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EDU news from all over

August 2008


News from all over<br />
News from all over

Full-Day Kindergarten: Gains for Low-Income Kids

According to a new study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Loyola University in Chicago, students who attend full-day kindergarten show slightly better reading and math skills than those who attend part-day—and by the beginning of third grade, kids from both groups show roughly equal skills.

Kids in part-day kindergarten, however, tend to come from wealthier families (see chart below) and have more stimulating home environments than those in full-day programs, whose parents often work full time. The study indicates that attending full-day kindergarten may help combat the effects of living in a low-income household—a hallmark of kids from high-population as well as rural areas.

In short, full-day kindergarten may be especially good for poor children—and therefore worth fighting for in your school system.

The study’s lead author, assistant professor Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal of the University of Pittsburgh, concludes that current kindergarten trends may be to the benefit of children. “The results of this study suggest that the shift from part-day to full-day kindergarten programs occurring across the U.S. may have positive implications for students’ learning trajectories in the short run,” she said.

eight states have no regs for cyberschools

States should develop clear online education guidelines, according to a report from the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy at Indiana University. The report examines the expanding field of “cyberschools” and notes that virtual schools are not covered by state laws or regulations in Indiana and seven other states. The study looks at regulations of the other 42 states, which address issues such as whether online teachers should be certified and what level of training they receive.

eighty-seven percent of new teachers ill-prepared

The National Council on Teacher Quality released a report that finds that 87 percent of undergraduate education schools fail to prepare elementary school teachers in math. NCTQ rated 77 education schools in 49 states and found that state and individual school requirements result in very few candidates being prepared to teach elementary math.
A sobering fact: One out of six schools in the study admits teachers without asking if they can do grade-school arithmetic.

states narrow the teacher qualification gap

Two studies show that the teacher qualification gap between high- and low-poverty schools has narrowed. The National Bureau of Economic Research observed the trend in New York, while the Illinois Education Research Council found a similar narrowing in Illinois. An influx of teachers with strong backgrounds has contributed to the trend, which appears to be yielding better scores at poorer schools.

score gaps among native american kids

The National Indian Education Study lays out some interesting trends among Native American fourth- and eighth-grade students. Those who attend schools with low numbers of Native American students tend to have higher reading and math scores, compared with their peers in schools with large Native American populations.

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