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Log in to Witsby: ASCD’s Next-Generation Professional Learning and Credentialing Platform
May 1, 1997
Vol. 54
No. 8


Listen, Discuss and Act

Listen, Discuss and Act: Parents' and Teachers' Views on Education Reform, Elizabeth Holman, Education Commission of the States.
According to the study summarized in this report, parents and teachers overwhelmingly approve the principles and practices espoused by New American Schools, a coalition of organizations, states, school districts, and individual schools pushing for school reform. Among these practices: learning by doing, emphasizing character development and social responsibility, giving educators more authority and using site-based councils, and helping parents get children ready to learn before they get to school.
The Education Commission of the States—a nonprofit group that works with state policymakers and educators to further school improvement—commissioned a series of parent surveys and teacher and parent focus groups in seven of the areas where New American Schools is concentrating its initial efforts—San Diego, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and the states of Maryland and Kentucky. Among other findings: When parents need to know what is happening in their children's schools, most turn first to the two sources most often neglected in a school's communication efforts—teachers and children; most parents and teachers have serious reservations about expecting all children to achieve at high levels; and most parents and teachers agree that there are too many factors outside educators' control to hold teachers fully responsible for student achievement. This booklet also presents recommendations for building public and political support for education improvement.
Available from ECS Distribution Center, 707 17th St., Suite 2700, Denver, CO 80202-3427; (303) 299-3692. 1996. 34 pp., Paperbound. $10 plus $3 for postage and handling. Discounts for bulk orders: 10-20, 10 percent; 25-49, 20 percent; 50 or more, 30 percent.

Youth Violence

Youth Violence: Prediction and Prevention. In Facts you Can Use: Seeds of Help, Winter 1997, Vol. 1, No. 3, Communities In Schools.
This issue of the Communities In Schools quarterly report includes concrete suggestions on how to prevent violent behavior before children reach high school. The authors look at five developmental stages. They suggest starting very early, pointing out that prenatal and perinatal medical care have been shown to reduce delinquency by reducing related risk factors such as child abuse and neglect. From birth to age 4, family and child bonding, parenting skills, learning readiness, and social skill development are fundamental.
Other articles summarize the anti-violence efforts of Communities In Schools—the nation's largest stay-in-school network. Two communities where peer mediation and conflict resolution are making a difference are highlighted: Fort Worth, Texas, and High Point, North Carolina. Readers will also find lists of resources, summaries of recent research, and statistics on rates of children in poverty and single-parent families in each state.
Available from Communities In Schools, Inc., 1199 N. Fairfax St., Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314; (703) 519-8999; fax (703) 519-7213. Winter 1997. 26 pp., Paperbound. $5.95.

College Opportunities and the Poor

College Opportunities and the Poor: Getting National Policies Back on Track, Lawrence E. Gladieux.
More than three decades and hundreds of billions of dollars after the Higher Education Act of 1965 (Title IV) was enacted, most indicators tell us we are losing ground in the effort to equalize college opportunities. This booklet charts some probable causes —the rise in tuition coupled with a decline in student aid, and growing disparities in family income since 1980, for example—and proposes ways to reverse the trend. Recommendations include restoring need-based standards, finding alternatives to loans for at-risk students, restoring the purchasing power of Pell grants, expanding precollegiate outreach, and focusing on student success—not just access.
Available from the Center for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, 1025 Vermont Ave., N.W., Suite 900, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 347-7430; or from The College Board, 1717 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Suite 404, Washington, DC 20036. 1996. 16 pp., Paperbound. Free (but nominal costs for large bulk orders).

Greatest Moments of Our Time

Greatest Moments of Our Time, Emme Interactive and Pantheon Multimedia.
Dramatic footage of the Wright brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, Martin Luther King's civil rights march, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and man's first walk on the moon are among the 60 major events of the 20th century chronicled in this 90-minute educational CD-ROM. Presented in a user-friendly format with complementary written materials, the package is designed for both middle school and high school social studies and history classes. Archival film footage and television newsreels highlight people and events in the fields of science, technology, world affairs, sports, entertainment, and 20th century culture and lifestyles. The 95-minute CD-ROM is both PC and Mac compatible.
Available from EMME Interactive, 1200 Summer St., Stanford, CT 06905; (800) 424-EMME (e-mail: EMMEUSA@aol.com); or from Pantheon Multimedia (310) 451-5008. 1996. $39.95.

This article was published anonymously, or the author name was removed in the process of digital storage.

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