance
   Utah legislation establishes universal school vouchers
   Pell grants can lead to higher tuition
   Improving teacher retention
   Generation Y teachers
   Survey of teachers and principals
   Performance-pay for teachers
   K-12 online learning
PREVIOUSLY IN STUDIES IN THE NEWS
   Studies in the News, January - May 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 Power to Transform: Leadership that Brings Learning and Schooling to Life. By Stephanie P. Marshall. (Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, California) 2006. 272 p.

["Stephanie Marshall strongly believes that education is in dire need of transformation. The author explores education transformation and attempts to reconnect learning and schooling to life providing an outlook on how education can be transformed and filled with enrichment." Childhood Education (June 22, 2007) 1. NOTE: The Power to Transform ... is available for loan.]

[Request #S72601]

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ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

Academic Performance Index Reports. By the California Department of Education. (The Department, Sacramento, California) 2006. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ap/apireports.asp

[“More California schools are performing well on the state Academic Performance Index than ever before, with 27 percent scoring 800 or above.... Nearly 24 percent of middle schools met the target compared with just 20.6 percent the year before. And 13.6 percent of high schools met it compared with 12 percent the previous year. The statewide API average for all students was 721. White and Asian students scored 801 and 847 respectively. Black and Hispanic or Latino students scored a 635 and 656 respectively. English learners scored a 637, and students with disabilities scored a 518.” San Francisco Chronicle (March 28, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S72602]

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The Nation’s Report Card: 12th Grade Reading and Mathematics, 2005. National Assessment of Educational Progress. By the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education. (The Center, Washington, DC) February 2007. 28 p.

Full Text at: nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/main2005/2007468.pdf

[“American high school students are taking tougher classes, getting better grades and, apparently, learning less than their counterparts of 15 years ago. Those were the discouraging implications of two reports assessing the performance of students in public and private schools. Math scores posed a sort of mystery because the Department switched to a new test in 2005 that wasn't directly comparable to those used before. Still, the results of the new test didn't inspire confidence: Fewer than one-quarter of the 12th graders tested scored in the 'proficient' range.” Los Angeles Times (February 23, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S72603]

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CURRICULUM STANDARDS

College Readiness: ACT National Curriculum Survey, 2005-2006. By American College Testing. (ACT, Iowa City, Iowa) 2007. 100 p.

Full Text at: www.act.org/path/policy/pdf/NationalCurriculumSurvey2006.pdf

[“What students learn in high school doesn't match with what they need to know as college freshmen. Professors believe high school teachers should cover fewer topics with more depth to prepare students for college. In writing, college instructors place more emphasis on the fundamentals -– basic grammar, sentence structure and punctuation -– than their high school counterparts. High school teachers valued exposure to advanced math content to a greater degree than college faculty, who placed more emphasis on understanding the fundamental underlying math skills and processes.” San Diego Union-Tribune (April 10, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S72604]

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Closing the Expectations Gap: An Annual 50-State Progress Report on the Alignment of High School Policies with the Demands of College and Work. By Achieve, Inc. (Achieve, Washington, DC) 2007. 32 p.

Full Text at: www.achieve.org/files/50-state-07-Final.pdf

[“One-quarter of all states have implemented significantly tougher graduation requirements, and virtually every state has taken steps to ratchet up expectations for high school students, according to a national survey of high school reform efforts. Some of the most dramatic progress has been made in the area of graduation requirements, where 13 states, up from just two in 2004, now require high school students to complete a college- and work-ready curriculum in order to earn a diploma.” Achieve Press Release (April 18, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S72605]

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Making Writing Instruction a Priority in America’s Middle and High Schools: Policy Brief. By the Alliance for Excellent Education. (The Alliance, Washington, DC) April 2007. 7 p.

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

[“The majority of American employers now consider writing proficiency to be an essential skill that is becoming ever more critical as the information-based economy continues to expand. Managerial and professional jobs have always required some amount of writing, but that requirement now extends to technical, clerical, and support positions as well, and to sectors ranging from manufacturing to construction, government, and the service industries. Evidence suggests, however, that few students have the level of writing proficiency that their jobs demand. As a result, private companies are spending an estimated $3.1 billion per year -— and state governments are investing another $200 million -— to provide writing instruction to their employees.”]

[Request #S72606]

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EDUCATIONAL TESTING

Aligned Expectations: A Closer Look at College Admission and Placement Tests. By Achieve, Inc. (Achieve, Washington, DC) April 2007. 68 p.

Full Text at: www.achieve.org/files/Admissions_and_Placement_FINAL2.pdf

[“States that are considering incorporating the ACT or SAT into their state assessment and accountability systems should conduct independent alignment studies first and then work with the ACT and the College Board to supplement the assessments as needed.... Recommendations include: using end-of-course tests to tap higher-level content and skills and place students into college courses; modify existing high school tests to measure college readiness; and use existing college-placement tests for diagnostic purposes only.” Education Week (April 11, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S72607]

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Margins of Error: The Education Testing Industry in the No Child Left Behind Era. By Thomas Toch, Education Sector. (The Sector, Washington, DC) 2006. 24 p.

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

[“[This study] reveals how factors such as the scale of standardized testing required by NCLB, competitive pressures in the testing industry, tight regulatory deadlines, a dearth of testing experts, and lax state oversight are resulting in tests that in many states undermine NCLB's pursuit of higher academic standards. The report provides recommendations for both state and federal policymakers to strengthen the nation's testing infrastructure.”]

[Request #S72608]

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Superintendent Jack O’Connell Announces Progress on High School Exit Exam for the Classes of 2006 and 2007: Press Release. By the California Department of Education (The Department, Sacramento, California) April 16, 2007. 4 p.

Full Text at: www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr07/yr07rel54.asp?print=yes

[“California students are faring slightly better this year on a test required for high school graduation. As of February, 91.4 percent of students in the class of 2007 had passed the California High School Exit Exam, up from 89.3 percent at that time last year. The report analyzed the rate of students who passed by demographic characteristics. Numbers are up for all groups. Still, gaps remain: Poor kids aren't doing as well as wealthy kids; boys aren't doing as well as girls and African-American and Hispanic students aren't doing as well as their white and Asian counterparts.” Sacramento Bee (April 16, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S72609]

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Devastating Decline in Graduation Rates Linked to Exit Exam: Press Release. By Public Advocates. (The Advocates, San Francisco, California) May 7, 2007. 3 p.

Full Text at: www.publicadvocates.org/Rogers%20Study%20Release%20050707.pdf

["California education officials put forth artificially positive results on the number of students who passed the state's controversial high school exit exam last year, according to a recent UCLA study. The analysis also concluded that about 50,000 fewer students statewide earned diplomas last year compared to previous years, raising the prospect that the exit exam requirement is pressuring students to drop out. The decline in graduation rates was most pronounced in poor, heavily minority areas, the study found.... State education officials sternly defended the exit exam, criticizing the study's methods and calculations." Los Angeles Times (May 8, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S72611]

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ENGLISH LEARNERS

No Child Left Behind Act: Education Assistance Could Help States Better Measure Progress of Students with Limited English Proficiency: Testimony. By Cornelia M. Ashby, Education, Workforce, and Income Security Issues, Government Accountability Office. Presented to the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, House Committee on Education and Labor. GAO-07-646T. (The Office, Washington, D.C.) March 23, 2007. 24 p.

Full Text at: frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/useftp.cgi?IPaddress=162.140.64.21&filename=d07646t.pdf&directory=/diskb/wais/data/gao

[“The Department of Education has offered a variety of technical assistance to help states assess students with limited English proficiency. However, Education has issued little written guidance to states on developing English language proficiency tests.... Education has offered states some flexibility in how they assess students with limited English proficiency, but officials in our study states told us that additional flexibility is needed to ensure that progress measures appropriately track the academic progress of these students.... Experts reported that research is lacking on what accommodations are effective in mitigating language barriers. Several states used native language or alternate assessments for students with limited English proficiency, but these tests are costly to develop and are not appropriate for all students."]

[Request #S72610]

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HIGHER EDUCATION

Report on College Freshman Proficiency. By the Division of Analytic Studies, California State University. (The University, Long Beach, California) March 13, 2007. Various pagings.

[“Nearly 40 percent of freshmen entering the California State University system in 2006 were not ready for college-level mathematics and 45 percent of incoming freshmen were not ready for college-level English.... The percentage of high school graduates entering CSU who are ready for college-level work has remained virtually the same over the past four years. Officials concede ‘there is no realistic likelihood of achieving the trustees' goal of 90 percent readiness in both subjects by fall 2007.’ ” San Francisco Chronicle (March 13, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S72612]

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Employees in Post-Secondary Institutions, Fall 2005 and Salaries of Full-Time Instructional Faculty, 2005-2006. By Laura G. Knapp, RTI International, and others. (National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC) March 2007. Various pagings.

Full Text at: nces.ed.gov/pubs2007/2007150.pdf

[“New data confirms what faculty leaders increasingly bemoan: The full-time, tenure-track faculty member is becoming an endangered species in American higher education. A report shows that of the 1,314,506 faculty members at colleges that award federal financial aid in fall 2005, 624,753, or 47.5 percent, were in part-time positions. That represents an increase in number and proportion from 2003, when 46.3 percent at degree-granting institutions were part timers.” Insider Higher Ed (March 28, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S72613]

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Financial Inequality in Higher Education: The Annual Report of the Economic Status of the Profession, 2006-2007. By the American Association of University Professors. (The Association, Washington, DC) 2007. 15 p.

Full Text at: www.aaup.org/NR/rdonlyres/B25BFE69-BCE7-4AC9-A644-7E84FF14B883/0/zreport.pdf

[“College professors received more pay this year, but not equality. The study points out major discrepancies in the salaries of college presidents, professors and coaches from different universities. It cites a growing trend of wealthy institutions getting wealthier and poor institutions getting poorer due to the disbursement of endowment funds. In addition to the continued pay gap between genders, some disciplines also yield lower salaries than others, and assistant professors are not getting as high of raises as senior faculty." University Wire (April 20, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S72619]

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LOS ANGELES

Rosa Mendoza, et al. v. State of California, et al. California Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District. B195835. April 17, 2007. 44 p.

Full Text at: www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B195835.PDF

[“A California law that would have given Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa substantial jurisdiction over schools in his city is unconstitutional. In affirming a lower court decision, a three-judge panel noted the California Constitution prohibits the transfer of authority over any part of a school system to entities outside of the public school system. In their unanimous decision, the judges wrote that Assembly Bill 1381 was ‘an attempt to do indirectly what the Legislature is prohibited from doing directly.’" Sacramento Bee (April 17, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S72614]

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NATIONAL STANDARDS

Joint Statement on Reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act. By the National Governor’s Association and others. (The Association, Washington, DC) April 2007. 22 p.

Full Text at: www.nga.org/Files/pdf/0704NCLBSTATEMENT.PDF

[“Renewal of the oft-criticized No Child Left Behind law is supported by the nation's governors, but they want far more authority to carry out its mandates. [Their recommendations] include allowing states to decide the most appropriate way to test students; not requiring any new tests; differentiating consequences for schools that fail to make progress by a little or a lot; rewarding schools that perform well; and giving states grants to voluntarily benchmark themselves to international standards. The governors also want fewer restrictions to consider a teacher 'highly qualified.' [They] also called for the federal government to give states enough money to adhere to the act.” Stateline.org (April 6, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S72615]

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NATIVE AMERICANS

The Path of Many Journeys: The Benefits of Higher Education for Native People and Communities. By Alisa F. Cunningham, The Institute for Higher Education Policy. (The Institute, Washington, DC) February 2007. 72 p.

Full Text at: www.usafunds.org/forms/school_lender/path_of_many_journeys.pdf

[“[This report] outlines both the challenges of college participation as well as the benefits of investing in higher education for American Indians and argues that higher education is one of the main drivers of economic and social development for all American Indian communities. It also discusses the role of tribal colleges and universities on reservations and their contribution to the well-being of tribal communities.”]

[Request #S72628]

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READING

Reading First: States Report Improvements in Reading Instruction, but Additional Procedures Would Clarify Education's Role in Ensuring Proper Implementation by States. By the U.S. Government Accountability Office. GAO-07-161. (The Office, Washington, DC) February 2007. 59 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-07-161

[“Despite irregularities in the management of Reading First, a majority of states credit the program with improving reading instruction. 69 percent of those surveyed praised the program for ‘great or very great improvement in reading instruction.’ About 80 percent said the program had vastly improved teacher training. States reported that teachers were working more systematically to build children's skills in phonics, reading aloud, vocabulary and comprehension, and that schools were devoting more time to reading, typically 90 minutes or more a day.” New York Times (March 25, 2007) A26.]

[Request #S72616]

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Reading First: Student Achievement, Teacher Empowerment, National Success. By the U.S. Department of Education. (The Department, Washington, DC) April 2007. 2 p.

Full Text at: www.ed.gov/nclb/methods/reading/readingfirst.pdf

[“Students in the [Reading First program] have improved an average of about 15 percent on tests measuring fluency over the past five years. The data indicate that students have benefited from the program, which provides grants to improve reading in kindergarten through third grade. An official said the analysis is based on results from 16 states that have the most complete data.” Washington Post (April 19, 2007) A19.]

[Request #S72617]

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The Department's Administration of Selected Aspects of the Reading First Program: Final Audit Report. By the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Education. (The Office, Washington, DC) February 2007. 43 p.

Full Text at: www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oig/auditreports/a03g0006.pdf

["The report notes that several scholars affiliated with Reading First's three 'technical-assistance centers' -- which are located at Florida State University, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Oregon -- had simultaneous relationships as authors or consultants for commercial publishers whose products have been purchased under Reading First.... The report is one in a series of critical accounts of Reading First, a $900-million-a-year component of the No Child Left Behind Act." Chronicle of Higher Education (February 27, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S72618]

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SCHOOL GOVERNANCE

Getting Down to Facts: A Research Project Examining California’s School Governance and Finance Systems. By Robert Reich, Stanford University, and others. (Institute for Research on Education Policy and Practice, Stanford, California) 2007.

["The massive, much-anticipated study says California's education system is fundamentally broken and additional funding alone won't assure that all students learn the skills they should.... Among the major findings: 1) The current funding system is 'complex and irrational' and based on outdated funding formulas. 2) Schools are overly regulated and mired in paperwork. An abundance of laws and rigid policies keep principals from concentrating on student learning. 3) Data collection is a mess. No one -- legislators, principals, nor parents -- has the information necessary to make good decisions because the state's data system is incomplete." Sacramento Bee (March 15, 2007) A3.]

Overview. 4 p.
http://irepp.stanford.edu/documents/GDF/GDF-Project-Summary-color.pdf

List of Studies. Various pagings.
http://irepp.stanford.edu/projects/cafinance-studies.htm

[Request #S71316]

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SCHOOL VOUCHERS

H.B. 148 and H.B. 178 re: Education Vouchers. Introduced by Stephen H. Urquhart, Utah House of Representatives. (Utah State Legislature, Salt Lake City, Utah) 2007.

[“Utah became the first state to sign a universal voucher law. [The law] would allow every child –- regardless of income or geography –- to receive public money to attend private school. The Legislature passed two voucher measures, the initial bill and one that amended it. The second bill does not include money to help public schools whose students leave for private schools.... A coalition including the state’s teachers union and school boards association, is trying to take the voucher decision out of lawmakers’ hands and give it to voters.” Stateline.org (April 19, 2007) 1.]

H.B. 148. 13 p.
http://le.utah.gov/~2007/bills/hbillenr/hb0148.pdf

H.B. 174. 10 p.
http://le.utah.gov/~2007/bills/hbillenr/hb0174.pdf

[Request #S72620]

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STUDENT AID

For Whom the Pell Tolls: The Response of University Tuition to Federal Grants-in-Aid. By Larry D. Singell, Jr. and Joe A. Stone, Department of Economics, University or Oregon (The University, Eugene, Oregon) 2005. 23 p.

Full Text at: darkwing.uoregon.edu/~lsingell/Pell_Bennett.pdf

["Private colleges generally respond to increases in federal Pell Grant aid by raising their tuition. The finding tends to support what is known as the 'Bennett hypothesis' -— the notion, first popularized in the 1980s by the U.S. Secretary of Education at the time, William J. Bennett, that colleges and universities tend to absorb most federal student aid by increasing their tuition revenue." Chronicle of Higher Education (March 8, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S72621]

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TEACHERS

A Possible Dream: Retaining California Teachers So All Students Learn. By Ken Futernick, Center for Teacher Quality, California State University, Sacramento. (The University, Sacramento, California) 2007. 32 p.

Full Text at: www.calstate.edu/teacherquality/documents/possible_dream.pdf

[“In California, teachers are departing the profession in alarming numbers -— 22% in four years or fewer -— but simply offering them more money won't solve the problem. The real issue is working conditions, which are the flip side of a student's learning conditions. Classroom interruptions, student discipline, increasing demands, insufficient supplies, overcrowding, unnecessary meetings, lack of support -— all play a role in burning out teachers. At high-minority and high-poverty schools, teacher turnover typically runs at 10% annually.’ Los Angeles Times (April 27, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S72622]

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Teachers: The Next Generation. By Harry K. Wong and Rosemary T. Wong, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. (The Association, Mountain View, California) April 2007. 7 p.

Full Text at: www.newteacher.com/pdf/ascd_express_wong_teachers.pdf

[“Generation Y, the 40 million people born between 1977 and 1986, is dramatically changing the composition of today's teaching staffs. Demographically, women continue to dominate the profession, but as millions of baby boomers enter retirement age, the faces of today's K-12 teachers are younger than ever.... Most young teachers are receptive to the wisdom of older, seasoned teachers. The newest generation of teachers is perhaps the most intelligent, talented, competitive -- and compulsive -- group this country has seen.”]

[Request #S72623]

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Where We Teach: The CUBE Survey of Urban School Climate. By Brian K. Perkins, Council of Urban Boards of Education. (National School Boards Association, Alexandria, Virginia) April 2007. 108 p.

Full Text at: www.nsba.org/site/docs/40500/40409.pdf

[“More than a quarter of teachers in urban school districts across the country say they don't believe their students are motivated to learn. In general, the 267 principals or assistant principals who participated tended to be more optimistic than teachers about the students and their schools.... About 35 percent of teachers nationwide report students fight a lot at their schools, compared to 12 percent of administrators. In addition, 81 percent of administrators said parents support their schools, compared with 57 percent of teachers.” San Francisco Chronicle (April 17, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S72624]

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Performance-Pay for Teachers: Designing a System That Students Deserve. By the Center for Teaching Quality. (The Center, Hillsborough, North Carolina) 2007. 52 p.

Full Text at: www.teacherleaders.org/teachersolutions/TSreport.pdf

[“A team of 18 blue-ribbon teachers released recommendations for a significant overhaul of the way teachers are paid that include rewarding them individually and in small groups for raising student achievement over time and for taking on leadership roles. In addition, the recommendations say that teachers should no longer be paid more for seniority alone or for coursework that does not translate into school or classroom improvements.” Education Week (April 11, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S72627]

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TEACHING STANDARDS

State of Online Learning in California: A Look at Current K-12 Policies and Practices. By John Watson, Evergreen Consulting Associates. (University of California College Prep Online, Oakland, California) September 2006. 54 p.

Full Text at: www.uccp.org/online/SOLC.pdf

[“An estimated 600,000 K-12 students nationwide took classes online last year -- the vast majority of them high schoolers. That's just more than 1 percent of the nation's student body, but it's four times the number of students enrolled in online classes in 2003. Some Internet classes allow students to take tests at home alone, where no one can see if they're using books or notes -- or even whether the student taking the test is the one enrolled in the class. Others offer the courses online but require students to appear for proctored exams where officials check ID. Similar variety exists in the quality of teachers, the depth of course content and the rigor of assignments in online education, say counselors who have reviewed such classes.” Sacramento Bee (October 5, 2006) A1.]

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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 - May 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 #S72626]

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