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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.
What 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.
Rockefeller Archive Center;
Historians have often overlooked a central component of the story of the Green Revolution: the construction of laboratories, research stations, universities, and other facilities that made crop research possible. My recent research at the Rockefeller Archive Center started with one pivotal research center—the CIAT (Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical) in southwestern Colombia—to try and understand it as an architectural project. When CIAT was finished in the early 1970s, it had already benefitted from years of Rockefeller Foundation (RF) and Ford Foundation (FF) support to that particular project, as well as decades of philanthropic funding at local universities in the nearby cites of Palmira and Cali. The Universidad del Valle (Uni Valle) in Cali had been a particular focus of U.S. philanthropic funding for university development. Among other disciplines, foundations promoted architecture there as a means for international development. From crop research labs to public health centers, Uni Valle architects were supposed to foment modernization by building the facilities that would make it possible. But architecture was more than a facilitator of development; it also became a central site of contestation. At CIAT, officials debated the proper aesthetic and spatial organization that modernizing facilities should take. At the Universidad del Valle, the very architecture students and faculty meant to serve as the champions of a particular kind of modernity, in fact, confounded an easy United States-led development project. Some faculty were radical leftists, and together with students, they led a movement to gain greater control over the university administration from both local and international administrators.
This GrantCraft case study, developed for Candid's scholarshipsforchange.org portal, explores Al Ghurair Foundation for Education's STEM Scholars Program. The scholarship aims to increase access for underserved populations to high-quality education throughout the Middle East & North Africa region. Two years into its journey, the Scholars program strategy has made measurable progress on three student outcomes: expanding underserved youth's access to education, improving their college and career readiness, and increasing skills development; as well as three community outcomes: cultivating a new cadre of young leaders, empowering youth to rewrite the Arab story, and encouraging scholars to take part in regional philanthropy.
This GrantCraft case study, developed for Candid's scholarshipsforchange.org portal, explores The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. The Fellowship allows recipients to graduate with an education that would help accelerate their careers and their ability to make an impact in the world. Additionally, the Fellowships give Fellows and their families reassurance that their chosen field, regardless of its prestige or stability, is one of worth.
This GrantCraft case study, developed for Candid's scholarshipsforchange.org portal, explores The Jackie Robinson Foundation's Scholars Program. The Foundation was created in Jackie Robinson's name to perpetuate his impact and remembrance. The Foundation's programming has grown considerably over the past 45 years, yet the Scholars Program remains centered around long-term commitment.
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.
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.
Rockefeller Archive Center;
With generous financial support provided by the Rockefeller Archive Center, I was able to pay a research visit to Rockefeller Archive Center from July 20 to September 7, 2018. This was my second visit to the Center, following one in 2008, when the Center granted and financially supported my one-month-long access to its archival resources. This second visit proved to be an important one. This time I took advantage of the fact that the Center now allows archive users to take photographs. As a result, I was able to proceed with my work efficiently and made extensive use of archival material which I missed in my previous visit. This report presents a description of the important historical materials I have viewed and collected during this visit. It includes seven subjects in general, described as follows, that together constitute my research project, Modern China and Rockefeller Foundation (1913-1966).
Loyola University Chicago Center for Urban Research and Learning;
The project seeks to better understand challenges and obstacles faced by undocumented students at Jesuit universities and ways of eliminating those barriers. This project was done in collaboration with Fairfield University, Santa Clara University and Loyola University Chicago.
IIE Center for Academic Mobility Research & Impact;
Despite the growing focus on gender parity in higher education and the fact that in many wealthy nations women outpace men in tertiary enrollments, statistics show that in parts of the developing world, women are still underrepresented. In South and West Asia, for example, only 74 women are enrolled in higher education for every 100 men, whereas in sub-Saharan Africa, there are only 62 women enrolled for every 100 men (UNESCO, 2010).Even in countries where they have achieved parity, women face other issues of inequity and marginalization, from domestic violence to a lack of female leadership in government. While there are no simple solutions for these complex and wide-ranging problems, promoting advanced education for women—particularly those that are devoted to ameliorating such issues at the grassroots level—is a crucial step. Not only does it build the skills and capacities of those working to promote gender equity, it increases their chances of advancing to positions of power from which they can affect change.As part of its mission to provide higher education access to marginalized communities, the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program (IFP) sought to address gender inequality by providing graduate fellowships to nearly 2,150 women—50% of the IFP fellow population—from 22 countries in the developing world. This brief explores how international fellowship programs like IFP can advance educational, social, and economic equity for women. In addition to discussing the approach the program took in providing educational access and opportunity to women, the brief looks at two stories of alumnae who have not only benefitted from the fellowship themselves, but who are working to advance gender equity in their home communities and countries.Activists, advocates, and practitioners can draw upon the strategies and stories that follow to better understand the meaning of gender equity and advance their own efforts to achieve social justice for women and girls worldwide.
The NBDCK (National Book Development Council of Kenya) project aims to raise reading outcomes by offering extracurricular reading opportunities to public school children in the Kisii area of western Kenya. This is a micro level incremental innovation which originally included comparison to a control group, but this is no longer the case. Grade six students ('mentors') are trained to read with grade 1 and 2 students ('buddies') during informal small group sessions supervised by teachers trained to this end.