Educational Testing Service

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Published on December 9, 2009

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Slide 1: Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 1 Education Policy Leadership Conference March 14, 2008 Slide 2: Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 2 The family is a child’s first and smallest school -- parents are the first teachers How well children perform in school depends on where they start. Many homes are under-resourced and ill-equipped as first schools. Parents often need help in understanding the connection between what happens in the home and in school. Helping all children achieve requires that educational deficiencies in the home be addressed. Slide 3: Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 3 Three Important Caveats in Considering the Family as an Educational Institution Improving the family as an educational institution is not a substitute for national/state educational improvement and accountability efforts. We must do both. Better equipped families can be important allies to teachers and schools in their efforts to improve achievement and close the achievement gap. The family is our most private institution and this privacy must be respected in any efforts that are made. Study Examined 16 Family Indicators -- This Presentation Provides Data on 8 : Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 4 Study Examined 16 Family Indicators -- This Presentation Provides Data on 8 The parent/pupil ratio Early language and literacy development Reading to children Child care – type and quality Home learning environment Family resources Parent employment Linking it all to achievement Slide 5: Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 5 Raising Children is Best Done in the Two-parent Family (“Parent – Pupil Ratio”) Children in father-absent families are significantly more likely to: Have lower academic achievement Develop behavioral and psychological problems Use illegal substances and have early contact with police Have sexual relations at an earlier age Have poor physical and psychological health Slide 6: Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 6 “Parent-Pupil” Ratio is in Decline – a Development Unfavorable to Raising Educational Achievement Just over one in three Black children live with both parents, well below the national average. Slide 7: Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 7 Differences in Children in Single-parent Families Correlate with State Academic Achievement Raising Children in One-parent Families is an Increasing Trend in the Developed WorldThe United States has the highest percentage of single parent families in comparison to 10 other advanced economic countries. : Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 8 Raising Children in One-parent Families is an Increasing Trend in the Developed WorldThe United States has the highest percentage of single parent families in comparison to 10 other advanced economic countries. Slide 9: Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 9 Large Differences Exist Among Families in Early Language Acquisition and Literacy Development These are critical to cognitive development and school achievement Slide 10: Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 10 Reading to Children is Related to Parents’ Socioeconomic Status Research has established that reading to young children is related to their literacy development and subsequent success in school. Significant socioeconomic and geographic differences: 62% of high-SES kindergartners read to every day 36% of low-SES kindergartners read to every day Large differences across states, ranging from 68% in VT to 38% in MS Slide 11: Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 11 Our Unequal Child Care System May Be Reinforcing and Perpetuating Achievement Gaps Child care is the larger family in which many children spend many “unequal” hours. Throughout the country child care availability is limited and its quality uneven. Black children are most likely to be in some type of day care (63%), compared to about 40% of other groups. Many children, particularly poor and minority children, are in low-quality care. Slide 12: Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 12 Slide 13: Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 13 Educational Achievement is Related to a Three Legged Stool of the Home’s Learning Environment How the home is equipped for study How parents set and enforce rules How parents interact with their child’s school and teachers Slide 14: Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 14 Some Disturbing Deficiencies in the Family School House Environment 25% of U.S. parents reported not having books, magazines, and newspapers available in the home -- these encourage learning. While about 50% of White students use the Internet at home, only about 25% of Black and Hispanic students do so -- the digital divide exists. While 24% of 8th graders watch 4 or more hours of TV on an average weekday, almost 60% of Black students do so -- this is excessive TV watching. Slide 15: Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 15 Some Disturbing Deficiencies in the Family School House Environment (continued) One in five 8th graders misses 3 or more days of school each month The trend in parent participation is up, but is lower as students get older and for students with lower grades Slide 16: Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 16 Some Aspects of the Smallest School Require Resources Beyond the Reach of Some Families There are large differences in the funding of America’s smallest school that have important consequences Slide 17: Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 17 Many Children Live in Families Where No Parent Has Full-Time, Year-Round Employment Slide 18: Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 18 Low Income is Concentrated in Minority Families Leading to Hungry Rather than Motivated Early Learners Female-headed families are much more likely to be “food insecure” than married-couple families. Four Proxies Selected for Demonstrating Impact on Student AchievementFour family factors (out of the 16 covered in the report) were selected to determine how much they would, in combination, be associated with a measure of achievement. : Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 19 Four Proxies Selected for Demonstrating Impact on Student AchievementFour family factors (out of the 16 covered in the report) were selected to determine how much they would, in combination, be associated with a measure of achievement. One parent families (demographic) Absenteeism – missing three days or more per month (student) Reading to young children (parent) Excessive TV watching (distraction) Statistically 4 Factors Account for 2/3 of Reading Score Differences -- Very Strong Association : Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 20 Statistically 4 Factors Account for 2/3 of Reading Score Differences -- Very Strong Association A very strong association: In 38 states, the predicted score was within 4 points of the actual score (on a scale of 0 to 500) While this type of analysis has limitations – it demonstrates that there is a strong relationship A note of CAUTION: does not mean that these factors have more influence than school factors --- both are interrelated. E.g., areas with low-income families may pay less in taxes, and these schools are more likely to have less qualified teachers. Slide 21: Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 21 The family is a child’s first and smallest school -- parents are the first teachers. Raising achievement and closing gaps require that policy be focused on the starting line, as well as the finish line. How much children advance in school depends considerably on where they start. We cannot depend only on teachers and schools to be the equalizers. A disproportionate number of American homes are under-resourced and ill-equipped as first schools. Many parents need help in understanding the connection between what they do at home and how well their children are prepared to succeed in school. Slide 22: Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © 2007 by Educational Testing Service. 22 On the report’s website, we’ve provided some links to additional resources www.ets.org/familyreport Related Resources Actions and Efforts

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