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.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

The State We're In: A Report Card on Public Education in Illinois 2012

Children and Youth;Education and Literacy

The State We're In: A Report Card on Public Education in Illinois 2012

This report assesses Illinois' academic performance from early childhood through postsecondary, providing a snapshot of how Illinois compares to other states and nations as we collectively work to provide all students a world-class education. The analysis is divided into three parts.

The first section examines how Illinois public schools serve 2 million students by spotlighting performance on key academic milestones such as 4th-grade reading, 8th-grade math, college readiness in core subjects and postsecondary graduation.

The second section examines the interlocking set of reforms that state education leaders, legislators and advocates have crafted to lay the foundation for future academic growth since the State We're In: 2010. The report also illustrates how the various initiatives fit together to lay a strong academic foundation for Illinois going forward.

The third section contains 55 data measures that examine Illinois' standing in early education, K-12 and postsecondary readiness and success.

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

Transition to High School: School 'Choice' and Freshman Year in Philadelphia

Education and Literacy

Transition to High School: School 'Choice' and Freshman Year in Philadelphia

The School District of Philadelphia's tiered system of selective, nonselective, and charter high schools, and the process for high school choice, has created real variation in the degree to which high schools can successfully meet the needs of ninth graders. Research has shown that the ninth grade year is critical in determining a student's likelihood of graduating from high school. This mixed-methods study examines the transition to high school in Philadelphia, which we define as including the eighth grade high school selection process and students' experience in their ninth grade year. In our analysis of eighth grade applications to district-managed high schools for the 2007-08 school year, we found that most District eighth graders participated in the high school selection process, but fewer than half of them were admitted and enrolled in any of their chosen schools. Further, comparing across types of high schools, we found first, that the choice process contributes to system stratification, with low-income students, Black and Latino students, students who need special supports, and boys concentrated in nonselective neighborhood high schools and Whites, Asians, and girls concentrated in special admission high schools. Second, we learned that the choice process creates distinct challenges to the neighborhood schools' ability to support ninth graders. Enrollment at neighborhood high schools does not settle until the school selection process settles in late summer, and then continues to shift through the fall due to geographic mobility and returns from the juvenile justice system or other schools. Late enrollments undercut the ability of the neighborhood high schools to prepare for incoming classes, and contribute to changes in course schedules and teacher assignments after the school year begins, which cost important instructional time. Finally, we found that despite widespread acknowledgement of the importance of the freshman year, competing district agendas often mean it is not a priority in district and school planning. Freshman year interventions are often implemented piecemeal, without the professional support teachers need to adopt new practices, and without the assessments needed to know if they are effective. We argue that if low-performing neighborhood high schools are going to "turn around" or improve, it will require not only building school capacity but also implementing changes to the broader systems of district policy and practice in which these schools function, including the high school selection process.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania-Philadelphia County-Philadelphia (Northwestern)

Staying in School: Arts Education and New York City High School Graduation Rates

Arts and Culture, Education and Literacy

Staying in School: Arts Education and New York City High School Graduation Rates

Explores links between arts education -- certified teachers, dedicated and equipped arts classrooms, partnerships, field trips -- and high school graduation rates in New York City public schools. Calls for arts instruction for at-risk students.

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

Effect of Transitions on Access to Higher Education, The

Education and Literacy

Effect of Transitions on Access to Higher Education, The

Explores how the transition process from secondary to higher education affects access to higher education in the Netherlands, South Africa, Ukraine, and the United States. Examines barriers and makes recommendations for expanding "access with success."

Geographic Focus: North America-United States;Europe (Northwestern)-Netherlands;Africa (Southern)-South Africa;Europe (Eastern)-Ukraine

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.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

Policies Paved the Way: Early College Innovation in North Carolina

Education and Literacy;Government Reform

Policies Paved the Way: Early College Innovation in North Carolina

Describes how state leaders spurred innovation to raise high school graduation and college-readiness rates through cooperative programs between school boards and community colleges, nonprofit support, and start-up grants. Discusses remaining barriers.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Southern)-North Carolina

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