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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
School health centers (SHCs) are well situated to support students who are bullied and victimized at school, because they provide crisis intervention, mental health care, and broader interventions to improve school climate. Recent research examined the association between urban adolescents’ experiences of school-based bullying and victimization and their use of SHCs. Findings suggest that SHCs may be an important place to address bullying and victimization at school, but confidentiality concerns are barriers that may be more common among bullied and victimized youth.
Postsecondary readiness has become a centerpiece of major education policy initiatives, but few systems are available to track students’ progress toward this goal, and even fewer focus on anything beyond academic achievement. To address this gap we developed a college-readiness index for middle school students. Given its predictive power and its focus on affective traits like motivation and behavior, the index may help educators intervene early and appropriately to keep students on track.
06/01/2015. San Francisco Chronicle
California’s 112 community colleges are designed to provide high school graduates who don’t go to four-year universities a second chance at higher education. But when it comes to math proficiency requirements, too many community college students are getting a raw deal, beginning with the way colleges test incoming students’ math skills and send the vast majority of students to remedial math courses.
Military-connected adolescents tend to experience unique stressors that, in conjunction with normative adolescent stressors, may contribute to higher suicide risk. Findings from a recent study of California youth emphasize the need to address suicidality among military-connected adolescents and their families.