Posts tagged ‘Student Achievement’

2 independent reports released re TDSB students

Profile of Students in arts schools:

The study, “Market ‘Choices’ or Structured Pathways? How Specialized Arts Education Contributes to the Reproduction of Inequality,” by Gaztambide-Fernández and Gillian Parekh reviews student data enrolled in TDSB arts schools and determine that they serve mostly affluent families and students with access to high levels of social and cultural capital.

Selected media releases:

Race and Black students in TDSB schools:

James, C.E. & Turner, T. (2017). Towards Race Equity In Education: The Schooling of Black Students in the Greater Toronto Area. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: York University.

From page 64 “Throughout the consultations community members, parents, students and educators welcomed the insights that the TDSB data provided, noting that the profile of Black students and in light of the recent spotlight on Black boysconfirmed for them that race plays a significant role in producing the unequal outcomes for Black students. They affirmed that the “web of stereotypes” (Howard, 2008, p. 966) operates to “racialize and marginalize these youth and structure their learning process, social opportunities, life changes, and educational outcomes” (James, 2011, p. 467).” Pages 68-79 include an extensive series of recommendations for the Ministry, school boards, the Black community and parents.

Selected media releases:

Check ’em out! Rowan

April 25, 2017 at 12:54 pm Leave a comment

Characteristics of top performing students

Mindshift has posted an item titled Three Things Top Performing Students Know That Their Peers Miss. It includes the video below and brief explanation of things that successful students do, including:

  • characteristics  like self-discipline and self-motivation are  more important than IQ
  • work hard in the right ways
  • take practice tests
  • make studying schedules that include things they like to do on their schedule and then work study time in after.

Check it out!

November 29, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Work with low performers to engage them

PISA in Focus has released #62 in the series titled “Are low performers missing learning opportunities?

From page 1:

• In almost every country and economy that participated in PISA 2012, low performers showed less perseverance than better-performing students. For instance, about 32% of low performers said they give up on solving problems easily compared to only 13% of better-performing students who so reported.

• Low performers perceive their efforts in after-school learning activities to be unproductive. Despite similar self-reported efforts invested in studying for mathematics quizzes, 81% of top performers in mathematics agreed that they were prepared for mathematics exams compared to only 56% of low performers.

• Low performers who did mathematics as an extracurricular activity were much more interested in mathematics than those who did not.

From page 4:

“Although low performers should invest more time and effort in their studies, they seldom do. One reason is because they often feel that they get no return on their investment: more studying does not automatically lead to better marks in school. But with the right kind of in-school support, including creative and engaging mathematics-related activities, low performers might begin to develop an interest in mathematics and positive attitudes towards learning – both of which could propel them back to their books”

Check it out!


June 1, 2016 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Science Achievement Gaps begin by Kindergarten

A new study  released by AERA (American Educational Research Association)is titled Science Achievement Gaps Begin by Kindergarten (Authors: Tony Pals and Victoria  Oms) and has been published in the February 2016 issue of Educational Researcher and  been made available on their website.

From their news release:

“a team of researchers—Paul L. Morgan (Pennsylvania State University), George Farkas (University of California, Irvine), Marianne M. Hillemeier (Pennsylvania State University), and Steve Maczuga (Pennsylvania State University)—found that kindergarten children’s general knowledge about the world was the strongest predictor of their general knowledge in first grade, which in turn was the strongest predictor of their science achievement in third grade. Children’s science achievement gaps were then fairly stable from third through eighth grade.”


“Our findings argue for the importance of intervening early, particularly for children who may be at risk because of fewer opportunities to informally learn about science prior to beginning elementary school.”

Check it out! Rowan

March 8, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

OECD releases report on low performing students

The OECD has released a new report titled Low-Performing Students: Why they fall behind and how to help them succeed.  From the web page: “Low-performing Students: Why they Fall Behind and How to Help them Succeed examines low performance at school by looking at low performers’ family background, education career and attitudes towards school. The report also analyses the school practices and educational policies that are more strongly associated with poor student performance. Most important, the evidence provided in the report reveals what policy makers, educators, parents and students themselves can do to tackle low performance and succeed in school.”

The web page includes a link to the document, an infographic and a couple of webinars. See also the blog  and the PISA in Focus (#60) report

From page 4 of PISA in Focus:

” Policy makers need to make tackling low performance a priority in their education policy agenda – and translate that priority into additional resources. Tackling low performance requires a multi-pronged approach, tailored to national and local circumstances. Countries need to organise schools and education systems so that they can provide early education opportunities for all; and education systems need to identify low-performing students and schools, and intervene with appropriate, targeted policies and practices (e.g. remedial, language or psycho-social support). Skills for teaching and managing diverse student populations might be emphasised in teacher-training and professional development programmes. Parental support and positive student attitudes and behaviours (e.g. attending school regularly and on time, completing homework assignments, and approaching learning with perseverance and motivation) are also good ways to tackle poor performance at school.”

Check it out! Rowan

March 4, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Decentralization and student achievement

The CEA has released another issue  in the Facts  on Education series titled What is the impact of decentralization on student achievement?   The question ‘does decentralization improve academic achievement’ is asked. The term “decentralization” in public education refers to a process that transfers administrative and financial decision-making powers from central Ministries of Education to local governments, communities, and schools.

Selected from the one-page report: 

  • Decentralization works if local players are given the resources and empowerment to attain increased student achievement.
  • When decentralization encourages increased local participation in school management, it improves accountability and responsiveness to student needs and fosters better use of resources, thus improving conditions for students.
  • When teachers are empowered and schools can make decisions that directly affect their own students – under the umbrella of a broader vision for a school district – decentralization is at its best.


Check it out!







February 25, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Scholastic 2016 report on school library effectiveness

School libraries are a powerful force in the positive achievement of students. Scholastic has released a 2106 edition of the 2008 edition of  School Libraries Work: A compendium of research supporting the effectiveness of school libraries. The report, compiles research from various US sources, reinforces all previous research on this topic.


To read the report, you have have to complete an online form, after which  the report is emailed to you.

Other (selected) American research includes:  Library Research Services (school impact studies) and American Association of School Librarians (2014) Causality: School Libraries and Student success.

For Canadian content check out the 2011 People for Education report School Libraries and Information Literacy, and (2009) Exemplary School Libraries on Ontario.

Check’em out! Rowan


December 18, 2015 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

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