Summary of Findings

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The Kentucky Institute for Education Research, a private, nonprofit group based in Frankfort, published a review last year of the more than 500 studies conducted on the state's landmark education reform program.

According to the institute, these studies suggest that:

  • Students are writing more and better and are increasingly involved in problem-solving at all levels of schooling--elementary, middle, and high school.
  • Teachers rate children in the state's preschool program as significantly better prepared for kindergarten than those who did not attend a preschool. They also perform better in elementary school on tests measuring their language and mathematics abilities.
  • A significant proportion of teachers have not embraced-or have misunderstood-the beliefs supporting multiage programs for students in kindergarten through 3rd grade.
  • Teachers across the state worry that the basics of spelling, punctuation, grammar, and mathematics computation are being neglected as a result of the reform program.
  • The gap between the state's richer and poorer districts has been cut by more than half.
  • Eighty percent of the students who participated for at least six days in new extended school-services programs for struggling students improved their letter grades in a primary subject.
  • Even though professional-development opportunities for teachers have increased, few of those training experiences have focused on improving educators' knowledge of the subject matter they teach.
  • The family-resource and youth-service centers required in districts by the reform law are making progress and moving from Identifying students' problems to solving them.

Vol. 17, Issue 18, Page 39

Published in Print: January 14, 1998, as Summary of Findings
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