Archive | September, 2014

University of Texas Arlington study: Who knew, children do best with two parents

11 Sep

Moi has been saying for decades that the optimum situation for raising children is a two-parent family for a variety of reasons. This two-parent family is an economic unit with the prospect of two incomes and a division of labor for the chores necessary to maintain the family structure. Parents also need a degree of maturity to raise children, after all, you and your child should not be raising each other.

Moi said this in Hard truths: The failure of the family:
This is a problem which never should have been swept under the carpet and if the chattering classes, politicians, and elite can’t see the magnitude of this problem, they are not just brain dead, they are flat-liners. There must be a new women’s movement, this time it doesn’t involve the “me first” philosophy of the social “progressives” or the elite who in order to validate their own particular life choices espouse philosophies that are dangerous or even poisonous to those who have fewer economic resources. This movement must urge women of color to be responsible for their reproductive choices. They cannot have children without having the resources both financial and having a committed partner. For all the talk of genocide involving the response and aftermath of Katrina, the real genocide is self-inflicted. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/hard-truths-the-failure-of-the-family/ It is interesting that the ruling elites do not want to touch the issue of unwed births with a ten thousand foot pole. After all, that would violate some one’s right to _____. Let moi fill in the blank, the right to be stupid, probably live in poverty, and not be able to give your child the advantages that a more prepared parent can give a child because to tell you to your face that you are an idiot for not using birth control is not P.C.

Paul E. Peterson wrote a real engine starter for Education Next, Neither Broad Nor Bold: A narrow-minded approach to school reform:

The central thesis of the Ladd presidential address is certainly sweeping and bold: The income of a child’s family determines his or her educational achievement. Those who come from low-income families learn little because they are poor. Those who come from prosperous families learn a lot because they are rich. Her solution to the nation’s education woes is almost biblical. According to St. Matthew, Jesus advised the rich man to “Sell what you possess and give to the poor.” Not quite as willing as St. Matthew to rely on the charitable instinct, Ladd modifies the biblical injunction by asking for government intervention to make sure the good deed happens. But she is no less confident than Matthew that wonderful things will happen when the transfer of wealth takes place. Once income redistribution occurs, student achievement will reach a new, higher, and more egalitarian level. Meanwhile, any attempt to fix the schools that ignores this imperative is as doomed to failure as the camel that struggles to pass through the eye of a needle.
Of course, Ladd does not put it quite that bluntly. But her meaning is clear enough from what she does say: education reform policies “are not likely to contribute much in the future—to raising overall student achievement or to reducing [gaps in] achievement….”
Drawing on a study by Stanford education professor Sean Reardon, Ladd says that the gap in reading achievement between students from families in the lowest and highest income deciles is larger for those born in 2001 than for those born in the early 1940s. She suspects it is because those living in poor families today have “poor health, limited access to home environments with rich language and experiences, low birth weight, limited access to high-quality pre-school opportunities, less participation in many activities in the summer and after school that middle class families take for granted, and more movement in and out of schools because of the way that the housing market operates.”
But her trend data hardly support that conclusion. Those born to poor families in 2000 had much better access to medical and preschool facilities than those born in 1940. Medicaid, food stamps, Head Start, summer programs, housing subsidies, and the other components of Johnson’s War on Poverty did not become available until 1965. Why didn’t those broad, bold strokes reduce the achievement gap?
What has changed for the worse during the intervening period is not access to food and medical services for the poor but the increment in the percentage of children living in single-parent households. In 1969, 85 percent of children under the age of 18 were living with two married parents; by 2010, that percentage had declined to 65 percent. According to sociologist Sara McLanahan, income levels in single-parent households are one-half those in two-parent households. The median income level of a single-parent family is just over $27,000 (in 1992 dollars), compared to more than $61,000 for a two-parent family. Meanwhile, the risk of dropping out of high school doubles. The risk increases from 11 percent to 28 percent if a white student comes from a single-parent instead of a two-parent family. For blacks, the increment is from 17 percent to 30 percent, and for Hispanics, the risk rises from 25 percent to 49 percent. In other words, a parent who has to both earn money and raise a child has to perform at a heroic level to succeed.
A better case can be made that the growing achievement gap is more the result of changing family structure than of inadequate medical services or preschool education. If the Broader, Bolder group really wanted to address the social problems that complicate the education of children, they would explore ways in which public policy could help sustain two-parent families, a subject well explored in a recent book by Mitch Pearlstein (Shortchanging Student Achievement: The Educational, Economic, and Social Costs of Family Fragmentation) but one that goes virtually unmentioned in the Ladd report. http://educationnext.org/neither-broad-nor-bold/

Even though Peterson may piss off some folks, he makes some good points.

Science Daily wrote in the article, Teens living with two college-educated parents less likely to use alcohol, marijuana:

A high school senior who lives with two college-educated parents is significantly less likely to drink alcohol or smoke marijuana than a teenager who lives with one parent, a new University of Texas at Arlington study has found.
For example, teens living with their mother only are 54 percent more likely to use alcohol, and 58 percent more likely to smoke if they live only with their father.
Eusebius Small, an assistant professor in the UT Arlington School of Social Work, analyzed data on 14,268 teenagers to determine the impact of family structure and parental education on adolescents’ substance use. He concluded that family structure and parental education had a more substantial influence on the teen’s well-being than other factors such as gender, age or where the teen lived.
In terms of race, researchers found the presence of both parents is an especially strong protective factor for African-American adolescents. When both groups live in two parent homes, white teenagers are 69 percent more likely to engage in substance abuse than black teens. Hispanic teens who live with both parents are 74 percent more likely to use alcohol than their African-American peers who live with both parents.
“We know from previous research that early drinking and drug use is linked to social, economic, emotional and behavioral problems including violence, depression and precarious sexual activity,” said Small, whose work focuses on reducing incidents of sexually transmitted infections among adolescents. “Addressing these environmental concerns in concert with related individual problems could reduce substance use occurrences among our young people.”
Small co-authored the research with Arati Maleku, a doctoral student and adjunct assistant professor in the UT Arlington School of Social Work, and Rie Suzuki, an assistant professor of public health and health sciences at the University of Michigan-Flint.
The study, called “The Impact of Family and Parental Education on Adolescents’ Substance Use: A Study of U.S. High School Seniors,” is published online in the journal, Social Work in Public Health.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140908152932.htm

Citation:

Teens living with two college-educated parents less likely to use alcohol, marijuana
Date: September 8, 2014

Source: University of Texas at Arlington
Summary:
A high school senior who lives with 2 college-educated parents is significantly less likely to drink alcohol or smoke marijuana than a teenager who lives with one parent, a new study has found. In terms of race, the presence of both parents is an especially strong protective factor for African-American adolescents.

Here is the press release from UTA:

NEWS CENTER
Teens living with two, college-educated parents less likely to use alcohol and marijuana, UT Arlington study finds
Media Contact: Bridget Lewis, Office:817-272-3317, Cell:214-577-9094, blewis@uta.edu
News Topics: faculty, research, social work
A high school senior who lives with two college-educated parents is significantly less likely to drink alcohol or smoke marijuana than a teenager who lives with one parent, a new University of Texas at Arlington study has found.
For example, teens living with their mother only are 54 percent more likely to use alcohol, and 58 percent more likely to smoke if they live only with their father.

Eusebius Small, an assistant professor in the UT Arlington School of Social Work, analyzed data on 14,268 teenagers to determine the impact of family structure and parental education on adolescents’ substance use. He concluded that family structure and parental education had a more substantial influence on the teen’s well-being than other factors such as gender, age or where the teen lived.
In terms of race, researchers found the presence of both parents is an especially strong protective factor for African-American adolescents. When both groups live in two parent homes, white teenagers are 69 percent more likely to engage in substance abuse than black teens. Hispanic teens who live with both parents are 74 percent more likely to use alcohol than their African-American peers who live with both parents.

“We know from previous research that early drinking and drug use is linked to social, economic, emotional and behavioral problems including violence, depression and precarious sexual activity,” said Small, whose work focuses on reducing incidents of sexually transmitted infections among adolescents. “Addressing these environmental concerns in concert with related individual problems could reduce substance use occurrences among our young people.”

Small co-authored the research with Arati Maleku, a doctoral student and adjunct assistant professor in the UT Arlington School of Social Work, and Rie Suzuki, an assistant professor of public health and health sciences at the University of Michigan-Flint.

The study, called “The Impact of Family and Parental Education on Adolescents’ Substance Use: A Study of U.S. High School Seniors,” is published online in the journal, Social Work in Public Health.
Scott Ryan, dean of the UT Arlington School of Social Work, said Small’s work enhances the conversation about teen substance use and furthers understanding of research to combat the problem.
”Addressing high-risk behaviors means understanding the underlying mechanisms and contextual factors that influence our youths,” Ryan said. “Dr. Small’s research accomplishes that goal and contributes greatly to ongoing efforts to help families make healthier choices.”

The team reviewed data from the ongoing Monitoring the Future study, which is conducted each year by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Approximately 50,000 eighth, 10th and 12th grade students are surveyed across the nation. Small and his team used only 12th grade samples addressing demographic variables, beliefs concerning personal lifestyle, school performance and satisfaction, intergroup and interpersonal attitudes and behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs related to alcohol and other substance use, such as tobacco and marijuana.

Previous studies have affirmed that youths who use drugs and alcohol early often reside in families with poor family structure, lower parental education and are from ethnic minority families. But studies focusing on teen substance abuse and family factors, especially among minority ethnic populations, are sparse and fragmented, the researchers said.

Previous studies have recommended the exploration of family structure, parental education and ethnicity to address key risk factors that involve adolescents’ substance use, and as a first step in unlocking the complexities of health disparities among diverse populations.

“Our study should re-emphasize the direction for practice and policy, for example, examining the elements in the family structure that are deemed protective and can enhance the well-being of children,” Small said.

About the UT Arlington School of Social Work
UT Arlington’s School of Social Work is nationally and internationally recognized for its expertise in social work and social welfare, as well as equipping students with the education and skills to transform society through service since 1967. With 1,700 students enrolled in its academic programs, the School of Social Work offers three main academic programs: the Bachelor of Social Work, Master of Social Work and Ph.D. in Social Work. Visit http://www.uta.edu/ssw/ to learn more.
About UT Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution and the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as the seventh fastest-growing public research university in 2013. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. Visit http://www.uta.edu to learn more. Follow #UTAdna on Twitter.
###
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

This is a problem which never should have been swept under the carpet and if the chattering classes, politicians, and elite can’t see the magnitude of this problem, they are not just brain dead, they are flat-liners. There must be a new women’s movement, this time it doesn’t involve the “me first” philosophy of the social “progressives” or the elite who in order to validate their own particular life choices espouse philosophies that are dangerous or even poisonous to those who have fewer economic resources. This movement must urge women of color to be responsible for their reproductive choices. They cannot have children without having the resources both financial and having a committed partner. For all the talk of genocide involving the response and aftermath of “Katrina,” the real genocide is self-inflicted.

So, a behavior that statistically is more damaging than consuming sugary drinks is never condemned. The child born to a single poor mother is usually condemned to follow her into a life of poverty. Yet, the same rigor of dissuasion is not applied to young impressionable women who are becoming single mothers in large numbers as is applied to regular Coke or Pepsi addicts. Personal choice is involved, some of the snarky could categorize the personal choice as moronic in both cases. Government intervention is seen as the antidote in the case of sugary drinks, but not single motherhood. Why? Because we like to pick the morons we want government to control. The fact of the matter is that government control is just as bad in the case of sugary drinks as it would be in regulating a individual’s reproductive choice. The folks like Mayor Bloomberg who want government to control some behavior really don’t want to confront the difficult, for them, political choice of promoting individual personal values and responsibility. It is much easier to legislate a illusory solution. So, the ruling elite will continue to focus on obesity, which is a major health issue, while a disaster bigger than “Katrina” and “Sandy “ sweeps across the country with disastrous results.

The Washington Post article, Number of Black Male Teachers Belies Their Influence http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/03/AR2009070302498.html?referrer=emailarticle made moi think about the importance of healthy male role models in a child’s life. This article is about a good male role model, a hero, Will Thomas.
The reason that teachers like Will Thomas are needed, not just for African American kids, is because the number of households headed by single parents, particularly single women is growing. Not all single parent households are unsuccessful in raising children, but enough of them are in crisis that society should be concerned. The principle issues with single parenting are a division of labor and poverty. Two parents can share parenting responsibilities and often provide two incomes, which lift many families out of poverty. Families that have above poverty level incomes face fewer challenges than families living in poverty. Still, all families face the issue of providing good role models for their children. As a society, we are like the Marines, looking for a few good men.

Related:

Baby sign language https://drwilda.com/2013/07/28/baby-sign-language/

The importance of the skill of handwriting in the school curriculum
https://drwilda.com/2012/01/24/the-importance-of-the-skill-of-handwriting-in-the-school-curriculum/

The slow reading movement https://drwilda.com/2012/01/31/the-slow-reading-movement/

Why libraries in K-12 schools are important https://drwilda.com/2012/12/26/why-libraries-in-k-12-schools-are-important/

University of Iowa study: Variation in words may help early learners read better
https://drwilda.com/2013/01/16/university-of-iowa-study-variation-in-words-may-help-early-learners-read-better/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

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Brookings study: Superintendents might not be as important to student outcomes as others in the school system

7 Sep

In Life expectancy of a superintendent: A lot of bullets and little glory, https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/16/life-expectancy-of-a-superintendent-a-lot-of-bullets-and-little-glory/ moi wrote: Just about anyone in education has a tough job these days, from the building staff to the superintendent. There is pressure to perform in an environment of declining resources. Lately, the job of superintendent of large urban school districts has been characterized by turnover. Thomas E. Glass in The History of the Urban Superintendent writes:

The twenty-first century finds one-third of America’s public school children attending one of ten large urban (large-city) school districts. By 2020 approximately one-half of public school enrollment will be clustered in twenty districts. The educational stewardship of a majority of the nations youth rests uncomfortably on the shoulders of a very few large-city school superintendents. Their success and the success of their districts may very well determine the future of American democracy.
Urban districts are typically considered to be those located in the inner core of metropolitan areas having enrollments of more than 25,000 students. The research and literature about large-city school districts portray conditions of poverty, chronic academic underachievement, dropouts, crime, unstable school boards, reform policy churn, and high superintendent turnover.
The typical tenure of a superintendent in the largest large-city districts is two to three years. This brief tenure makes it unlikely a superintendent can develop and implement reform programs that can result in higher academic achievement–let alone re-build crumbling schools buildings, secure private sector assistance, and build a working relationship with the city’s political structure.
The large-city superintendency is a position defined by high expectations, intense stress, inadequate resources, and often a highly unstable politicized board of education.
Read more: Superintendent of Large-City School Systems – History of the Urban Superintendent, The Profession, School Boards,
Characteristics of the Large-City Superintendent http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2470/Superintendent-Large-City-School-Systems.html#ixzz0p6HySmU0

See, District Administration’s article, Superintendent Staying Power http://www.districtadministration.com/article/superintendent-staying-power
NPR reported about a Brookings study which indicated that superintendents might not be as important to student outcomes as others in the school system.

Eric Westervelt of NPR reported in the story, The Myth Of The Superstar Superintendent?

“We just don’t see a whole lot of difference in student achievement that correlates with who the superintendent happens to be,” says Matthew Chingos, a senior fellow at the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution. He’s a co-author of what’s likely the first broad study to examine the link between superintendents and student achievement.
Chingos and his co-authors, Grover Whitehurst and Katharine Lindquist, analyzed student test score data from Florida and North Carolina over a 10-year period. His conclusion: Hiring a new superintendent made almost no difference in student success.
Chingos explains the findings this way: “What percentage of differences in student achievement is explained by superintendents? It’s very small, about 0.3 percent.”
The report also says that student achievement does not improve the longer a superintendent serves in a district.
The work of Chingos and his colleagues shows that the “seize the day” school superintendent is largely a fiction. Too often, he says, they’re indistinguishable.
“There are not many examples of people in the data who shot out the lights.”
Chingos argues that the wider school system — including governance, culture, community, the local school board — proves far more important than the individual sitting in the superintendent’s office. “When you see a district that’s doing really well with a visionary superintendent, it may also have a very proactive school board, a very involved community and a whole bunch of other things,” he says.
“We know that the principal and the teacher are so powerful. It’s not the administrator,” says education writer and author Dana Goldstein, who said she was surprised by the study’s results.
Historically, she says, too many superintendents have been paper-pushing administrative overlords wedded to traditionalist views and averse to change. That has changed and evolved, Goldstein says. But not fast enough….
http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/09/04/345503073/the-myth-of-the-superstar-superintendent

Here is the summary from Brookings:

Report | September 3, 2014
School Superintendents: Vital or Irrelevant?
By: Matthew M. Chingos, Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst and Katharine M. Lindquist
In recent years, research has confirmed that teachers, principals, and school districts have meaningful effects on students’ academic achievement. But what about the highly visible person in charge of the school district? As the highest ranking official in a district, the superintendent receives a lot of credit when things go well, and just as much blame when they don’t. But there is almost no quantitative research that addresses the impact of superintendents on student learning outcomes. “School Superintendents: Vital or Irrelevant?” provides some of the first empirical evidence on the topic.

In this report, the authors examine the extent to which school district effects on student learning are due to the superintendent in charge, as compared to characteristics of districts that are independent of their leaders. Analyzing student-level data from the states of Florida and North Carolina for the school years 2000-01 to 2009-10, the authors find that:
1.School district superintendent is largely a short-term job. The typical superintendent has been in the job for three to four years.
2.Student achievement does not improve with longevity of superintendent service within their districts.
3.Hiring a new superintendent is not associated with higher student achievement.
4.Superintendents account for a very small fraction (0.3 percent) of student differences in achievement. This effect, while statistically significant, is orders of magnitude smaller than that associated with any other major component of the education system, including: measured and unmeasured student characteristics; teachers; schools; and districts.
5.Individual superintendents who have an exceptional impact on student achievement cannot be reliably identified.
Ultimately, the authors conclude that when district academic achievement improves or deteriorates, the superintendent is likely to be playing a part in an ensemble performance in which the superintendent’s role could be filled successfully by many others. In the end, it is the system that promotes or hinders student achievement. Superintendents are largely indistinguishable.
Download
http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2014/09/03-superintendents-chingos-whitehurst

Here are the comments from the National Association of School Boards:

NSBA Comments on Brookings Report on Superintendents’ Impact on Student Achievement
September 3, 2014
Alexandria, Va. (Sept. 3, 2014) – Whether school superintendents are “vital or irrelevant” is the focus of a newly issued report by the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings. The premise of the report is that it fills the gap in the paucity of available data on the impact of superintendents on student achievement.
Extant research suggests that effective partnership between the school board and the superintendent is critical.
The report relies on a review of student-level administrative data from the states of Florida and North Carolina. The data shared reflect every student in grades 3-8 in North Carolina and 3-10 in Florida who participated in state assessments of reading and mathematics from 2000-01 to 2009-10.
Key findings of the report underscore the report conclusion that by and large, it is the system that promotes or hinders student achievement:
• A majority of superintendents have been on the job only a short time, on average three to four years;
• Longevity of superintendent service within districts does not improve student achievement;
• The simple act of hiring a new superintendent does not translate to higher student achievement;
• As compared to other major components of the education system, such as student characteristics, teachers, schools, and districts, superintendents account for only a small percent of student differences in achievement; and
• Individual superintendents who had an “exceptional impact” on student achievement could not be reliably identified.
The report raises the key question of whether district-level effects are attributable to district characteristics that include, but are not limited to, the make-up and reform orientation of the school board.
“What empowers student achievement is strategic partnership between the governing body, school boards, and the chief school administrator, the superintendent,” said National School Boards Association (NSBA) Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “What is left unsaid in the Brookings report is that such partnership is central toward effective collaboration with principals, teachers, and parents.”
NSBA’s Center for Public Education report “Eight characteristics of effective school boards” found that effective school boards lead as a united team with the superintendent, each from their respective roles, with strong collaboration and mutual trust. In successful districts, boards defined an initial vision for the district and sought a superintendent who matched this vision. In contrast, in stagnant districts, boards were slow to define a vision and often recruited a superintendent with his or her own ideas and platform, leading the board and superintendent to not be in alignment.
# # #
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is the leading advocate for public education and supports equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. NSBA represents state school board associations and their more than 90,000 local school board members throughout the U.S. Learn more at: http://www.nsba.org.
Brookings report http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2014/09/03-superintendents-chingos-whitehurst
Center for Public Education report http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Public-education/Eight-characteristics-of-effective-school-boards/Eight-characteristics-of-effective-school-boards.html
– See more at: NSBA Comments on Brookings Report on Superintendents’ Impact on Student Achievement | National School Boards Association

Strong leadership at the individual school level is essential for successful schools. Strong leadership requires not only accountability, but authority.

Related:

Study: Superintendents leave jobs in large school districts within three years http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/study-superintendents-leave-jobs-in-large-school-districts-within-three-years/

Are rules which limit choice hampering principal effectiveness?
https://drwilda.com/2012/04/08/are-rules-which-limit-choice-hampering-principal-effectiveness/

New research: School principal effectiveness
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/new-research-school-principal-effectiveness/

Are rules which limit choice hampering principal effectiveness?
https://drwilda.com/2012/04/08/are-rules-which-limit-choice-hampering-principal-effectiveness/

Study: There is lack of information about principal evaluation
https://drwilda.com/2013/02/06/study-there-is-lack-of-information-about-principal-evaluation/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill study: Active learning helps Black and first generation college students

6 Sep

Moi wrote in Remedial education in college:
Whether or not students choose college or vocational training at the end of their high school career, our goal as a society should be that children should be “college ready.” David T. Conley writes in the ASCD article, What Makes a Student College Ready?

The Big Four
A comprehensive college preparation program must address four distinct dimensions of college readiness: cognitive strategies, content knowledge, self-management skills, and knowledge about postsecondary education.
Key Cognitive Strategies
Colleges expect their students to think about what they learn. Students entering college are more likely to succeed if they can formulate, investigate, and propose solutions to nonroutine problems; understand and analyze conflicting explanations of phenomena or events; evaluate the credibility and utility of source material and then integrate sources into a paper or project appropriately; think analytically and logically, comparing and contrasting differing philosophies, methods, and positions to understand an issue or concept; and exercise precision and accuracy as they apply their methods and develop their products.
Key Content Knowledge
Several independently conducted research and development efforts help us identify the key knowledge and skills students should master to take full advantage of college. Standards for Success (Conley, 2003) systematically polled university faculty members and analyzed their course documents to determine what these teachers expected of students in entry-level courses. The American Diploma Project (2004) consulted representatives of the business community and postsecondary faculty to define standards in math and English. More recently, both ACT (2008) and the College Board (2006) have released college readiness standards in English and math. Finally, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (2008), under mandate of state law, developed one of the first and most comprehensive sets of state-level college readiness standards….
Key Self-Management Skills
In college, students must keep track of massive amounts of information and organize themselves to meet competing deadlines and priorities. They must plan their time carefully to complete these tasks. They must be able to study independently and in informal and formal study groups. They must know when to seek help from academic support services and when to cut their losses and drop a course. These tasks require self-management, a skill that individuals must develop over time, with considerable practice and trial-and-error.
Key Knowledge About Postsecondary Education
Choosing a college, applying, securing financial aid, and then adjusting to college life require a tremendous amount of specialized knowledge. This knowledge includes matching personal interests with college majors and programs; understanding federal and individual college financial aid programs and how and when to complete appropriate forms; registering for, preparing for, and taking required admissions exams; applying to college on time and submitting all necessary information; and, perhaps most important, understanding how the culture of college is different from that of high school….
Students who would be the first in their family to attend college, students from immigrant families, students who are members of racial and ethnic minority groups traditionally underrepresented in college, and students from low-income families are much more easily thrown off the path to college if they have deficiencies in any of the four dimensions.http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct08/vol66/num02/What-Makes-a-Student-College-Ready%C2%A2.aspx

The difficult question is whether current testing accurately measures whether students are prepared for college. https://drwilda.com/2012/03/04/remedial-education-in-college/ Once kids are in college, there should be a recognition of different learning styles.

Richard Perez-Pena wrote in the New York Times article, Active Role in Class Helps Black and First-Generation College Students, Study Says:

The trend away from classes based on reading and listening passively to lectures, and toward a more active role for students, has its most profound effects on black students and those whose parents did not go to college, a new study of college students shows.
Active learning raised average test scores more than 3 percentage points, and significantly reduced the number of students who failed the exams, the study found. The score increase was doubled, to more than 6 percentage points, for black students and first-generation college students.
For black students, that gain cut in half their score gap with white students. It eliminated the gap between first-generation students and other students.
The study does not explain the disparate benefits, and “a lot more work needs to go into looking at attitudes and behaviors,” said Kelly A. Hogan, one of the study’s authors. She is the director of instructional innovation for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
But Dr. Hogan noted that disadvantaged students arrived at college with poorer study skills, and a more active approach to learning effectively teaches those skills. Research has also shown that disadvantaged students are less likely to participate in class, and report feeling intimidated or isolated, so they may benefit more from a structure that demands participation and cooperation, she said…. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/03/education/active-learning-study.html?ref=education&_r=1

Citation:

CBE-Life Sciences Educationwww.lifescied.org
1. doi: 10.1187/cbe.14-03-0050 CBE Life Sci Educ vol. 13 no. 3 453-468
• General Articles
Getting Under the Hood: How and for Whom Does Increasing Course Structure Work?
1. Sarah L. Eddy* and
2. Kelly A. Hogan†⇑
+ Affiliations
1. *Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195
2. †Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599
1. Hannah Sevian, Monitoring Editor
• Submitted March 17, 2014.
• Revised May 20, 2014.
• Accepted May 27, 2014.
Abstract
At the college level, the effectiveness of active-learning interventions is typically measured at the broadest scales: the achievement or retention of all students in a course. Coarse-grained measures like these cannot inform instructors about an intervention’s relative effectiveness for the different student populations in their classrooms or about the proximate factors responsible for the observed changes in student achievement. In this study, we disaggregate student data by racial/ethnic groups and first-generation status to identify whether a particular intervention—increased course structure—works better for particular populations of students. We also explore possible factors that may mediate the observed changes in student achievement. We found that a “moderate-structure” intervention increased course performance for all student populations, but worked disproportionately well for black students—halving the black–white achievement gap—and first-generation students—closing the achievement gap with continuing-generation students. We also found that students consistently reported completing the assigned readings more frequently, spending more time studying for class, and feeling an increased sense of community in the moderate-structure course. These changes imply that increased course structure improves student achievement at least partially through increasing student use of distributed learning and creating a more interdependent classroom community.
Footnotes
• Address correspondence to: Kelly Hogan (Kelly_Hogan@unc.edu). Conflict of interest statement: Kelly A. Hogan, a coauthor for Pearson’s Campbell Biology: Concepts and Connections, 8th ed., and its associated Mastering Biology online tools (which were used in this study) was not affiliated with the products at the time of the course intervention. No promotion of Mastering Biology to the exclusion of other similar products should be construed.
“ASCB®” and “The American Society for Cell Biology®” are registered trademarks of The American Society of Cell Biology.

Here is the press release from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill:

Active learning in large science classes benefits black and first-generation college students most
Posted on September 2, 2014 by Helen Buchanan
For immediate use
Active learning in large science classes benefits black
and first-generation college students most
The achievement gap disappeared for first-generation students and decreased by half for black students
(Chapel Hill, N.C.—Sept. 2, 2014) In large college science classes, active learning interventions improve achievement for everyone, but especially black and first-generation students, according to a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
When a traditional lecture course was structured to be more interactive, the achievement gap disappeared for first-generation students and decreased by half for black students, according to Kelly Hogan, a biologist and director of instructional innovation in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences. Transforming large lecture classes is a priority for the college.
Hogan’s study, “Getting Under the Hood: How and for Whom Does Increasing Course Structure Work?” appears in the Sept. 2 issue of the journal CBE-Life Sciences Education. Her co-author is Sarah L. Eddy of the University of Washington in Seattle. Hogan and Eddy collected data over six semesters at UNC.
The study compares student achievement in classes with “low course structure” to those with “higher course structure.” Low course structure is “a traditional classroom where students come in, listen to the instructor, leave and don’t do anything until the night before the exam,” Hogan said. Higher course structure adds guided reading questions, preparatory homework and in-class activities that reinforce major concepts, study skills and higher-order thinking skills. As an example of an in-class activity, students answered questions using classroom-response software on their laptops and cell phones.
Students are held accountable for the assignments— they are awarded points for being prepared and participating in class.
“If I’m talking at students, they’re shopping, they’re on ESPN or Facebook,” Hogan said. “But if I ask them a question and have them wrestle with it, they are listening now because they are engaged in solving that problem.”
Hogan’s study is one of the few college-level studies to separate student data by racial/ethnic groups and first-generation status to identify which interventions work best for certain groups of students in a large science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) course.
The researchers used surveys at the end of the course to learn how the interventions affected student behaviors and attitudes.
“We found that in the higher course structure, students consistently reported completing the assigned readings more frequently and spent more time studying for class, and there was an increased sense of community,” Hogan said.
Their study also demonstrates that active learning interventions can be transferrable from a Pacific Northwest research university to a Southern research university across three contexts: different instructors, different student populations and different courses (majors vs. nonmajors).
“This is good evidence that an intervention is transferrable, and I think that’s going to be powerful for a lot of teachers in the field,” Hogan said.
More instructors are “flipping” their classes — putting lectures online for students to watch at home and using the classroom for more interactive, collaborative work. But if a class is not flipped with accountability, Hogan said, the students still won’t come to class prepared.
Hogan outlines three key takeaways for instructors that are critical for understanding how to increase student success in large lecture classes:
• Students are not a monolithic group.
• Accountability is essential for changing student behaviors and possibly grades.
• Survey questions are a useful method of identifying what behaviors an instructor might target to increase student performance.
“The message I want to get out to teachers is, ‘go for it,’” Hogan said. “An individual teacher can make a difference.”
The study was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Center for Faculty Excellence at UNC. A link to the study online is available here: http://www.lifescied.org/content/13/3/453.full.
For stories and videos featuring Hogan’s innovation in large lecture classes, visit http://tinyurl.com/m97nyby and http://tinyurl.com/klhpwda.
-Carolina-
College of Arts and Sciences contact: Kim Spurr, (919) 962-4093, spurrk@email.unc.edu
Communications and Public Affairs contact: Susan Hudson, (919) 962-8415, susan_hudson@unc.edu
This entry was posted in Latest News, Science and Technology, Students and tagged UNC Main RSS Feed, UNC News Frontpage, [news-release]. Bookmark the permalink.

There should not be a one size fits all approach. Strategies must be designed for each population of kids.

Other Resources:

Classroom Strategies to Get Boys Reading
http://gettingboystoread.com/content/classroom-strategies-get-boys-reading/

Me Read? A Practical Guide to Improving Boys Literacy Skills http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/brochure/meread/meread.pdf

Understanding Gender Differences: Strategies To Support Girls and Boys http://www.umext.maine.edu/onlinepubs/PDFpubs/4423.pdf

Helping Underachieving Boys Read Well and Often http://www.ericdigests.org/2003-2/boys.html

Boys and Reading Strategies for Success http://www.k12reader.com/boys-and-reading/

Related:

What the ACT college readiness assessment means https://drwilda.com/2012/08/25/what-the-act-college-readiness-assessment-means/

Study: What skills are needed for ’21st-century learning?’ https://drwilda.com/2012/07/11/study-what-skills-are-needed-for-21st-century-learning/

ACT to assess college readiness for 3rd-10th Grades https://drwilda.com/2012/07/04/act-to-assess-college-readiness-for-3rd-10th-grades/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Attendance Works report: School absence sets students back

2 Sep

Education is a partnership between the student, the teacher(s) and parent(s). All parties in the partnership must share the load. The student has to arrive at school ready to learn. The parent has to set boundaries, encourage, and provide support. Teachers must be knowledgeable in their subject area and proficient in transmitting that knowledge to students. All must participate and fulfill their role in the education process. Too many parents are not prepared to help their child have a successful education experience. Julia Steiny has an excellent article at Education News, Julia Steiny: Chronic Absenteeism Reveals and Causes Problems. http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/julia-steiny-chronic-absenteeism-reveals-and-causes-problems/

Joy Resmovits reported in the Huffington Post article, School Absence Can Set Students Back Between 1 And 2 Years: Report:

As the debate rages about the best way to fix America’s public schools — from heated rhetoric on the role of standardized testing to wonkier discussions about the intricacies of curricula — a new report is arguing that reformers have overlooked a game-changing solution: addressing absenteeism.
While it may seem obvious that students who miss more school would not perform as well as other students, a new report released Tuesday shows just how much of a difference attendance can make. According to the report, written by nonprofit advocacy group Attendance Works, about 1 in 5 American students — between 5 million and 7.5 million of them — misses a month of school per year. The report suggests that missing three or more days of school per month can set a student back from one to two full years of learning behind his or her peers.
“All our investment in instruction and Common Core and curriculum development will be lost unless kids are in school to benefit from it,” said Hedy Chang, the group’s director and co-author of the report. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/02/school-absence_n_5739084.html

Here is the summary from Attendance Works:

State-by-State Analysis Shows Impact of Poor Attendance on NAEP Scores
A state-by-state analysis of national testing data demonstrates that students who miss more school than their peers consistently score lower on standardized tests, a result that holds true at every age, in every demographic group and in every state and city tested.
The analysis, Absences Add Up: How School Attendance Influences Student Success, is based on the results of the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and was released today by Attendance Works as the start of Attendance Awareness Month. The unique research shows:
• Poor attendance is a national challenge. About one in five students nationwide reported missing 3 or more days of school during the month before taking the NAEP test; if this persisted throughout the year, those students would miss more than a month of school in excused or unexcused absences.
• Student attendance matters for academic performance. In many cases, the students with more absences displayed skill levels one to two years below their peers.
• Poor attendance contributes to achievement gaps. Students living in poverty and those from communities of color were more likely to miss too much school. That said, poor attendance is associated with weaker test scores in every demographic and socioeconomic group.
“This study gives us a compelling snapshot of how poor attendance links to poor performance,” said Hedy Chang, director of Attendance Works, “Cities and states now need to use their own data to paint a deeper, more complete picture of the magnitude and concentration of chronic absenteeism in their schools. We recommend examining how many students miss 10% or more of the entire school year for any reason.”
NAEP, considered the Nation’s Report Card, is given every two years to a sample of fourth- and eighth-grade students in all 50 states and 21 large cities. In addition to testing math and reading skills, NAEP asks students a series of non-academic questions, including how many days they missed in the month before the exam. The data analysis showed a significant dropoff in scores for students with three or more absences in the prior month. About 20 percent of fourth- and eighth-graders reported missing that much school.
“The NAEP results tell us so much more than simply how students perform on a particular test,” said Alan Ginsburg, the researcher who conducted the analysis of the testing data and co-authored the report. “The attendance question opens a door to why student perform as they do.”
Experts project that 5 million to 7.5 million U.S. students miss nearly a month of school every year, but there is not yet a commonly defined nationwide metric for assessing student-level absenteeism. Schools report school-wide attendance averages and truancy rates for students who miss school without an excuse. But the definition of truancy varies from state to state, and it doesn’t account for excused absences, which also affect student achievement.
“Whether the absences are excused or unexcused, missing too much school can leave third-graders unable to read proficiently, sixth-graders failing classes and ninth-graders headed toward dropping out,” said Chang of Attendance Works. “Our best efforts to improve student achievement and fix failing schools won’t work if the students aren’t coming to class.” http://www.attendanceworks.org/research/absences-add/

Children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of societies’ problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family.

See:

Don’t skip: Schools waking up on absenteeism
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44704948/ns/today-education_nation/t/dont-skip-schools-waking-absenteeism/

School Absenteeism, Mental Health Problems Linked http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/12/25/school-absenteeism-mental-health-problems-linked/32937.html

A National Portrait of Chronic Absenteeism in the Early Grades http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_771.html

Don’t skip: Schools waking up on absenteeism
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44704948/ns/today-education_nation/t/dont-skip-schools-waking-absenteeism/

Resources:

US Department of Education Helping Series which are a number of pamphlets to help parents and caregivers http://www2.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/hyc.html

How Parents Can Help Their Child Prepare for School Assignments http://mathandreadinghelp.org/how_can_parents_help_their_child_prepare_for_school_assignments.html

Getting Young Children Ready to Learn http://www.classbrain.com/artread/publish/article_37.shtml

Related:

We give up as a society: Jailing parents because kids are truant
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/we-give-up-as-a-society-jailing-parents-because-kids-are-truant/

Hard truths: The failure of the family
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/hard-truths-the-failure-of-the-family/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/