What We Are Reading: LGBT Students in Rural Schools, College-Going Patterns, Potential Obstacles to Common Core Success

Looking for new high school-related resources? Here are some pieces that the National High School Center and other organizations have recently released:*

Strengths and Silences: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students in Rural and Small Town Schools (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, December 11, 2012). This report reveals heightened incidents of student victimization based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression in rural schools compared to suburban or urban schools. Findings also indicated that an unsafe school climate for LGBT students contributes to poorer grade point averages, absenteeism and lowered aspirations to pursue post-secondary education.

Portland’s High School System: Update on High School System Design Implementation Next Steps to Accelerate Progress (Portland Public Schools, December 12, 2012). This report provides an update on the implementation of Portland Public Schools’ High School System Design, a comprehensive reform of Portland’s high school system that was approved by the Portland School Board in 2010, following two years of intensive public input.

Strategic Data Project Provides Additional Findings On College-Going Patterns: Research Shows That Many High Achieving High School Students Do Not Attend College (Strategic Data Project, December 17, 2012). The Strategic Data Project has released findings for its College-Going Strategic Performance Indicators (SPIs) for eight districts across the nation. The SPIs were developed with the goal of establishing common indicators that might become widely adopted by districts and states as insightful education performance indicators. Education systems can use these indicators to benchmark their progress—both against themselves over time, and in relation to other districts with similar populations.

Let History Not Repeat Itself: Overcoming Obstacles to the Common Core’s Success (ES Select, December 19, 2012). If the implementers of the Common Core State Standards take a look at past education reform efforts, such as A Nation at Risk or the No Child Left Behind Act, they will find not only potential pitfalls but also some research guidance for the path ahead. This report identifies five big obstacles to the Common Core’s success—assessments, performance levels, accountability, teachers, and technology—with essential lessons that policymakers must consider as the Common Core unfolds.

Evaluation of the Content Literacy Continuum: Report on Program Impacts, Program Fidelity, and Contrast (National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, December 2012). This study examines impacts of the Content Literacy Continuum (CLC) on high school students’ reading comprehension and accumulation of credits in core subject areas. The CLC combines whole-school and targeted approaches to supporting student literacy and content learning, and used a randomized design and involved 33 high schools in nine school districts within four Midwestern states. The study found no statistically significant impacts of CLC on reading comprehension or accumulation of core credits.

Our Responsibility Our Promise: Transforming Educator Preparation and Entry into the Profession (Council of Chief State School Officers, December 2012). This report is a call to action for chiefs and an invitation to CCSSO colleagues, especially members of the National Association of State Boards of Education and National Governors Association who contributed to the report. The authors ask those in educator preparation and others interested in transforming entry into the education profession for teachers and principals to join them in supporting the implementation of the recommendations contained in this report. While the report attempts to focus on the state policy levers chiefs can activate, it is clear that the work required by these recommendations is not easy and will require the leadership and collaboration of all stakeholders involved in P-20 education.

*Resource descriptions provided by the sponsoring organization.


Note: This blog post was originally authored under the auspices of the National High School Center at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The National High School Center’s blog, High School Matters, which ran until March 2013, provided an objective perspective on the latest research, issues, and events that affected high school improvement. The CCRS Center plans to continue relevant work originally developed under the National High School Center grant. National High School Center blog posts that pertain to CCRS Center issues are included on this website as a resource to our stakeholders.

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