The Education Innovator #30
Volume II
Archived Information

The Education Innovator
 August 9, 2004 • Number 30
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Editor's Note:
The Education Innovator will take a summer break over the next week. Look for the next issue on August 23rd.

What's inside...
Public/Private Ventures' YET Centers, Philadelphia
What's New
Secretary Paige issues a checklist of questions for parents and communities to ask about their schools; The Education Trust releases two summaries of accountability requirements of No Child Left Behind; The Public Affairs Research Council publishes a report on Louisiana's implementation of NCLB requirements; and the Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) will host a conference on No Child Left Behind and accountability.
Innovations in the News
An OII grant to St. Louis Public Schools will help a dozen elementary schools combine elements of magnet and traditional neighborhood schools, plus information on charter schools, No Child Left Behind, supplemental educational services, teacher quality, and Teaching American History.

YET Centers Provide No Child Left Behind Services
The Youth Education for Tomorrow (YET) Centers in Philadelphia are lively, colorful places where kids can see their friends, get a healthy snack, learn alongside a caring adult, and improve their academic achievement. Since 2000, YET Centers, sponsored by the national nonprofit Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) and operated by a group of community and faith-based organizations, have served over 2,100 children in the Philadelphia area. Now, the centers are also state-approved supplemental educational services providers that will be able to work with more schools and Title I students in local Philadelphia communities.

Supplemental services are innovations of the No Child Left Behind Act that enable low-income children in Title I schools identified as needing improvement for more than one year to receive free, high-quality tutoring outside the school day.

Through YET supplemental services, students receive extra assistance in reading through a research-based program that has proven to be effective. In each class, students and a teacher participate in four activities: an oral language/vocabulary activity, the teacher reading aloud to students, students reading, and students writing from the approach that writing is "thinking on paper." Each Center provides 90 minutes of this type of literacy assistance to students four or five days a week, after school, and during the summer. A certified teacher and an assistant, who receive ongoing professional development and technical assistance, lead each Center.

A 2001 study found that YET Centers improved the reading scores of participants who attended at least 90 days by an average of 1.4 years. In three years of programming, students who attended 180 days or more gained an average of 1.3 years of reading growth each year. YET children's reading levels are assessed three times a year using the Jerry Johns Basic Reading Inventory (IRI), an individually administered reading test. And, in addition to the IRI, teachers measure students' daily progress through reading coaching and the 100 Book Challenge, a research-proven reading program.

P/PV, whose mission is to improve the effectiveness of social policies, programs, and community initiatives, especially as they affect young people, decided in the spring of 2003 that there was a natural fit between its YET Centers and supplemental services. P/PV helped the Centers complete the Pennsylvania supplemental services application by holding workshops throughout the year where they explained the goals of supplemental services and the process of applying to become a provider. P/PV also prepared an application toolkit to assist all potential providers with the application process. To date, 16 of the 23 YET Centers have become state-approved supplemental services providers, and decisions about the others are pending.

The Office of Innovation and Improvement is one of the offices in the U.S. Department of Education responsible for supporting and monitoring state and local implementation of supplemental educational services. P/PV received an OII grant to support expansion of supplemental educational services provided by community-based organizations in the Philadelphia area.

Resources: Note: The featured innovation is a description of one supplemental educational services provider and is given as an example to help schools and families implement these provisions of No Child Left Behind. The U.S. Department of Education has not evaluated the specific services of Public/Private Ventures or the YET Centers, and the information provided should not be regarded as an endorsement.


What's New
Secretary Paige Issues Back-to-School Checklist for Parents
U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige has issued a back-to-school checklist of questions for parents and communities to ask about their schools' academic curriculum and student achievement, teacher training, discipline, and services. (Aug. 5)

The Education Trust Summary to Clarify No Child Left Behind Accountability Requirements of Title I
The Education Trust has issued two short documents that summarize and help clarify the accountability requirements of Title I of No Child Left Behind: "The ABCs of AYP" and "Questions to ask about NCLB reports" download files PDF (409K). (July 27)

Louisiana's Accountability Report on the Implementation of NCLB
The Public Affairs Research Council, Baton Rouge, has released a report, NCLB: A Steep Climb Ahead download files PDF (675K), which is a case study of Louisiana's implementation of NCLB requirements. The study reveals both positives and negatives of Louisiana's accountability system and No Child Left Behind and concludes, "Regardless of the costs and complexities involved in implementing NCLB, the positive effect of this law is that it has cast a bright light on the need for Louisiana to address its achievement gaps." The study was conducted under an OII "earmark" grant. (July 2004)

CRESST 2004 Conference
The Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) will host a conference to explore such topics as No Child Left Behind and accountability, technology in support of learning and assessment, and evaluating educational programs, Sept. 9-10 at UCLA. (July 30)


Innovations in the News

Charter Schools
Students are helping to get two charter schools moved into the old Main Library in Salt Lake City, which will house the Salt Lake Arts Academy and the Jean Massieu School of the Deaf. [More-Salt Lake Tribune] (July 30)

Magnet Schools
An OII grant, presented to St. Louis Public Schools by OII Deputy Michael Petrilli, will help a dozen elementary schools combine elements of magnet and traditional neighborhood schools. The schools will accept pupils from the city and St. Louis County, but priority will be given to pupils who live nearby. The schools will offer a computer-based learning program that has already been successful at one district school. [More-STLtoday] (Aug. 2)

No Child Left Behind
Chicago's test scores are up this year. Nearly three-quarters of both elementary and high schools improved composite test scores. School officials predict that more schools will meet the standards under No Child Left Behind and claim that Chicago is at the forefront of a transformation in urban public education. [More-Daily Southtown] (Aug. 5)

The Bayonne (NJ) Board of Education has adopted a new NCLB policy that strengthens the minimum qualifications for teachers, focuses on proven teaching strategies, and includes the integration of technology in both elementary and secondary schools. [More-Jersey Journal] (Aug. 2)

The Cape Henlopen (DE) School District has two schools rated superior and two schools rated commendable under NCLB, showing "how hard students and teachers are working to meet the accountability standards," according to the district's superintendent. [More-Delmarva Now!] (Aug. 4)

Supplemental Educational Services
Chicago Public Schools employees blitzed neighborhoods with fliers and radio ads urging parents to register for free supplemental educational services. Officials say they hope to tutor nearly 100,000 Chicago students this year under provisions of No Child Left Behind. [More-Chicago Tribune] (July 29)

Teacher Quality
Florida Gulf Coast University officials hope to launch the area's first bachelor's degree program for middle and high school teachers in English, science, math, and social science. This program will address teacher shortages and the desire to hire from within the local community. Other Florida colleges are looking at creating alternative routes to teacher certification. [More-News-Press] (Aug. 3)

School districts in central Texas are still filling teacher slots. Statistics show that many of those hired have been hired through alternative certification. [More-KWTX] (Aug. 4)


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Last Modified: 01/25/2008