After School Time Programs – After School Time Learning Problems and Solutions – The Wallace Foundation

“Millions of city children and teens lack access to out-of-school time programs that provide rich opportunities for growth, learning and fun. One possible solution – coordinating the work of government agencies, private funders, programs and others involved in after-school programs – is being pioneered by a group of Wallace-supported city efforts.”


Wallace Foundation Gives $30M to School Leaders

Wallace Foundation gives $30m to 14 districts, including D.C. and Prince George’s County


Fourteen school systems around the country, including the District and Prince George’s County, will receive grants totaling $30 million to improve the effectiveness of unsung middle managers in large urban districts — those who supervise principals.”

Getting to Work on Summer Learning: Recommended Practices for Success – Expanded Learning – The Wallace Foundation

This report offers guidance to school district leaders interested in launching or improving summer learning programs. The recommendations – start planning in January and stick to a firm enrollment deadline, among others – are based on evaluations of summer programs in six urban districts selected for a multi-year demonstration project funded by The Wallace Foundation.”


Report: Students read way below level that prepares them for college, careers

Renaissance Learning, which tracks the reading habits of some 10 million US students, has released a report that not only tallies which books kids are reading, but also analyzes the complexity of the reading material.

Students Reading Below College Readiness Standards.

The Christian Science Monitor (11/18) reports that according to Renaissance Learning’s latest “What Kids Are Reading” report, US students “are reading more nonfiction, but not as much as Common Core standards recommend, and their reading tends to be far less challenging than it should be to prepare them for college or careers.” The report indicates that only roughly 25% of US students read enough sufficiently challenging material to “experience the most growth in reading.”


In most secondary classrooms, I see very little reading and almost no writing! This report confirms what I have known and observed for years!

  • “25% of US students read enough sufficiently challenging material to “experience the most growth in reading.”
  • Research indicates that students who spend at least 30 minutes a day reading independently, at an appropriate “challenge” level (where they can understand at least 85 percent of what they read), experience the most growth in reading, according to the report. And yet just over a quarter of students in Renaissance’s study read that often, and nearly half read for less than 15 minutes a day.
  • But by the end of high school, the average complexity of the books that 12th-graders are reading is 5.2 on the ATOS scale – a far cry from what standards say they should be reading – between 9.7 and 14.1 for high school – and far lower than the complexity of the average New York Times article (10.6) or college textbook (13.8).
  • “A key cornerstone of reading comprehension is vocabulary.  Over time, boys are at a disadvantage because they’re just not getting enough exposure to vocabulary.”
  • By high school, less than 15 percent of students read one or more books in their target range.
  • since Common Core standards were announced, the percent of reading that is nonfiction has moved up by about 5 percent for every grade level, Stickney says. But it’s still far below the recommended level
  • Students’ reading amount peaks in sixth grade, when they read about 436,000 words per year in books, and then falls to the low 300,000s by the end of high schoolGirls, however, tend to read a lot more than boys: The average girl reads some 3.8 million words between Grades 1 and 12, about 25 percent more than the average boy, who reads about 3 million.

Core Ready Schools | The Aspen Institute

Core Ready Schools is a tool designed to assist you in benchmarking implementation efforts in your school against a comprehensive roadmap for fully implementing the Common Core State Standards (or your state’s college- and career-ready standards).


Students in high-poverty schools lose learning time, study says

California high schools with high-poverty students lose nearly two weeks of learning time annually because of teacher absences, testing, emergency lockdowns and other disruptions compared with their more affluent peers in other schools, according to a new UCLA study.


Universal Design for Learning

A description of the page


Scans Show Brain Connections Growing When Learning New Language

Photo from Ping Li Lab, Penn State Regular readers of this blog and/or my books are familiar with how I help students see the physical impact learning new things can have on its brains (see The Bes…


College graduation rates are down, not up, since economic downturn – The Hechinger Report

University and college graduation rates have declined since the beginning of the economic downturn, according to a new report, even as policymakers prod universities and colleges to turn out more people with degrees. While enrollment has gone up since 2008, the proportion of students who graduated has gone down, the report, by the National Student …


High School Discipline: How Strict Is Too Strict? “charter networks…popularize strictness”

The backlash against no-excuses discipline in (charter) high schools

Over the past two decades, hundreds of elementary and middle schools across the country have embraced an uncompromisingly stern approach to educating low-income students of color. But only more recently have some of the charter networks that helped popularize strictness, including the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), opened high schools—an expansion that has tested the model in new, and divisive, ways. There’s no official name for this type of school, and not all of the informal terms please the educators in charge: the ethos is often described as “no excuses,” “paternalistic,” or devoted to “sweating the small stuff.” The schools, most of them urban charters, share an aversion to even minor signs of disorder and a pressing need to meet the test-based achievement standards of the No Child Left Behind era or else find themselves shuttered. Front and center in their defense of intensive regimentation for their predominantly minority students is a stirring goal beyond that bottom line: to send all their graduates, many of them first-generation college aspirants, on to higher education.”


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