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To Intervene or Not to Intervene


A hot topic of conversation around Washington since the release in late 2005 of ... Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Future is the degree to ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: To Intervene or Not to Intervene

To Intervene or Not to Intervene
  • Steve Ceci

Two Competing Needs Facing America
  • Increase international competitiveness
  • Narrow achievement gaps

Dilemma Do We
  • Elevate workforce productivity
  • OR
  • Elevate achievement of top students

Too few American students perform at the highest
level in science. (Brent Staples, 5/25/06, New
York Times, p. A26)
  • A hot topic of conversation around Washington
    since the release in late 2005 of the National
    Academies of Science (NAS) report, Rising Above
    the Gathering Storm Energizing and Employing
    America for a Brighter Future is the degree to
    which the United States can remain competitive in
    the international community. This report formed
    the basis for President Bushs American
    Competitiveness Initiative announced in his 2006
    State of the Union address.

of Seniors Taking Calculus
Elevate the achievement of Americas top math and
science students
  • Top 10 Top 25 among trading partners
  • Closer to Thailand and Italy than to Japan, China
    and Germany

Science Achievement Scores
  • Econometric analyses point to reduced
    productivity because of falling achievement
  • Proposals include reinstatement of accelerated
    learning, more AP coursework, more challenging
    curricula, end social promotion

What About Narrowing achievement gaps?
  • The gap separating Black, White, Asian, and
    Hispanic students is anywhere from 2/3rds SD to a
    full SD or more. Similarly, the gap between rich
    and poor is great. The policy implications of
    such large gaps represents one of Americas most
    urgent national problems

Some Statistical Examples
  • 84 percent of White children will perform better
    than the average African-American child
  • if a class that is 50-50 Black-White is divided
    into high- and low-ability groups, White students
    will constitute approximately 70 percent of the
    higher group
  • if only the top 5 percent of students in such a
    class is eligible for gifted/talented programs,
    such programs will have many times more rich than
    poor (Hedges Nowell, 1998 show that the
    overrepresentation of whites in the top 5 is
    nearly 5-to-1, even after controlling for
    differences in socioeconomic variables)
  • if the lowest 5 of students is eligible for a
    special ed. programs this will mean classes that
    are predominantly poor and/or African-American
    even though they may comprise only a small
    fraction of the student body

Closing Gaps Top Concern
  • When superintendents of large urban school
    districts were surveyed recently, they rated
    achievement gaps between minority and nonminority
    students as one of their top concerns.
  • Source Huang,G.,Reiser,M.,Parker,A.,Muniec,J.,
    Salvucci,S.(2003).Institute of Education Sciences
    findings from interviews with education policy
    makers. Arlington,VA Synectics. Retrieved 7/

So, How Can We Do Both?
  • If we do all we can to elevate the best students,
    this will inevitably widen the achievement gaps
    in math, science, and reading
  • If we make a concerted effort to narrow gaps,
    then this can only be achieved by targeting
    interventions that could, if opened to all
    students, elevate top students even higher

Papierno Ceci, 2005 Ceci Papierno, 2005
  • Hope scholarships
  • G.I. Bill of Rights

For unto every one that hath shall be given, but
from him that hath not shall be taken away even
that which he hath. (Gospel of Matthew)
(No Transcript)
Total meta-memory scores of gifted and non-gifted
children prior to, and following, cognitive
strategy training.(data provided by Borkowski
Peck, 1986). Meta-memory totals scores were
calculated as the sum of transformed (z) subtest
scores in order to weight the subtests equally.
Content Scores of 6th Graders Exposed to Summary
Street Intervention vs. No Intervention Controls
as a Function of Teacher-Rated Ability