Student Engagement

Are Personalized Learning Environments the Next Wave of K-12 Education Reform?

This paper discusses the 16 Race to the Top grantees in 2012 -- a year in which the U.S. Department of Education highlighted the need for personalized learning environments. Specific attention is paid to the successful design and innovation plans of each grantee state, with a focus of four main activity areas within the context of personalized learning. This paper summarizes opportunities for innovation and potential challenges in constructing effective personalized learning environments, with the ultimate hope of providing key takeaway points for improvements in teaching and learning. 

Iowa District Puts Twist on Four-Day Week

WACO community school district in Iowa is adopting a four-day school week to allow for more student enrichment and professional development for teachers. Students will have the option to attend remedial, enrichment, or college-level classes on Fridays. The district is also hoping the new schedule will reduce costs associated with transportation and utilities and alleviate budget woes. However, the district was granted approval for the schedule change because the motivation for the change was not largely budget-based.

Exploring Dropout Recovery Partnerships Online

On June 6, the Dropout Recovery and Prevention Online Community of Practice (COP) hosted a webinar titled, “Partners in Dropout Recovery: Getting Creative to Find and Recruit Students.” This webinar represented the first dissemination and network engagement event of the community, which is managed by the American Institutes for Research through the

NASA Langley Partners with VA STEAM Academy to Promote Education

NASA Langley Research Center and the Virginia Science Technology Engineering and Applied Mathematics (STEAM) Academy will partner in an effort to improve STEAM education in Virginia. As part of the partnership, NASA Langley will provide 10 mentors to Virginia STEAM Academy students and faculty, while Virginia STEAM students serve as student ambassadors to varying NASA Langley programs. 

How Out-of-School Time Can Reduce Dropout Rates

Few would argue that out of school learning is unimportant for preparing students for postsecondary learning and careers. Most would suggest that some form of work-based, even workplace-based, learning in fact adds value to a high school diploma. We agree, and propose that these "leaving to learn" opportunities are not only important but essential if we are to keep all students in school deeply engaged in productive learning.

Early outcomes of the GEAR UP program

This study evaluates the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEARUP), which targets low-income students and their families in order to increase knowledge, preparation and expectations for postsecondary education. The researchers compared a sample of 18 middle schools and 18 comparison schools. Overall GEARUP had positive effects on parent and student knowledge of postsecondary education, higher parent involvement and expectations for their children.

Getting ready to pay for college: What students and their parents know about the cost of college tuition and what they are doing to find out

This study examines how much 6th-12th grade students who reported plans to attend college and their parents knows about the cost of attending college, and the level of college preparation they undergo. Parent and youth survey data is analyzed and the study reveals that many middle and high school students and their parents, particularly parents with lower income and education level, do not have an accurate idea of the cost of college tuition, and students that were involved in family decision making were more inclined to gather information about college.

Creating College Readiness: Profiles of 38 Schools That Know How

This report provides a profile of 38 schools and details how these schools have implemented strategies to promote and advance college readiness. The report outlines each school, characteristics that make the school unique, and lessons learned from undertaking particular strategies. The report is organized into six sections: 1) alternative schools, 2) charter schools, 3) comprehensive schools, 4) early college high schools, 5) magnet schools, and 6) private schools. In several cases, schools may have utilized more than one strategy to achieve their goal.


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