More information about the Review of Educational
is provided by the American Educational Research Association
For the report, "Evaluating Evaluations: The Case of
Parent-Involvement Programs," published last month in the Review
of Educational Research
, researchers from San Diego State
University reviewed 41 studies of parent- involvement programs that
were conducted between the early 1970s and the late 1990s. It's not
that those studies found the programs were ineffective, the
researchers conclude. Rather, they write, the research suffers from
serious design, analytical, and methodological flaws, and
better-quality studies are needed before the benefits of
parent-involvement programs can be touted.
What's more, the analysis found
that the least-prepared teachers are concentrated in the state's
neediest and lowest-performing schools. For example, schools with a
passing rate below 25 percent on the mathematics portion of the
California high school exit exam have twice as many underprepared
teachers as those with a passing rate above 50 percent.
According to the seven-year study, the newer schools as a group
produced better attendance, lower rates of violent incidents,
superior reading and writing scores, and higher graduation and
college-going rates than the single, large high school they replaced.
The project, which began in 1992 and is known as the Coalition Campus
Schools Project, involved carving up Julia Richman High School into a
network of small schools that shared common features.
An analysis of U.S. Census data by the
Washington-based Pew Hispanic Center, which researches issues
affecting Latinos, found that between 1970 and 2000, the percentage
of Hispanic immigrants age 25 or older who had completed only a high
school education doubled, to 41 percent.
Many school districts in SREB states cut back
summer school programs for high-achieving students in order to have
more resources for programs to help failing students.
More than three-quarters of
teenagers witness teasing or bullying of classmates who are gay or
thought to be gay, according to a 2002 survey released this month by
the National Mental Health Association.
percent of the respondents expressed disapproval of the maltreatment
of those students, and 5 percent said they try to defend those who
—Darcia Harris Bowman
Drug Abuse More information on the survey is available from
Monitoring the Future
.) Fewer teenagers are taking the popular "club
drug" Ecstasy, and cigarettes and alcohol use also continues to
decline among adolescents, according to the latest results of an
This annual Monitoring the Future survey
for 2002 tracked substance abuse among 44,000 students in the 8th,
10th, and 12th grades. Results showed the first-ever drop in the use
of Ecstasy, a stimulant and hallucinogen the survey has been tracking
—Darcia Harris Bowman
Mercury and Autism The study is available to registered users
from The Lancet
. In a
study that adds to the debate over the origins of autism, researchers
have concluded that infants who received vaccines containing a
mercury-based preservative did not have unsafe mercury levels in
The study addresses the concern of parents
who believe that mercury caused autism in their children.
Vaccinations are given around age 2, which is also when the symptoms
of autism often first appear. But the study of