January 2012 Reports

Bullying down http://nces.ed.gov
Incidents of student victimization in schools are down, according to a report by the National Center for Education Statistics, but problems with bullying still remain. Asian American students face more bullying than any other ethnic group in the United States, according to surveys by the U.S. Justice and Education Departments. About 54 percent of Asian American teenagers said they were bullied in the classroom, compared to 31.3 percent of whites.

Chicago graduation rates http://ccsr.uchicago.edu
Graduation rates in the Windy City have improved over the past two decades, but learning gains over those years have been modest. The Consortium on Chicago School Research’s recently released report, Trends in Chicago’s Schools Across Three Eras of Reform, also showed that racial achievement gaps among city students are steadily increasing. Also, academic achievement levels for most students are far below where they need to be for college readiness.

Children of immigrants http://internationalstudies. ss.uci.edu/is_news
Children of illegal immigrants suffer academically, according to a study by a University of California, Irvine, professor. The study looked at the children of Mexican illegal immigrants in Los Angeles. A majority of these children fail to graduate from high school and have persistent educational disadvantages, possibly because of the insecurity of their parent’s status. Lead researcher Frank Bean concluded that the current system is creating a permanent underclass.

Common Core www.epiconline.org
While many state standards are in line with the Common Core Standards, the Common Core Standards were more demanding in some areas, according to Lining Up: The Relationship Between the Common Core State Standards and Five Sets of Comparison Standards, a report by the Educational Policy Improvement Center. The study compared standards in California, Massachusetts, and Texas.

Gay-straight clubs help http://familyproject.sfsu.edu/
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered (LGBT) students who attended middle or high schools with Gay-Straight Alliances had better mental health than their peers who did not attend such schools. A report by the Family Acceptance Project also showed that these students were less likely to drop out and more likely to attend college. LGBT students report higher levels of depression and other mental health problems than heterosexual students.

Not ready for school www.abcmouse.com/kindergartenpreparednesssummary
Kindergarten teachers believe most children are coming to school unprepared to learn, with veteran teachers believing the situation is getting worse. A survey of 500 kindergarten teachers by Age of Learning revealed that phonetics were the weakest academic area, with two-thirds of the teachers saying a majority of their students don’t know the alphabet when they start school. Only 6 percent of teachers felt students were well prepared academically. The survey also included teacher recommendations for parents.

Online schools http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication
The rapid increase of full-time virtual schools has also increased concern that the schools are largely unregulated and that little or no data exists on how these schools are performing, according to Online K-12 Schooling in the U.S, a study by the National Education Policy Center. The study authors recommend an accreditation system for virtual schools, as well as required state financial audits and making sure that student testing is performed in person.

Police in schools www.justicepolicy.org/index.html
School resource officers (SR0s) and other police presence in schools does more harm than good, according to a report by the Justice Policy Institute, Education Under Arrest: The Case Against Police in Schools. Students who attend schools with police stationed in the buildings are more likely to be arrested for disciplinary problems that otherwise would have been handled by administrators. As a result, more children are placed in the juvenile justice system, which leads to a higher dropout rate. The study recommends getting rid of SROs and creating schools with high levels of support and structure by caring adults.

Social combat www.cnn.com/2011/10/10/ us/ac-360-bullying-study
School bullies and victims are not defined roles; rather, some students can be both, according to a study commissioned by CNN. In the study, bullying is seen as students jockeying for power, a form of “social combat.” The farther students go on the social ladder, the more they bully. Also, the higher up they go, the more they are targets for bullying. The study was conducted at a top high school on Long Island, N.Y.