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Report Round Up: September 30, 2011

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September 30, 2011 07:34 pm


Check out this week’s education-related reports!

Trends in Chicago’s Schools Across Three Eras of Reform University of Chicago
This report from the Chicago Consortium on School Research found that in 20 years of near-constant reform efforts, Chicago’s elementary school students have made few gains, high school students have advanced, and the achievement gap between poor and rich areas has widened, contradicting impressions created by years of Chicago Public Schools testing data. The report examined performance across three eras of reform over the last two decades — a span including the Argie Johnson, Paul Vallas and Arne Duncan regimes. Researchers for the University of found that most publicly available data measuring the success of public schools in Chicago did not provide an accurate picture of progress.

Teaching the Movement: The State of Civil Rights Education 2011 Southern Poverty Law Center
This study examined state standards and curriculum requirements related to the study of the modern civil rights movement for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It found that ashocking number of states – 35 – received grades of “F.” Sixteen states, where local officials set specific policies and requirements for their school districts, have no requirements at all for teaching about the movement.  Only three states received a grade of “A” – Alabama, New York and Florida – and even these states have considerable room for improvement.

Time is the Enemy Complete College America
Growing numbers of college students are in school part time, and they face increasingly long odds of ever graduating, according to this report. It includes data on full- and part-time students at public colleges and universities in 33 states, including California. The report found that students who are part-time and not full-time in college are more likely to dropout.

STEM Survey Microsoft
This survey of college students studying science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) decided on that career path early in their high school careers. Almost four in five college students who are pursuing a STEM-related degree say they decided to go into their field in high school or earlier; about one in five say they decided in middle school or earlier.  More than half of male students surveyed say that games and toys they played with as a child and the school clubs they joined initially sparked their interest in the field. For 35 percent of females, games and toys were also significant, but about half of female students surveyed say they are pursuing STEM because they want to “make a difference.”


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