Two researchers at Stanford University, Eric P. Bettinger and Rachel Baker, analyzed an innovative counseling program in which a professional academic coach calls at-risk students to talk about time management and study skills. The coach might help a student plan how much time to spend on each class in the days approaching finals, for example. The results are impressive, with coached students more likely to stay in college and graduate. This program is more expensive than texting — $500 per student, per semester — but the effects persist for years after the coaching has ended.
Can nudges help younger children? Susanna Loeb and Benjamin N. York, both also at Stanford, developed a literacy program for preschool children in San Francisco. They sent parents texts describing simple activities that develop literacy skills, such as pointing out words that rhyme or start with the same sound. The parents receiving the texts spent more time with their children on these activities and their children were more likely to know the alphabet and the sounds of letters. It cost just a few dollars per family.
Recently, Stanford University researchers Rachel Valentino and Sean Reardon examined the academic achievement of dual language learners enrolled in four types of instructional programs: English Immersion (EI), Transitional Bilingual (TB), Developmental Bilingual (DB), and Dual Immersion (DI). Their study provided a unique picture of how instructional program type influences DLLs’ ELA and Math achievement trajectory from kindergarten entry through middle school. Importantly, it also captures variations between students of different ethnicities (Latino and Chinese) and initial English proficiency levels.
Though California has embraced new Common Core State Standards so far, parents and educators may feel differently once students produce lower test scores later this year, said Michael Kirst, president of the state Board of Education.
Kirst expects an immediate dip in test scores as students take Common Core tests for this first time this spring, he said in a wide-ranging discussion with The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board. That has occurred in other states, such as New York, where a backlash ensued when Common Core test results were lower than expected.
The 2015 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Presence Rankings were released this week and record number of CEPA faculty scores high marks on the list. Of the 200 education scholars ranked, 11 CEPA affiliate faculty and faculty made the list: Eric Hanushek (15), Martin Carnoy (24), Michael W. Kirst (31), Caroline Hoxby (33), Susanna Loeb (51), Sean Reardon (62), Rob Reich (94), Thomas Dee (119), Mitchell Stevens (127), Edward H. Haertel (154), Eric Bettinger (161)
Conventional wisdom (backed by many research studies) holds that students benefit from smaller classes. They receive more personal attention from instructors, who can spend more time evaluating each assignment turned in and can spend more time with each student. Many rankings systems reward colleges for small class sizes. Many potential undergraduates judge colleges on the availability of small classes.
The study, published last week in the journal Educational Researcher, looks at the average SAT scores of newly certified and hired teachers in New York state over the past 25 years. In analyzing the data, researchers found that average SAT scores for teachers began rising around 1999 relative to the rest of the population. The researchers caution that SAT scores are an imperfect measure of intelligence, though they contain useful insight.
Stanford researchers have created a promising new text-messaging program that is designed to support parents in their efforts to teach their children their ABCs and prepare them for kindergarten. The program, called READY4K!, sends weekly cell phone texts to parents of preschoolers to give them bite-sized tips and easy, specific actions related to developing early literacy skills.
"Texting is the medium du jour," said Benjamin York, a doctoral student at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, who created the texting program with Professor Susanna Loeb. "That could change, but for now, it seems to be the best strategy."