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The Progress of Education Reform: High School Curriculum MS Word PDF - Research shows that the kind and level of courses high school students take affects their performance on tests, their readiness for college-level work and their persistence toward a degree. Also looks at what a rigorous high school curriculum should look like. (Suzanne Weiss, The Progress of Education Reform 1999-2001, vol. 3, no. 1, Education Commission of the States, August-September 2001)...

Instructional Focus in First Grade - First grade is generally the first year of mandatory full-day schooling in the United States and is thus, for many students, the first time that they will be attending school in a full-day setting. This Issue Brief details how often per week and how much time per day 1st-graders were instructed in subjects such as reading, mathematics, science and the arts during the 1999-2000 academic year. (National Center for Education Statistics, March 2006)...

Surveys of Enacted Curriculum: A Guide for SEC Collaborative State and Local Coordinators - The Surveys of Enacted Curriculum (SEC) are a set of data-collection tools used with teachers of mathematics, science and English language arts to collect and report consistent data on current instructional practices and content being taught in classrooms. This guide discusses: (1) the history, development and findings to date of the SEC; (2) applications of the SEC in education; (3) available SEC tools and services; (4) the membership and benefits of the SEC collaborative; (5) the steps in planning a state or local SEC project; and (6) the steps in planning for SEC survey data collection. Available in the appendices are: (1) answers to frequently asked questions; (2) sample SEC charts, graphs and maps; (3) additional SEC services; (4) costs of SEC tools and services; and (5) a state or local SEC project planning template. (Council of Chief State School Officers and the SEC Collaborative, 2005)...

Academic Atrophy: The Condition of the Liberal Arts in America's Public Schools - This report is based on a study of K-12 studentsí access to a curriculum in the liberal arts, especially in light of No Child Left Behind and state accountability requirements. The authors found strong evidence of growing commitment to mathematics, reading, writing, science and secondary social studies. They also saw evidence, however, of waning commitment to the arts, foreign language and elementary social studies, with the greatest erosion of the curriculum occurring in schools with high minority populations. (Claus von Zastrow and Helen Janc, Council for Basic Education, March 2004) The Council of Basic Education closed its doors in June 2004, therefore, ECS has provided an alternative link....

Data on Enacted Curriculum Study: Summary of Findings - This report is the culmination of a three-year research project designed to measure (1) the effects of the Data on Enacted Curriculum (DEC) professional development model in improving middle grades math and science instruction; (2) the extent of variation in instructional practices and content in middle grades math and science; and (3) how the DEC professional development model is being implemented at the school level in large urban districts. In Appendix C, beginning on page 81 (86 of 100), charts indicate the degree of disconnect between the content of classroom instruction and that of the state standards in specific skills and knowledge areas in math and science in the five participating urban districts. (Rolf K. Blank, Council of Chief State School Officers, 2004)...

Five Years of Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Education: Assessing the Impact - U.S. teens have the highest birth rate and one of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections in the industrialized world. The debate on how best to address this issue pits those supporting comprehensive sex education programs against those supporting abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. This study evaluates 10 statesí abstinence-only programs to determine their short- and long-term effectiveness in delaying sexual activity among teens. The author reports that none of the programs show evidence of long-term impact on delaying sexual activity, and that they negatively impact youthís willingness to use contraception. The report includes a chart illustrating the short- and long-term effects of the programs as well as information regarding each state's effort. (Debra Hauser, Advocates for Youth, 2004)...

2002 NAEP Writing Assessment Results - The National Assessment of Educational Progres (NAEP) 2002 writing assessment measured students' performance on three types of writing: narrative, informative and persuasive. The results show that the average or typical 4th-, 8th- and 12th-grade student can write only at the Basic level; this is true at the national level and for all participating states and jurisdictions. (National Center for Education Statistics, 2002)...

Geography 2001 Major Results - Average scores of the nation's 4th and 8th graders on the National Assessment of Educational Progress geography test have improved from 1994, but there has been no significant change in the average score of 12th graders. Questions addressed three main content areas: space and place, environment and society, and spatial dynamics and connections. This link provides subgroup results, instructions on how to interpret the results and highlights. (National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, June 2002)...

U.S. History 2001 Major Results - The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has released the 2001 U.S. History results for the nation in grades 4, 8 and 12. Scores are up since 1994 for 4th and 8th graders, while changes for high school seniors are not statistically significant. Questions addressed four historical themes and eight chronological periods; approximately 29,000 students were assessed in the national sample. (National Center for Education Statistics, May 2002)...

Asia in the Schools: Preparing Young Americans for Today's Interconnected World - American students lack even a basic knowledge of Asia, despite the continent's significance in U.S. history and in current and future economic and security matters, according to this report by the National Commission on Asia in the Schools. The lack of coverage of Asia in the curriculum "leaves students unprepared to meet the demands of increasing globalization." This report analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of current teaching and learning about Asia, and makes recommendations for improvement. (National Commission on Asia in the Schools, 2001)...

High School Academic Curriculum and the Persistence Path Through College - The findings of this study demonstrated a consistent advantage for students who completed rigorous high school curricula Ė and to a lesser extent for those completing mid-level curricula Ė over their peers enrolled in lower-level courses. Students who completed rigorous curricula were more likely to stay enrolled in their first institution or, if they transferred, to stay on track to a bachelorís degree. The more challenging courses also may help students overcome socioeconomic disadvantages such as low family income and parents with no college experience. (National Center for Education Statistics, August 2001)...

Answers in the Tool Box: Academic Intensity, Attendance Patterns and Bachelorís Degree Attainment - According to this study, the biggest factor in determining whether young people earn a bachelorís degree is participation in a strong academic curriculum in high school. The completion of a solid academic core was more strongly correlated with a bachelorís degree than high school test scores, gradepoint averages or class rank. Moreover, an intensive academic curriculum in high school had the strongest positive effect for black and Hispanic students. (Clifford Adelman, U.S. Department of Education, OERI, June 1999)...

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