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Published in Print: May 19, 2004, as Report Roundup

Report Roundup

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Resources Said Unequal 50 Years After Brown

Half a century after the decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka struck down segregated systems of schooling, education resources for most minority children remain "grossly unequal" to those for whites, concludes a state-by-state analysis released last week.

For More Info
Review the state-by-state analysis from "A Dream Deferred." Available from The Education Trust. (The state data analysis requires Adobe's Acrobat Reader.)

The Education Trust, a Washington-based research and advocacy group, documents in the report that African-American and Latino children receive less than their white counterparts when it comes to teacher quality, access to a rigorous curriculum, and state and local education funding.

The analysis details achievement gaps within and among states, and points out the states that have made the greatest improvement in narrowing the gaps between most minority students and their white peers.

In addition, the report shows the participation and success rates for different groups of students in rigorous courses such as Advanced Placement classes, and examines differences in high school and college success among racial and ethnic groups.

—Rhea R. Borja

Vending Machines

The vast majority of drinks and snacks sold in middle and high school vending machines are junk food, concludes a national survey released last week.

For More Info

Seventy-one percent of drinks and 85 percent of snacks in a survey of 1,420 vending machines in 251 schools were of poor nutritional value, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Washington-based health- advocacy group that published the study.

Candy made up 42 percent and chips 30 percent of food sold in school vending machines, researchers found. In contrast, fruits or vegetables constituted only one-half of 1 percent of the items sold in the machines.

Soda and other sweetened drinks constituted 71 percent of the drinks available to students in the vending machines. In contrast, water, diet soda, fruit juices with at least 50 percent real juice, and low-fat milk amounted to 27 percent of the drink items sold.

—Rhea R. Borja

Teenage Pregnancy

For More Info
Read the report, "State of the World’s Mothers 2004," from Save the Children. (The full report requires Adobe's Acrobat Reader.)

The expansion of in-school and after-school literacy programs, particularly in rural areas of the United States, is one way to decrease the number of girls having children at a young age, according to a report from Save the Children, an international humanitarian organization.

The report identifies places around the world where early motherhood is the most common and where risks to both the mothers and their babies are the highest. It also urges the Bush administration and Congress to increase spending for global basic education and maternal-health and family-planning programs in developing countries.

—Linda Jacobson

Global Goals

Education goals adopted at various international meetings calling for all countries to achieve universal primary schooling and equity between boys and girls in schooling by 2015 are unrealistic, a working paper by the Washington-based Center for Global Development suggests.

The paper characterizes as utopian such targets as the Millennium Development Goals on primary schooling and gender parity. It says that economic conditions of countries and levels of parental education determine the enrollment of children in schools more than education policy interventions do.

—Mary Ann Zehr

Philanthropy Evaluation

A new report examines how philanthropic organizations can influence public- policy changes that will increase student achievement, what the groups can do to help take successful local programs and copy them nationwide, and how they can sustain programs over time since most grants eventually run out.

Produced by Grantmakers for Education—a Portland, Ore.-based organization that provides information, professional development, and networking opportunities for foundations, corporate-giving programs, and individual donors—suggests ideas on evaluating the results of grants.

—Kevin Bushweller

Educational Technology

Ten years after it was founded, IBM’s Reinventing Education initiative continues to involve dozens of school districts and states, along with a growing number of sites overseas, in using technology to improve student learning, an analysis of the program says.

The research summary, released last month by the Center for Children and Technology, an arm of the New York City-based Education Development Center, concludes that the project stays alive because of an intense style of partnership that is focused on sustained improvements.

—Andrew Trotter

Parent-Teacher Divide

For More Info
Read results from the parent-teacher survey, "Your Child," from the Michigan Education Association.

Michigan parents believe they provide the basics that their children need to do well in school, but teachers in the state disagree. The teachers say that more than two-thirds of their students could benefit from more sleep, and that a third come to school without having eaten breakfast.

Those results were released this month as the third part of a three-installment survey of 1,000 Michigan parents or guardians and 1,018 teachers. The survey was sponsored by a consortium of Michigan education and child-advocacy groups called Your Child.

—Bess Keller

Vol. 23, Issue 37, Page 18

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