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My Recent Blog Posts – Education Research

Education Research Report

Reasons for Attending College Affect Students’ Academic Success
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 22 hours ago
Students not performing well academically? Look no further—the answer may be in their motivation for attending college in the first place. Researchers at the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester found that student motivation for attending college is related to academic success. And, they uncover unique relationships that exist between the different types of student motivation—as conceptualized by Self-Determination Theory (SDT)—and academic achievement and persistence. Their study tracked the relationship between student motivation for attending college and the… more »

Student Prosocial Behavior and Racial Composition in Urban Middle Schools

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 1 day ago
Encouraging student prosocial behavior (PSB) is a challenge for urban middle schools. The issue of student behavior is a racialized one, as Black students generally evince more negative behavioral outcomes than their White peers. This racial “behavior gap” may be conditional on the school environment. This study examines how one element of the school environment—racial composition—affects PSB, drawing on a sample that includes approximately 2,000 Black students and 1,400 White students in 11 urban middle schools in the Southeastern United States. Results of multilevel regression… more »

Teacher Preparation Programs Face More Scrutiny as Common Core Era Begins

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 2 days ago
*New analysis points to the importance of training and transparent assessments of teacher preparation programs as keys to improving quality* Teacher education has faced increasing criticism in recent years, sparked by uneven student achievement across the U.S. In a new analysis, Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), examines the extent to which teacher education has moved away from the rigors of specific training in favor of ambiguous personal and social goals that leave new teachers unprepared. “21st-Century Teacher Education: Ed schools don’t g… more »

“The Nation’s Report Card: Economics 2012”
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 2 days ago
Economic literacy is vital for functioning effectively in today’s society. Both knowledge of economic concepts and ideas and the ability to apply basic economic analysis to solve everyday problems are necessary for an individual to function as a productive member of society—as a worker, a saver, an investor, a consumer, or an active citizen. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) monitors students’ attainment of these skills and knowledge with its twelfth-grade economics assessment. First administered in 2006, the NAEP economics assessment measures twelfth-graders’ … more »

Troubling Patterns of Teacher Assignments Within Schools

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 2 days ago
Even within the same school, lower-achieving students often are taught by less-experienced teachers, as well as by teachers who received their degrees from less-competitive colleges, according to a new study by researchers from the Stanford Graduate School of Education and the World Bank. The study, using data from one of the nation’s largest school districts, also shows that student class assignments vary within schools by a teacher’s gender and race. In a paper published in the April issue of *Sociology of Education*, the researchers present the results of a comprehensive analysi… more »

Claims on Mayoral Governance Don’t Stand Up to Scrutiny
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 4 days ago
A recent Center for American Progress report purports to find that school districts led by city mayors are raising student achievement while improving the districts’ fiscal health. A new review finds some useful information in the report, but says it is too flawed to rely on for policy guidance. The report, Mayoral Governance and Student Achievement: How Mayor-Led Districts are Improving School and Student Performance, by Kenneth K. Wong and Francis X. Shen, was reviewed for the Think Twice think tank review project by Katrina E. Bulkley, Professor of Educational Leadership at Mon… more »

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 1 week ago
Schools seeking to boost parental involvement will need to tailor their approaches to match parents’ differing views and concerns, according to a new report from Public Agenda. The report, “Ready, Willing and Able? Kansas City Parents Talk About How to Improve Schools and What They Can Do to Help,” indicates that parental involvement means very different things to different parents, with some drawn to advocacy and school reform while others are more comfortable participating in time-honored tasks like helping with school clubs, sports and bake sales. While the research, underwritt… more »

The “Teacher Quality Gap” and Seniority Provisions in Collective Bargaining Agreements
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 1 week ago
For at least two decades, studies have demonstrated that the least experienced and credentialed teachers are concentrated in poor, minority, and low-performing schools. Some blame provisions in collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) between teachers unions and school districts that favor senior teachers. Seniority preference rules, they say, exacerbate the “teacher quality gap” by allowing experienced teachers to transfer. Using data from Florida, the authors of this study analyze whether and how CBAs influence the distribution of teacher quality within school districts, paying … more »

“Academic Redshirting” in Kindergarten
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 1 week ago
This study uses two nationally representative data sets to estimate the prevalence of kindergarten “redshirting”—the decision to delay a child’s school entry. We find that between 4% and 5.5% of children delay kindergarten, a lower number than typically reported in popular and academic accounts. Male, White, and high-SES children are most likely to delay kindergarten, and schools serving larger proportions of White and high-income children have far higher rates of delayed entry. Thher is no evidence that children with lower cognitive or social abilities at age 4 are more likely t… more »

Learning disabilities affect up to 10 percent of children

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 1 week ago
Up to 10 per cent of the population are affected by specific learning disabilities (SLDs), such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and autism, translating to 2 or 3 pupils in every classroom according to a new study. The study – by academics at UCL and Goldsmiths – also indicates that children are frequently affected by more than one learning disability. The research, published today in Science, helps to clarify the underlying causes of learning disabilities and the best way to tailor individual teaching and learning for affected individuals and education professionals. Specific learning di… more »

Child’s counting comprehension may depend on objects counted

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 1 week ago
Concrete objects — such as toys, tiles and blocks — that students can touch and move around, called manipulatives, have been used to teach basic math skills since the 1980s. Use of manipulatives is based on the long-held belief that young children’s thinking is strictly concrete in nature, so concrete objects are assumed to help them learn math concepts. However, new research from the University of Notre Dame suggests that not all manipulatives are equal. The types of manipulatives may make a difference in how effectively a child learns basic counting and other basic math concepts… more »