LOUISIANA TEACHER IMPROVEMENT EFFORTS AND EFFORTS TO RAISE STANDARDS AND ACCOUNTABILITY RANK FIRST IN NATION
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Counts 2006," published by the national magazine Education Week, is the
publication's 10th annual report card on the state of school reform across the
United States. Louisiana scored highest in two crucial categories.
grade for improving teacher quality was 94. South Carolina came in second. The Palmetto State's grade for improving
teacher quality increased one point to a 93.
South Carolina and Louisiana were the only two states to receive letter
grades of A. Across the nation, grades
ranged from those two A's to D's received by seven states.
was one of only eight states to receive an A in "Quality Counts 2006" for its
efforts to raise standards and accountability.
Louisiana was ranked first with a 98, followed by New York with a 97. Three states earned Ds and one earned an F.
area of school climate, Louisiana improved its score and its ranking compared
to 2005. The state received a "C-", up from a "D+" in 2005
and increased its score to 71 for 2006, compared to 67 in 2005. School climate
was the only category in which Louisiana received a lower-than-average-grade.
The national average for school climate was a "C+". Additionally,
Louisiana received a "B" for its equity of resources and ranked seventh
in the nation out of fifty states and the District of Columbia. The state's score
of 83 was down two points, from 85 in 2005.
the complete report, click here.
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PRE-K PROGRAM SHOWS STRONG PROGRESS FOR FOURTH YEAR
ROUGE, LA—For the fourth year in a row, Louisiana's nationally acclaimed
pre-kindergarten program for at-risk four-year-olds, LA 4, showed strong and
consistent progress in language, print, and mathematics. Results from the
2004–2005 school year were presented to the Board of Elementary and Secondary
Education during its January meeting. LA 4 served 6,522 students statewide in
report was presented by Dr. Craig Ramey,
Director of the Georgetown Center on Health and Education. Ramey has
teamed with representatives of the Lloyd J. Rockhold Center for Child
Development, the Center for Child Development at the University of Louisiana at
Lafayette, and the University of Alabama Center on Education Accountability to
evaluate the LA 4 program annually. The findings show:
are literally unsurpassed in the country," said Dr. Craig Ramey.
"This has never before been done in the country—such a long range study of
children and the effect of education in their lives. These are changes that are
very dramatic. These are scores that people are paying attention to all around
the country. Those who need it the most are gaining the most."
that participated in LA 4 during the 2004–2005 school year included Lafayette,
St. Martin, Vermilion, DeSoto, LaSalle, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, St.
Tammany, St. Bernard, Jefferson, Orleans, Evangeline, Iberia, Natchitoches,
Rapides, Tangipahoa, Iberville, City of Bogalusa, Washington, City of Baker, and
Louisiana Department of Education staff conducted the ECERS-R (Early Childhood
Environment Rating Scale-Revised) in a random sample of classrooms
participating in the program. This assessment takes into account seven areas
related to program quality. A compilation of the assessment scores for 63
classrooms rated the LA 4 classrooms "good to excellent," with an overall
score of 6.0 on a scale of 1.0 to 7.0. This score is higher than the average rating
of other pre-kindergarten programs in other states. Evaluators determined the
scores based on factors including certified teachers, a child-to-adult ratio of
no more than 10 to 1, and use of a research-based and developmentally
appropriate Pre-K curriculum.
also evaluated the state's Starting Points Pre-K program, which serves 814
students and has had comparable outcomes to that of the LA 4 program. Starting
Points is a program that also serves students who are eligible for free and
reduced-priced meals and has the same program quality indicators as used for LA
- LA 4 students enter the program far behind
their peers across the country. But after one year, they made consistent and
strong gains, and performed at or above the national average for Pre-K
- For 2004–2005, students improved from the
10th percentile in the pre-test to the 50th percentile in language, matching
the last two years' performance.
- For 2004–2005, students improved from the
11th percentile to the 59th percentile in print, the highest score to date.
2004–2005, students improved from the 5th percentile to the 52nd percentile
in math, marking the first time math scores reached and surpassed the national
NEW REPORT ON ADULT LITERACY
LEVELS, FIRST SINCE 1992,
SHOWS NEED FOR HIGH SCHOOL REFORM
Significant improvement in
overall math skills rise.
Washington, D.C.—American adults can read a newspaper or
magazine about as well as they could a decade ago, but have made
strides in performing literacy tasks that involve computation,
according to the
first national study of adult literacy since 1992.
The National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL),
released December 15th by the National Center for Education Statistics
found little change between 1992 and 2003 in adults' ability to read
understand sentences and paragraphs or to understand documents such as
"One adult unable to read is one too many in
America," said U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, who
announced plans to coordinate adult education efforts in 2006 across
federal agencies. "We must take a comprehensive and preventive
beginning with elementary schools and with special emphasis in our high
schools. We must focus resources toward proven, research-based methods
ensure that all adults have the necessary literacy skills to be
African Americans scored higher in 2003 than in 1992 in
all three categories, increasing sixteen points in quantitative, eight
in document, and six points in prose literacy. Overall, adults have
document and quantitative literacy with a smaller percentage of adults
in the Below Basic category compared to 1992. Whites, African
Asian/Pacific Islanders have improved in all three measures of literacy
smaller percentage in 2003 in the Below Basic category compared to
Hispanic adults showed a decrease in scores for both
prose and document literacy and a higher percentage in the Below Basic
category. The report also showed that five percent of U.S. adults,
million people, were termed "nonliterate" in English, meaning
could not communicate with them or that they were unable to answer a
number of questions.
NAAL in 2003 assessed a nationally representative sample
of more than 19,000 Americans age 16 and older, most in their homes and
prisons. NCES, which is part of the U.S. Department of Education's
Education Sciences, conducted the assessment in both 1992 and 2003.
NAAL uses three categories to define English-language
literacy: prose, document, and quantitative. Prose literacy includes
needed to understand continuous text, such as newspaper articles.
literacy is the ability to understand the content and structure of
such as prescription drug labels. Quantitative literacy involves using
in text, such as computing and comparing the cost per ounce of food
NAAL reports literacy in each category using a 0-500
scale score. Scores are then grouped in four literacy levels: Below Basic
, and Proficient
Basic is the lowest level and
indicates having "no more than the most simple and concrete literacy
skills." Those who can perform "complex and challenging" tasks
are considered at the Proficient level.
The report, A First
Look at the Literacy of America's
Adults in the 21st Century
, analyzed literacy results
based on a variety of
factors, including race/ethnicity, gender, age, and level of
attainment. A companion report, Key
Concepts and Features of the 2003 National
Assessment of Adult Literacy
, describes the assessment's
key features and major
data types. It was also released today.
Other report highlights:
adults' scores were up nine points in quantitative, but were unchanged
and document literacy.
adults' scores declined in prose and document literacy 18 points and 14
respectively, but were unchanged in quantitative literacy.
Islanders' scores increased 16 points in prose literacy, but were
document and quantitative literacy.
those who spoke only Spanish before starting school, scores were down
in prose and document literacy between 1992 and 2003.
To put its findings in perspective, NAAL also reported on
U.S. population changes between 1992 and 2003. During the decade, the
percentage of white adults decreased from 77 to 70 percent, while the
percentage of Hispanic adults increased from eight to 12 percent. The
percentage of Asian/Pacific Islander adults doubled (to 4 percent). The
percentage of adults who spoke only English before starting school
from 86 to 81 percent.
To view the reports and for more information, visit nces.ed.gov/naal
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STUDY SHOWS EDUCATIONAL
ACHIEVEMENT GENDER GAP GROWING—BOYS FALLING BEHIND
The large academic achievement gap between males and
females is growing significantly decreased, according to a new study
by the U.S. Department of Education.
In elementary school, female fourth-graders outperformed
their male peers in reading (2003) and writing (2002) assessments.
differences in mathematics achievement have been small and fluctuated
between 1990 and 2003. At the secondary school level, the gap in the
Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading achievement grew from
points in 1992 to 16 points in 2002, with males performing lower than
Females entering college baccalaureate programs were more likely than
male counterparts to graduate within six years. In 2001, the overall
participation rate of females in adult education was higher than that
male peers (53 percent vs. 46 percent).
Other findings are that:
are less likely to repeat a grade or to drop out of high school.
based on gender in math and science course-taking appear to be
high school seniors tend to have higher educational aspirations than
have made substantial progress at the graduate level overall, but they
earn fewer than half of the degrees in many fields.
"It is clear that girls are taking education very
seriously and that they have made tremendous strides," said U.S.
of Education Rod Paige. "The issue now is that boys seem to be falling
behind. We need to spend some time researching the problem so that we
boys the support to succeed academically."
To download or view the report, please click here
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LOUISIANA GAINS IN MATHEMATICS SIGNIFICANTLY OUTPACED NATION
decade of state efforts to carry out standards-based education shows a
relationship with gains in student achievement on the National
Educational Progress, according to "Quality Counts 2006." For the first
ever, the 10th edition of the report, by Education Week,
examines the progress
that states have made on a core set of policy indicators related to
reform. The report was first released in 1997. An original analysis
for "Quality Counts at 10: A Decade of Standards-Based Education" by
Editorial Projects in Education Research Center finds that state
devise standards, tests, and accountability systems in education are
related with gains on NAEP reading and math tests in grades 4 and 8
10th edition of "Quality Counts," the Educational Testing Service of
New Jersey, conducted a series of special analyses of NAEP scores
between 1992 and
2005. The analyses highlight how each state's improvement over the past
compares with the performance of the nation as a whole. The report also
much closer look than previous studies at which states have made
progress in closing achievement gaps between black and white, Hispanic
white, and poor and non-poor students.
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The results in mathematics are
particularly encouraging. Nationally, NAEP scores in fourth-grade math
by 18.5 points on a 500-point scale—or nearly two grade
near the start of the standards movement. Grade 8 math performance
10.7 points. Seven states had gains in mathematics that significantly
those for the nation as a whole in both grades 4 and 8: Arkansas,
Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.
Carolina posted the largest gains: 28.4 points at grade 4 and 23.4
grade 8. Other states saw significantly less growth than the nation as
at both grade levels: Iowa, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico,
Dakota, Oklahoma, and Utah.
In contrast, the national average in reading barely
budged from 1992 to 2005, inching up just two points in grades 4 and 8.
here, somewhat better news lies beneath the surface. The scores for
Hispanic, and low-income youngsters in fourth-grade reading increased
triple the national average, or about two-thirds of a grade level.
the only state whose reading gains significantly outpaced the national
in both grade 4 between 1992 and 2005 and in grade 8 between 1998 and
and New York experienced reading gains significantly above
the national average in grade 4, and Massachusetts and Wyoming did so
Counts" celebrates its 10th year with
a special online version, available free of charge for a limited time.
subscription will be required to view the entire report online after
The online version of "Quality Counts 2006" provides features to help
navigate the report's rich content and find the data they need quickly
easily. Each feature story includes links to key sources and
addition, users can quickly access each state's policy report card
interactive state map. A special data-analysis feature enables users to
all indicators for a single state or compare results across two or more
Fifty-state data tables are downloadable in PDF and Excel formats. For
first time, the release of "Quality Counts 2006" features special
not available in the print version. For instance, users can download
individualized reports for the fifty states and the District of
Columbia that highlight
and expand on state-specific findings from "Quality Counts." These
highlights reports provide a wealth of information on state policy and
performance, including trend data over the past ten years.
"Quality Counts 2006" is located here
TECH-SAVVY STUDENTS STUCK IN TEXT-DOMINATED SCHOOLS
report "Real Impact: Student Opinions for a Change" is divided into
two major sets of findings. The first set describes our nation's increasingly
tech-savvy students and the various ways in which they use computers and the
Internet. The second outlines students' frustrations with our nation's still
text-dominated schools, as well as students' ideas for how adult education
policy and school designers could better meet their needs.
full report, click here.
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STUDENT WORKBOOKS AVAILABLE FOR PREVIEW (Advertisement)
Queue, Inc. offers previews of its Louisiana test
preparation workbooks to public schools.
Queue publishes test prep books in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Reading
and Composition for Grades 3-high school, as well as Practice Tests in
Math and English Language Arts.
Queue also offers Math and Reading workbooks for grades 1 and 2, and
publishes a wide variety of other workbooks in
Literature, Science, History, Government, Health, and ESL.
Samples of student
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and to order free previews, click here to visit our Louisiana
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