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This report examines the assessment and course placement practices across California's community colleges for incoming students and recommends strategies for overall improvement.
Community colleges have processes in place for new student orientation, counseling, assessment, and course placement. Nonetheless, students, by and large, view their matriculation process as a one-shot deal—an isolated event that happens one day with minimal to no advance information.
Yet the assessment and placement process involves very high stakes for students and can negatively impact their future success. Course placement affects not only how quickly students can earn a certificate or degree—a factor affecting the cost of their program of study—but also their likelihood of completing a credential at all.
Drawing from quantitative analyses and interviews with counselors and students, the authors uncover substantial variance in assessment and placement policies statewide, as well as confusion among both students and counselors about the policies. The authors provide recommendations directed toward making assessment and placement part of overall diagnostic and learning processes that span high school and college.
PAGE3What Are We Doing to Middle School English Learners: Research ReportEXECUTIVE SUMMARYMiddle school students who are English Learners (ELs) quickly run out of time to develop the academic uses of English and the critical skills that will enable them to succeed in the 21st century. What are schools doing during these crucial years to promote ELs' accelerated access to academic language and grade-level, standards-based instruction? How will these students catch up and be able to compete in high school, in college, and on the job market? This study concludes that middle school programs for English Learners in California are failing students and limiting their futures in profound ways. Conducted by researchers in the Quality Teaching for English Learners program at WestEd, the study was funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Interviews with 13 school districts with the highest concentration of English Learners in the state and 64 middle schools in those districts found incoherent EL programs across districts and from school to school within districts. The use of below-grade-level materials was found to be widespread in English Learner programs, remediation rather than acceleration was common, and some schools purposely decelerated students' progress through already below-grade-level materials. On California's five-level assessment of English Learners, the California English Language Development Test (CELDT), most students (56 percent) do not progress a single level in a year's time and some even regress (California Department of Education, 2008). School districts in the study identified inadequate teacher preparation for working with English Learners as the primary challenge to these students' academic success. Yet most districts did not provide professional development that would even begin to address teachers' needs. The study also found that schools did not have mechanisms for addressing challenges that they identified. Schools identified teachers of ELs' and EL students' lack of motivation as primary challenges, yet, only six schools reported a focus on student engagement as a support they offered; none reported having a focus on teacher engagement and motivation. Similarly, lack of parental involvement was identified as a major challenge by school interviewees, but only two schools reported having a focus on involving parents. Case studies were developed from classroom observations and interviews in five middle schools that were selected by triangulation of student data (substantially higher than average EL performance on standardized measures), survey responses, and district nominations. These case studies contextualize the study findings— the major challenges schools still face and the promising practices that were found. Practices in one school especially were notable, a small, autonomous district school organized with a focus on targeted grade-level support for students, concerted outreach to parents, and ongoing collegial professional development for teachers.
Meaningful participation among students occurs when contributions to the school and classroom environment are facilitated, rather than directed, by adults; and when learning is connected to students' personal interests and applicable to their lives. Meaningful participation at school cultivates students' autonomy; decision-making and leadership skills; and personal talents and strengths.
This What Works Brief, cowritten by Meagan O'Malley, former Research Associate at WestEd, provides teachers and other school staff strategies for supporting students' meaningful participation in school, including:
Volunteering to be the advisor to a student-led initiative or interest group
Facilitating an after-school, extracurricular project in a particular content area
Having students collaborate to set class and school norms, as well as learning goals
Adding student-selected, project-based assignments to curricula
Note: Developed by the California Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) Technical Assistance Center, What Works Briefs summarize state-of-the-art practices, strategies, and programs for improving school climate.
Based on the most current research, each of the ten briefs provides practical recommendations for school staff, parents, and community members and can be used separately to target specific issues (e.g., family engagement) or grouped together to address more complex, systemwide issues. What Works Briefs are organized into three sections:
Quick Wins: What Teachers and Adults Can Do Right Now
Universal Supports: Schoolwide Policies, Practices, and Programs
Targeted Supports: Intensive Supports for At-Risk Youth
One of the benefits to California schools participating in CalSCHLS is that a district/school can compare local results with those from other districts/schools and to county and state norms. Such comparisons can help in interpreting trends and guiding program decisions by placing the results in a larger context of what is happening elsewhere. By participating you also contribute to a statewide dataset that can be analyzed to provide insight into broad factors affecting student success that benefit all schools.
Standard district student and staff reports are produced in less than three weeks for 90% of districts when the survey is administered online. When the survey is administered in paper-and-pencil format, reports are produced in less than seven weeks after print answer forms are received at WestEd. Reports based on custom survey configurations can take longer. District reports are publicly posted to this website by the end of November of the year following administration. Parent survey results are not posted on the website.
Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning at WestEd;
Produced by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning at WestEd, this 13th annual report on the California teacher workforce takes an extended look at principals in our Golden State and their vital role in supporting teacher effectiveness.
The Center provides new information on budget cutbacks to teacher professional development, declining enrollment in preparation programs, drops in the rate of newly credentialed teachers, and escalating educator retirements.
The report also looks at how California's school principals perceive their role and how well-prepared they are in helping their teachers become more effective educators.
In addition to research and analyses, this report offers useful recommendations. How can we improve the state's system of teacher development and evaluation in ways that strengthen the quality of classroom practice? How can we help educators prepare for the challenge of implementing the Common Core State Standards?
Youth Research & Evaluation eXchange (YouthREX);
This report is designed for practitioners working with young people living with and affected by HIV in Ontario. As resource navigators and connectors to services and programs, youth workers play an important role in the wellbeing of youth. They are uniquely positioned to support young people living with and affected by HIV and break down stigma. This report offers youth workers recommendations for best practices at the individual, interpersonal, organizational, and community levels.
The report is organized into three main sections. The first sets the context, highlighting the demographics of youth living with HIV in Canada (specifically in Ontario) and the intersecting factors that contribute to the vulnerability of youth living with and affected by HIV, through a social determinants of health lens. The next section details frameworks, evidence-based interventions, and program features that support youth living with and affected by HIV. The final section outlines recommendations for best practices and strategies that can be adopted by youth workers and youth-serving organizations.
Rockefeller Archive Center;
Paul Monroe was a pioneering leader of international and comparative education. His greatest contribution to comparative education came from his leadership of the International Institute of Teachers College during 1923-1938, where he led and practiced the teaching and research on comparative education with dynamic international outreach and engagement in investigation of educational systems and conditions of many countries. Monroe played a key role in shaping the development of comparative education as an academic field during its formative years. He and his colleagues trained the first generation of comparative educators in North America and elsewhere. Paul Monroe was also significantly involved in the modernization of education in countries of Asia and the Middle East, when the influence of the United States expanded in these regions primarily via the work of private institutions in the first half of the 20th century.
Jacksonville Community Council, Inc.;
Around the world, communities are working to take advantage of the technology revolution now propelling the global shift toward an information-based society, in which knowledge is the new capital and higher education is the new machine. Jacksonville, even with some of the necessary machinery in place, needs to build its intellectual infrastructure, which includes everything from improving high school graduation rates to attracting more research dollars into the local economy. Despite the recent rapid growth of the community and its higher education institutions, neither the community nor its colleges and universities have worked together in a strategic, comprehensive way to position Jacksonville for the future.
The Town and Gown study committee began by identifying current and potential roles for both the community and higher education institutions in building the intellectual capacity of Jacksonville. In doing this, the committee reviewed the historical growth of higher education in the community. The committee then examined how higher education institutions were meeting the needs of the local community, and whether the community was supporting those endeavors. Lastly, the study committee identified successful efforts in other communities where strategic collaborations between institutions of higher education and the community have produced tangible results.
The committee found that Jacksonville has reached a critical juncture in its history. Nothing less than the future of the community is in question. On the one hand, the future can be shaped through a deliberate, thoughtful, and intentional focus on building a community that recognizes knowledge and the acquisition of knowledge as a valuable local commodity beneficial to every resident's quality of life. On the other hand, the community (town) and its colleges and universities (gown) can continue growing along separate paths and Jacksonville may lose the opportunity to own its destiny in a world increasingly driven by intellect, ideas, and innovation.
To compete globally and improve its quality of life, the Jacksonville community has to work locally with its higher education institutions to: develop sustained leadership in every sector of the community, including government, business, and higher education, to work towards building Jacksonville's intellectual infrastructure; create and implement a strategic vision that improves the quality of life in all areas of the community by co-opting the teaching, research, and service roles of universities for the betterment of Jacksonville as a whole; and build active collaborations between higher education and community institutions to carry out that vision as well as prepareJacksonville and its residents for meeting the opportunities and the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.
Jacksonville Community Council, Inc.;
The Great Recession of 2007-09, as pundits are now calling it, hit Northeast Florida brutally. A regional economy that had been fueled by population and construction growth, consistently doing better than the national average, saw unemployment skyrocket when the housing market collapsed, the economy retracted, and population growth slowed to a trickle.Jacksonville Community Council Inc. (JCCI) surveyed the community to identify residents' top priority for in-depth study. Job growth far surpassed any other regional issue. Volunteers and partner organizations from the seven-county region came together to explore new ideas for retaining existing jobs, rapidly creating new jobs, and for positioning the region for long-term economic growth.
The study committee visited the seven partner counties (Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, and St. Johns), examined existing job development plans and economic development strategies for the region, and explored promising practices from other regions that were achieving success despite the national economic climate.
The resulting recommendations are designed to enhance economic development and job creation, signaling to the state and nation that Northeast Florida is open for business.
Implementation of these recommendations will highlight Northeast Florida's existing assets and strengthen its competitive advantages in the economic world. Most significantly, action will build on Northeast Florida's successes and enhance the combined regional approach to competing in the global marketplace.
First, the region must focus on its key regional growth industries. The primary immediate opportunities for substantial job creation in the region are in the areas of:* port logistics and associated industries* health and medical sciences* aviation/aerospace and defense contracting* financial services
Second, the region must bring its business and education sectors together in a shared emphasis to build and maintain an educated and skilled workforce. Shifting economic realities, along with the skill sets required for job growth, necessitate the training (or re-training) of local workers and the retention of these skilled local workers in their employment positions. It also prescribes the need for attracting talented workers from around the world.
Third, economic success will require even more emphasis on encouraging the growth of small businesses. Enhancing the region's entrepreneurial spirit is critical to sustaining a vibrant economy. Improving access to support for small business development and expansion holds the potential for creating more jobs and more business owners.
Fourth, the region requires both a vibrant urban heart and an expanded vision of its assets and aspirations – unfettered by current boundary definitions. The outsider's view of Northeast Florida often begins with Jacksonville and its downtown core. A good first impression of the city, along with having strong economic development partners with a variety of different attributes, can have long term positive implications. Successful regional economic development also means rethinking the regions boundary lines and embracing all the potential Northeast Florida has to offer – such as the research capacities demonstrated by the University of Florida
Fifth, regional leadership must come together to encourage economic growth and enhance the business-ready environment of Northeast Florida. Regional leadership (political, business, and community) must maintain focus on reducing issues that unnecessarily add roadblocks to sustainable economic growth, by streamlining regulation and permitting processes, in order to improve Northeast Florida's competitiveness and economic success.
Together, the implementation of these recommendations can accelerate short-term job creation and, more significantly, strengthen the region's ability to sustain economic growth for years to come.
We are proud to present this catalogue as a collection of some of the most promising new solutions in WASH, offering the WASH practitioner community a unique opportunity to access over 30 innovations that could help to solve their most pressing problems.
Over the last few years, we have heavily invested in funding and supporting innovation and research in the WASH sector, highlighting gaps in evidence, exploring the problems, identifying opportunities where innovation can play a vital role, and funding the right people to find potential solutions.
Our WASH Innovation Catalogue is the first of its kind. It offers a unique overview of some of the most promising new solutions in WASH, and is designed to help practitioners decide which innovations could help them solve their most pressing problems. Taking an innovation from idea to scale can take years, and the innovations featured in this catalogue are all at different stages on that journey, but what this offers the WASH sector now is a look at the exciting work happening around the world to address common challenges.