Public Charter School Trends Detailed: The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools new report details the estimated number of public charter schools and enrolled students. The report found a 4% growth in the number of public charter schools and a 14% growth in the number of students enrolled in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years. The report also found that more than 200 charter schools closed because of low enrollment, low academic performance, or financial issues. The report cited the closures as evidence that states are holding charter schools accountable. Information was collected from state departments of education and state charter schools associations.
Juvenile Offenders’ Reaction to Detention Differs from Adults: The Models for Change Resource Center Partnership publishes a report examining adolescents in the juvenile justice system and how their involvement with the system differs from adults. According to the report, adolescents are more likely to value their peers’ opinions than the threat of punishment from an authority figure, less able to process long-term consequences of their actions, and less able to self-regulate in emotionally charged situations. Researchers looked at how current practices, such as solitary confinement and courtroom shackling, can have a disproportionately negative effect on youth because of ongoing mental development.
Student Engagement Bolstered by Conduct, Emotional Investment: A new National Association of State Boards of Education report examines state-level strategies for boosting student engagement in K-12 schools. The report defined engagement in terms of student conduct, the emotional connection of the student with their school, and the student’s investment in learning. The report recommends that educators undertake surveys of students to measure their engagement and develop guidelines for schools to create an environment conducive to engagement.
Rising Test Scores Alone Will Not Close Skills Gap: An Educational Testing Service white paper examines test scores for U.S. students born after 1980. The report found that students in the United States consistently score lower than their international peers in literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving in technology-rich environments. The results were consistent across all levels of educational attainment, parental educational attainment, and when comparing only native students. The authors conclude that increasing educational attainment alone was not sufficient in closing potential gaps in skills attainment.
Graduation Rates for Minority Students Improve Faster than Rest of Nation: Graduation rates for black and Hispanic students increased by nearly 4 percentage points from 2011 to 2013, outpacing the growth for all students in the nation, according to new data from ED’s National Center for Education Statistics. What’s more, the gap between white students and black and Hispanic students receiving high school diplomas narrowed over that time, the data show.
ED notes that the department has invested more than $1 billion in early education — for strategies that improve achievement and close opportunity gaps — and awarded billions of dollars through such grant programs as Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation, and School Improvement Grants; and expanded college access and affordability for families.