The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 7, 2001 · Page 8
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 8

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Salina, Kansas
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Saturday, April 7, 2001
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Page 8
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A8 SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 2001 EDUCATION THE SALINA JOURNAL • COLLEGE It's not too late to find a college for next fall By The Associated Press For high school seniors who feel down after finding college rejection letters in the mailbox, guidance counselors have some good news: It's not too late to find a school. In fact, it hardly ever is nowadays, when many four- year colleges and universities keep their welcome mat out all yean Menlo College, a school of 550 students south of San Francisco, sets no deadline for applicants. Binghamton University a respected institution of 9,800 students in New York's state system, will find places for worthy prospects next spring if fall programs are full. Such accommodations reflect a shift in higher education, said Barmak Nissirian, policy analyst at the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. • Today, schools are catering more to the college-bound student, rather than the other way around, he said. Now there's room for someone who may have aimed too high, and been rejected, or has had a change of heart, or simply hasn't applied to college yet. "In the vast majority of instances, higher education has become lots more customer-oriented," Nissirian said. During the week of May 7, the National Association for College Admission Counseling plans to post a list on its Web site of member schools still seeking freshmen, based on an annual survey More than 400 colleges out of its 1,600 member schools had spaces available last year after the traditional end-of-admissions season, said research director Zina Evans. The association, based in Alexandria, Va., includes college admissions and high school guidance officials. • TEST SCORES Reading scores of U.S children remain low Researcher: Results should prompt better teacher training ByGREGTOPPO The Associated Press Reading scores Here is a historical breal<down of how fourth graders scored, by race and ethnicity, on the National Assessment of Educational Progress reading test. WASHINGTON — Researchers know the best ways to teach children to read, but those methods seem to have eluded many teachers and many of the colleges that train them, a leading child development expert said Friday "The frustration is, what we know is not being implemented in practice," said Reid Lyon of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Lyon's comments came as new government figures showed that more than two-thirds of fourth-graders tested in a national survey last year couldn't read proficiently The figures have barely changed since 1992, when the tests were first given. What's more, the gaps between the best and worst readers seem to be widening slightly Reading results for the 2000 National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as "the nation's report card," show that fourth-graders' average scores in a 500-point test came in at 217 last year — identical to the results in 1998 and 1992. The scores were slightly better than in 1994, when the average student scored 214. "The overall status of fourth-grade reading was stagnant in the 1990s," said Marilyn Whirry a high school English teacher in Manhattan Beach, Calif., who is also a member of the National Assessment Governing Board, which develops and reviews the tests. The scores show that 32 percent of fourth-graders were proficient or better in reading. That's up slightly from 1992, when 29 percent were proficient. But while students in the top 10 percent increased their av- 9 1992 g| 1994 White 1998 2000 Asian/Pacific Islander NOTE: Maximum score is 500. No tests were given In 1996. SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education AP erage score a bit — from 261 to 264 — the average scores of readers in the bottom 10 percent dropped from 170 to 163. Private school pupils fared slightly better than those in public schools. Among public school children, the average score was 215; for nonpublic schools, the average was 234. "These results are simply not good enough, not in America," said Education Secretary Rod Paige. He said the results show that the nation's schools would benefit from President Bush's proposed $5 billion reading plan, which would try to get every pupil reading by the end of third grade. He also said the Head Start program should return to focusing on teaching children pre-reading skills. The tests were given to about 8,000 students from all parts of the nation. Lyon said colleges of education need to implement "substantial changes in teacher preparation," committing to giving teachers proven strategies for helping children to read. Lyon suggested a "moratorium" against unproven reading instruction methods, which he said change from year to year and hurt children's progress. The results released Friday also showed that: • Low-income students accounted for 66 percent of the poorest readers; they represented 9 percent of the best readers. • Students who said they had attended the same school for the past two years comprised 87 percent of the best readers, but 48 percent of the poorest readers. • White students' average scores remained level at 226, compared to 225 in 1992. • Black students' average scores were 193, the same as 1992. • Hispanic students' average scores dropped slightly, from 201 to 197. While achievement gaps between ethnic groups haven't grown, gaps within each ethnic group's scores have gotten wider, the results showed. The National Education Goals Panel, a group of state governors, members of Congress and state legislators, was scheduled Monday to release a seven-year study of fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math scores with similar results, including a growing gap between the best, and. worst performers. BioGuard Pool SCllOOl ^P00 \&=P'^ April 23. ^ products g.gg p 823-7512 **=SaHna Journal Connecting ammuniiies loiHi information M&M Tire & Auto €^ 263-7110 \\JTOCME 4DD1I. Buckeye Ave/MilBne Chech Us Out! Holm Automotive Center, Inc. Abilene, Kansas mmw. .mm p PRINTING COMPANY, INC. • 825-8124 115 W. Woodland In north Salina just off Santa PRINTING COMPANY, INC. www.arrowprlntco.com "ATTENTION, SPRING CLEANUP!" 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