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School Choice Tracked for Teachers' Children

Urban public school teachers are more likely than parents overall in their cities to send their own children to private schools, according to a new study.

Published last week in "Fwd: Arresting Insights in Education," a new online publication from the Washington-based Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, the study draws on data from the 2000 U.S. Census. It found that 21.5 percent of public school teachers in the nation’s 50 largest cities had their children enrolled in private schools, compared with 17.5 percent of all parents in those cities.

Those figures compare with a nationwide private-school-going rate of 12.2 percent for all families, whether they are from urban, suburban, or rural areas. The researchers said the national rate for families of public school teachers is 10.6 percent.

The study, which was supported by the Milwaukee-based American Education Reform Council, says its findings provide evidence for giving more families choices in the schools their children attend. The study’s lead author was Denis Doyle, a well-known education writer and speaker.

—Debra Viadero

Homework Habits

More than half of high school students spend three hours or less a week on homework, reading, rehearsing, or other assignments for their classes, according to a survey of 90,530 students in 26 states.

The results are the first to come from the new High School Survey on Student Engagement, based at Indiana University Bloomington. The survey program was designed primarily to give individual schools and districts data on how connected students feel to the schools they attend.

But the aggregated results yield other interesting findings as well. They show, for instance, that students spend more time reading for pleasure online than they do reading for school assignments.


Vision Problems

A new report aims to help educators and parents reduce the number of children with undetected vision problems.

Developed by the Washington-based Center for Health and Health Care in Schools and the Vision Council of America, based in Alexandria, Va., the report summarizes the most recent research on children’s vision problems, explains the difference between an eye exam and a vision screening, describes warning signs for vision problems, and suggests ways for educators and parents to promote healthy vision.

The report points out that certain conditions—such as lazy eye and cross-eyes—can only be corrected if they are detected early.

—Kevin Bushweller

Television Content

Teenagers who watch a lot of television with sexual content are much more likely to engage in sexual activity than those who watch very few programs with such content, concludes a recent study.

The study—conducted by the Santa Monica, Calif.-based RAND Corp.—surveyed 1,792 adolescents ages 12 to 17 about their television-viewing habits and sexual activity. The adolescents were surveyed again a year later.


ADHD Treatment

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are likely to benefit from participating in more outdoor activities, a recent study suggests.

The study, published in the September issue of the American Journal of Public Health, surveyed 452 parents on the after-effects of 49 common after-school and weekend activities on their children’s ADHD symptoms.


Foreign School Fees

The fees that many countries around the world require children to pay to attend public schools are an obstacle to enrollment in primary school for many youngsters, a research paper by the World Bank concludes.

For More Info

But when such fees are abolished, it’s important for countries to have a source of revenue to replace the fees, or the quality of schooling can drop dramatically as school systems become overwhelmed, according to the paper.

It says the World Bank is reconsidering some of its past support for policies in some countries that require fees, including textbook fees, for primary school pupils.

—Mary Ann Zehr

Vol. 24, Issue 03, Page 15

Published in Print: September 15, 2004, as Report Roundup
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