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Published in Print: November 21, 2001, as Report Roundup

Report Roundup

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Graduation-Rate Data Called Too Optimistic

The high school graduation rate is much lower for U.S. students, especially minority students, than federal statistics suggest, concludes a report released last week.

Federal statistics on graduation are "overly optimistic," in part because of the "confusing, inconsistent, and sometimes misleading" way in which the rates are calculated, according to the report.

The Manhattan Institute, a think tank based in New York City, and the Washington-based Black Alliance for Educational Options, a pro-voucher advocacy group, sponsored the study.

The National Center for Education Statistics, an arm of the U.S. Department of Education, reported that the graduation rate in 1998 was 86 percent.

But the Manhattan Institute-BAEO report suggests the rate is closer to 74 percent.

The rate for white students, the report estimates, is 78 percent, while it is 56 percent for African-Americans and 54 percent for Hispanics.

—Kevin Bushweller

Technology Standards



For More Info
Read the standards, from Technology Standards for School Administrators. (Can be viewed in html or download a portable document file; the pdf version requires Adobe's Acrobat Reader.)

A national coalition of education and technology leaders recently released a report detailing technology-leadership guidelines for school administrators.

The report, "Technology Standards for School Administrators," lists six standards for what district-level and building-level administrators should know about integrating and managing technology in schools.

The six areas are leadership, vision, learning, teaching, assessment, and evaluation. Each standard has performance indicators as well as specific tasks related to the standard.

Before writing the new standards, the coalition received advice from more than 2,000 education administrators, policymakers, and technology-industry representatives.

—Rhea R. Borja

Early-Childhood Issues



A shortage of well-trained child-care workers, a lack of regulations for child-care facilities, and the inability of some parents to afford better child care are just some of the barriers that are preventing children from receiving the high-quality care they need, a foundation report says.

Released last month by the Los Altos, Calif.-based David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the report analyzes why infants and toddlers are not getting the kind of child care should, what employers could do to help, and what the federal government and state policymakers are doing to fill the void.

—Kevin Bushweller

Technology Solutions

School officials who want to learn more about the nuts and bolts of education technology have a new report to guide them.

The report, "Technology Solutions for Schools," tells technology directors how to deal with infrastructure needs, systems management, and security and environmental issues.

More information about the report is available online at www.asbointl.org.

—Rhea R. Borja

After-School Programs



Communities attempting to provide meaningful after-school programs for young people should look to the Teen Outreach Program, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and Quantum Opportunities as good examples to follow.After-School Programs: Communities attempting to provide meaningful after-school programs for young people should look to the Teen Outreach Program, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and Quantum Opportunities as good examples to follow.

That's one of the recommendations in a book-length report from the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine, called "Community Programs to Promote Youth Development," (click on link above to read).

—Darcia Harris Bowman

Race and Education

As schools spend time and money addressing the demands of high-stakes testing, school security, and other priorities, they are failing to provide the resources necessary to raise the quality of teaching and improve the classroom environment for minority youngsters, a recent report argues.

Race and Education: As schools spend time and money addressing the demands of high- stakes testing, school security, and other priorities, they are failing to provide the resources necessary to raise the quality of teaching and improve the classroom environment for minority youngsters, a recent report argues.

"Racial Profiling and Punishment in U.S. Public Schools"—released last month by the Applied Research Center, an Oakland, Calif.-based public- policy, educational, and research institute—recommends eliminating high school exit exams and "zero tolerance" policies, refocusing resources to directly benefit classrooms, and developing report cards that break down data on achievement for different racial and ethnic groups.

—Kathleen Kennedy Manzo

Language-Minority Students



Schools around the world should pay more attention to how students can benefit from instruction in their native languages as the basis for acquiring the official languages of their adopted countries, the Center for Applied Linguistics concludes in a report.

Language-Minority Students: Schools around the world should pay more attention to how students can benefit from instruction in their native languages as the basis for acquiring the official languages of their adopted countries, the Center for Applied Linguistics concludes in a report.

In "Expanding Educational Opportunity in Linguistically Diverse Societies," the Washington-based research center profiles educational programs in 13 countries that use native-language instruction for children whose first language is not the same as the official languages of their countries. For example, a national program in Bolivia provides instruction to indigenous children in their native languages of Quechua, Aymara, or Guaraní as well as Spanish.

The 115-page report is available online (see link above).

—Mary Ann Zehr

New American Schools

The prediction that the nonprofit corporation New American Schools would foster major changes in the nation's public schools has turned out to be more hope than reality, a report suggests.

New American Schools: The prediction that the nonprofit corporation New American Schools would foster major changes in the nation's public schools has turned out to be more hope than reality, a report suggests.

Released last month by the Washington-based Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, the report covers how New American Schoolsan Arlington, Va.-based group that promotes a set of specific school reform models—got started, the difficulties it has had in making its designs work in schools, and how much change it has brought about.

—Kevin Bushweller

Urban Parents' Opinions



A report that compares the views of charter, private, and public school parents in Dayton, Ohio, concludes that all of them support major changes in the current system of public education.

The authors of "Dayton Education in 2001: The Views of Citizens and Parents" picked the city for the survey because it is a "typical American city—and a microcosm of the changes taking place in urban education today."

Dayton has 13 charter schools serving nearly 4,000 students, the report points out, and it is home to a privately financed voucher program that serves about 1,000 children from poor families.

The study, conducted by the Washington-based Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, is available online (see link above).

—Kevin Bushweller

Vol. 21, Issue 12, Page 10

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