Charter Quality and Parental Decision Making with School Choice

Record: Erik A. Hanushek, John F. Kain, Steven G. Rivkih, Gregory F. Branch, “Charter Quality and Parental Decision Making with School Choice” in Journal of Public Economics (2007): 823-848. [Article]

Summary: Charter schools have become an increasingly popular form of education. Education reformers have seen charter school as a great opportunity for change, however, the amount of credible research is lacking concerning the difference between the quality of charter and public schools. Using data from the state of Texas, the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) and the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS), the authors created mathematical charts and explanations to quantify the quality of charter and traditional public schools. Continue reading


ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT THROUGH FLES: Young Learners Benefit from Foreign Language Study

Record: Carolyn Taylor, and Robert LaFayette, “Academic Achievement Through FLES: A Case for Promoting Greater Access to Foreign Language Study Among Young Learners” in The Modern Language Journal, (2010): 22-42. [Available Here]

Summary: Carolyn Taylor is a Professor of Education at the University of Wyoming. Her main focus is on secondary teaching. Robert LaFayette is an Emeritus Professor at Louisiana State University. He specializes in curriculum and instruction. Together these two professors collaborated to develop their common interest on the impact of early foreign language learning on academic achievement. Their study takes place on fifth graders who were introduced to foreign language in their third grade classes. This program is called FLES (Foreign Language Early Start). Continue reading

Secondary school extracurricular involvement and academic achievement: a fixed effects approach

Record:  Lipscomb, S. (2007). Secondary school extracurricular involvement and academic achievement: A fixed effects approach. Economics of Education Review, 26(4), 463-472.

Summary: Stephen Lipscomb, the author of this article, realizes that there have been numerous recent studies regarding the involvement in school-sponsored clubs and sports, and how it constitutes capital investment. He wanted to take a different approach to the study, so he researched if extracurricular involvement provides an immediate return to student learning. Specifically, this article presents results from a study conducted that researched the impacts that student participation in extra curricular sports has on secondary school test scores and Bachelor’s degree attainment expectations.

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Immigrant Youth Involvement in School-Based Extracurricular Activities

Record: Peguero, A. A. (2011). Immigrant Youth Involvement in School-Based Extracurricular Activities. Journal Of Educational Research104(1), 19-27. doi:10.1080/00220670903468340

Summary: Participation in extracurricular activities has often been linked to a student’s success. Research has shown that school based extracurricular activities have a positive correlation with students’ academic success, attitudes toward education, and leadership capabilities. Students’ involvement in extracurricular activities such as band, sports, plays etc. have generally been associated with the aforementioned characteristics, however some studies also suggest that participation, particularly in sports, can be associated with alcohol use and aggression. This article discusses patterns of extracurricular involvement depending on race, especially focusing on Latino, Asian American and White students. Latino students tend toward social extracurricular activities while Asian Americans tend toward activities involving a teacher.

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Record: Huang, F.L. & Invernizzi M.A. (2013). Birthday effects and preschool attendance. Education Childhood Research Quarterly, 28, 11-23. (Article)

Summary: In conjunction with the Virginia Department of Education, Francis L. Huang and Marcia A. Invernizzi investigated “the relationship between age, preschool attendance, and two student outcome measures using a sample of 1474 economically disadvantaged first-time kindergarteners in the Commonwealth of Virginia” (p. 11), and detailed their findings in this 13 page report. The primary question is whether or not preschool attendance has the potential to reduce the possible risks, including lower grades and achievement test scores, faced by relatively younger children. Continue reading

Florida Scoring Glitch Sparks Broad Debate

Record: Cech, S.J. (2007). Florida Scoring Glitch Sparks Broad Debate. Education Week, 26(41), 19.


Introduction: For 17 years, Florida implemented the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) as a means to gauge student achievement and progress in relation to state and national standards. The flaws in this system, such as test-making, test-taking, and the incredibly widespread high-stakes implications the test scores have on the state’s entire education system have caused huge debate.


Summary: This article explores the mistakes made and implications of a 2006 FCAT exam in Florida. What began as a small fault in the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test for 3rd grade reading, turned into a full-scale debate with nation-wide ramifications: Does too much depend on a single, flawed assessment?

This article was written in 2007 just after the 2006 third grade reading FCAT score mistakes were discovered. There was a sudden and significant drop in test scores (about 6%) from the year 2007 which had seen the number of third graders reading at grade level jump from 67% to 75%. It didn’t make any sense for them to suddenly drop.

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Record: Williams, J. M., Greenleaf, A. T., Albert, T., & Barnes, E. F. (2014). Promoting educational resilience among african american students at risk of school failure: The role of school counselors. Journal Of School Counseling12(9), 1-34.

(Article here)

Summary: Dr. Joseph Williams is an Assistant Professor in the Counseling and Development Program at George Mason University, and Tracey Albert is also affiliated with the university. Dr. Arie T. Greenleaf is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling and School Psychology at Seattle University. Dr. Erin F. Barnes is an Assistant Professor in Rehabilitation Counselor Education at the University of Texas at El Paso.

The majority of the article discusses and analyzes the factors contributing to academic and personal success among African American students living in high-risk environments. By examining these individuals, Williams, Greenleaf, Albert, and Barnes identify the protective factors resulting in this resilience as well as the ways in which counselors and other school faculty can facilitate similar results in other students. Continue reading