ASK> AskERIC Update, February 2003

  • From: Gleason Sackmann <gleason@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: K12Newsletters <k12newsletters@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 13:42:22 -0600

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From: "AskERIC Update" <update@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To:  <ASKERIC_UPDATE@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 14:30:05 -0500
Subject: AskERIC Update, February 2003
AskERIC Update
January 2003
Volume 3, Issue 2
Available Online at:


1. Database Tip
2. Website Additions
       * Lesson Plans
       * Resource Collection
       * Question Archive
3. Question of the Month

Database Tip:

We have received questions from a number of you asking if you can use
bibliographic programs like ProCite, EndNote, or Reference Manager with
our version of the ERIC database.  Unfortunately, the version of ERIC
available on the AskERIC site is not Z39.50 compliant, which is a
requirement for most bibliographic programs to download information.  We
are not aware of a freely-available online version of the database that
supports the Z39.50 standard.

You can find more information about these programs, including versions of
the database they support at:

ProCite Technical Support

EndNote Technical Support

Reference Manager Technical Support

You may also be able to use ProCite, EndNote, or Reference Manager with
ERIC on CD-ROM.  Please check with your local library for what version of
ERIC on CD-ROM may be available, and whether that version is compliant
with the program you'd like to use.

If you have further questions about Z39.50 compliance, Ask An ERIC Expert!

Watch to see who wins the Grammy on February 23 ABC
Chosen Best Documentary Non Fiction Category
-- New York Film Critics Circle 12/16/02
2 Grammy nominee - Best Movie Soundtrack 1/7/02
People Magazine Review:- Bottom Line - Note Perfect

Website Additions:


We added 10 new lesson plans in the following subject areas (grade levels
are listed next to each title):

Egyptian Tomb Paintings (6-8)
The Emotive Flag (K-12)

Foreign Language:
Planning a Vacation to Spain (7-8)

Information Literacy:
Searching the Web (6-12; Higher Education)

Language Arts:
The Open Window, by Saki (7-9)

Physical Education:
Gymdoor Tennis (9-12)

The Beating Heart (2)
Colors in the Leaves (1-4)
Primary Colors: Additive and Subtractive (3-4)
A Racin' Heart (5-6)

To view these lesson plans, please visit our Latest Lesson Plans page at:

Looking for a way to share your lesson plans with other educators, online?
Why not submit your lesson plan to AskERIC! We are always looking for
innovative lessons to add to our Lesson Plan collection.


In January we added 40 new resources to our collection. Highlights from
our newest additions include new resource files on Accreditation, Computer
Science, Outdoor Education, and School Readiness. For a complete list of
the latest Internet sites, organizations, and ERIC Resources added, please
visit the following URLs:

January 15, 2003
Highlights resources added in the first half of January.

January 31, 2003
Highlights resources added in the second half of January.


This month we've added four new responses to our Question Archives.

* Do you have information about teaching forensic science in grades 5-12?

* How can I create a safe environment for the homosexual students in my

* Do you have any information about librarian education?

* Do you have any information about teaching media literacy?

For a complete list of all the latest responses added to our Question
Archive, including links to the responses highlighted above, please go to
this URL:

Question of the Month:

Q. What information do you have about alternative schools for at-risk

A. In response to this request, we have included Internet resources which
provide an overview of alternative schools/alternative education. We have
also conducted a search of the ERIC database using the terms
'nontraditional education' (Descriptor) and 'alternative schools'
(Keyword). We found many resources that may be helpful; they are listed


* ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management - Trends and Issues
School Choice: Alternative Schools
Discusses the Purposes of Early Alternative Schools, Characteristics of
Alternative Schools, Types of Alternative Schools, and Problems and

* TIME Magazine: Taking the Alternate Route
By Sonja Steptoe/Los Angeles
January 7, 2003
"Zero-tolerance policies are pushing more kids out of traditional schools.
Here's where they go.",9171,1101030113-404277,00.html

* Alternative Education: A Brief History and Research Synthesis
by Cheryl M. Lange and Sandra J. Sletten
"This report is a review of the alternative education literature, which is
scattered across three topic areas--dropout prevention, special education,
and at-risk youth. The synthesis is organized into the following sections:
the history and context of the alternative school movement;
characteristics of specific populations in alternative schools; and the
research examining outcomes for students in alternative schools and
programs. (ERIC Abstract)

* Public Alternative Schools and Programs for Students At Risk of
Education Failure: 2000-01
The focus of the study is on alternative schools and programs that serve
students who are at risk of educational failure, as indicated by poor
grades, truancy, disruptive behavior, suspension, pregnancy, or similar
factors associated with early withdrawal from school.

* Alternative Schools: Approaches for Students at Risk
by Catherine Paglin and Jennifer Fager (September 1997)
Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory
"Alternative schools are defined in this report as schools or programs
targeting students who are unsuccessful in the traditional school
environment. These schools often see their mission as one of dropout
prevention. A number of challenges to alternative schools is explored, and
some specific practical recommendations are offered for implementing an
alternative school program. A "sampler" provides profiles of nine
alternative schools in the Northwest region, some urban and some rural."
(ERIC Abstract)

* Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) - Alternative
Learning Environments
Insights...on education policy and practice, Number 6, December 1995
"In light of recent legislative action mandating alternative education in
several states in SEDL's Southwestern Region, this issue of INSIGHTS
focuses on alternative programs for students at-risk of educational
failure. It attempts to illuminate the underlying goals of creating
alternative learning environments, and explores the implications of
current research for designing effective programs and schools."

* ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education - Pathways :: Alternatives to
Expulsion :: Alternatives
Includes a list of links to exemplary alternative school programs.


* Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed At-Risk
At John Hopkins University:
Center for Social Organization of Schools
3003 North Charles Street, Suite 200
Baltimore MD 21218
Phone: (410) 516-8800
Fax: (410) 516-8890
At Howard University:
2900 Van Ness Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20008
Phone: (202) 806-8484
Fax: (202) 806-8498

* National Dropout Prevention Center/Network
Clemson University
209 Martin Street
Clemson, SC 29631-1555
Phone: (864) 656-2599
Fax: (864) 656-0136
E-mail: ndpc@xxxxxxxxxxx


For information on how to obtain the full text of ERIC documents and
journal articles please go to the following URL:

Search Strategy: nontraditional education (Descriptor) and alternative
schools (Keyword)

Record 1 of 10 - The ERIC Database

ERIC Number: ED463365
Author(s): Munoz,-Marco-A.
Title: Alternative Schools: Providing a Safety Net in Our High Schools To
Cope with the At-Risk Student Challenge.
Publication Year: 2002
Available from EDRS:
Abstract: This study analyzes the non-academic impact of a program for
at-risk students within an urban alternative high school. The Jefferson
County Public Schools, Kentucky, work on the premise that prevention is a
key part of safety net strategies for at-risk students. Liberty High
School is an alternative safety net high school intended to develop a
community of learners who demonstrate acceptance, leadership, and academic
success through a caring, collaborative, and engaging learning
environment. Liberty includes such features as a program for 9th graders
at risk of dropping out, a high school prep program for 8th graders, and a
life skills/learning habits program. This study evaluated the
characteristics and numbers of student participants, characteristics of
the scope of service in the program, and differences in participating
students' attendance and suspension. Data were collected on attendance and
discipline from a district database and program activity logs. Results
indicate that the program was able to help high school students who
exhibited attendance, behavioral, and social problems that limited their
ability to succeed in the regular school environment. The program improved
attendance in participating students and helped decrease behavioral
problems. (Contains 17 references.) (SM)

Record 2 of 10 - The ERIC Database

ERIC Number: ED459976
Author(s): Husted,-Thomas-A.; Cavalluzzo,-Linda-C.
Title: Background Paper for New Collaborative Schools (NCS): An Overview
of At-Risk High School Students and Education Programs Designed To Meet
Their Needs.
Publication Year: 2001
Available from EDRS:
Abstract: A federation of alternative schools called New Collaborative
Schools (NCS) has been proposed to improve educational outcomes of
academically able but low-performing high school students. The NCS model
would combine the advantages of high school-college collaborations with
the most effective practices for improving the educational experiences of
"at-risk" high school students. This report provides background for the
NCS model. After discussing what constitutes an at-risk student, the
report reviews various types of alternative schools, including alternative
classrooms, schools-within-schools, continuation schools, career
academies, tech-prep schools, magnet schools, and separate alternative
schools. Key elements of successful alternative schools are autonomous
small learning environments; increased educational engagement, possibly
using a new curriculum and instructional techniques; and strong teacher
input into school governance and curriculum. An examination of
college-high school collaborations reveals their key attributes to be
flexible educational pacing, broader curriculum options, and internships.
A review of effective schools finds that common characteristics include a
sense of community among students and teachers, a significant change in
school curricula, and increased teacher involvement in the setting of
curricula as well as other school reforms. Recommendations for the
establishment of the NCS include small learning environments, curriculum
and instructional reforms appropriate to the target students, ongoing
professional development, consistent and constant counseling and
monitoring, and frequent evaluation and assessment. An appendix presents
features of selected alternative schools. (Contains 70 references.) (TD)

Record 3 of 10 - The ERIC Database

ERIC Number: EJ626305
Author: Gregory,-Tom
Title: Fear of Success? Ten Ways Alternative Schools Pull Their Punches.
Publication Year: 2001
Journal: Phi-Delta-Kappan; v82 n8 p577-81 Apr 2001
ISSN: 0031-7217
Abstract: Alternative high schools whose power emanates from variety,
choice, and personal relationships are hindered from succeeding by sending
schools' practices. Alternatives lack control over who attends, student
diversity, time of entry, who teaches, program definition, and graduation
policies. They often have inferior facilities and insufficient resources.
(Contains 11 references.) (MLH)

Record 4 of 10 - The ERIC Database

ERIC Number: ED453271
Author(s): Brewer,-Dee; Feifs,-Helmuts; Kaase,-Kris
Title: Accountability Policy for North Carolina's Alternative Schools,
Year One Results.
Publication Year: 2001
Available from EDRS:
Abstract: The accountability program of North Carolina's 67 alternative
schools was studied after its first year of implementation. North Carolina
State Board of Education adopted a policy requiring alternative schools to
participate in its ABCs Accountability Program during the 1999-2000 school
year. The ABCs program is based on Accountability, Basics, and increased
local Control. Alternative schools are public schools offering an
alternative, nontraditional, program of instruction for students whose
needs cannot be met in a regular school, even with special education
programs. In North Carolina, alternative schools are hospital schools,
special education schools, or vocational education schools. The
accountability plan for each alternative school has six components: three
based on state test scores and three based on local indicators in each
school's improvement plan. The local superintendent and board of education
must approve the Accountability Plan for each alternative school. The
alternative schools qualify for recognition levels based on a specified
rewards and sanctions schedule. In this first year, a total of 35
different indicators were used by alternative schools as local objective
measures of accountability. A comparison of alternative school and regular
K-12 school performance in North Carolina shows that alternative schools
made the "Expected Growth" goal at almost twice the rate of the regular
schools and had fewer schools receiving "no recognition." This may be an
artifact of the way that alternative schools qualify for various levels of
recognition. It is possible that a school could fail to meet any of the
achievement levels based on the ABC program, but because it achieved the
local objectives, it could reach the "expected" level of recognition. The
results do suggest that it is possible to construct an accountability
paradigm for nonstandard or alternative schools that will tap into their
uniqueness and yet set an achievement standard as well. (SLD)

Record 5 of 10 - The ERIC Database

ERIC Number: ED440814
Author(s): Turpin,-Rodney; Hinton,-Deborah
Title: Academic Success of At-Risk Students in an Alternative School
Setting: An Examination of Students' Academic Success Out of the
Mainstream School Environment.
Publication Year: 2000
Available from EDRS:
Abstract: This report examines whether students at risk for academic
failure are achieving success in Kentucky's alternative schools.
Alternative schools serve as a placement both for students who disrupt the
mainstream classroom and for those who need academic remediation. Such
mixed placements may not provide a quality education for students having
only academic problems. A survey of alternative schools and programs in
Kentucky examined organizational characteristics, educational practices,
and academic achievement. Usable responses were received from 58 of 153
schools surveyed. About 43 percent of alternative schools had been in
operation for 1-2 years. All schools/programs served fewer than 181
students, with 58 percent serving fewer than 31 students. The top factors
determining student placement in alternative schools were
disruptive/violent behavior and academic failure. Almost all alternative
schools were  self-contained systems, and 81 percent were self-contained
in separate facilities. Ninety-one percent of respondents reported grade
improvement for at-risk students while in the alternative program.
Graduation rates were inconclusive because many districts require students
to return to the mainstream school to graduate or drop out. The survey
also collected data on hours of operation, sources of curriculum design,
students' behavior or attitude change, grade level organization,
strategies used to motivate students academically and behaviorally,
student gender ratio, and district dropouts. Appendices include the survey
questionnaire and list Kentucky alternative schools/programs. (Contains 33
references and 15 figures.) (SV)

Record 6 of 10 - The ERIC Database

ERIC Number: EJ598295
Author(s): Dunbar,-Christopher, jr.
Title: African American Males and Participation: Promising Inclusion,
Practicing Exclusion.
Publication Year: 1999
Journal: Theory-into-Practice; v38 n4 p241-52 Aut 1999
ISSN: 0040-5841
Abstract: Discusses how alternative schools exclude students with behavior
deemed inappropriate for mainstream schools, describing the exclusion
within a discourse of providing academic alternatives for students given
up on by the system. Discusses a curriculum for the underclass; parents'
perspectives; lack of role models and racial isolation in alternative
schools; students' perceptions of alternative schools; and moving to
inclusive schools. (SM)

Record 7 of 10 - The ERIC Database

ERIC Number: EJ594723
Author(s): Gregg,-Soleil
Title: Creating Effective Alternatives for Disruptive Students.
Publication Year: 1999
Journal: Clearing-House; v73 n2 p107-13 Nov-Dec 1999
ISSN: 0009-8655
Abstract: Shows how a focus on fixing "problem" students may obscure or
ignore school-based problems. Defines school characteristics associated
with three types of alternative schools, with competing purposes: to
educate, discipline, or heal. Notes ill effects of punitive approaches,
and discusses three interrelated factors shown by research to distinguish
successful alternative schools. (SR)

Record 8 of 10 - The ERIC Database

ERIC Number: ED422651
Author(s): Fulkerson,-Jayne-A.; Harrison,-Patricia-A.; Beebe,-Timothy-J.
Title: Alternative Schools and Area Learning Centers. 1996 Minnesota
Student Survey.
Publication Year: 1997
Available from EDRS:
Abstract: Alternative schools and area learning centers are
individualized, nontraditional programs that lead to a high school
diploma. To assess how students were doing in these schools and learning
centers, the Minnesota Student Survey was administered in 1996 to 3,764
voluntary participants. The highlights of the results are reported here.
To gain an accurate comparison with other youth, these alternative
education adolescents were matched with children of the same gender and
age who were randomly selected from regular public schools. Findings show
that students in alternative education centers reported a number of
problems. Rates of family substance abuse were two times higher for these
adolescents than for students in regular schools. Furthermore, adolescents
in alternative education centers were twice as likely as their regular
school counterparts to have been physically abused, to have witnessed
abuse within their families, or to have been sexually abused themselves.
The results of the survey support the benefits of the alternative
education centers. They also have implications for further curricula
development and interventions with individual students. Five suggested
improvements to services for adolescents are included. The findings are
presented in five parts: youth, their families and their environments,
which focuses on demographics, family relationships, violence and abuse;
psychological distress, which addresses self-esteem and self-injurious
behavior; sexual activity; school perceptions and behaviors; and
antisocial and illegal behaviors, such as substance use and delinquent
behavior. (RJM)

Record 9 of 10 - The ERIC Database

ERIC Number: ED422634
Title: Alternative Schools: Caring for Kids on the Edge.
Publication Year: 1998
Journal: Northwest-Education; v3 n4 Sum 1998
Available from EDRS:
Abstract: This theme issue presents an overview of alternative high
schools that serve at-risk students. It opens with an essay on "Learning
from the Margins," offering insights on the need for alternative schools,
definitions of what constitutes an alternative school, how such schools
succeed, and how alternative schools use new ideas to reach students. Four
schools are profiled: Mat-Su, a school north of Anchorage, Alaska, which
accepts students between the ages of 15 and 21 who are considered at-risk;
Portland Night High School (Oregon), which helps students complete their
secondary education even if they have already started a job or a family;
the Open Meadow Learning Center, a private high school in Portland
(Oregon) that uses relationship-based learning to teach life-skills
development, preemployment training, peer-advocate groups, and other
skills; and Meridian Academy near Boise, Idaho, a small alternative school
that emphasizes the importance of each student and fosters a family-like
atmosphere. Each profile features information on teaching strategies, the
unique approach each school takes to meet the needs of its students, and
other alternative school techniques. (RJM)

Record 10 of 10 - The ERIC Database

ERIC Number: ED417528
Author(s): Gregg,-Soleil
Title: Schools for Disruptive Students: A Questionable Alternative? AEL
Policy Briefs.
Publication Year: 1998
Available from the Appalachia Educational Laboratory, Inc.: P.O. Box 1348,
Charleston, WV 25325-1348; toll-free telephone: 800-624-9120; telephone:
304-347-0400; fax: 304-347-0487; e-mail: aelinfo@xxxxxxx; World Wide Web:
Also available from EDRS:
Abstract: This policy brief discusses legislative efforts to create
separate, alternative schools for students with behavior problems. The
first section of the brief identifies the following three problems with
placing disruptive students in alternative schools: (1) a focus on problem
students may obscure or ignore real problems in the educational system;
(2) programs that target individuals divert resources from everyone else;
and (3) a focus on problem students may threaten system equity by
segregating poor students, students with disabilities, and minority
students in alternative programs. The second section of the paper examines
the focus of three different types of alternative schools: educational,
disciplinary, or therapeutic. The need for schools to understand what they
are trying to accomplish in order to plan and implement program strategies
is discussed. Practitioners are warned that a punitive purpose may cause
schools to adopt ineffective models for improving learning or behavior and
jeopardize system equity and excellence. A chart illustrating
implementation issues by school type is provided. The final section of the
paper discusses key criteria for developing a school climate that
contributes to disciplined learning environments. Questions are provided
to help clarify whether legislation is accomplishing intended goals.
(Contains 44 references.) (CR)

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