Archive for the ‘graduation rates’ Category

College board: Students who take core curriculum score higher

Here is an op-ed  by Kathryn Juric of the College Board on the coursework that students ought to be taking in high school. Juric is vice president of the College Board’s SAT Program and leads global program strategy for the SAT, which is administered annually to nearly three million students worldwide.

By Kathryn Juric

When it comes to education policy in the United States today, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: coursework matters.

As states move to implement the Common Core State Standards, the positive impact core course work and advanced study can have on college readiness is already evident in the SAT performance of recent high school graduates throughout Georgia and the nation.

According to the College Board’s 2012 SAT Report on College and Career Readiness, which was released this month, students who completed a core curriculum in high school did significantly better on the SAT than those who did not. A core curriculum is defined as four or more years of …

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Another skirmish in charter schools war of words. Gwinnett charter fires back at Wilbanks.

Last week, Gov. Nathan Deal spoke about charter schools at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce’s Business Expo & Job Fair in front of an audience that included longtime Gwinnett schools Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks.

Deal was explaining his support of the constitutional amendment on the the Nov. 6 ballot that will expand the state’s ability to approve charters schools even over the objections of local boards of education.

“In many parts of our state, students are stuck in schools that are failing and … are not making adequate yearly progress, ” the governor said. “We must ensure that those students and their parents have a quality public education system for their future and the future of the state of Georgia.”

Deal cited Ivy Preparatory Academy in Gwinnett as an example of a successful state-approved charter school. He said Ivy Prep outperforms local schools, a claim that Wilbanks later disputed.

The AJC reported:

Wilbanks said after the luncheon that the governor was …

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Retired teacher: Make admins teach. Reduce testing. Eliminate gifted. Restore recess.

Retired Atlanta Public Schools teacher Scott Stephens — he taught English for 15 years at Grady High School and taught for a decade in Fulton County  — sent me a list of reforms.  I thought it was a great list and have his permission to share it here:

Courtesy of Scott Stephens:

1. All certified personnel at a school, including academy leaders, graduation coaches, instructional coaches, assistant principals and principals, should teach at least one class during the school year. This would be of benefit in two ways. First, it would help reduce class size and, most important, it would provide administrators with continued input from the classroom. I believe that when a number of people are at school, but not teaching, morale is adversely affected.

2. All students (K-12) need daily physical activity, both recess and structured physical education. Many students need to get rid of excess energy. Others need to lose weight and get in shape. Further, many discipline problems …

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Algebra for all: A dumbing-down of U.S. math classes that hurt the most elite students

Jacob Vigdor, a professor of public policy and economics at Duke University, wrote an interesting essay earlier this year challenging the conventional wisdom about school discipline. It led to a lot of discussion here on the blog

I suspect we will see a lot discussion around his latest report about U.S. math instruction. In a report for the American Enterprise Institute, Vigdor explains what has gone amiss with American math education.

In a recent essay based on his research — “Does Your Job Really Require Algebra ? — Vigdor writes:

Unfortunately, the misguided transformation of algebra into a course for the masses has proven to be a cure worse than the disease. The transformation has resulted in a less rigorous course. Introductory textbooks have slimmed down considerably over the past century, omitting some subjects entirely. The primary victims of this dumbing-down are the elite students themselves.

Among the most recent cohorts of college graduates, the proportion …

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AJC investigation: Dropouts in Georgia far higher than reported. Can we fix it?

In a front page Sunday investigation, the AJC shares its discovery – learned through open records requests — that 30,751 students in the Class of 2011 left high school without a diploma, nearly double the 15,590 initially reported.

The jarring difference owes to new federal requirements for counting dropouts, requirements that now put the onus on systems to track students who disappear.

I wonder whether schools have the staff to do what one principal described as intense detective work to hunt missing students.

“It’s going to be something where we all turn into Sherlock Holmes,” and we’re tracking every lead we can. It basically is a guilty-until-proven-innocent format,” Gabe Crerie, principal at Henry County’s Eagle’s Landing High School, said. He and his school’s grad coaches spent seven hours one day this summer, trying to track down 62 suspected dropouts. They found 33 at other schools, Crerie said.

The AJC story by reporters Nancy Badertscher and Kelly Guckian notes …

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An “A” is an “A” whether Cobb, Coweta, Cherokee or Chatham

A new book says high school grades are the best predictor of which students complete college. AJC Photo/

A new book says high school grades are the best predictor of which students complete college. AJC Photo/ ERIK S LESSER

When the University of Georgia rejects applicants from elite suburban schools, disappointed parents often complain that their child’s seat went to a less deserving student from rural or inner-city schools, where the competition isn’t as steep.

The expectation is that A’s from rural or urban schools are easier to attain, that good grades in those schools are handed out like Skittles.

However, it turns out that those A’s do stand for something. Those impressive grades, regardless of the high school that issued them, are the most powerful predictor of college completion rates.

They signify that the students are disciplined, hard working and likely to do well in college, according to the new book “Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America’s Public Universities.”

The book stresses the importance of not only starting college but graduating, …

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