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Education Law's Impact Evaluated in Districts

The No Child Left Behind Act has had its greatest impact on school districts that were already heavily involved in state and local school improvement efforts, concludes a study about district implementation of the federal education law.

Released last week by the Washington-based Center on Education Policy, the study includes 15 case studies of school districts. The case studies are drawn from a total of 30 that will be included in a larger report on the subject, to be released in January.

Among other findings, the study discovered that some educators are worried about the impact of state budget cuts on their efforts to carry out the requirements of the law passed by Congress nearly two years ago.

—Kevin Bushweller

Academic Achievement

Two reports suggest a novel way high schools can raise test scores: Make sure students are happy, healthy, cared for, and drug-free.

For More Info
The pair of reports are available in the newsletter "Focus on Youth Development and Resiliency," from the WestEd. (Requires Adobe's Acrobat Reader.)

Put together by researchers at the San Francisco-based WestEd research agency, the studies are based on successive surveys taken from 1998 to 2002 in 1,700 California high schools. The schools that made the biggest gains in standardized-test scores over that period also tended to have low rates of substance abuse and violence, high percentages of students who exercised regularly and ate right, and school climates described as caring.

—Debra Viadero

School Commercialism

Commercial activity is alive and well in schools, but opposition from parents and advocacy groups seems to be growing, and lawmakers are listening to them, according to an annual report on the issue. This is the sixth year the Commercialism in Education Research Unit at Arizona State University has produced its report on school commercialism trends.

Corporate sponsorships, electronic marketing, and exclusive product or service agreements, among other commercial activity, increased in schools over the past year as districts looked for new ways to raise revenues in a time of tight budgets, the report says.

Yet opponents of commercialism, including parents, are becoming increasingly vocal and complaining to their state and federal representatives, according to the report.

—Rhea R. Borja

Student Diversity

Nearly 75 percent of colleges and universities in the United States include a commitment to student diversity of some form in their mission statements, but only a third consider race or ethnicity as a factor when evaluating entrance applications, according to a recent study.

The report, released by the Alexandria, Va.- based National Association for College Admission Counseling, also found that 74 percent of colleges and universities use specific recruitment activities to increase the number of applications from minority high school students.

—Kevin Bushweller

Vol. 23, Issue 7, Page 12

Published in Print: October 15, 2003, as Report Roundup
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