Teaching

Requiring Students To Volunteer May Be Overkill

By Debra Viadero — December 16, 1998 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Schools don’t need to force students to volunteer in their communities, new national data from the U.S. Department of Education suggest. The key to kindling a spirit of community service in a school may be simply to make those kinds of opportunities available.

The data come from “The Condition of Education 1998,” a compendium of educational statistics published by the department’s National Center on Education Statistics each year.

Besides information on volunteer activities, the 379-page report includes new and previously published data on academic performance, homework habits, college-going rates, and dropout rates.

Although dating from 1996, the data on community-service participation are new to the report this year. They show that rates of volunteering in schools that arrange, but do not require, community-service activities for their students are almost as high as those in schools that require and arrange volunteer projects.

In both kinds of schools, just over half of 6th to 12th graders had spent some time volunteering.

Rates were lowest in schools that required community service but did not help place students in an activity. Less than one-fifth of students in those schools had clocked any volunteer hours.

Among the report’s other findings:

  • Between 1984 and 1996, the proportion of high school students taking Advanced Placement exams more than doubled, rising from an average of 50 out of 1,000 students to 131 out of 1,000.

  • Despite the recent national attention given to school violence, the percentage of high school seniors who reported having been victimized in some way at school has changed little since 1976.

  • From 1971 to 1997, the percentage of 25- to 29-year-olds who finished high school rose from 78 to 87 percent.

Single copies of the report can be obtained for free from the Education Department at (877) 433-7827. The report number is NCES 98-018. Excerpts are also available on the World Wide Web at nces.ed.gov.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the December 16, 1998 edition of Education Week as Requiring Students To Volunteer May Be Overkill

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
Student Well-Being Webinar
Start Strong With Solid SEL Implementation: Success Strategies for the New School Year
Join Satchel Pulse to learn why implementing a solid SEL program at the beginning of the year will deliver maximum impact to your students.
Content provided by Satchel Pulse
Teaching Live Online Discussion Seat at the Table: How Can We Help Students Feel Connected to School?
Get strategies for your struggles with student engagement. Bring questions for our expert panel. Help students recover the joy of learning.
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
Science Webinar
Real-World Problem Solving: How Invention Education Drives Student Learning
Hear from student inventors and K-12 teachers about how invention education enhances learning, opens minds, and preps students for the future.
Content provided by The Lemelson Foundation

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

Teaching Opinion The School Year Has Ended. What Are Some Lessons to Close Out Next Year?
Before teachers know it, the 2022-23 school year will be over. Plan early on the best ways to accomplish that.
1 min read
Illustration of a young person walking into the bright horizon
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Teaching Opinion Classroom Management Starts With Student Engagement
Teachers in the know offer reams of advice about tackling one of the toughest tasks facing educators.
3 min read
Image of a teacher in a classroom full of kids.
Getty
Teaching Teaching Tips for Reaching Introverts and Extroverts
Teachers can look to technology for help in reaching big talkers and their quieter peers.
4 min read
Young boy using laptop
Courtney Hale/E+/Getty
Teaching Opinion Schools Just Let Out, But What Are the Best Ways to Begin the Coming Year?
The No. 1 piece of advice from teachers: Get to know your students.
2 min read
Photo illustration of colorful school supplies
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty Images