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E-Connection will be on vacation during the week of the ECS National Forum, June 24-28. The next issue will be released July 3.
June 19, 2013
New from ECS
Schools of Success, a national network of 19 schools, was established by the National Center for Learning and Citizenship (NCLC) three years ago to examine how elements of service-learning enhance student performance on key outcomes. The NCLC gathered stories over the years of how the schools implemented five components known to institutionalize and maximize service-learning: vision and leadership, curriculum and assessment, professional development, community-school partnerships, and continuous improvement. This paper contains these "stories of sustainability," showing what successful service-learning looks like through a variety of mechanisms and in a variety of school settings.
A Series on Developmental Education, the NextDev Challenge
Reforming Community College Assessment and Placement: More than half of incoming community college students are placed in remedial classes; four in 10 never complete those courses, according to the Community College Research Center, and as many as one-third of those students could have earned a B or higher in a regular college class. One of four papers addressing reform in remedial education, this brief addresses effective models that help students avoid unnecessary developmental classes or pull them through those classes faster: bridge programs, review and test preparation, and assessment reform.
Tailoring Remediation to Students' Needs: One-size-fits-all developmental classes are becoming archaic. This brief examines ways to redesign remedial education to better match students' skills and improve their success rates. Accelerated classes are one way to do that—content is compressed or self-paced. Some colleges use a model in which online software, intensive instruction, and individual assistance replace lectures. Other accelerated pathways through developmental education include modular and competency-based designs, which target students' specific deficits, sequencing redesigns which align coursework to fit the student's major—statistics instead of algebra, for example—and finally, co-enrollment, in which students take a developmental course and a college-level course on the same subject. The remedial course provides academic support while the student earns credit.
Student Supports: The conclusion is that changing the developmental curriculum is not, by itself, enough. Institutions need to kick in advising, tutoring, and/or learning communities to bolster classes' effectiveness, help students adapt to campus life, and hasten time to completion. Some believe that student supports shouldn't be an add-on, but integrated into the college's staffing plan so buy-in from administration and developmental faculty is essential. Examples of successful programs are listed.
Statewide Remedial Education Design: Highlighting statewide reforms, this paper takes a look at Colorado and West Virginia, both of which received $1 million grants from Complete College America and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Tennessee, where the Tennessee Board of Regents launched its statewide redesign of developmental math education in 2006. In Colorado, a developmental education taskforce has implemented reforms that include open entry/exit math labs; accelerated, compressed, contextualized, mainstreaming clusters; online hybrids; and modularization and diagnostic assessments. The most promising delivery models will be implemented at the state's 13 community colleges by 2014. West Virginia, too, is in the midst of an evaluation process using the same best practices as Colorado, but its plan is to include the use of learning communities as well.
Nevada Seniors Lose One Exit Test, 11th Graders Pick Up Five
Nevada legislation just enacted does away with the state's exit exam, the high school proficiency assessment. However, A.B. 288 also requires 11th graders, beginning with the 2014-15 school year, to take a college- and career-readiness assessment and pass four end-of-course assessments.
Future Teachers' Training Includes Child Psychology
Connecticut legislation enacted earlier this month will help ensure teachers are competent in addressing social or emotional development and learning of children. H.B. 6292 requires teacher preparation candidates to complete training in children's social and emotional development. The training must include instruction on (1) a comprehensive, coordinated social and emotional assessment, and early intervention for children displaying behaviors associated with social or emotional problems; (2) the availability of treatment services for such children; and (3) referring such children for assessment, intervention, or treatment.
High School Graduates Hold the Line
Despite increased rigor introduced over the past four years, New York graduation rates remained stable, according to a release from the Education Department. State Education Commissioner John B. King said hard work on the part of educators, parents, and students proved opponents of higher standards wrong. State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch noted more needs to be done to get the state’s students college- and career-ready.
A briefing for U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan reveals that 40 states detected potential cheating during the past two school years, and 33 confirmed at least one instance of cheating. Thirty-two states reported canceling, invalidating, or nullifying test scores from individual students, schools, or districts because of suspected or confirmed instances of cheating by school officials. Also, 22 states reported they had all leading practices for security training in place, but four had none. (GAO)
State Policies to Strengthen Leadership in P-3
To better prepare and support elementary school principals, state leaders should redefine what principals should know and do through improved standards and licensure requirements, according to a recent report. Also, they should develop more stringent state accreditation criteria for principal preparation programs and embed early childhood education in those programs. Existing principals need professional development opportunities on promoting quality P-3 instruction. (National Governors Association)
Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction
Here is a copy of the job posting for the Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction. Applications for this opening will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, July 5, 2013.
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