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Archive for the ‘reports’ Category

According to research by the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, states are slashing hundreds of millions from their prekindergarten budgets by next year. The cuts, which are estimated at around $350 million, mean fewer slots for children, teacher layoffs and even fewer services for needy families who can’t afford high-quality private preschool programs.

An Associated Press article revealed that 38 states had pre-k programs serving more than 1.2 million 3- and 4-year-olds in 2009. Last year, four states made pre-k cut, but that number jumped to 14 in 2010. It is likely that another 14 will be eliminated next year. Read the entire Associated Press article.

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According to a November 19, 2009 MSNBC.com article, the economy is expected to make a slow recovery from now until the first half of 2010 according to a survey released in late October. The Conference Board, a non-profit organization that publishes economic-based forecasts and assesses trends in the economy, released the survey. According to the Conference Board, their index of leading economic indicators rose 0.3 percent last month. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.5 percent gain. These indicators have been on the rise for the last seven months straight and indicate a slow recovering economy.

The article also mentions that the consumer expectation index has dropped as unemployment continues to rise and if consumers are uneasy about the economy, they will be less likely to spend. Consumer spending powers roughly 70 percent of the U.S. economy.

The Conference Board uses data from current jobless aid claims, stock prices, consumer expectations, building permits for private homes and the money supply, to measure economic activity in the United States.

For more information about the article “Economic Recovery to be Sluggish, Survey Shows,” visit http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34036038/ns/business-personal_finance/ and let NSSEA know your thoughts!

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According to a government report released Monday, the 22 banks that got the most help from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s bailout programs cut their small business loan balances by a collective $10.5 billion over the past six months. The article “Small business loans: $10 billion evaporates” mentions that out of the 22 banks, three make no small business loans. Since April 2009, out of the remaining 19 banks, 15 have reduced their small business balance.

The article also mentions that the 22 banks have cut their collective small business lending by four percent within the last six month period and have a cumulative balance of $258.7 billion as of September 30, 2009. For the past six months, the U.S. Department of Treasury has required the biggest banks receiving Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding to report their small business lending on a monthly basis.

For more information about the new report, visit http://www.ustreas.gov/ and
Read the article, “Small Business Loans: $10 Billion Evaporates” and let NSSEA know your thoughts!

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According to a large-scale study backed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the U.S. Department of Education, video and interactive games are beneficial and effective in teaching disadvantaged preschool students literacy skills needed to succeed in kindergarten.

The study incorporated three PBS produced television shows “Sesame Street,” “Between the Lions,” and “Super Why!” in efforts see what affect video and interactive games had on preschoolers’ development of early reading skills.

Eighty classes at forty-seven different centers participated in the spring 2009 study and for 10 weeks, preschool teachers and students were randomly assigned to use a technology-supported science curriculum or a technology-supported literacy curriculum.

Out of the 398 children who participated in the study, those who participated in the literacy curriculum outscored children in the science curriculum on four important measures. These measures include: the ability to name letters, know the sounds associated with those letters, recognize letters in their own names, and understand basic concepts about stories and printed words.

For more information about the study, visit http://cct.edc.org/ready_to_learn.asp and let NSSEA know your thoughts!

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The high school dropout rate among young adults today is steadily increasing and there is a high rate of imprisonment among these dropouts, according to a new study released by researchers at Northeastern University. The researchers mention that the high dropout rate among high school students is becoming a strain on the economy.

The study finds that the average high school dropout will have a negative net fiscal contribution to society of nearly $5,200 over the course of their working lives, while the average high school graduate produces a positive lifetime net fiscal contribution of $287,000. The report indicates that taxpayers will suffer over $292,000 in lower tax revenues, higher cash and in-kind transfer costs, and imposed incarceration costs.

How do you feel about this study’s findings? NSSEA wants to know your thoughts! Take a look at the report and tell us what you think.

For more information about the report, visit: http://www.clms.neu.edu/publication/documents/The_Consequences_of_Dropping_Out_of_High_School.pdf

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Today, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation issued a new report containing its grade for the recently released ‘Common Core’ academic standards by The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (CBP) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSCO). The think tank gave the academic standards a grade of B in both language arts and mathematics. The foundation evaluated the common core standards on two-point scales that focused on “content and rigor” and “clarity and specificity.”

 When compared to other international and national academic standards, The ‘Common Core’ standards received one of the highest grades from the foundation. The other national and international academic standards were released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Here is a break down of the grades earned from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation:

  • Common Core Reading/Writing/Speaking/Listening: B
  • Common Core Mathematics: B
  • NAEP Reading: B and NAEP Writing: B
  • NAEP Mathematics: C
  • TIMSS Mathematics: A
  • PISA Mathematics: D
  • PISA Reading: D

 Read the report and tell us what you think about the foundation’s evaluation of the ‘Common Core’ academic standards? Let NSSEA know your thoughts!

 For more information about the new report, visit: http://edexcellence.net/doc/20091008_NationalStandards.pdf.

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According to a new report by the Center of Education Policy (CEP), the achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students on standardized state tests is continuing to narrow. Since the 1990’s, the narrowing trend increased at a faster pace within the last decade.

The report is a multi-year study of student achievement and analyzes data collected between 2002 through 2008, using different test data from all 50 states. The report focuses on the achievement gap between white and minority students and low-income students and their peers.

The report begins by using grade four state test results at three different achievement levels. The levels include: basic-and-above, proficient-and-above and advanced. CEP analyzes data of students from different racial and ethnic groups and low income students to see if they made any improvement in any of the three achievement levels and what specific subgroups are lagging behind.

In the study, CEP also looks at the achievement gap between elementary, middle and high school grades and whether or not the gap is narrowing, widening, or staying the same since 2002. They also study the gaps between subgroups with students scoring at or above the proficient level and the gaps between students whose test scores were average.

We enjoy hearing your opinion, so let NSSEA know your thoughts about these new findings and to view the full report by the Center of Education Policy, visit: http://www.cepdc.org/document/docWindow.cfm?fuseaction=document.viewDocument&documentid=292&documentFormatId=4388.

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