Campaign for Grade Level Reading

posted in: General Information

Reading proficiency by third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success. Yet every year, more than 80 percent of low-income children miss this crucial milestone. Read more here.

A Revolution Implemented: Tazewell County, VA

posted in: General Information

Turning Kids Into Readers How The Elgin Foundation is Transforming Education in Tazewell County, VA The signs scattered throughout Tazewell County, Virginia, read like 21st Century holy writ. Encouraging parents to read to their children at least 20 minutes or more every day, they are everywhere—schools, parking lots, retail stores, restaurants, and in libraries. Brenda Lawson, Superintendent of Tazewell County schools, says that her staff “has a mission to see that 100% of students read at grade level … Read More

The What & the Why of Tennessee’s Success

  Tennessee Schools Recognized for Fastest Gains Among the States – But Why? November 2013, the US Department of Education released the latest results from its National Assessment of Education Progress (i.e. “The Nation’s Report Card”) and revealed that Tennessee was the only state to post improvements in both math and reading at both fourth and eighth grades, adding a total of 22 points across the four assessments to their scores. This was, in fact, the largest gain among the … Read More

ECF Cost Calculator Testimonials

The ECF Cost Calculator: Praise from Educators and Researchers Everyone agrees that good teachers are important to learning; but when you see the dollar amounts brought to light by the Education Consumers Foundation’s online calculator, you begin to appreciate their true economic worth. There are differences of thousands per student and millions per school in the tax burden created by effective and ineffective teachers in the early elementary grades.  Third grade reading skills predict dropouts and minimally qualified … Read More

Is Tennessee really winning the race to the top?

posted in: General Information

In November 2013, a Brookings Institution blog questioned whether TN deserved to call itself #1 or even if its overall NAEP gains were accurately represented. ECF has called for a replay.  Our findings: In a top-ten style ranking based on a composite of the 4 NAEP tests, Tennessee outscored the next highest state by 15 points. And yes, the District of Columbia did a great job as well, but is it a fair comparison?  Over 40% of DC schools are charters, it serves less than 10% … Read More

Parents and School

The 150-Year Struggle for Control in American Education The following material was excerpted from Chapter 2. Parents and Schools is not available online.   The Peripheral Parent: Making the Most of Marginality In the 1920S, there was widespread support in the United States for the idea that parents and teachers should work together. However, Americans were still uncertain about the nature and extent of this cooperation. It remained unclear to what degree parents should join in the education … Read More

Rethinking Special Education for a New Century

Chester E. Finn, Jr., Andrew J. Rotherham, and Charles R. Hokanson, Jr. (Eds.). Washington, DC: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, 2001.   Summary: Recommending sweeping changes in federal special ed policy, this new volume of 14 papers scrutinizes the education now being received by 6 million U.S. children with disabilities. Jointly published with the Progressive Policy Institute, the report will help shape discussion of the next reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It identifies the problems … Read More

Home Environments for Learning

Walberg, H.J. & Paik, S.J. 1997. Home environments for learning. In: Walberg, H.J. & Haertel, G.D., eds. Psychology and educational practice, p. 356-68. Berkeley, CA, McCutchan Publishing. This chapter emphasizes the influence of the home environment on learning within and outside school. It summarizes research on the home environment including home-based reinforcement, home instruction, homework, and other educational and psychological activities in the home. This work suggests that alterable features of the home environment may be changed to … Read More

Private Sector Alternatives for Preventing Reading Failure

Groff, P.  (1987).  Private sector alternatives for preventing reading failure, Washington, DC:  National Advisory Council on Educational Research and Improvement. Editor’s note:  Chapters IV-VI contain outdated names, addresses, and references, and therefore were omitted _________________ A directory of national organizations providing a rationale for their need;  An assessment of the professional training they provide for prospective or inservice teachers of reading By Patrick Groff, Professor of Education San Diego State University   I. Introduction The major purpose of … Read More

ECF on Teacher Quality: 2013 and Earlier

Teaching is a highly trained and regulated profession; yet despite all of its rules, standards, enforcement agencies and oversight bodies, the performance of many practicing teachers is so poor as to be detrimental to students.  The reason is that the evaluative process is largely controlled by the profession to suit its own standards—not those of the parents and taxpayers that it serves.  One effect of this self-regulated process is that the public’s priorities are not necessarily those of … Read More

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