THE VALUE OF ENHANCED READING OPPORTUNITIES IN HIGH SCHOOLS: Report Finds Supplemental Reading Programs Can Improve High School Students' Test Scores: Supplemental reading programs have a statistically significant impact on improving student test scores in reading comprehension, according to early findings from the Enhanced Reading Opportunities (ERO) study. The Enhanced Reading Opportunities Study: Early Impact and Implementation Findings evaluates the effects of supplemental reading programs that are being implemented as part of small learning communities in thirty-four high schools from ten school districts across the country.
CLOSING THE EXPECTATIONS GAP: Achieve Grades States on High School Reform Efforts: According to Achieve's latest report, Closing the Expectations Gap 2008, a majority of states have committed to raise expectations for high school students and more than one third have already adopted college- and career-ready standards and graduation requirements. However, only nine states expect to have college- and career-ready testing systems in place by the end of 2008, and only four will hold high schools accountable for their students' readiness.
AP REPORT TO THE NATION: Advanced Placement Participation Increases While Mean Scores Decrease: Though a greater proportion of public high school students are taking Advanced Placement (AP) exams and earning passing grades on these exams than ever before, the mean score has declined for the fourth year in a row. Additionally, large gaps in AP participation remain between white students and students of color. These findings were reported in The Fourth Annual AP Report to the Nation, published by College Board, the nonprofit organization that works with colleges and universities to develop AP courses and exams.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK!: MetLife Survey Finds Connections Between Attitude About Homework and Student Achievement, Career Aspirations: Most teachers, students, and parents realize that homework is an important part of a student's educational development, according to the MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: The Homework Experience, the latest in a series that MetLife started in 1984. What's more interesting is how teacher, student, and parental attitudes toward homework can shed light on many other aspects of education, such as a student's future goals and parents' attitudes toward their child's school.
STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESSES: A Focus on Boosting College Graduates in Ohio and on Retaining Quality Teachers in Wisconsin: In his state of the state address on February 6, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland (D) outlined a comprehensive proposal to increase the number of the state's college graduates, noting that doing so had to be a clear priority for the state "if our citizens are going to have good jobs and rising incomes in the coming years." A few states away, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) made recruiting qualified teachers a priority in his state of the state speech on February 13. "We need to improve teaching and should start by expanding the talent pool for public educators in Minnesota," he said. "The teaching profession is no longer consistently attracting top talent through traditional pathways. Predicted shortages of teachers with needed backgrounds like math and science are beginning to materialize."