ERIC Number: ED470295
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Chicago Classroom Demand for Authentic Intellectual Work: Trends from 1997-1999. Improving Chicago's Schools: A Data Brief of the Chicago Annenberg Research Project.
Bryk, Anthony S.; Nagaoka, Jenny K.; Newmann, Fred M.
In a study in 1996, the Consortium on Chicago School Research found that many classroom assignments in writing and mathematics made only modest academic demands on high school students. In this study, the nature of assignments in schools participating in the Annenberg Challenge reform effort in 1998-1999 was studied, to determine whether teachers were assigning more demanding tasks. The analysis was based on 349 assignments from 74 teachers in 1997, 953 assignments from 116 teachers in 1998, and 715 assignments from 87 teachers in 1999. Each summer following the year in which the assignments were collected, a team of 14 to 20 teachers from other Chicago public schools applied scoring rubrics to assess the authenticity of the intellectual work demanded in these assignments. After each assignment had been scored, the numerical scores were analyzed using a many-facet Rasch measurement model to create separate scales for each grade and subject, and then to divide scores by degree of challenge. The quality of classroom assignments in the field sample of Annenberg Challenge schools improved between 1997 and 1999. The level of authenticity in those assignments described as challenging had clearly risen in the period, but for those described as typical, the results were more mixed. While these improvements are encouraging, the overall level of challenge in mathematics assignments remains quite low. More than 80% of the sixth and eighth grade assignments in 1999 provided only minimal or no challenge. Writing assignments showed more evidence of challenge. A round of data collection in 2000-2001 will provide a more definitive basis for conclusions about school improvement. (Contains 4 figures, 2 tables, 9 endnotes, and 10 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Annenberg Foundation, St. Davids, PA.
Authoring Institution: Consortium on Chicago School Research, IL.