Conditions of Education in California

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 9:09am

Head Start has evolved into a comprehensive service delivery program designed to serve poor children at risk in the targeted domains of cognitive development, socio-emotional development, health, and family functioning. We tested whether the program is meeting its conceptual goals of promoting school readiness outcomes for children whose risk profiles matched those targeted by its service model. Head Start did not differentially benefit high-risk children's pre-academic skills, but differential effects on high-risk children's behavior varied by the respondent. Interactions were detrimental for maternal-report, but positive for teacher-report.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - 8:37am

An experiment incentivizing students to participate in a tutoring program shows that non-monetary incentives can be both effective and cheap and provide students a nudge toward greater success.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015 - 9:47am

Meta-analysis of multiple studies shows a statistically significant relationship between different forms of suspension and academic achievement, and between out-of-school suspension and dropout, suggesting that schools may want to reconsider the use of high levels of suspension, particularly for minor or non-violent offenses.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - 10:57am

For over one million children in California with special health care needs, schools must address the health services they require during schools hours to ensure their safety and access to an education. Students with special health care needs are at higher risk than their peers for missing school, repeating a grade, and dropout. Yet in many cases, schools are not aware of students’ health conditions and do not monitor them as a group at risk for school failure.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 - 10:07am

In many states and school districts nationwide, student performance on standardized tests plays an important role in high-stakes decisions such as grade retention. A recent study examines the adverse effects of grade retention in Florida, which requires students with reading skills below grade level to be retained in the 3rd grade. The results indicate that grade retention increases the likelihood of disciplinary problems in the short run, yet these effects dissipate over time. The findings also suggest that these short term adverse effects are concentrated among economically disadvantaged and male students.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 - 10:41am

To save on transportation and overhead costs, more and more schools are switching from the traditional Monday through Friday school week to a four-day-week schedule. However, it is unknown whether the shortened school week impacts student performance. Results from recent research indicate a positive relationship between the four-day week and performance in reading and mathematics, suggesting that moving to a four-day week does not compromise student academic achievement.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015 - 12:00am

In the face of shrinking government budgets and a growing need to train a high-skilled labor force, policymakers have become increasingly interested in cost-effective measures that induce more students to pursue post-secondary education. New research examines whether a low cost intervention, where information about a student's own academic ability is provided, influences their decision about whether and where to attend college.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 12:00am

The literature on predictors and effects of grade retention is vast, with known predictors of grade retention including gender, ethnicity, poverty, parental education, and academic skills. Still, what is lacking in the grade retention literature is the use of advanced methodologies to examine the occurrence and timing of grade retention, and to analyze predictors at the school- as well as the child-level. The current study found grade retention was most likely by third grade, and also found school readiness predictors, specifically low early academic skills (i.e. reading, math, and general knowledge skills), were the strongest predictors of grade retention at both the school- and child-level.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 8:20am

A very small share of news media about education mention research; an even smaller percentage mention research that has been peer-reviewed. Policymakers and members of the public who rely on the news media for information about education should be aware that, on the rare occasion that they do encounter research-based evidence in the print news media, it is not necessarily the most rigorous or important work that the field has to offer.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 5:49am

Alternative high schools can potentially play an important role in preventing dropouts among at-risk students. Recent research investigates how school staffing and processes in these schools impact graduation rates. Findings suggest that alternative high schools for at-risk student have their own dynamics and require different approaches than traditional schools.


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