Tag Archives: Education Achievement

Should states make the GED a high school diploma?

1 Feb

There are a variety of reasons why people fail to complete high school and fail complete their high school education. Kate Convissor lists the following reasons in the EduGuide article, Why Kids Drop Out of School:

While the reasons kids drop out vary, the following are six important risk factors:
1. Academic difficulty and failure. Struggling in school and failing classes is one of the main reasons teens drop out, and this pattern often shows up early. Students who fail eighth grade English or math, for example, are seventy-five percent more likely to drop out of high school.
2. Poor attendance. Teens who struggle in school are also absent a lot, and along with academic failure, absenteeism is an important future predictor for dropping out. As with the previous example, students who are absent for twenty percent of their eighth grade year (one day per week) are also highly likely to drop out in high school.
3. Being held back (retention). Linked to academic difficulty, students who are held back and who are older than the kids in their grade also tend to drop out.
4. Disengagement from school. Many kids who drop out say that school was boring and teachers did little to connect learning to real life. They didn’t feel invested in their school and they didn’t feel that adults seemed interested in them or their high school experience.
5. Transition to a new school. A poor transition from the smaller, more protected environment of middle school to the anonymity of a high school can cause a teen to have difficulty catching up-and some kids never do.
6. Other life factors. Pregnancy, family problems, and financial difficulties are all factors that distract a student from schoolwork and make keeping up more challenging.
http://www.eduguide.org/library/viewarticle/2132/

Because many entry level jobs require at a minimum a high school diploma, the General Education Development Test or GED is often substituted for the high school diploma to show that an individual has reached a basic level of education achievement.

The Best Schools reported in High School Diplomas versus the GED:

Many indicators soundly show that holders of the GED fall behind their diploma-holding counterparts. The following are a few examples concerning future outcome differences:
• High school graduates earn, on average, about $1,600 a month more than those with a GED (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012).
• Less than 5% of those with a GED receive a bachelor’s degree, compared to the 33% of those with diplomas that do (U.S. Census Bureau), which is supported by several studies showing that high school graduates are more prepared for college and score higher on placement tests than holders of the GED (National Bureau of Economic Research).
• 77% of GED holders do not continue past the first semester of college (American Council of Education study ).
• The military limits the number of accepted and requires higher scores on aptitude test for GED holders, because the military service dropout rates for GED holders is 45% compared to 24% for high school graduates.
The stigma connected with GED holders is not present for diploma holders, and that is the stigma of being a dropout, of lacking persistence, or of taking short cuts. This accounts partly for the large difference in wages between the two groups. Plus, many institutions view the robust education gained by years spent full-time in school cannot be garnered by the taking of a day-long test, nor indicated by it…. Maryland has offered diplomas to GED graduates for decades. Virginia gives GED recipients a certificate. http://www.thebestschools.org/degrees/high-school-diplomas-versus-ged/

Some school districts and states are moving toward issuing a high school diploma upon completion of a GED.

Michael Alison Chandler reported in the Washington Post article, D.C. explores widening the road to earning a high school diploma:

The proposed regulations by the Office of the State Superintendent for Education (OSSE) would remove the standard “Carnegie unit” — 120 hours of instruction, representing an hour a day, five days a week, for 24 weeks — upon which high school credit is based.
Instead, starting next school year, students would have multiple ways to earn credit, including passing a state-approved test or participating in a “course equivalent,” such as an internship, community-service project, portfolio or performance that can be tied to the academic standards. Another proposal would create a “state diploma” that would go to students who pass the GED any time after January 2014…. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/dc-seeks-flexibility-in-granting-high-school-diplomas/2014/12/14/814816a6-7fa0-11e4-81fd-8c4814dfa9d7_story.html

D.C. is not the only area looking for alternatives to the high school diploma.

MaryLynn Schiavi reported in Program makes it easy to get a high school diploma:

A pilot program launched in October 2014 is blazing a new trail for students of all ages and redefining the role of public libraries throughout the state. The Career Online High School (COHS) program is offering residents a free and convenient way to earn a high school diploma and other credentialed certificates through self-paced online courses under the guidance of an assigned coach. Students are expected to complete the program within 18 months.
“This innovative project is the latest step in the transformation of public libraries in the digital age into full-fledged community resources,” said Mary Chute, New Jersey state librarian…. http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/local/new-jersey/2015/02/01/road-high-school-diploma/22589769/

It is important not only for a particular individual, but the economy for individuals to get a high school diploma. The question is whether a GED might open employment doors for some who have failed to complete their high school education. There are a variety of reasons why people fail to complete high school and fail complete their high school education, According to the July 24, 2011 NPR report, School Dropout Rates Add To Fiscal Burden by Claudio Sanchez and Linda Wertheimer, “Nearly 1 million kids who start high school every year don’t make it to graduation.” http://www.npr.org/2011/07/24/138653393/school-dropout-rates-adds-to-fiscal-burden See, More Than Half Of Older High School Dropouts Not Employed Today http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21/high-school-dropouts-unemployment_n_1291210.html?ref=education&ir=Education Anything that states and school districts can do to broaden the opportunity to complete high school is useful.

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King’s College London study: Education achievement reflects many genetically influenced traits

13 Oct

Talking about the influence of genetics and learning is a touchy subject. The 1994 Bell Curve by Herrnstein and Murray started a wild fire. http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/The_Bell_Curve.html The King’s College focused on:

The high heritability of exam grades reflects many genetically influenced traits such as personality, behavior problems, and self-efficacy and not just intelligence. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141006152151.htm

The study deals with the effect of genetics on emotional intelligence which is very important to achievement.

Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Melinda Smith, M.A. wrote the excellent article, Emotional Intelligence (EQ) for HELPGUIDE.Org.

What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and diffuse conflict. Emotional intelligence impacts many different aspects of your daily life, such as the way you behave and the way you interact with others…. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eq5_raising_emotional_intelligence.htm

Education achievement requires not only intelligence, but motivation, resilience, and conflict resolution.

Science Daily reported in the article, Why is educational achievement heritable?

New research, led by King’s College London finds that the high heritability of exam grades reflects many genetically influenced traits such as personality, behaviour problems, and self-efficacy and not just intelligence.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), looked at 13,306 twins at age 16 who were part of the Medical Research Council (MRC) funded UK Twins Early Development Study (TEDS). The twins were assessed on a range of cognitive and non-cognitive measures, and the researchers had access to their GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) scores.

In total, 83 scales were condensed into nine domains: intelligence, self-efficacy (confidence in one’s own academic ability), personality, well-being, home environment, school environment, health, parent-reported behaviour problems and child reported behaviour problems.

Identical twins share 100% of their genes, and non-identical twins (just as any other siblings) share 50% of the genes that vary between people. Twin pairs share the same environment (family, schools, teachers etc). By comparing identical and non-identical twins, the researchers were able to estimate the relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors. So, if overall, identical twins are more similar on a particular trait than non-identical twins, the differences between the two groups are due to genetics, rather than environment.

Eva Krapohl, joint first author of the study, from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s, says: “Previous work has already established that educational achievement is heritable. In this study, we wanted to find out why that is. What our study shows is that the heritability of educational achievement is much more than just intelligence — it is the combination of many traits which are all heritable to different extents.

“It is important to point out that heritability does not mean that anything is set in stone. It simply means that children differ in how easy and enjoyable they find learning and that much of these differences are influenced by genetics.”

The researchers found that the heritability of GCSE scores was 62%. Individual traits were between 35% and 58% heritable, with intelligence being the most highly heritable. Together, the nine domains accounted for 75% of the heritability of GCSE scores.

Heritability is a population statistic which does not provide any information at an individual level. It describes the extent to which differences between children can be ascribed to DNA differences, on average, in a particular population at a particular time…. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141006152151.htm

Citation:

Why is educational achievement heritable?
Date: October 6, 2014

Source: King’s College London
Summary:
The high heritability of exam grades reflects many genetically influenced traits such as personality, behavior problems, and self-efficacy and not just intelligence. The study looked at 13,306 twins at age 16 . The twins were assessed on a range of cognitive and non-cognitive measures, and the researchers had access to their GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) scores.
The high heritability of educational achievement reflects many genetically influenced traits, not just intelligence
1. Eva Krapohla,1,
2. Kaili Rimfelda,1,
3. Nicholas G. Shakeshafta,
4. Maciej Trzaskowskia,
5. Andrew McMillana,
6. Jean-Baptiste Pingaulta,b,
7. Kathryn Asburyc,
8. Nicole Harlaard,
9. Yulia Kovasa,e,f,
10. Philip S. Daleg, and
11. Robert Plomina,2
Significance
Differences among children in educational achievement are highly heritable from the early school years until the end of compulsory education at age 16, when UK students are assessed nationwide with standard achievement tests [General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE)]. Genetic research has shown that intelligence makes a major contribution to the heritability of educational achievement. However, we show that other broad domains of behavior such as personality and psychopathology also account for genetic influence on GCSE scores beyond that predicted by intelligence. Together with intelligence, these domains account for 75% of the heritability of GCSE scores. These results underline the importance of genetics in educational achievement and its correlates. The results also support the trend in education toward personalized learning.
Abstract
Because educational achievement at the end of compulsory schooling represents a major tipping point in life, understanding its causes and correlates is important for individual children, their families, and society. Here we identify the general ingredients of educational achievement using a multivariate design that goes beyond intelligence to consider a wide range of predictors, such as self-efficacy, personality, and behavior problems, to assess their independent and joint contributions to educational achievement. We use a genetically sensitive design to address the question of why educational achievement is so highly heritable. We focus on the results of a United Kingdom-wide examination, the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), which is administered at the end of compulsory education at age 16. GCSE scores were obtained for 13,306 twins at age 16, whom we also assessed contemporaneously on 83 scales that were condensed to nine broad psychological domains, including intelligence, self-efficacy, personality, well-being, and behavior problems. The mean of GCSE core subjects (English, mathematics, science) is more heritable (62%) than the nine predictor domains (35–58%). Each of the domains correlates significantly with GCSE results, and these correlations are largely mediated genetically. The main finding is that, although intelligence accounts for more of the heritability of GCSE than any other single domain, the other domains collectively account for about as much GCSE heritability as intelligence. Together with intelligence, these domains account for 75% of the heritability of GCSE. We conclude that the high heritability of educational achievement reflects many genetically influenced traits, not just intelligence….

Here is the press release from King’s College:

News
Why is educational achievement heritable?
Posted on 06/10/2014
Exams
New research, led by King’s College London finds that the high heritability of exam grades reflects many genetically influenced traits such as personality, behaviour problems, and self-efficacy and not just intelligence.
The study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), looked at 13,306 twins at age 16 who were part of the Medical Research Council (MRC) funded UK TEDS | The Twins Early Development Study (TEDS). The twins were assessed on a range of cognitive and non-cognitive measures, and the researchers had access to their GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) scores.
In total, 83 scales were condensed into nine domains: intelligence, self-efficacy (confidence in one’s own academic ability), personality, well-being, home environment, school environment, health, parent-reported behaviour problems and child reported behaviour problems.
Identical twins share 100% of their genes, and non-identical twins (just as any other siblings) share 50% of the genes that vary between people. Twin pairs share the same environment (family, schools, teachers etc). By comparing identical and non-identical twins, the researchers were able to estimate the relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors. So, if overall, identical twins are more similar on a particular trait than non-identical twins, the differences between the two groups are due to genetics, rather than environment.
Eva Krapohl, joint first author of the study, from the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s, says: “Previous work has already established that educational achievement is heritable. In this study, we wanted to find out why that is. What our study shows is that the heritability of educational achievement is much more than just intelligence – it is the combination of many traits which are all heritable to different extents.
“It is important to point out that heritability does not mean that anything is set in stone. It simply means that children differ in how easy and enjoyable they find learning and that much of these differences are influenced by genetics.”
The researchers found that the heritability of GCSE scores was 62%. Individual traits were between 35% and 58% heritable, with intelligence being the most highly heritable. Together, the nine domains accounted for 75% of the heritability of GCSE scores.
Heritability is a population statistic which does not provide any information at an individual level. It describes the extent to which differences between children can be ascribed to DNA differences, on average, in a particular population at a particular time.
Kaili Rimfeld, joint-lead author, also from the IoPPN at King’s says: “No policy implications necessarily follow from finding that genetics differences influence educational achievement, because policy depends on values and knowledge. However, our findings support the idea that a more personalized approach to learning may be more successful than a one size fits all approach. Finding that educational achievement is heritable certainly does not mean that teachers, parents or schools aren’t important. Education is more than what happens to a child passively; children are active participants in selecting, modifying, and creating their experiences – much of which is linked to their genetic propensities, known in genetics as genotype–environment correlation.”
TEDS is supported by the UK Medical Research Council with additional funding from the National Institutes of Health.
Paper reference: Krapohl, E. et al. “The high heritability of educational achievement reflects many genetically influenced traits, not just intelligence” published in PNAS.
For further information, please contact Seil Collins, Press Officer, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London seil.collins@kcl.ac.uk / (+44) 0207 848 5377

Teachers and schools have been made TOTALLY responsible for the education outcome of the children, many of whom come to school not ready to learn and who reside in families that for a variety of reasons cannot support their education. All children are capable of learning, but a one-size-fits-all approach does not serve all children well. Different populations of children will require different strategies and some children will require remedial help, early intervention, and family support to achieve their education goals. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/11/3rd-world-america-money-changes-everything/

ALL children have a right to a good basic education.

Resources:
The Global Creativity Index http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2011/10/global-creativity-index/229/

The Rise of the Creative Class
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2001/0205.florida.html

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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/

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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/

Life is not fair: African American men and negative stereotypes

20 May

Moi has got plenty to say about hypocrites of the conservative persuasion, those who espouse family values, but don’t live up to them or who support corporate welfare while tossing out that old bromide that individuals must pull themselves up by their bootstraps even if they don’t have shoes.
Because of changes in family structure and the fact that many children are now being raised by single parents, who often lack the time or resources to care for them, we as a society must make children and education a priority, even in a time of lack. I know that many of the conservative persuasion will harp on about personal responsibility, yada, yada, yada. Moi promotes birth control and condoms, so don’t harp on that. Fact is children, didn’t ask to be born to any particular parent or set of parents.

Jonathan Cohn reports about an unprecedented experiment which occurred in Romanian orphanages in the New Republic article, The Two Year Window. There are very few experiments involving humans because of ethical considerations.

Nelson had traveled to Romania to take part in a cutting-edge experiment. It was ten years after the fall of the Communist dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu, whose scheme for increasing the country’s population through bans on birth control and abortion had filled state-run institutions with children their parents couldn’t support. Images from the orphanages had prompted an outpouring of international aid and a rush from parents around the world to adopt the children. But ten years later, the new government remained convinced that the institutions were a good idea—and was still warehousing at least 60,000 kids, some of them born after the old regime’s fall, in facilities where many received almost no meaningful human interaction. With backing from the MacArthur Foundation, and help from a sympathetic Romanian official, Nelson and colleagues from Harvard, Tulane, and the University of Maryland prevailed upon the government to allow them to remove some of the children from the orphanages and place them with foster families. Then, the researchers would observe how they fared over time in comparison with the children still in the orphanages. They would also track a third set of children, who were with their original parents, as a control group.
In the field of child development, this study—now known as the Bucharest Early Intervention Project—was nearly unprecedented. Most such research is performed on animals, because it would be unethical to expose human subjects to neglect or abuse. But here the investigators were taking a group of children out of danger. The orphanages, moreover, provided a sufficiently large sample of kids, all from the same place and all raised in the same miserable conditions. The only variable would be the removal from the institutions, allowing researchers to isolate the effects of neglect on the brain….
Drury, Nelson, and their collaborators are still learning about the orphans. But one upshot of their work is already clear. Childhood adversity can damage the brain as surely as inhaling toxic substances or absorbing a blow to the head can. And after the age of two, much of that damage can be difficult to repair, even for children who go on to receive the nurturing they were denied in their early years. This is a revelation with profound implication—and not just for the Romanian orphans.
APPROXIMATELY SEVEN MILLION American infants, toddlers, and preschoolers get care from somebody other than a relative, whether through organized day care centers or more informal arrangements, according to the Census Bureau. And much of that care is not very good. One widely cited study of child care in four states, by researchers in Colorado, found that only 8 percent of infant care centers were of “good” or “excellent” quality, while 40 percent were “poor.” The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has found that three in four infant caregivers provide only minimal cognitive and language stimulation—and that more than half of young children in non-maternal care receive “only some” or “hardly any” positive caregiving. http://www.tnr.com/article/economy/magazine/97268/the-two-year-window?page=0,0&passthru=YzBlNDJmMmRkZTliNDgwZDY4MDhhYmIwMjYyYzhlMjg

Because the ranks of poor children are growing in the U.S., this study portends some grave challenges not only for particular children, but this society and this country. Adequate early learning opportunities and adequate early parenting is essential for proper development in children.

Another obstacle many children must overcome is the negative stereotype. Leland Ware opines in the Diverse Education article, Unconscious Stereotypes and Black Males:

In the decades following the enactment of the civil rights laws of the 1960s, old-fashioned, overt discrimination has begun to fade. Klansmen and skinheads are not socially acceptable. However, extensive research conducted over the last 30 years has shown that racial prejudice is pervasive among many who consciously subscribe to a belief in racial equality. Many individuals who believe they have positive attitudes about racial minorities unconsciously harbor racial prejudices. This can cause individuals to engage in conduct that disadvantages minorities without consciously realizing they are doing so. The discrimination occurs when it is not obvious to the perpetrator or when they can point to a race-neutral justification for the actions. Some academics have labeled this phenomenon “colorblind racism.”
Prejudice and stereotypes are the byproducts of ordinary perceptions, categorization, learning, memory and judgment. Categorization is the process by which ideas and objects are recognized, differentiated and understood. It is an essential cognitive activity that enables individuals to reduce the enormous amounts of information they encounter every day to a manageable level. Categorization allows individuals to relate new experiences to old experiences; the unfamiliar becomes familiar. Each object and event is perceived, remembered, grouped into a category and identified. The process is automatic and operates in milliseconds.
The categorization process can also trigger stereotypes. When an individual is seen as a member of a social group, perceptions about that group’s characteristics and behavior influence judgments made about them. Stereotyping involves the creation of a mental image of a “typical” member of a particular category. Individuals are perceived as undifferentiated members of a group, lacking any significant differences from other individuals within the group.
When a particular behavior by a group member is observed, the viewer evaluates the behavior through the lens of the stereotype. This causes the observer to conclude that the conduct has empirically confirmed his stereotyped belief about the group. Stereotypes can be so deeply internalized that they persist in the face of facts that directly contradict the stereotype.
Professor Frances Aboud, who conducted research on prejudice in young children, confirmed that stereotypes develop at an early age. In a study with young children aged three to five, volunteers were given a half-dozen positive adjectives such as “good,” “kind,” “clean” and an equal number of negative adjectives such as “mean,” “cruel” and “bad.” They asked children to match each adjective to one of the two drawings. One drawing depicted a White person and the other showed a Black person. The results showed that 70 percent of the children assigned nearly every positive adjective to the White faces and nearly every negative adjective to the Black faces.
Young children experience a world in which most people who live in nice houses are White. Most people on television are White, especially the people who were shown in positions of authority, dignity and power. Most of the storybook characters they see are White, and it is the White children who perform heroic, clever and generous feats.
Children, who are rapidly orienting themselves in their environments, receive messages about race, not once or twice, but thousands of times. Everywhere a child looks, whether it is on television, in movies, in books or online, their inferences are confirmed. As they grow into adults, these messages remain in their unconscious psyches and can be triggered by the categorization process. This provides the foundation for unconscious discrimination.
Eradicating negative stereotypes about Black men will be difficult, as they are longstanding and ubiquitous. Talking about them will not change people who believe they are egalitarian. However, individuals can be made aware of their unconscious biases.
Harvard’s Implicit Association Test is an experiment that measures the speed at which two concepts are associated. The research shows that unconscious stereotyping and prejudice are widespread. Test takers consistently made more associations between the faces of African-Americans and words having negative concepts. Positive concepts were associated with the faces of Whites. Hundreds of thousands of individuals have taken the test producing similar results.
Recognizing and understanding unconscious discrimination provides a starting point for addressing this problem…. http://diverseeducation.com/article/64283/

Moi wrote about “success cultures in HARD QUESTION: Do Black folk REALLY want to succeed in America?
All moi can say is really. One has a Constitutional right to be a MORON. One must ask what are these parents thinking and where do they want their children to go in THIS society and not some mythical Africa which most will never see and which probably does not exist. Remember, their children must live in THIS society, at THIS time and in THIS place.
Moi wrote in Black people MUST develop a culture of success: Michigan State revokes a football scholarship because of raunchy rap video.

The question must be asked, who is responsible for MY or YOUR life choices? Let’s get real, certain Asian cultures kick the collective butts of the rest of Americans. Why? It’s not rocket science. These cultures embrace success traits of hard work, respect for education, strong families, and a reverence for success and successful people. Contrast the culture of success with the norms of hip-hop and rap oppositional culture.
See, Hip-hop’s Dangerous Values
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1107107/posts and Hip-Hop and rap represent destructive life choices: How low can this genre sink? https://drwilda.com/2013/05/01/hip-hop-and-rap-represent-destructive-life-choices-how-low-can-this-genre-sink/

There is no such thing as a “model minority” and getting rid of this myth will allow educators to focus on the needs of the individual student. Still, the choice of many parents to allow their children to make choices which may impact their success should have folk asking the question of what values are being transmitted and absorbed by Black children.

Resources:
Culture of Success http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/culture-success

How Do Asian Students Get to the Top of the Class?
http://www.greatschools.org/parenting/teaching-values/481-parenting-students-to-the-top.gs

Related:
‘Becoming A Man’ course: Helping young African-American men avoid prison
https://drwilda.com/2013/07/03/becoming-a-man-course-helping-young-african-american-men-avoid-prison/

Study: The plight of African-American boys in Oakland, California
https://drwilda.com/2012/05/27/study-the-plight-of-african-american-boys-in-oakland-california/

Schott Foundation report: Black and Latino boys are not succeeding in high school
https://drwilda.com/tag/african-american-male/

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/

Jonathan Cohn’s ‘The Two Year Window’ https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/jonathan-cohns-the-two-year-window/

Who says Black children can’t learn? Some schools get it https://drwilda.com/2012/03/22/who-says-black-children-cant-learn-some-schools-gets-it/

Inappropriate discipline: The first step on the road to education failure https://drwilda.com/2011/12/13/inappropriate-discipline-the-first-step-on-the-road-to-education-failure/

Is there a model minority? https://drwilda.com/2012/06/23/is-there-a-model-minority/

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 Chicago Urban Education Lab study: Targeted tutoring can reduce the education gap

28 Jan

People want an education for a variety of reasons. Some have a love of learning. Others want to attend a good college or vocational school. Still others, see an education as a ticket to a good job. Increasingly for schools, the goal is to prepare kids with the skills to attend and succeed at college. In order to give children the skills to succeed, schools need teachers who are effective at educating their population of kids. There are many themes in the attempt to answer the question, what will prepare kids for what comes after high school. What will prepare kids for what comes after high school is a good basic education. The schools that provide a good basic education are relentless about the basics.

Sharon Otterman wrote a good news story in the New York Times about how a relentless focus on the basics can yield results. In Brooklyn School Scores High Despite Poverty Otterman reported:

To ace the state standardized tests, which begin on Monday, Public School 172 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, finds money for coaches in writing, reading and math. Teachers keep detailed notes on each child, writing down weaknesses and encouraging them to repeat tasks. There is after-school help and Saturday school.
But at the start of this school year, seven or eight students were still falling behind. So the school hired a speech therapist who could analyze why they and other students stumbled in language. A psychologist produced detailed assessments and recommendations. A dental clinic staffed by Lutheran Medical Center opened an office just off the fourth-grade classrooms, diagnosing toothaches, a possible source of distraction, and providing free cleanings.
Perfection may seem a quixotic goal in New York City, where children enter school from every imaginable background and ability level. But on the tests, P.S. 172, also called the Beacon School of Excellence, is coming close — even though 80 percent of its students are poor enough to qualify for free lunch, nearly a quarter receive special education services, and many among its predominately Hispanic population do not speak English at home.
In 2009, the 580-student primary school, tucked between fast-food restaurants and gas stations in a semi-industrial strip of Fourth Avenue, topped the city with its fourth-grade math scores, with all students passing, all but one with a mark of “advanced,” or Level 4. In English, all but one of 75 fourth graders passed, earning a Level 3 or 4, placing it among the city’s top dozen schools.
On average, at schools with the same poverty rate, only 66 percent of the students pass the English test, and 29 percent score at an advanced level in math, according to a New York Times analysis of Department of Education statistics. And though it is less well known, P.S. 172 regularly outperforms its neighbors in Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, where parents raise hundreds of thousands a year for extra aides and enrichment.
The school’s approach, while impressive in its attention to detail, starts with a simple formula: “Teach, assess, teach, assess,” said Jack Spatola, its principal since 1984.
Mr. Spatola attributed the coaches and other extra help to careful budgeting and fighting for every dollar from the Department of Education; the school’s cost per pupil, in fact, is lower than the city’s average. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/26/education/26test.html?pagewanted=all?pagewanted=all

What this school does well is know its student population and design assessments and interventions targeted at its population of kids. It is an example of the think small not small minded philosophy. Motoko Rich reported about another example of the think small and focus on the individual philosophy in her story about the University of Chicago study focused on targeted tutoring.

Rich reported in the New York Times article, Intensive Small-Group Tutoring and Counseling Helps Struggling Students:

A new paper being released Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests a promising approach for helping the most challenged students, who often arrive in high school several years behind their peers.
The study, which was conducted by a team led by Jens Ludwig, the co-director of the University of Chicago Urban Education Lab, provided a program of intense tutoring, in combination with group behavioral counseling, to a group of low-income ninth- and 10th-grade African-American youths with weak math skills, track records of absences or disciplinary problems. Those students learned in an eight-month period the equivalent of what the average American high school student learns in math over three years of school, as measured by standardized test scores, over and above what a similar group of students who did not receive the tutoring or counseling did…..
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/27/education/intensive-tutoring-and-counseling-found-to-help-struggling-teenagers.html
ref=education&_r=0

Jann Ingmire reported in the Phys.Org article, Targeted tutoring can reduce ‘achievement gap’ for CPS students, study finds:

For the new report, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the UChicago team tracked the impact of tutoring and mentoring among 106 ninth- and tenth-grade students at Harper High School in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood for six months in 2012 and 2013. Students were selected randomly to permit rigorous analysis of the outcomes. In addition to a significant jump in math test scores, students receiving tutoring and mentoring failed two fewer courses per year on average than students who did not participate, and their likelihood of being “on track” for graduation rose by nearly one-half.
“These results come from a randomized experiment of the sort that generates gold-standard evidence in medicine, but remains far too rare in the area of social policy,” noted Roseanna Ander, Executive Director of the UChicago Urban Education Lab. The lab is part of the UChicago Urban Education Institute, which is dedicated to creating knowledge to produce reliably excellent schooling.
One benefit of the Match tutoring approach is that it takes on the “mismatch” between a student’s grade level and the actual skills he or she has developed, which in disadvantaged urban settings like Chicago can be four to ten years behind grade level in math, which is a key gateway to high school graduation, said Jens Ludwig, Co-Director of the Urban Education Lab and McCormick Foundation Professor of Social Service Administration, Law, and Public Policy.
“So much of the energy in education policy is in improving the quality with which grade-level material is taught in classrooms,” Ludwig said. “But that’s not going to help a ninth-grader who is struggling with third- or fourth-grade math problems.”
Perhaps because students in the study got the targeted help they needed to catch up, Ludwig said, “These effects on schooling outcomes are larger—much larger—than what we see from so many other educational strategies.”
To help students catch up to grade level and re-engage with regular classroom instruction, the Match program administered a regimen sometimes described as “tutoring on steroids.” Virtually all participants were African American males from low-income families. Some of the 106 participants were selected via random lottery to receive the Match program’s individualized math tutoring for one hour per day, every day; each math tutor works with just two students at a time. In addition, students in this group received to non-academic intervention for one hour a week through the BAM mentoring program. BAM, developed by Chicago non-profit Youth Guidance and World Sport Chicago, uses elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy and non-traditional sports activities to strengthen social-cognitive skills, including self-regulation and impulse control. Other students participated in BAM alone, and the rest received the school’s existing programming.
“In addition to gains in achievement test scores we also saw improvements in engagement with school, such as an increase in attendance of about 2.5 weeks per year” said Jonathan Guryan, Associate Professor of Human Development and Social Policy in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University and Co-director of the University of Chicago Urban Education Lab. “The results indicate this combination of programs may potentially be one way to narrow the black-white test score gap.”
The expansion of the BAM mentoring and Match tutoring approach to serve more CPS students will allow researchers to better understand the mechanisms of how these programs work and whether they can produce the same results on a larger scale.
The UChicago team’s NBER study concludes, “The impact of the pilot intervention reported in this paper are large enough to raise the question of whether the field has given up prematurely on the possibility of improving academic outcomes for disadvantaged youth.”
http://phys.org/news/2014-01-gap-cps-students.html

Citation:

The (Surprising) Efficacy of Academic and Behavioral Intervention with Disadvantaged Youth: Results from a Randomized Experiment in Chicago
Philip J. Cook, Kenneth Dodge, George Farkas, Roland G. Fryer, Jr, Jonathan Guryan, Jens Ludwig, Susan Mayer, Harold Pollack, Laurence Steinberg
NBER Working Paper No. 19862
Issued in January 2014
NBER Program(s): CH DAE DEV ED EFG HC HE LE LS PE
There is growing concern that improving the academic skills of disadvantaged youth is too difficult and costly, so policymakers should instead focus either on vocationally oriented instruction for teens or else on early childhood education. Yet this conclusion may be premature given that so few previous interventions have targeted a potential fundamental barrier to school success: “mismatch” between what schools deliver and the needs of disadvantaged youth who have fallen behind in their academic or non-academic development. This paper reports on a randomized controlled trial of a two-pronged intervention that provides disadvantaged youth with non-academic supports that try to teach youth social-cognitive skills based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and intensive individualized academic remediation. The study sample consists of 106 male 9th and 10th graders in a public high school on the south side of Chicago, of whom 95% are black and 99% are free or reduced price lunch eligible. Participation increased math test scores by 0.65 of a control group standard deviation (SD) and 0.48 SD in the national distribution, increased math grades by 0.67 SD, and seems to have increased expected graduation rates by 14 percentage points (46%). While some questions remain about the intervention, given these effects and a cost per participant of around $4,400 (with a range of $3,000 to $6,000), this intervention seems to yield larger gains in adolescent outcomes per dollar spent than many other intervention strategies.

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this. You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

It is going to take coordination between not only education institutions, but a strong social support system to get many of these children through school. This does not mean a large program directed from Washington. But, more resources at the local school level which allow discretion with accountability. For example, if I child is not coming to school because they have no shoes or winter coat, then the child gets new shoes and/or a coat. School breakfast and lunch programs must be supported and if necessary, expanded. Unfortunately, schools are now the early warning system for many families in crisis. In addition, to families and schools, corporate support can be useful in helping to move at-risk children into the mainstream.

Related:

‘Becoming A Man’ course: Helping young African-American men avoid prison https://drwilda.com/2013/07/03/becoming-a-man-course-helping-young-african-american-men-avoid-prison/

Study: The plight of African-American boys in Oakland, California https://drwilda.com/2012/05/27/study-the-plight-of-african-american-boys-in-oakland-california/

Schott Foundation report: Black and Latino boys are not succeeding in high school https://drwilda.com/tag/african-american-male/

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/

Jonathan Cohn’s ‘The Two Year Window’ https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/jonathan-cohns-the-two-year-window/

Who says Black children can’t learn? Some schools get it
https://drwilda.com/2012/03/22/who-says-black-children-cant-learn-some-schools-gets-it/

Inappropriate discipline: The first step on the road to education failure
https://drwilda.com/2011/12/13/inappropriate-discipline-the-first-step-on-the-road-to-education-failure/

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/

School choice: Community schools

23 Oct

Moi wrote in Improving education: Community schools:
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. For some communities and for some children, “community schools” might improve education achievement. The Coalition for Community Schools is a great resource for those interested in “community schools.”

A community school is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. Schools become centers of the community and are open to everyone – all day, every day, evenings and weekends.
Using public schools as hubs, community schools bring together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities. Partners work to achieve these results:
o Children are ready to learn when they enter school and every day thereafter. All students learn and achieve to high standards.
o Young people are well prepared for adult roles in the workplace, as parents and as citizens.
o Families and neighborhoods are safe, supportive and engaged.
o Parents and community members are involved with the school and their own life-long learning.
To learn more about the Coalition’s vision of a community school, read the section An Enduring Vision in the Coalition’s report, Making the Difference: Research and Practice in Community Schools. Also, watch as the U.S. Secretary of Education speak of the importance of community schools on Charlie Rose.
For more information on what it means to be a community school, read Community Schools: Partnerships for Excellence (PDF, 426k).
http://www.communityschools.org/aboutschools/what_is_a_community_school.aspx

Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post wrote an interesting article about “community schools.”

In Why community schools are part of the answer, Strauss wrote:

Community schools, by directly dealing with many of the out-of-school issues that affect how students do in school — such as violence, family mobility, etc. — help to create the conditions that allow young people to actually concentrate on academics. Community schools seek to create conditions for learning that include:
*Fostering early childhood development through high-quality comprehensive programs.
*Providing students qualified teachers, challenging curriculum and high standards and expectations.
*Addressing the basic physical, mental and emotional health needs of families.
*Creating safe, supportive school climates through community engagement.
There is not a single model of community school initiatives but rather a number of different ones that share common principles, according to the Coalition for Community Schools. The coalition is an alliance of elementary, secondary and post-secondary organizations at the state, local and national level that are involved with education, youth development, community planning and development, family support, health and human services and more.
One of the many models of community schools, which serve millions of children around the country, is called “Schools of the 21st Century,” which provides school-based child care and family support services.
Created by Edward Ziegler, a professor at Yale University who was an architect of the Head Start program, this model is now being used in 1,300 schools across the country and turns regular public schools into year-round centers where different services are provided to families the before, during and after school hours. You can learn about other models here.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/why-community-schools-are-part-of-the-answer/2011/12/15/gIQAdu9T4O_blog.html

Strauss has updated here report with a piece by Brock Cohen.

In the Washington Post article, Why community schools are a no-brainer, Cohen wrote:

The community schools framework rejects this notion. This is because each of its foundational principles reveals the imperative of addressing low achievement through a holistic course of action. Such a transition represents a radical departure from past school initiatives because it has the audacity to shine a light on gaps carved out by social inequity. As importantly, the movement’s current champions (Sen. Liu among them) refuse to shy away from naming poverty and social injustice as the primary impediments to student learning. As a call to arms, they direct us to the sprawling body of evidence that proves how futile any reform effort will become without quickly addressing 0-4 poverty-induced learning gaps, summer literacy erosion, or a failure to ensure that all children have quality physical and mental health care.
They also emphasize how community schools are as much an exercise in sober fiscal pragmatism as they are a moral call to action. The consequences of academic failure are everyone’s problem, costing the state over $58 billion each year in incarceration expenses, health care, and taxable income.
But the gaps aren’t insurmountable. They can gradually narrow by leveraging partnerships; engaging families; and re-defining schools as safe, stable, welcoming community spaces. And because the needs of children vary across demographics and geographies, the model embraces flexibility: Each school site should customize its own approach in conjunction with local agencies and civic partners that understand the primacy of nurturing the whole child. So while community schools seek to address all domains of student need, some may allocate more resources toward specific services or strategies. For example:
• Pasadena’s Madison Elementary has teamed with Healthy Start to provide comprehensive on-site health, wellness, and social, and parent education to all of its students and families
• Four Redwood City Schools have formed a consortium with civic partners to make 0-5 education and enrichment a regional imperative.
• Behind the support of the Community Heath & Adolescent Mentoring Program for Success (CHAMPS), Oakland Tech High has detailed programs in place to boost student engagement and youth leadership.
• Joining forces with Inner City Struggle (ICS), East L.A.’s Esteban E. Torres High School offers primary healthcare, mental health, reproductive services, and dental care to all of its students.
Past school reform initiatives focused on channeling limited fiscal and human resource inputs to schools and districts. What makes the community schools framework more substantive and sustainable is that it establishes inputs as the process by which each of a child’s needs domains are fulfilled. If community partners and resources (as inputs) are actively engaged in addressing these needs (health, wellness, literacy and cognitive growth) the outcomes will take care of themselves.
The past decade-plus of school reform has been as notable for its soaring rhetoric as for its inaction on the issues that truly hinder learning and achievement. But as an educator who’s fresh from the classroom, I cannot stress how gratifying it is to see evidence of collective and intentional action springing up in schools throughout the state. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that each of the schools on the Pathways to Partnerships bus tour has shown seismic improvements in campus-wide learning, health, and wellness since fully committing to the community schools framework. But scores of others throughout California have followed the same pattern.
Still, it goes without saying that community schools are not a cure for soaring child poverty (afflicting 1 in 4 children statewide). And an even bigger nemesis may be the “not my kid” mindset that seems to afflict a vast number of citizens who remain undeterred by California’s nationwide ranking of 49 in per-pupil expenditures…. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/10/23/why-community-schools-are-a-no-brainer/

Moi wrote in The ‘whole child’ approach to education:
Many children do not have a positive education experience in the education system for a variety of reasons. Many educators are advocating for the “whole child” approach to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process.
The National Education Association (NEA) describes the “whole child” approach to learning in the paper, Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child.

Meeting the needs of the whole child requires:

• Addressing multiple dimensions, including students’ physical, social and emotional health and well-being.
• Ensuring equity, adequacy and sustainability in resources and quality among public schools and districts.
• Ensuring that students are actively engaged in a wide variety of experiences and settings within—and outside—the classroom.
• Providing students with mentors and counselors as necessary to make them feel safe and secure.
• Ensuring that the condition of schools is modern and up-to-date, and that schools provide access to a broad array of resources.
• Reducing class size so that students receive the individualized attention they need to succeed.
• Encouraging parental and community involvement. http://www.educationvotes.nea.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/WholeChildBackgrounder.pdf

ASCD, (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) along with the NEA is leading in the adoption of the “whole child” approach.

Sean Slade, director of Healthy School Communities, a program of the ASCD, an education leadership organization wrote the Washington Post article, Taking a stand for ‘the whole child’ approach to school reform.

A whole child approach to education enhances learning by addressing each student’s social, emotional, physical, and academic needs through the shared contributions of schools, families, communities, and policymakers. It is a move away from education policy that far too narrowly focuses on student standardized test scores as the key school accountability measure and that has resulted in the narrowing of curriculum as well as rigid teaching and learning environments.
The true measure of student success is much more than a test score, and ensuring that young people achieve in and out of school requires support well beyond effective academic instruction. The demands of the 21st century require a new approach to education to fully prepare our nation’s youth for college, career, and citizenship.
Our last two Vision in Action Award Winners, Price Laboratory School (PLS) in Iowa and Quest Early College High School in Texas, exemplify what we mean. Both of these schools work to ensure that each child is healthy, safe, supported, engaged and challenged, whether it is through foundation of daily physical education for all grades K-12; or the weekly health programs promoting empowerment, fresh and organic foods, as is the case at Price Lab; or yearlong personal wellness plans, and a focus on social/emotional as well as physical health at Quest
Lessons and projects extend outside the classroom walls and into the local community. They are adapted to engage students and reworked to provide for personal learning styles and interest. Advisory groups – or “families” as they are called at Quest – abound and are a crucial part in making each teacher, student and family feel respected. And in both schools all are expected to achieve and are provided the mechanisms to do so. They don’t just set the bar high. They provide the steps and supports to get over that bar.
Both schools have gone beyond just a vision for educating the whole child to actions that result in learners who are knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, civically active, artistically engaged, prepared for economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond formal schooling.
But this ideal should not be found only in the the occasional school. It should be found in all schools….
If you think a child’s worth is more than a test score, sign ASCD’s petition to create a President’s Council on the Whole Child.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/taking-a-stand-for-the-whole-child-approach-to-school-reform/2012/02/05/gIQARBcM0Q_blog.html

Many of the schools and neighborhoods facing challenges are where there are pockets of high unemployment and underemployment with high levels of family instability. Children in these neighborhoods face a myriad of challenges which require an more comprehensive approach to education. See, Christina Silva’s Huffington Post article, 1 in 5 U.S. Children Lives in Poverty http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/17/1-in-5-us-children-live-i_n_929424.html

ASCD is promoting the Whole Child Initiative:

Explore resources and opportunities for action here and on http://www.wholechildeducation.org, and together we’ll change the face of education policy and practice. Find sets of indicators related to each tenet below. Taken together across all five tenets and the central necessities of collaboration, coordination, and integration, these indicators may serve as a needs assessment, set of strategic goals and outcomes, framework for decision making, or the definition of what a whole child approach to education truly requires. Download theindicators (PDF).
Whole Child Tenets
o Each student enters school healthy and learns about and practices a healthy lifestyle.
o Each student learns in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe for students and adults.
o Each student is actively engaged in learning and is connected to the school and broader community.
o Each student has access to personalized learning and is supported by qualified, caring adults.
o Each student is challenged academically and prepared for success in college or further study and for employment and participation in a global environment.
http://www.ascd.org/whole-child.aspx

In order to ensure that ALL children have a basic education, we must take a comprehensive approach to learning.

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

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Racial education disparity: Florida program ‘Bridging the Gap’

24 Sep

Moi asked a tough question in In Hard question: Does indigenous African-American culture support academic success? Moi opined:
Jesse Washington of AP has written a comprehensive article which details the magnitude of the disaster which is occurring in the African-American community. In the article, Blacks Struggle With 72% Unwed Mother Rate which was reprinted at SeattlePI.Com Washington sounds an alarm which if you can’t hear it, makes you deaf.
This is not about racism or being elitist. This is about survival of an indigenous American culture. This is not about speaking the truth to power, it is about speaking the truth. The truth is children need two parents to help them develop properly and the majority of single parent headed families will live in poverty. Children from single parent homes have more difficult lives. So called “progressives” who want to make their “Sex and the City” life style choices the norm because they have a difficult time dealing with the emotional wreckage of their lives, need to shut-up when it comes to the survival of the African American community. This is an issue that the so called educated classes and religious communities have to get involved in.

Trip Gabriel reported about more fallout from the failure of the African-American family in the New York Times. In Proficiency of Black Students Is Found to Be Far Lower Than Expected http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/09/education/09gap.html?emc=eta1&_r=0
Brian M. Rosenthal’s Seattle Times article reported about the achievement gap between native African-Americans and immigrant African ethnic groups in Seattle.

In the article, ‘Alarming’ new test-score gap discovered in Seattle schools, Rosenthal reported:

African-American students whose primary language is English perform significantly worse in math and reading than black students who speak another language at home — typically immigrants or refugees — according to new numbers released by Seattle Public Schools. http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2017046660_newgap19m.html

This education achievement disparity is observed all over the country.

Cara Fitzpatrick reported in the Tampa Bay Times article, Pinellas unveils plan to boost academic performance for black students:

Superintendent Mike Grego quietly unveiled a sweeping new plan last week to combat one of the Pinellas County school system’s oldest and most pressing problems: the achievement gap between black students and their peers.
The plan, dubbed Bridging the Gap, calls for struggling black students to be monitored much more closely, pushing them into after-school and summer programs, meeting with their parents or guardians, pairing them with mentors, and making sure they have access in school to credit recovery classes.
Under the plan, all black students will be invited to take advanced classes and have access to preparation programs for college placement exams. Teachers, too, will be part of the plan’s focus, with an emphasis on learning “culturally responsive” instruction and practices.
Grego said many of the strategies aren’t new, but the district hasn’t been consistent, perhaps because of a revolving door of leaders at the top. Grego, who is nearing his first anniversary with the school district, is the third superintendent in three years.
He said the focus will be on closely tracking student data and repeatedly asking, “How are our African-American students doing?”
School officials also will be persistent in looking for community involvement. At Leila Davis Elementary, for instance, Grego said the principal was recruiting mentors from a nearby church to work with struggling black students.
Rene Flowers, the School Board’s only black member, acknowledged that parts of the plan are more “in your face” than what the school system has done previously, and some parents might not like it. But she said it should push students harder and keep better tabs on their academic performance, long-term goals and attendance — before a problem reaches critical levels.
“I think this monitoring will let us know as a district where our students are,” she said. “I’m all for it.”
Being “culturally responsive” could be as simple as knowing where students live and what their home lives are like, Flowers said.
“Maybe they have to deal with a parent who didn’t come home last night,” she said, adding that a teacher will then understand why a student looks “exhausted” in first period.
Bridging the Gap is Grego’s first major districtwide initiative aimed specifically at the academic achievement of black students, a persistent area of weakness in the school system.
Black students make up 19 percent of Pinellas’ enrollment, yet their academic outcomes are far worse than their peers. Black students also are doing worse in Pinellas than black students in other large, urban school districts, including Hillsborough, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
The statistics are startling.
Black males have Pinellas County’s lowest graduation rate, with 46 percent earning a diploma, compared to 73 percent of white males. More than 65 percent of white students were proficient in reading last school year, yet only 28 percent of black students were. Math scores were similarly far apart…http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/pinellas-unveils-plan-to-boost-academic-performance-for-black-students/2143172

Jennifer Aniston got into a flap about her opinion regarding single motherhood. As reported by the Celebitchy blog in the post, Bill O’Reilly Takes On Jennifer Aniston’s Pro-Single Mother Comments Aniston said:

“Women are realizing it more and more knowing that they don’t have to settle with a man just to have that child. Times have changed and that is also what is amazing… that we do have so many options these days, as opposed to our parents’ days when you can’t have children because you have waited too long. The point of the movie is what is it that defines family? It isn’t necessarily the traditional mother, father, two children and a dog named Spot. Love is love and family is what is around you and who is in your immediate sphere. That is what I love about this movie. It is saying it is not the traditional sort of stereotype of what we have been taught as a society of what family is.”

See, Andrea Peyser’s Gals Being Lost in ‘No Man’ Land http://nypost.com/2010/08/23/gals-getting-lost-in-no-man-land/

The Washington Post article, Number of Black Male Teachers Belies Their Influence http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2009-07-04/news/36816280_1_black-men-black-male-teachers-black-girls 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.

Why does the culture think that the opinion of any celebrity should be valued above common sense? Celebrities will often repeat the mantra that they are not role models and really want to work on their art or their craft. But, many young people look up to these babbling heads as if they are an example of the best way to live. So, the question becomes how to give children the values that they might receive if they were in a healthy family. Youth Guidance attempts to meet that need with the “Becoming A Man” program.

Youth Guidance describes “Becoming a Man” (BAM):

Youth Guidance’s B.A.M. (Becoming A Man™) – Sports Edition is a school-based counseling, mentoring, violence prevention and educational enrichment program that promotes social, emotional and behavioral competencies in at-risk male youth. B.A.M – Sports Edition’s curriculum addresses six core values: integrity, accountability, self-determination, positive anger expression, visionary goal-setting and respect for women, as each value relates to personal and academic success.
B.A.M. – Sports Edition addresses key challenges African-American and Latino youth confront daily in some of Chicago’s toughest communities.B.A.M. – Sports Edition focuses exclusively on males because they are vastly more likely than females to be either victims or perpetrators of violent crime. Youth Guidance’s Anthony DiVittorio, L.C.P.C. created B.A.M. in response to an observation that his male students often lacked physical and emotional access to their fathers or other positive male role models. DiVittorio designed the B.A.M. curriculum around an innovative application of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques, resiliency theory and rites of passage “men’s work” that have been demonstrated to successfully help youth improve self-regulation, social skills, and interpersonal skills.B.A.M. is invested in helping youth improve life-long protective factors and reduce behavioral risk factors.
Over the course of 30 weekly sessions, B.A.M. – Sports Edition participants engage in developmentally-based lessons and challenges that promote their emotional literacy, impulse-control, social competence, positive peer relations and interpersonal problems-solving skills. B.A.M. – Sports Editionis designed to help students pass classes, reduce both in-school and out of school suspensions, reduce detentions, increase school attendance, reduce disciplinary problems, and support grade promotion.
Results of the study released in 2012 show that B.A.M. works and is cost-effective. Program participants saw a 10 percent increase in graduation rates, a reduction in failing grades by 37 percent, and a decrease in violent crime arrests by 44 percent. At a cost of $1,100 per participant, the Crime Lab estimates the social benefit/cost ratio to be at least 3:1 per participating youth.
“The University of Chicago Crime Lab study shows that Youth Guidance’s B.A.M. program reduces youth violence, increases school achievement and helps Chicago’s young men reach their full potential. ‘Becoming a Man’ helps young men find evidence of their worth, strengthen their connection to and success in school, and help build safer communities,” stated Youth Guidance’s CEO Michelle Morrison.
B.A.M.’s curriculum is built on six B.A.M. Core Values http://www.youth-guidance.org/here/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/B.A.M.-Core-Values.pdf

Here are the BAM Core Values:

1.INTEGRITY – is the core principle of the program. Students learn to identify and respect societal values and to conduct themselves in accordance with those values. Students learn that a man’s word should have meaning, and that a man’s integrity is dependent on keeping his word. Students learn that a man is someone who is reliable, honest and in touch with his integrity or lack thereof. He makes amends when he is out of integrity, and does what he says he is going to do.
2. ACCOUNTABILITY – Students learn that they should be responsible for the choices that they make and take ownership for their feelings, thoughts and behaviors. Students learn that a man does not project, or put blame onto others for the consequences of his own bad choices. A man can feel anger, sadness or fear, but he must own his reactions to those emotions.
3. SELF-DETERMINATION – is a learned skill, and practice begins in B.A.M. group. Students learn the importance of focus and perseverance in reaching one’s goals. Students learn to deal with self-defeating feelings, thoughts and behaviors that can become obstacles or barriers to goal-attainment. Students learn that self-doubt, uncertainty, and moments of weakness are natural when attempting to reach a goal.
4.POSITIVE ANGER EXPRESSION – is the most effective and remembered lesson taught in the program. Students learn that anger is a normal emotion that can be expressed in a constructive manner. This skill allows for the alleviation of angry feelings and becomes a bridge to goal attainment. Students learn anger management coping skills such as deep breathing exercises to elicit a relaxation response. Students learn effective techniques to express anger that avoid typical negative consequences (i.e. suspensions, arrests, damaged relationships, etc.).
5.VISIONARY GOAL SETTING – Students learn the difference between short-term and long-term goals and how to create realistic steps toward goal attainment. Students learn to envision their manhood in the future and to make clear connections between their current behaviors, attitudes and values and their vision. During this intense phase, students aim to get in touch with traumas, pains and faulty thinking that cause them to act in negative, destructive manners. They learn how to heal these parts of themselves and to use the energy toward attaining their vision. Not all students are ready for this phase of the program. However, it can be a life altering phase for those who are.
6. RESPECT FOR WOMANHOOD – Students go through three stages of learning. First, there are lectures and discussions around the history and contemporary roles that women have held in society. Students are challenged to take a critical look at which norms represent positive value and appreciation as opposed to depreciation, devaluing and oppression. Second, students learn concrete positive communication skills and begin using them during their interactions. As a result, students enter the final stage of training, wherein they increase their value and appreciation of womanhood.
B.A.M. – Sports Edition places special emphasis on issues surrounding respect and integrity. This value reinforces those important messages at a deeper level.

See, Therapy Helps Troubled Teens Rethink Crimehttp://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/07/02/188646607/therapy-helps-troubled-teens-rethink-crime?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=share&utm_campaign=

It is going to take coordination between not only education institutions, but a strong social support system to get many of these children through school. This does not mean a large program directed from Washington. But, more resources at the local school level which allow discretion with accountability. For example, if I child is not coming to school because they have no shoes or winter coat, then the child gets new shoes and/or a coat. School breakfast and lunch programs must be supported and if necessary, expanded. Unfortunately, schools are now the early warning system for many families in crisis.

Related:
Jonathan Cohn’s ‘The Two Year Window’
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/jonathan-cohns-the-two-year-window/

Hard question: Does indigenous African-American culture support academic success?
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/hard-question-does-indigenous-african-american-culture-support-academic-success/

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