Education

Report Roundup

February 25, 2004 4 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

For-Proft Education Firms Pick Up More Schools

The number of public schools managed by for-profit education management companies continues to grow, according to a report documenting the trend.

“Profiles of For-Profit Education Mangagement Firms,” from the Commercialism in Education Research Unit. (Requires Adobe’s Acrobat Reader.)

This school year, 51 education management companies, or EMOs, run 463 public schools, which enroll 200,400 students in 28 states and the District of Columbia, the report says. That’s an increase from 13 EMOs managing 135 schools in 15 states five years ago.

In most cases, the schools run by EMOs are charters, says the report by the Commercialism in Education Research Unit, an arm of the Education Policy Studies Laboratory at Arizona State University. Of the total number of schools run by such companies, 81 percent are charter schools. That’s a jump from 74 percent in 2002-03.

The study also examines the role of EMOs in managing online schools. Four for-profit companies manage 17 such virtual schools, enrolling more than 10,500 students in 11 states, according to the study.

—Rhea R. Borja

Economic Impact

No nation in the world has achieved sustained economic growth without attaining near-universal basic education for its people, concludes a report released last week.

“Teach a Child, Transform a Nation,” from the Basic Education Coalition. (Requires Adobe’s Acrobat Reader.)

The report—commissioned by the Washington-based Basic Education Coalition, an umbrella group of 19 private and nongovernmental development and relief organizations—found that countries that improve literacy rates by 20 percent to 30 percent see corresponding gross-domestic-product growth of 8 percent to 16 percent. In addition, the report notes that as secondary school enrollments increase, nations tend to become more politically stable.

—Kevin Bushweller

Technology Evaluation

A study of a Pennsylvania school district in which education technology was significantly upgraded through a state- sponsored “Digital School District” program has found that the infusion of technology had unintended drawbacks.

“Quaker Valley Digital School District: Early Effects and Plans for Future Evaluation,” from the Rand CORP. (Requires Adobe’s Acrobat Reader.)

The RAND Corp., a nonprofit research organization based in Santa Monica, Calif., conducted the study. RAND researchers found that—contrary to the expectation that the availability of more technology would give teachers more time to spend on instruction—teachers in the 2,000-student Quaker Valley school district reported that increased clerical and management demands caused by the new technologies inevitably took time away from instruction.

The program supplies laptop computers to students in grades 3-12, provides wireless Internet connections in district buildings, and provides wireless connections in students’ homes.

Among other findings, the report notes that students would show up for class without their laptops, forcing teachers to spend additional time planning alternative activities that could be performed without computers. Home Internet connections also suffered many technical problems, the report says.

—Kevin Bushweller

Adult Education

Difficulties that have plagued urban secondary schools for years—such as students’ lack of motivation, behavior problems, and learning disabilities—may be shifting to adult education programs, concludes a report.

“An Exploratory Case Study of 16-20 Year-Old Students in Adult Education Programs,” from the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. (Requires Adobe’s Acrobat Reader.)

Conducted by the Center for Advanced Study of Education at the City University of New York, the study examined five adult education programs, run by five school districts in various places, and serving about 72,000 adult students.

The report suggests that the enrollment of larger numbers of recent high school dropouts, those ages 16 to 20, in adult education programs may be contributing to the problems.

—Kevin Bushweller

Student Attitudes

After decades of decline, interest in politics among the nation’s college freshmen has continued to rise in recent years, according to a survey by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA’s graduate school of education and information studies.

Findings from the “The American Freshman: National Norms for Fall 2003" are available from the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA’s graduate school of education and information studies.

The survey—which University of California, Los Angeles, researchers conducted last fall, drawing responses from 276,449 college freshmen at 413 U.S. colleges and universities—found that 33.9 percent of students felt that “keeping up to date with political affairs” was a “very important” life goal, compared with a record low of 28.1 percent in 2000.

—Kevin Bushweller

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Education Insights with Actionable Data to Create More Personalized Engagement
The world has changed during this time of pandemic learning, and there is a new challenge faced in education regarding how we effectively utilize the data now available to educators and leaders. In this session
Content provided by Microsoft
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Accelerate Learning with Project-Based Learning
Earlier this year, the George Lucas Educational Foundation released four new studies highlighting how project-based learning (PBL) helps accelerate student learning—across age groups, multiple disciplines, and different socio-economic statuses. With this year’s emphasis on unfinished
Content provided by SmartLab Learning
School & District Management Live Online Discussion Principal Overload: How to Manage Anxiety, Stress, and Tough Decisions
According to recent surveys, more than 40 percent of principals are considering leaving their jobs. With the pandemic, running a school building has become even more complicated, and principals' workloads continue to grow. If we

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education California Makes Ethnic Studies a High School Requirement
California is among the first in the nation to require students to take a course in ethnic studies to get a diploma starting in 2029-30.
4 min read
FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2020, file photo, Democratic Assembly members, from left, James Ramos, Chris Holden Jose Medina, and Rudy Salas, Jr., right, huddle during an Assembly session in Sacramento, Calif. Medina's bill to make ethnic studies a high school requirement was signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
Education California Requires Free Menstrual Products in Public Schools
The move comes as women’s rights advocates push nationwide for affordable access to pads, tampons, and other items.
1 min read
Tammy Compton restocks tampons at Compton's Market, in Sacramento, Calif., on June 22, 2016. California public schools and colleges must stock their restrooms with free menstrual products under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.
Tammy Compton restocks tampons at Compton's Market, in Sacramento, Calif., on June 22, 2016. California public schools and colleges must stock their restrooms with free menstrual products under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP
Education Florida to Dock School District Salaries for Requiring Masks
Florida is set to dock salaries and withhold funding from local school districts that defied Gov. Ron DeSantis' ban on mask mandates.
2 min read
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at the Doral Academy Preparatory School in Doral, Fla.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at the Doral Academy Preparatory School in Doral, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Education More Than 120,000 U.S. Kids Had Caregivers Die During Pandemic
The toll has been far greater among Black and Hispanic Americans, a new study suggests.
3 min read
FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021 file photo, a funeral director arranges flowers on a casket before a service in Tampa, Fla. According to a study published Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, by the medical journal Pediatrics, the number of U.S. children orphaned during the COVID-19 pandemic may be larger than previously estimated, and the toll has been far greater among Black and Hispanic Americans. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)