Tag Archives: Brookings

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/

Pew Research: College education increases income potential

1 Oct

Moi wrote about the decision to go to college in Why go to college? Sam Davidson has written an interesting New York Times article, It’s the Economy: The Dwindling Power of a College Degree:

A general guideline these days is that people are rewarded when they can do things that take trained judgment and skill — things, in other words, that can’t be done by computers or lower-wage workers in other countries. Money now flows around the world so quickly, and technology changes so fast, that people who thought they were in high demand find themselves uprooted. Many newspaper reporters have learned that their work was subsidized, in part, by classified ads and now can’t survive the rise of Craigslist; computer programmers have found out that some smart young guys in India will do their jobs for much less. Meanwhile, China lends so much money to the United States that mortgage brokers and bond traders can become richer than they ever imagined for a few years and then, just as quickly, become broke and unemployed.
One of the greatest changes is that a college degree is no longer the guarantor of a middle-class existence. Until the early 1970s, less than 11 percent of the adult population graduated from college, and most of them could get a decent job. Today nearly a third have college degrees, and a higher percentage of them graduated from nonelite schools. A bachelor’s degree on its own no longer conveys intelligence and capability. To get a good job, you have to have some special skill — charm, by the way, counts — that employers value. But there’s also a pretty good chance that by some point in the next few years, your boss will find that some new technology or some worker overseas can replace you.
Though it’s no guarantee, a B.A. or some kind of technical training is at least a prerequisite for a decent salary. It’s hard to see any great future for high-school dropouts or high-school graduates with no technical skills. They most often get jobs that require little judgment and minimal training, like stocking shelves, cooking burgers and cleaning offices. Employers generally see these unskilled workers as commodities — one is as good as any other — and thus each worker has very little bargaining power, especially now that unions are weaker. There are about 40 million of these low-skilled people in our work force. They’re vying for jobs that are likely to earn near the minimum wage with few or no benefits, and they have a high chance of being laid off many times in a career.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/magazine/changing-rules-for-success.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

The societal push the last few years has been to have more kids go to college. Quite often schools are ranked on the percentage of kids that go directly to college from high school. So, counselors are following cultural cues they have received from administrators, parents, and the media.

Chris Stout lists Top Five Reasons to Go to College http://ezinearticles.com/?Top-Five-Reasons-Why-You-Should-Choose-To-Go-To-College&id=384395 Stout places the emphasis on the college experience and the fact that college is not just a place for possible career training. Forbes. Com published Five Reasons Not to Go to College http://www.forbes.com/2006/04/15/dont-go-college_cx_lh_06slate_0418skipcollege.html Some people discover their passion earlier in life than others.Forbes.Com addresses its comments at those folks. The calculation is that if one already knows what they want to do, college could be an unnecessary detour. A US News and World Report article estimated the value of a college degree http://www.usnews.com/education/articles/2008/10/30/how-much-is-that-college-degree-really-worth

Amanda Paulson of the Christian Science Monitor wrote a great article, Does Everyone Need A College Degree? Maybe Not Says Harvard Study about a Harvard study.

A new report released by Harvard Wednesday states in some of the strongest terms yet that such a “college for all” emphasis may actually harm many American students – keeping them from having a smooth transition from adolescence to adulthood and a viable career.
“The American system for preparing young people to lead productive and prosperous lives as adults is clearly badly broken,” concludes the report, “Pathways to Prosperity” (pdf). http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news_events/features/2011/Pathways_to_Prosperity_Feb2011.pdf
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2011/0202/Does-everyone-need-a-college-degree-Maybe-not-says-Harvard-study

Marcus Wohlsen of AP has posted the article, Tech Mogul Pays Bright Minds Not to Go to College at Boston.Com. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2011/05/30/tech_mogul_pays_bright_minds_to_skip_college/ Wohlsen reports that tech tycoon Peter Thiel has set up a scholarship which two dozen gifted young people $100,000 not to go to college but to become entrepreneurs for the next two years. https://drwilda.com/2011/11/28/why-go-to-college/
Pew Research reported that college graduates make more income for a number of reasons.

Richard Fry wrote about the income potential of college graduates in The growing economic clout of the college educated:

For the first time on record, households headed by someone with at least a bachelor’s degree received nearly a majority (49.7%) of aggregate U.S. household income; nearly one out of every two dollars went to the college educated. In 2012 one-in-three households was college educated, so, put another way, half of the aggregate U.S. income goes to one third of the households.
In 1991 (the earliest year comparable figures are available) college-educated households only received 37% of the nation’s aggregate income. In 1991 about one-quarter of households (23%) were college educated.
The share of the income pie received by households with only a high school education or less fell 15 percentage points from 1991 to 2012. The share of household income going to households with some college (including those with an associate’s degree) increased modestly over the same period (23% to 25%).
Since educational attainment has risen and there are more college-educated households, one would expect the college educated to receive a growing share of the pie.
But the data clearly indicate that the growing economic fortunes of the college educated go beyond sheer numbers. College-educated households are the only households whose incomes have grown on a per household basis from 1991 to 2012. Household income increased 9% (from $92,289 to $100,637) for those whose highest education was a bachelor’s degree. Incomes were up 20% for households with professional degrees. In contrast, household incomes have declined for households who do not have at least a bachelor’s degree.
Before breaking down the nitty-gritty of the college-educated households’ income gain, it should be noted that a number of factors are likely at play in boosting the household incomes of the college educated relative to less-educated households. A primary factor is the better fortunes of the college educated in the labor market. The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce finds that college graduates earn nearly twice as much as workers with just a high school diploma.
But the household income differences between the college educated and lesser educated go beyond the labor market. College-educated households are more likely to be married and thus more likely to have secondary earners contributing to household income.

In addition, my research on “assortative mating” or “who marries whom” shows that married college-educated persons are more likely to have a college-educated spouse. Thus, they are more likely to have a spouse with high earnings. For example, in 2011, 75% of married men ages 30 to 44 who are college educated also have a college-educated wife. Among their married counterparts with a high school education, only 17% have a college-educated wife.
Between 1991 and 2012, the aggregate household income of college-educated households increased by $2.1 trillion according to the Census data. Over the same period, the share of all households who are college educated increased from 23% to 33%. How much of the $2.1 trillion income gain received by the college educated is due to growth in numbers versus growth in income per college-educated household? If the fraction of households who are college educated had remained constant at 23%, instead of rising to 33%, the income pie going to the college educated would only have grown by $0.8 trillion. So, over half of the income gain of the college educated is due growth in numbers. But a substantial portion reflects their improving income fortunes. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/09/24/the-growing-economic-clout-of-the-college-educated/

Whether a person chooses to attend a four year college after high school is a very personal decision and there is no one right answer. One thing the current economic climate has taught many is there are no guarantees in life, even with a college degree. The trades may offer some a means to earn a living and a fulfilling life.

A one-size-fits-all approach does not work.

Resources:

1. A publication by the government Why Attend College? Is a good overview
http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/Prepare/pt1.html

2. Article in USA Today about gap year
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/education/2008-06-18-gap-year_N.htm

3. Advantages of Going to a Vocational School
http://www.gocollege.com/options/vocational-trade-schools/

4. Accredidation Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology
http://www.accsc.org/Resources/Links.aspx

5. The Federal Trade Commission has Choosing A Career Or Vocational School
http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0241-choosing-vocational-school

6. How to Choose The Best Trade School
http://www.ehow.com/how_2107557_choose-best-trade-school.html

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/

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Brookings paper: Is college a good investment?

10 May

Moi wrote about the decision to go to college in Why go to college?

The societal push the last few years has been to have more kids go to college. Quite often schools are ranked on the percentage of kids that go directly to college from high school. So, counselors are following cultural cues they have received from administrators, parents, and the media.

Chris Stout lists Top Five Reasons to Go to CollegeStout places the emphasis on the college experience and the fact that college is not just a place for possible career training. Forbes. Com published Five Reasons Not to Go to CollegeSome people discover their passion earlier in life than others. Forbes.Com addresses its comments at those folks. The calculation is that if one already knows what they want to do, college could be an unnecessary detour. A US News and World Report article estimated the value of a college degree

Amanda Paulson of the Christian Science Monitor has a great article, Does Everyone Need A College Degree? Maybe Not Says Harvard Study about a new Harvard study.   

A new report released by Harvard Wednesday states in some of the strongest terms yet that such a “college for all” emphasis may actually harm many American students – keeping them from having a smooth transition from adolescence to adulthood and a viable career.

The American system for preparing young people to lead productive and prosperous lives as adults is clearly badly broken,” concludes the report, “Pathways to Prosperity” (pdf).

Marcus Wohlsen of AP has posted the article, Tech Mogul Pays Bright Minds Not to Go to Collegeat Seattle PI.Com. Wohlsen reports that tech tycoon Peter Thielhas set up a scholarship which two dozen gifted young people $100,000 not to go to college but to become entrepreneurs for the next two years.

A college degree is no guarantee of either employment or continued employment. Still, because of the economic uncertainty there is an “arms race” in education. Laura Pappano is reporting in the New York Times article, The Master’s As the New Bachelor’s

See, Is a ‘gap year’ a good option for some students?

https://drwilda.com/2012/10/08/is-a-gap-year-a-good-option-for-some-students/

Julia Lawrence writes a about a Brookings paper which asks whether college is a good investment in the Education News article, Brookings: College Degrees Aren’t a Foolproof Investment:

Stephanie Owen and Isabel V. Sawhill attempt to answer a deceptively simple question in the latest paper for the Brookings Institution: is college a good path for all American high school graduates? Owen and Sawhill – who is the co-director of the Brookings’ Center on Children and Families, Budgeting for National Priories and a Senior Fellow on Economic Studies — try to determine if the return on investment in a college degree still warrants the expense, the risk and the time in every circumstance.                                                        http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/brookings-investing-in-college-degree-isnt-foolproof/

Here is the press release from Brookings:

Should Everyone Go To College?

By: Stephanie Owen and Isabel V. Sawhill

May 8, 2013

For the past few decades, it has been widely argued that a college degree is a prerequisite to entering the middle class in the United States. Study after study reminds us that higher education is one of the best investments we can make, and President Obama has called it “an economic imperative.” We all know that, on average, college graduates make significantly more money over their lifetimes than those with only a high school education. What gets less attention is the fact that not all college degrees or college graduates are equal. There is enormous variation in the so-called return to education depending on factors such as institution attended, field of study, whether a student graduates, and post-graduation occupation. While the average return to obtaining a college degree is clearly positive, we emphasize that it is not universally so. For certain schools, majors, occupations, and individuals, college may not be a smart investment. By telling all young people that they should go to college no matter what, we are actually doing some of them a disservice.

The Rate of Return on Education

One way to estimate the value of education is to look at the increase in earnings associated with an additional year of schooling. However, correlation is not causation, and getting at the true causal effect of education on earnings is not so easy. The main problem is one of selection: if the smartest, most motivated people are both more likely to go to college and more likely to be financially successful, then the observed difference in earnings by years of education doesn’t measure the true effect of college.

Researchers have attempted to get around this problem of causality by employing a number of clever techniques, including, for example, comparing identical twins with different levels of education. The best studies suggest that the return to an additional year of school is around 10 percent. If we apply this 10 percent rate to the median earnings of about $30,000 for a 25- to 34-year-old high school graduate working full time in 2010, this implies that a year of college increases earnings by $3,000, and four years increases them by $12,000. Notice that this amount is less than the raw differences in earnings between high school graduates and bachelor’s degree holders of $15,000, but it is in the same ballpark. Similarly, the raw difference between high school graduates and associate’s degree holders is about $7,000, but a return of 10% would predict the causal effect of those additional two years to be $6,000.

There are other factors to consider. The cost of college matters as well: the more someone has to pay to attend, the lower the net benefit of attending. Furthermore, we have to factor in the opportunity cost of college, measured as the foregone earnings a student gives up when he or she leaves or delays entering the workforce in order to attend school. Using average earnings for 18- and 19-year-olds and 20- and 21-year-olds with high school degrees (including those working part-time or not at all), Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney of Brookings’ Hamilton Project calculate an opportunity cost of $54,000 for a four-year degree. In this brief, we take a rather narrow view of the value of a college degree, focusing on the earnings premium. However, there are many non-monetary benefits of schooling which are harder to measure but no less important. Research suggests that additional education improves overall wellbeing by affecting things like job satisfaction, health, marriage, parenting, trust, and social interaction. Additionally, there are social benefits to education, such as reduced crime rates and higher political participation. We also do not want to dismiss personal preferences, and we acknowledge that many people derive value from their careers in ways that have nothing to do with money. While beyond the scope of this piece, we do want to point out that these noneconomic factors can change the cost-benefit calculus.

As noted above, the gap in annual earnings between young high school graduates and bachelor’s degree holders working full time is $15,000. What’s more, the earnings premium associated with a college degree grows over a lifetime. Hamilton Project research shows that 23- to 25-year-olds with bachelor’s degrees make $12,000 more than high school graduates but by age 50, the gap has grown to $46,500 (Figure 1). When we look at lifetime earnings—the sum of earnings over a career—the total premium is $570,000 for a bachelor’s degree and $170,000 for an associate’s degree. Compared to the average up-front cost of four years of college (tuition plus opportunity cost) of $102,000, the Hamilton Project is not alone in arguing that investing in college provides “a tremendous return.”

It is always possible to quibble over specific calculations, but it is hard to deny that, on average, the benefits of a college degree far outweigh the costs. The key phrase here is “on average.” The purpose of this brief is to highlight the reasons why, for a given individual, the benefits may not outweigh the costs. We emphasize that a 17- or 18-year-old deciding whether and where to go to college should carefully consider his or her own likely path of education and career before committing a considerable amount of time and money to that degree. With tuitions rising faster than family incomes, the typical college student is now more dependent than in the past on loans, creating serious risks for the individual student and perhaps for the system as a whole, should widespread defaults occur in the future. Federal student loans now total close to $1 trillion, larger than credit card debt or auto loans and second only to mortgage debt on household balance sheets.

More from Brookings

Whether a person chooses to attend a four year college after high school is a very personal decision and there is no one right answer. One thing the current economic climate has taught many is there are no guarantees in life, even with a college degree. The trades may offer some a means to earn a living and a fulfilling life.

A one-size-fits-all approach does not work.

Resources:

  1. A publication by the government Why Attend College? Is a good overview

  2. Article in USA Today about gap year

  3. gap year articles

  4. Advantages of Going to a Vocational School

  5. Vocational School Accreditation

  6. Accredidation Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology

  7. The Federal Trade Commission has Choosing A Career Or Vocational School

  8. How to Choose a Vocational School

  9. How to Choose The Best Trade School
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/

Poor people and school choice: The Cristo Rey work/school model

22 Jan

Jay Mathews reports in the Washington Post article, Private schools funded through student jobs which is about the Cristo Rey work/school model:

Twelve years ago, I stumbled across a story that seemed too good to be true. A Catholic high school in Chicago ensured its financial survival by having students help pay their tuition by working one day a week in clerical jobs at downtown offices.

This was a new idea in U.S. secondary education. New ideas are not necessarily a good thing, because they often fail. But the creator of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School was an educational missionary named John P. Foley who had spent much of his life helping poor people in Latin America. I was not going to dump on an idea from a man like that without seeing how it worked out.

Now I know. The Cristo Rey network has grown to 25 schools in 17 states, including a campus in Takoma Park, where more than half the students are from Prince George’s County and more than a third are from the District. It is blossoming in a way no other school, public or private, has done in this region.

Foley started the original school in 1996 in the Pilsen/Little Village section of southwest Chicago, a heavily Hispanic area. To some, it seemed to be a foolish venture. Catholic schools were dying in the nation’s urban neighborhoods. There was no way to pay for them.

But Richard Murray, a management consultant Foley knew, had an inspiration. What if Foley divided the student body into teams of four and assigned each team to an office job in the city? Each student would work one day a week. Their combined salaries could guarantee the school’s future.

More than 90 percent of the students at the original Cristo Rey school were from low-income families. Few had been subjected to the pressures of big-city offices. But they received proper training for their clerical assignments. As the experiment proceeded, they realized the writing, reading and math skills they were learning in school were relevant to their new jobs — and their work experience would help them find jobs to pay their way through college….

One of the Chicago students answered: “Maybe I don’t see any money, but I get an education.”

A network of new schools began to grow, including Takoma Park’s Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School, which opened in 2007 as the first Archdiocese of Washington high school in more than 55 years. Today, it has 325 students who “work one full day per week at law firms, banks, hospitals, universities and other professional corporate partners and are in the classroom the other four days,” spokeswoman Alicia Bondanella said.

More than 100 companies and organizations — including Ernst & Young, Georgetown University Hospital and Miller & Long Concrete Construction — employ Don Bosco students. Each student makes $7,500 a year, which is applied to the school’s $13,500 tuition. The remainder of the cost is covered by fundraising and the student’s family.

Bondanella said that 93 percent of students received outstanding or good ratings in their mid-year evaluations at their workplaces. Their attendance rate at work was 99 percent. Every one of the school’s 2011 and 2012 graduates were accepted into two- or four-year colleges. Eighty-two percent of the 2011 graduates, the first at Don Bosco to complete the four-year program, enrolled for a second year of college, twice the rate for students of similar backgrounds….

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/class-struggle/post/private-schools-funded-through-student-jobs/2013/01/16/a9550e34-604d-11e2-b05a-605528f6b712_blog.html

The Cristo Rey network has information about the model at their site. http://www.cristoreynetwork.org/

Here is what Cristo Rey says about their schools:

The Cristo Rey Network provides a quality, Catholic, college preparatory education to young people who live in urban communities with limited educational options. Our mission is clear – college success for Cristo Rey Network students.

Member schools utilize a rigorous academic model, supported with effective instruction, to prepare students with a broad range of academic abilities for college. Cristo Rey Network schools employ an innovative Corporate Work Study Program that provides students with real world work experiences. Every student works five full days a month to fund the majority of his or her education, gain job experience, grow in self-confidence, and realize the relevance of his or her education. Students work at law firms, banks, hospitals, universities, and other professional Corporate Partners.

The Cristo Rey Network supports school success through the following programs:

Teach, Lead, Learn

  • Developed a standards-based, rigorous college-ready curriculum
  • Focuses on professional development of school principals and teachers, emphasizing teacher effectiveness training
  • Provides data-driven decision-making to maximize student learning
  • Connects students’ classroom learning to their workplace learning

Mission Effectiveness

  • Optimizes the effectiveness of the schools’ Corporate Work Study Programs
  • Supports member schools with particular finance, job or enrollment strategies
  • Works with community groups in targeted cities to create more Cristo Rey Network schools

College Initiatives

  • Monitors the progress of Cristo Rey graduates while they are in college
  • Works with colleges and universities that are committed to supporting Cristo Rey students to ensure postsecondary access and success for our alumni

Professional Development

  • Grows current and future leaders at the schools and promotes ongoing spiritual formation, the sharing of best practices, as well as finance, strategic planning, and governance issues

Advocacy on National Education Reform

  • Cristo Rey leaders serve as a national voice and leader in the movement of education reform through meetings with elected officials, letters to the media, and prominent speaking opportunities.   http://www.cristoreynetwork.org/page.cfm?p=356

School choice is just as important for poor students as it for their more privileged peers.

Joseph P. Viteritti writes in the 1996 Brookings article, Stacking the Deck for the Poor: The New Politics of School Choice:

A new model of school choice has begun to emerge in state legislatures and in Congress. One might call it the “equal opportunity model.” Its goal is to give children who could not otherwise afford it the chance to attend a high-quality private or parochial school. The first such plans were enacted in Wisconsin and Ohio, but others have received serious consideration elsewhere. All provide public assistance to students on the basis of economic need. There is no skimming here, for the target population is students who are most underserved by public education, the lowest achievers. Nor do these initiatives portend an end to public education, for only a small portion of the population can meet the means-tested criteria for eligibility.

The Problem: Separate and Unequal

Defenders of the present government monopoly can conjure up whatever images they may of a future shaped by greater choice in education. But the system they propose in its stead offers little hope for many children who come from minority and poor families. Notwithstanding the promise enunciated by the Supreme Court in the Brown decision 42 years ago, the condition of public education in the United States still can aptly be described in two words: separate and unequal. David Armor gives an account in his recent book, Forced Justice: despite the best efforts of civil rights advocates and the federal courts over the past four decades, most black children today attend de facto racially segregated public schools, the condition improving minimally since 1968. Moreover, a substantial body of empirical research and a flood of litigation in the state courts (in nearly two-thirds of the states) shows wide disparities in per-pupil spending between poor and middle-class districts. No resolution to either situation appears in sight. Public schooling, for all its virtues, just hasn’t been very kind to some children. The same system that helped assimilate generations of European immigrants is not working very well today for the most disadvantaged members of society.

Yes, there has been some notable progress in American education. De jure segregation has been all but eliminated. Ambitious compensatory programs have been spun out of Washington and the state capitals. After a precipitous 15-year decline in national test scores that began in 1964, student achievement is beginning to show signs of gradual improvement. But these victories tell only part of the story. Our system of public education betrays a persistent gap in student performance defined by race. In 1995, black students trailed white students on SAT verbal scores by 92 points. The disparity in mathematics was 110 points. The data on Hispanic students is only slightly less discouraging. If we are serious about education reform in America, then the first order of business is to meet the needs of those students whom the existing system has failed the most. We must move aggressively to close the learning gap between the haves and the have-nots. http://www.brookings.edu/research/articles/1996/06/summer-education-viteritti

Most parents want a quality education for their child.

Moi wrote in School choice: Given a choice, parents vote with their feet:

Most parents want the best for their children and will make many sacrifices to give their children a good life. In the movie Waiting for Superman, a remarkable group of parents was trying to overcome the odds stacked against their children in failing public schools. David Miller Sadker, PhD,  Karen R. Zittleman, PhD in  Teachers, Schools, and Society  list the characteristics of a strong school. Strong schools must be found in all areas. At present, that is not true.  It is particularly important where student populations face challenges. Strong principals, effective teachers and parental involvement are key to strong schools. Charmaine Loever describes  What Makes A Principal Effective? It really doesn’t matter the income level or the color of the parent, most want the best for their child.

Perhaps, the best testimonial about this school comes from an editorial which describes the emotions of one parent. The NY Daily News editorial, My Baby Is Learning  describes a protest against charter schools:

Those words were spoken by a mother who had brought her child for the first day of classes at Harlem Success Academy 2 Charter School – and faced loud protesters with her youngster.

The demonstrators were part of a movement that portrays charter schools as an elitist threat to public education. They are not. They are publicly funded schools that admit neighborhood kids by lottery. Their students far outperform children in traditional public schools.

Charters have proliferated in Harlem, and thousands of parents have children on waiting lists – a trend that has driven activists, including state Sen. Bill Perkins, into shamefully charging that charters are creating a separate and “unequal” system.

But parents, the vast majority of them minorities, know better. Like the woman who confronted the protesters, they’re flocking to charters as a way out of failing local schools. And the bottom line for them is crystal-clear: Their babies are learning. 

The only way to overcome the great class divide is to give all children a first class education. AP reports in the article, More Students Leaving Failing Schools which was printed in the Seattle Times that given the choice, many parents choose to take their kids out of failing schools. Well, duh.

The next great civil rights struggle will be education equity for low-income and poor children.  ALL options for educating children must be on the table. https://drwilda.com/2011/12/15/school-choice-given-a-choice-parents-vote-with-their-feet/

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Review of the Brookings study on vouchers by National Education Policy Center

14 Sep

Moi has posted quite a bit about vouchers. Moi discussed vouchers as one element of school choice in Given school choice, many students thrive:

The Center for Education Reform defines School Choice

The term “school choice” means giving parents the power and opportunity to choose the school their child will attend. Traditionally, children are assigned to a public school according to where they live. People of means already have school choice, because they can afford to move to an area according to the schools available (i.e. where the quality of public schools is high), or they can choose to enroll their child in a private school. Parents without such means, until recently, generally had no choice of school, and had to send their child to the school assigned to them by the district, regardless of the school’s quality or appropriateness for their child.

School choice means better educational opportunity, because it uses the dynamics of consumer opportunity and provider competition to drive service quality. This principle is found anywhere you look, from cars to colleges and universities, but it’s largely absent in our public school system and the poor results are evident, especially in the centers of American culture – our cities. School choice programs foster parental involvement and high expectations by giving parents the option to educate their children as they see fit. It re-asserts the rights of the parent and the best interests of child over the convenience of the system, infuses accountability and quality into the system, and provides educational opportunity where none existed before.

Many school choice issues are also discussed in the school choice section.

School Choices has information about School Vouchers https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/university-of-arkansas-study-finds-milwaukee-voucher-students-go-to-college-at-higher-rate/

The Brookings Institute (Brookings) has released the report, The Effects of School Vouchers on College Enrollment: Experimental Evidence from New York City.  See also, Vouchers Help African American Students Go to College http://educationnext.org/vouchers-help-african-american-students-go-to-college/    and New Research on the Impact of Vouchers http://www.nationalreview.com/agenda/314852/new-research-impact-vouchers-reihan-salam

https://drwilda.com/2012/08/23/given-school-choice-many-students-thrive/

Sara Goldrick-Rab has written Review of The Effects of School Vouchers on College Enrollment: Experimental Evidence from New York City:

Here is the press release for the review:

Brookings Study Does Not Support Claim that Vouchers Boosted College Enrollment

Contact

William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058, wmathis@sover.net
Sara Goldrick-Rab, (608) 265-2141, srab@education.wisc.edu

URL for this press release:  http://tinyurl.com/8deema8
BOULDER, CO (September 13, 2012) – A recent Brookings Institution report that looked at college enrollment rates of students attending voucher schools in New York City acknowledged no overall impacts of the vouchers on college attendance, but its authors trumpeted large, positive impacts for a subgroup of the voucher students: African Americans.
A new review of the report, however, questions the claim of a strong positive impact even for that group.

The Effects of School Vouchers on College Enrollment: Experimental Evidence from New York City was written by Matthew Chingos and Paul Peterson and published jointly by Brookings and by the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard.

It was reviewed for the Think Twice think tank review project by professor Sara Goldrick-Rab of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The review is published by the National Education Policy Center, housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education.

The report examines college enrollment rates of students participating in an experimental voucher program in New York City, which in the spring of 1997 offered 3-year scholarships worth up to $1,400 annually to low-income families.

In her review of the Brookings report, Goldrick-Rab observes that the study identifies no overall impacts of the voucher offer, but that the authors “report and emphasize large positive impacts for African American students, including increases in college attendance, full-time enrollment, and attendance at private, selective institutions of higher education.”

This strong focus on positive impacts for a single subgroup of students is not warranted. Goldrick-Rab notes four problems:

  • There are no statistically significant differences in the estimated impact for African Americans as compared to other students;
  • There is important but unmentioned measurement error in the dependent variables (college attendance outcomes) affecting the precision of those estimates and likely moving at least some of them out of the realm of statistical significance;
  • The authors fail to demonstrate any estimated negative effects that could help explain the average null results; and
  • There are previously existing differences between the African American treatment and control groups on factors known to matter for college attendance (e.g., parental education).


“Contrary to the report’s claim, the evidence presented suggests that in this New York City program, school vouchers did not improve college enrollment rates among all students or even among a selected subgroup of students,” Goldrick-Rab writes.

Consequently, this new study’s contribution to discussions of education policy is the opposite of what its authors intend. Goldrick-Rab concludes that the report “convincingly demonstrates that in New York City a private voucher program failed to increase the college enrollment rates of students from low-income families.”

Find Sara Goldrick-Rab’s review on the NEPC website at:
http://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/review-vouchers-college

The Effects of School Vouchers on College Enrollment: Experimental Evidence from New York City, by Matthew M. Chingos and Paul E. Peterson, is on the web at
http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2012/08/23-school-vouchers-harvard-chingos.

The Think Twice think tank review project (http://thinktankreview.org) of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) provides the public, policy makers, and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. NEPC is housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. The Think Twice think tank review project is made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

The mission of the National Education Policy Center is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. We are guided by the belief that the democratic governance of public education is strengthened when policies are based on sound evidence.  For more information on the NEPC, please visit http://nepc.colorado.edu/.

This review is also found on the GLC website at http://www.greatlakescenter.org/.

Citation:

Review of The Effects of School Vouchers on College Enrollment: Experimental Evidence from New York City

The Effects of School Vouchers on College Enrollment: Experimental Evidence from New York City

Matthew M. Chingos and Paul E. Peterson

Brookings Institute

August 23, 2012

Sara Goldrick-Rab (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

September 13, 2012

Press Release →

This Brookings report examines college enrollment rates of students participating in an experimental New York School Choice Scholarships Foundation Program, which in the spring of 1997 offered 3-year scholarships worth up to $1,400 annually to low-income families. The study identifies no overall impacts of the voucher offer, but the authors report and emphasize large positive impacts for African American students, including increases in college attendance, full-time enrollment, and attendance at private, selective institutions of higher education. This strong focus on positive impacts for a single subgroup of students is not warranted. There are no statistically significant differences in the estimated impact for African Americans as compared to other students; there is important but unmentioned measurement error in the dependent variables (college attendance outcomes) affecting the precision of those estimates and likely moving at least some of them out of the realm of statistical significance; the authors fail to demonstrate any estimated negative effects that could help explain the average null results; and there are previously existing differences between the African American treatment and control groups on factors known to matter for college attendance (e.g., parental education). Contrary to the report’s claim, the evidence presented suggests that in this New York City program, school vouchers did not improve college enrollment rates among all students or even among a selected subgroup of students.

Review Download

There is no magic bullet or “Holy Grail” in education. There is only what works to produce academic achievement in each population of children. That is why school choice is so important. Moi does not have the dread of a well-defined voucher program targeted at at-risk children. The tax credit program is entirely a horse of a different color and should be discouraged.

Related:

What is the Indiana voucher program?                                           https://drwilda.com/2012/08/26/what-is-the-indiana-voucher-program/

Are tax credits disguised vouchers?                                                         https://drwilda.com/2012/06/17/are-tax-credits-disguised-vouchers/

University of Arkansas study finds Milwaukee voucher students go to college at higher rate                                                                                                        https://drwilda.com/2012/03/05/university-of-arkansas-study-finds-milwaukee-voucher-students-go-to-college-at-higher-rate/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©