The Oklahoma students who took the 2007 National Assessment of Education Progress exams are likely proud of the test results that were released Tuesday.
The scores show that Oklahoma was only one of 14 states whose students made gains in both grade 4 and grade 8 math since the 2005 assessment. Grade 4 reading scores also went up; grade 8 reading scores remained unchanged.
Nationwide, scores rose for both grades in both subjects. However, actual state scores are below the national averages.
About 2,800 Oklahomans took the four NAEP exams — about 40 percent were minority and more than 50 percent qualified for free or reduced lunch, a poverty indicator.
But scholars at Cato’s Center for Educational Freedom, a nonprofit policy research foundation in Washington, caution that the students’ gains may not be worth much celebration.
“While scores did generally improve, today’s NAEP results are nothing to write home about, nor are they any indicator that No Child Left Behind is doing any good,” said Cato policy analyst Neal McCluskey.
“Score improvements were small and either only continued increases taking place before NCLB, or actually slowed or stopped overall improvement rates,” he said.
Check out http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard for more details on the test results.
Wendy K. Kleinman
An award-winning superintendent from McAlester now has 29 colleagues to help her meet a challenge by state schools Superintendent Sandy Garrett to research the possibility of expanding both the school day and the school year.
Garrett previously announced that Lucy Smith would lead the Time Reform Task Force, and on Thursday she announced the other members of the group.
The task force will look into adding one hour to the school day and at least five days to the school year. Currently, minimums for public schools are six hours of instruction a day for 175 days.
“Oklahoma’s school day and school year are below the national average,” Garrett said in a press release. “This is significant when you consider that our nation’s schools require significantly less instructional time than competing nations in Asia and Europe do.”
Here are the newly named members:
-Don Parker, Bank of Oklahoma’s chief information officer and executive vice president from Tulsa;
-Helen Parker, Norman High School PTA president (no relation to Don Parker);
-Monica Barbour, parent of a special needs child from Tulsa;
-James Branscum, Metro Technology Center superintendent;
-Brooke Bisel, University of Central Oklahoma student;
-Alan Ingram, Oklahoma City Public Schools’ executive director of federal programs;
-Matthew Livingood, Tulsa Public Schools Board of Education member;
-Judith Ann Barber, education consultant from Grove;
-Patricia Hardre, University of Oklahoma faculty member;
-Joe Siano, Norman Public Schools superintendent;
-Lisa Horn, El Reno Public Schools’ director of special services;
-Gene Hunt, retired minister from Oklahoma City;
-Danny Rennels, Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association executive director;
-Bobby Russell, Pauls Valley Public Schools superintendent;
-Teresa Bryant, Cordell teacher representing the Association of Professional Oklahoma Educators;
-Lyndol Fry, retired educator from Hugo;
-Glenda Cobb, Duncan Public Schools assistant superintendent;
-Bruce Demuth, chief of staff for the state Department of Career & Technology Education;
-Silvya Kirk, Midwest City-Del City Public Schools’ high school principal;
-Ken Lease, Oklahoma School of Science & Mathematics’ vice president of academic services;
-David Pennington, Ponca City Public Schools superintendent;
-John Privett, Tahlequah resident and former education reform advocate in Texas;
-Terri Silver, with the Oklahoma State School Boards Association;
-Connie Sloan, 2006 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year finalist from Canadian;
-Kathryn Turner, Fletcher Public Schools superintendent;
-Stan Bryant, Oklahoma City teacher representing the Oklahoma Education Association (no relation to Teresa Bryant);
-Cathy Williams, Vinita Public Schools elementary principal;
-Bill Bentley, Dibble Public Schools superintendent; and
-Ed Allen, president of the Oklahoma chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.
The Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual Almanac issue is out, and has some interesting state-by-state statistics.
While some people think Oklahoma has too many colleges — 57 in all — that’s nothing compared to California’s 408, New York’s 308 and Florida’s 169.
The largest student population at one physical campus is at Miami Dade College, with 54,169 students.
In 2005, the state with the highest proportion of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher is the District of Columbia, with 45 percent. Oklahoma came in at 22 percent, fifth lowest in the nation.
There’s lots more in this 92-page magazine, so I’ll share more in later posts.
Susan Simpson, Education Writer
I’m resisting the urge to make fun here, but it’s soooo hard.
A new study from the University of Missouri shows freshman and sophomore college students under 21 years old who possess fake IDs often — wait until you hear this — drink!
The study examined fake ID ownership (Mental note: Can you ever really “own” something that is both fraudulent and illegal?) and “heavy” alcohol consumption, according to a Mizzou press release.
Over two years, the number of students with fake IDs more than doubled. Students belonging to fraternities or sororities were more likely to own a fake ID.
“The biggest finding is that having a fake ID is a risk factor for additional drinking – drinking that might not otherwise be occurring,” said Kenneth J. Sher, professor of clinical psychology. “The other piece is how ubiquitous it is – how many underage drinkers have a fake ID. Basically, being a heavy drinker predicts the likelihood that someone will obtain a fake ID, and having a fake ID predicts that someone will be a heavy drinker.”
Research included more than 3,700 students. Researchers assessed the drinking habits of participants in the summer prior to entering the university and during their first four semesters, asking about how often students drank five or more drinks in a setting, felt high on alcohol or got drunk on alcohol.
The study, “Fake ID Ownership and Heavy Drinking in Underage College Students: Prospective Findings,” was published in the American Psychological Association journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.
“Currently, around the nation people are concerned about underage drinking,” researcher Julia Martinez said. “One of the big issues is how are these kids accessing alcohol. One of the ways to get alcohol is with a fake ID, and that has been understudied.”
It’s time to study. For lawmakers, at least.
The Oklahoma Senate has announced 35 interim legislative studies, and several are tied directly to education.
Here are the topics — some rather broad — along with the Senator who requested the study and committee it was assigned to:
Graduation and drop out rates; GED requirements and rules; Thunderbird Youth Academy; Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson; Education committee
Academic Performance Index; Sen.Kathleen Wilcoxson; Education committee
“Weighted” students, “at risk” students, and the proportion of funding schools receive; Sen. Judy Eason-McIntyre; Education committee
Funding mechanism for (OSU) Extension Services; Sen. Jeff Rabon; Appropriations committee
Review of the higher education funding formula as it relates to two year and regional institutions; Sen. Kenneth Corn; Appropriations committee
Higher Education funding formula with respect to institutional peer groupings; Sen. Susan Paddack; Appropriations committee
Review the constitutional and statutory requirements for serving on the Oklahoma State Board of Regents for the Agricultural and Mechanical
Colleges; Sen. Patrick Anderson; Education committee
What are your thoughts on this list? Do you think anything will come of the committee studies?
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Simpson, Education Writer
A paper released today by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni is critical of the federally-mandated accreditation system.
ACTA says the current system doesn’t ensure quality and gives parents a false sense of confidence.
ACTA calls on policymakers to:
Make accreditors prove their worth.
Break the link between federal student aid and accreditation.
Break the accreditor monopoly.
Ensure student achievement.
Tell the public what it deserves to know.
Stop the homogenization of higher education.
Create a consumer-friendly alternative.
Don’t replicate a failed model.
Reduce the cost of higher education.
What do you think? I’m certainly no expert in this area, and I’m sure there are good arguments on both sides of the issue.
Let me know at email@example.com
Susan Simpson, Education Writer