Implications for Equity, Practice, and Implementation
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In July 1996, California embarked on its largest ever education reform: a nearly $1 billion class size reduction effort to improve literacy in the primary grades. Now in its second year, the Class Size Reduction (CSR) initiative provides $800 (up from $650 the first year) per student to schools that reduce class size to 20 students or fewer in first grade, second grade, and then third grade and/or kindergarten. The impetus for CSR came from several factors. A revived state economy created a revenue windfall. Under Proposition 98, a minimum amount of this surplus must be allocated to education...
A Report of the California Task Force on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
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What is the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards? What does it mean for California's more than 200,000 teachers and for the communities in which they work? How can a national system of voluntary certification give new vitality and stature to teaching? This document is an initial response to such questions. It is the product of nearly eight months of deliberation by 35 teachers, administrators, teacher educators, parents, school board representatives, and foundation officials—the California Task Force on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The task force was...
A New Strategy for Linking Research and Practice
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The need to bring research to bear on the problems of educational practice has never been greater. U.S. schools face a number of critical challenges in the years ahead. Two of the most cited examples are incorporat­ing increasing numbers of educationally disadvantaged students into the educa­tional mainstream and preparing students for an increasingly competitive and techno­logically advanced work environment. In order to meet these challenges, a vari­ety of reform efforts are under way at the local, state, and federal levels. Research should play an important role in meeting these challenges...
Overcoming Barriers, Creating New Opportunities
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Childhood is changing. More chil­dren are unhealthy—physically and mentally. More children suffer from substance abuse and child abuse, from inadequate child care, and from family disorganization. More and more students from single­ parent families and from minority and non-English­ speaking backgrounds are entering the public schools that have never done a good job of meeting the needs of non-middle-class, nonwhite, non-English-speaking children. School leaders must understand how chil­dren's educational prospects are affected by their daily lives. Childhood is changing, and schools must...
Third-Year Results from Replications of the California Peninsula Academies
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This paper reports 1987–88 results from an evaluation of 11 academy programs in California high schools. Academies are schools within schools, combining academic and vocational courses in a program designed to reduce dropout rates. The evaluation used a matched comparison group for each cohort of academy students at each site. Results for in-school outcomes were generally positive. Focusing on one grade-level cohort for which graduation rates are available, the number of dropouts saved was estimated, along with the costs and economic benefits to society. The estimated net benefit from dropout...
Second-Year Results from Replications of the California Peninsula Academies
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This paper reports results from the first two years of an effort in 10 high schools to replicate the California Peninsula Academies. The Academy model combines the core academic curriculum with technical instruction in a particular occupational field. Local employers representing that field participate in various ways. The program is intended to improve the school performance of students who would otherwise be likely to drop out. Evidence presented here indicates that Academy students generally have compiled better grades and more course credits than students in comparison groups at the same...
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States can play substantive and important roles in helping local schools. The article in this section, which stems from a study by the Education Commission of the States (ECS), document those elements of the change process that work to transform schools into more effective organizations. Since the late 1970s, well before the start of the current re­form movement in education, the states have been actively en­gaged in helping districts and individual schools to implement research findings on effective schools, effective teach­ing, and the processes of educational change. This article re­ports...
New Perspectives for Science Education
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Recent national reports on school reform refer to science education as a critical factor in our economy and the nation's future. The need and call to reform science education are clear. However, the problem is complicated by the necessity of relating the curriculum to a changing society at the same time that science itself is undergoing a transformation. Growth in scientific knowledge alone has been tremendous. The sheer amount of knowledge complicates efforts to keep school curriculum current with research. Science courses currently are organized to reflect the knowledge and strategies of...