California high schools with high-poverty students lose nearly two weeks of learning time annually because of teacher absences, testing, emergency lockdowns and other disruptions compared with their more affluent peers in other schools, according to a new UCLA study.
Study: California Students In High-Poverty Schools Lose More Learning Time.
The Los Angeles Times (11/18, Watanabe) reports a new UCLA study found 30 minutes of daily learning time is lost in high-poverty California schools due to poor-quality substitutes, testing, tardiness from insufficient transportation, emergency lockdowns, and other demands on schedules (such as additional financial, college, healthcare, and career counseling) more pronounced in high-poverty schools. The study surveyed 793 teachers in 193 high schools last winter, assessing poverty by student eligibility rates for Federal school meal plan subsidies. The piece frames the issue of lost learning time in high-poverty Jefferson High School in Los Angeles, where a malfunctioning schedule system cost students days of lost instructional time. The piece also includes additional research for earlier decades evidencing unequal instruction time.
The backlash against no-excuses discipline in (charter) high schools
"Over the past two decades, hundreds of elementary and middle schools across the country have embraced an uncompromisingly stern approach to educating low-income students of color. But only more recently have some of the charter networks that helped popularize strictness, including the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), opened high schools—an expansion that has tested the model in new, and divisive, ways. There’s no official name for this type of school, and not all of the informal terms please the educators in charge: the ethos is often described as “no excuses,” “paternalistic,” or devoted to “sweating the small stuff.” The schools, most of them urban charters, share an aversion to even minor signs of disorder and a pressing need to meet the test-based achievement standards of the No Child Left Behind era or else find themselves shuttered. Front and center in their defense of intensive regimentation for their predominantly minority students is a stirring goal beyond that bottom line: to send all their graduates, many of them first-generation college aspirants, on to higher education."
Now on the outs, memorizing facts and passages and equations can have lifelong benefits to students.
Despite Being Disparaged, Rote Memorization Has Place In Education.
In a column in the Washington Post (11/16), Jay Mathews writes that though education “reformers” often “denounce memorization” as “drudgery,” but writes that the practice is nonetheless “hanging on.” Mathews writes that creating memories is an indelible part of humanity, and that while there are other valid pedagogical alternatives, “it is wrong to assume that going over the same fact or name several times until it sticks is bad teaching.”
Mel Riddile's insight:
Fluency is critical to learning.
Remembering is the only evidence of learning.
Automaticity and word recognition are critical to reading proficiency.
Remembering multiplication tables increases math achievement.
When you think about history, you probably think about dates, events, and other boring information you were forced to memorize in school. Instead, you should think of history as medicine that can be prescribed to your modern problems.
When it comes to garnering commitment and engagement from employees, there is one thing that leaders need to demonstrate: Respect. That’s what we saw in a study of nearly 20,000 employees around the world (conducted with HBR and Tony Schwartz).
In fact, no other leader behavior had a bigger effect on employees across the outcomes we measured. Being treated with respect was more important to employees than recognition and appreciation, communicating an inspiring vision, providing useful feedback — even opportunities for learning, growth, and development.
University and college graduation rates have declined since the beginning of the economic downturn, according to a new report, even as policymakers prod universities and colleges to turn out more people with degrees. While enrollment has gone up since 2008, the proportion of students who graduated has gone down, the report, by the National Student …
Two new surveys try to quantify the number of standardized tests students take in school — an estimated 113 by graduation.
Mel Riddile's insight:
In addition to the huge amount of testing and resources allocated to testing and re-testing, students receive little to no feedback on how they scored on the tests. In most states, test scores have no impact on students. By the time students are in high school, many do not take the tests seriously and proceed to "christmas-tree" the tests. However, teachers and administrators are fired and schools are closed on the basis of test scores.
Longitudinal data sets give educators a 360-degree view of student performance at the push of a button -- and they're changing education at both the student and policy levels.
Education Being Changed By Data Collection.
Government Technology (11/12) reports in a 2,000 word article how data-driven learning, or big data, is changing the nature of education. The article explains how states are aggregating data and the challenges that they face in collecting data from local districts that have autonomy over their own data services. The result is that once all the longitudinal data is collected, it serves to guide policy decisions at state and local levels.