1. Has the quality of classroom assignments improved in Annenberg Challenge Schools?
This is the second Consortium report on the qual- ity of academic work in Chicago classrooms. Previously, in The Quality of Intellectual Work in Chicago Schools: A Baseline Report, we examined both classroom assignments from the first year of the study (1996-97) and the student work performed on them. We found that the typical classroom assignment in both writing and math made only modest academic demands on students. Generally, assignments consisted of simple drill and fill-in-the-blank practice exercises that rarely moved beyond rudimentary basic skills. However on a more encouraging note, we found that when teachers did assign more demanding classroom tasks, most students were able to complete them and demonstrate more complex intellectual performance. This brief asks whether we were seeing more of these kinds of assignments in 1998-99 than when the Annenberg Challenge began in 1996.
Previous Consortium research found that when teachers assign more demanding classroom tasks, most students were able to complete them and demonstrate more complex intellectual performance. This data brief of the Chicago Annenberg Research Project presents information on the prevalence of these kinds of assignments in a field sample of Annenberg Challenge schools between 1997-99.