Young Black America Part One: High School Completion Rates are at their Highest Ever

Education and Literacy;Race and Ethnicity

Young Black America Part One: High School Completion Rates are at their Highest Ever

By most measures, the educational attainment of blacks is currently at the highest it has ever been. After decades of stagnation, high school completion rates for blacks have increased rapidly since 2000. This issue brief will focus on the high school status completion rates of blacks ages 20 to 24 since 1975. Future reports will focus on other issues facing young blacks, including college graduation rates, unemployment rates, wages, and poverty rates.

March 2015

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

Road to Success: Tales of Great Schools

Education and Literacy

Road to Success: Tales of Great Schools

This report details our visits in 19 vibrant communities and 47 impressive classrooms across Minnesota. We hope the proof points that educators and community leaders shared will inspire fellow teachers, administrators, community leaders -- and policymakers -- in classrooms and at the capitol. It's critical to learn from and collaborate with Minnesotans working to make great public schools available to all kids.

February 2014

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Midwestern)-Minnesota

Opportunity by Design: New High School Models for Student Success

Education and Literacy

Opportunity by Design: New High School Models for Student Success

Schools throughout the country will soon begin to implement the Common Core State Standards and adopt the Next Generation Science Standards. These new standards, which are "fewer, clearer, and higher" than existing state standards, are designed to provide all young people with the knowledge and skills they need for success in a global economy.

Though they are a powerful tool for improving our educational system, standards alone cannot deliver widespread, meaningful change. To bring all students to much higher levels of achievement and to help underprepared students catch up to meet the standards' new demands, we must "do school differently." This means redesigning how schools use teaching, time, technology, and money to create opportunities for more young people to succeed. And, it means replacing existing one-size-fits-all approaches with rigorous, personalized learning that creates multiple opportunities for students to be successful.

Individual interventions are important, yet by themselves, they are not likely to produce sufficiently strong outcomes to help all students meet the demands of the new standards. Instead of retooling individual elements such as teacher preparation, learning time, or technology in isolation, all the elements that we know work and some emerging tools must be integrated into comprehensive school designs that will truly meet the needs of every student.

March 2013

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

Beyond Zero Tolerance: A Reality-Based Approach to Drug Education and School Discipline

Children and Youth, Education and Literacy, Substance Abuse and Recovery

Beyond Zero Tolerance: A Reality-Based Approach to Drug Education and School Discipline

Beyond Zero Tolerance is a comprehensive, cost-effective approach to secondary school drug education and school discipline that is all about helping teenagers by bolstering the student community and educational environment.

This innovative model combines honest, reality-based information with interactive learning, compassionate assistance, and restorative practices in lieu of exclusionary punishment.

September 2013

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies

Arts and Culture, Education and Literacy

The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies

This report examines the academic and civic behavior outcomes of teenagers and young adults who have engaged deeply with the arts in or out of school.

In several small-group studies, children and teenagers who participated in arts education programs have shown more positive academic and social outcomes in comparison to students who did not participate in those programs. Such studies have proved essential to the current research literature on the types of instrumental benefits associated with an arts education.

A standard weakness of the literature, however, has been a dearth of large-scale, longitudinal studies following the same populations over time, tracking the outcomes of students who received intensive arts exposure or arts learning compared with students who did not. This report is a partial attempt to fill this knowledge gap. The report's authors, James Catterall et al., use four large national databases to analyze the relationship between arts involvement and academic and social achievements.

February 2012

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

Staying On Track: Testing Higher Achievement's Long-Term Impact on Academic Outcomes and High School Choice

Education and Literacy

Staying On Track: Testing Higher Achievement's Long-Term Impact on Academic Outcomes and High School Choice

Higher Achievement is an intensive summer and after-school program that began in its current form in 1999 in Washington, DC. Today there are Higher Achievement programs in Washington, DC/Alexandria, VA; Richmond, VA; Pittsburgh, PA; and Baltimore, MD. The study includes the five Higher Education Achievement Centers that were operating in DC and Alexandria when the study began.

Each center serves about 85 students, or "scholars", recruited mainly through school referral. Starting the summer before youth enter fifth or sixth grade and extending through eighth grade. Higher Achievement provides scholars with up to 650 hours of academic instructio0n per year, as well as enrichment activities and targeted, academic mentoring.

October 2013

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Southern)-Virginia (Northern);North America-United States (Southern)-District of Columbia-Washington

Out of School and Off Track: The Overuse of Suspensions in American Middle and High Schools

Education and Literacy

Out of School and Off Track: The Overuse of Suspensions in American Middle and High Schools

Analyzing data from over 26,000 U.S. middle and high schools, the report reveals profound disparities in suspension rates when disaggregating data by race/ethnicity, gender, and disability status. The report identifies districts with the largest number of "hotspot" schools (suspending 25 percent or more of their total student body), suggests alternatives that are already in use, and highlights civil rights concerns.

April 2013

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

Empty Promises: A Case Study of Restructuring and the Exclusion of English Language Learners in Two Brooklyn High Schools

Education and Literacy

Empty Promises: A Case Study of Restructuring and the Exclusion of English Language Learners in Two Brooklyn High Schools

Since 2002, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) has attempted to reverse the city's severe drop-out crisis through a large scale restructuring of high schools, focused mainly on closing large, comprehensive high schools and replacing them with small high schools that offer a more personalized learning environment. Unfortunately, this reform effort initially included a policy that allowed new small schools to exclude English Language Learners (ELLs), and many small schools still do not provide the programs that ELLs need. Lack of access to new and promising programs is reflected in ELL performance data. While the City's overall graduation rate climbed to 52.2% in 2007 from 46.5% in 2005, the rate for ELLs dropped from 28.5% to 23.5% over the same period.

To understand how the small schools movement has affected ELL students in New York City, we studied the restructuring of two large Brooklyn high schools -- Lafayette High School in Bensonhurst and Tilden High School in East Flatbush.

June 2009

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York-Kings County-New York City (Brooklyn)

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