July 27, 2003

Newsbites

The Daley generation. A Chicago Sun-Times special report, July 27-28, 2003, in collaboration with the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research. The report deals with the progress of the 36,000 children that started first grade in a Chicago public school in 1995, just after Mayor Daley won control of the school system. Those that stayed on track have just completed eighth grade. Sunday's article focusses on grade promotion and retention, and Monday's article will look at why middle class children are still leaving the system at a high rate.

Education Secretary Defends School System He Once Led, New York Times, July 27, 2003. Based on a conversation with secretary of education and past superintendent of Houston schools Rodney Paige. The "Texas education miracle" has received plenty of well-deserved scepticism over time. Presently in the news are the result of an audit of drop-out figures from Houston public schools. According to the article, Houston as a whole reported a 1.5 percent annual dropout rate, though education experts estimate that the true percentage of students who quit before graduation is nearer 40 percent.

(Clearly the two rates, 1.5% and 40%, are not directly comparable. Is it 1.5% of the high school population or of the entire school population? For how many years should we count those 1.5% to obtain the reported percentage of students who quit before graduation? I am guessing 5 or 6 years. Even then the discrepency between reported and estimated drop-out rates is substantial.)

College Board Scores With Critics of SAT Analogies, LA Times, July 27, 2003. About the elimination of the analogies section from the SAT in response to demands by University of California president Atkinson. The famous "oarsman : regatta" question that appeared on the SAT several decades ago is hashed up as representative for the analogies questions. I trust that Kimberly Swygert will have something to say about this in her Blog on testing. [Addendum, 07/28: she has indeed, and Joanne Jacobs too.]

Is 'minimally adequate' education good enough?, The State (SC), July 27, 2003. My answer to the question in the title would be "Yes, of course, just barely", but a group of South Carolina school districts is arguing otherwise and wants a circuit Judge to order the state government to provide additional aid, beyond present additional aid, to rural and poor communities.

Sources: EducationNews.Org and a certain Google News search that I have bookmarked.

Posted by Bas Braams at July 27, 2003 07:57 PM

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