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Search Results: (1-15 of 780 records)

 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2015058 Measuring school leaders' effectiveness: An interim report from a multiyear pilot of Pennsylvania's Framework for Leadership
This study examines the accuracy of performance ratings from the Framework for Leadership (FFL), Pennsylvania's tool for evaluating the leadership practices of principals and assistant principals. The study analyzed three key properties of the FFL: internal consistency, score variation, and concurrent validity. To measure the internal consistency of the FFL, Cronbach's alpha was calculated for the full FFL and for each of its four categories of leadership practices. Score variation was characterized by the percentages of school leaders earning scores in different portions of the rating scale. Concurrent validity was assessed through a regression model for the relationship between school leaders' estimated contributions to student achievement growth and their FFL scores. Based on a pilot in which 336 principals and 69 assistant principals were rated by their supervisors in 2012/13, this interim report finds that the full FFL had good internal consistency for both principals and assistant principals. However, most scores for specific leadership practices were in the top two of four possible performance levels, and FFL scores were not associated with school leaders' contributions to student achievement growth. These findings suggest that more evidence is needed on the validity of using FFL scores to identify effective and ineffective school leaders.
12/17/2014
WWC IRL631 Academy of READING
Academy of READING is an online program that aims to improve students' reading skills using a structured and sequential approach to learning in five core areas--phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. The WWC identified 38 studies of Academy of READING for adolescent readers that were published or released between 1989 and 2013. Only one of the studies met the WWC criteria for an eligible sample and research design, as described in the Adolescent Literacy review protocol. This study does not meet WWC group design standards. Therefore, more research is needed to determine the impacts of Academy of READING on adolescent readers.
12/16/2014
WWC SSR10113 WWC Review of the Report "Does Working Memory Moderate the Effects of Fraction Intervention? An Aptitude-Treatment Interaction"
The 2013 study, Does Working Memory Moderate the Effects of Fraction Intervention? An Aptitude-Treatment Interaction, examined the impacts of the fluency and conceptual versions of Fraction Face-Off!, a math instruction program designed to improve knowledge of fractions and decimals in fourth-graders at risk for low mathematics achievement. The program emphasizes the measurement approach to teaching fractions and the use of a number line to represent, compare, and order fractions. For this study, students were randomly assigned to three conditions: a fluency group, a conceptual group, and a comparison group. The analytic sample included 243 students. This well-executed study that meets WWC group design standards without reservations found that both fluency and conceptual versions of the program had positive impacts on math achievement.
12/16/2014
WWC SSR20120 WWC Review of the Report "Freshman Year Financial Aid Nudges: An Experiment to Increase FAFSA Renewal and College Persistence"
The 2014 study, Freshman Year Financial Aid Nudges: An Experiment to Increase FAFSA Renewal and College Persistence, measured the impact of sending text message reminders regarding annual Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) renewal to first-year college students who were already receiving financial aid. The study sample included 808 students, most of whom were attending a postsecondary institution in Massachusetts. Students in the intervention group received text messages approximately every 2 weeks. The messages offered assistance with the financial aid process, reminders of important deadlines, and reminders about maintaining satisfactory grades. The comparison group did not receive the text messages. Study results demonstrated that while text messaging the financial aid renewal information had no significant effect overall on the rates of student persistence from their freshman to their sophomore years, it was effective in increasing freshman to sophomore year persistence at 2-year colleges. This is a well-executed randomized controlled trial that meets WWC group design standards without reservations.
12/16/2014
REL 2015044 Approaches to evaluating teacher preparation programs in seven states
The purpose of this study was to describe how states in the REL Central Region (Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming) evaluate teacher preparation programs and planned changes for evaluation. Publicly available documents were reviewed and interviews were conducted with state education agency representatives in late 2013. Findings show that all Central Region states have procedures for approval and reauthorization of teacher preparation programs that focus on program design and implementation through reviews of documentation and on-site visits by review teams. Six of seven Central Region states are implementing or have planned changes to state evaluation of teacher preparation programs to focus on the performance of program graduates. As part of these changes to evaluation activities, states are also developing statewide data collection tools, investing in data system development, and exploring new approaches for reporting evaluation findings. More frequent and outcomes-focused approaches to teacher preparation program evaluation have the potential to motivate a change from the current state focus on program accountability to meaningful and ongoing identification of program strengths and weaknesses that can be used to improve programs.
12/16/2014
REL 2015054 Review of Research on Student Nonenrollment and Chronic Absenteeism: A Report for the Pacific Region
In some areas of the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Pacific Region, between one-fourth and a half of secondary school–age students are not enrolled in school. Not being enrolled in school or being chronically absent can have lasting effects on students’ economic and social development. This REL Pacific report summarizes research on nonenrollment and chronic absenteeism from the United States and emergent nations that share characteristics with Pacific island nations. Four types of factors influence student nonenrollment and absenteeism: student-specific, family-specific, school-specific, and community-specific. Many of these potential factors are interconnected, and the effects of these factors may vary by region. Therefore, educators, policymakers, and family and community members in the Pacific Region may need to gather additional data in order to explore these factors in their own communities. Stakeholders can also use this review to begin to identify the root causes for why students are not in school in order to develop and implement targeted strategies to support student enrollment and attendance.
12/9/2014
REL 2015066 Stated Briefly: Gearing up to teach the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in the rural Northeast Region
This study describes key challenges and necessary supports related to implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) identified by rural math educators in the Northeast. The research team interviewed state and district math coordinators and surveyed teachers in Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, to assess their most pressing challenges and associated needs. Key challenges included time and support for teachers to change their instructional practices to meet the CCSSM, availability of high-quality instructional materials, and opportunities for collaboration. The report was produced in response to input from the Northeast Rural Districts Research Alliance (NRDRA), one of eight research alliances working with REL Northeast & Islands. This “Stated Briefly” report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report entitled Gearing up to teach the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in rural Northeast Region schools, released on November 12, 2014.
12/9/2014
REL 2015055 School mobility, dropout, and graduation rates across student disability categories in Utah
This report describes the characteristics of students with disabilities in Utah public schools, and presents the single-year mobility and dropout rates for students in grades 6–12, as well as the four-year cohort dropout and graduation rates, for students who started grade 9 for the first time in 2007/08 and constituted the 2011 cohort. Results are reported for students with disabilities as a group and then further disaggregated by each of the disability categories. Using statewide administrative data, the research team found that, as a group, Utah students with disabilities had poorer outcomes than their general education classmates, but outcomes varied by disability category, highlighting the heterogeneity among students with disabilities. Results indicate, for example, that students with emotional disturbance, multiple disabilities, intellectual disability, traumatic brain injury, or autism were at greatest risk of failing to graduate during the four-year high school time frame, with graduation rates below 50 percent. Students with autism, multiple disabilities, or intellectual disability had dropout rates lower than those of general education students and students with disabilities as a group but also had low graduation rates and the highest retention rates after four years. In contrast, students with hearing impairment/deafness had four-year graduation rates roughly on par with general education students. By disaggregating the various student outcomes by disability category, educators and policymakers gain new information about which students with disabilities are most in need of interventions to keep them on track to receive a high school diploma.
11/26/2014
NCEE 20154004 Building Teacher Capacity to Support English Language Learners in Schools Receiving School Improvement Grants
The Study of School Turnaround examines the improvement process in a purposive sample of 35 case study schools receiving federal funds through the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program over a three-year period (2010–11 to 2012–13 school years). This brief focuses on 11 of these SIG schools with high proportions of English Language Learner (ELL) students (a median of 45 percent ELLs), describing their efforts to improve teachers' capacity for serving ELLs through staffing strategies and professional development (PD). Key findings that emerged from the ELL case study data collected during the 2011–12 and 2012–13 school years include:
  • Few schools reported leveraging staffing strategies to improve teacher capacity for serving ELLs. Administrators in 3 of the 11 schools reported considering ELL expertise and experience when hiring classroom teachers, while respondents in 2 of the 11 schools reported that teachers' ELL expertise and experience purposefully factored into assignment of teachers to specific classrooms.
  • Most teacher survey respondents (54 to 100 percent) in all 11 schools reported participating in ELL-related PD during the 2011–12 school year. On average, teachers reported that ELL-related PD accounted for less than 20 percent of their total PD hours.
  • Teacher survey respondents in schools that reported a greater PD focus on ELL-related topics, such as instructional strategies for advancing English proficiency or instructional strategies to use for ELLs within content classes, also generally appeared more likely to report that PD improved their effectiveness as teachers of ELLs.
11/25/2014
REL 2015059 Who repeats algebra I, and how does initial performance relate to improvement when the course is repeated?
This REL West study explores the prevalence of students repeating Algebra I, who is most likely to repeat the course, and the level of improvement for students who repeat. Using six years of data from a cohort of 3,400 first-time seventh grade students in a California school district, authors found that 44 percent of students repeated algebra I . Overall, student performance improved on average by approximately one-half of a letter grade and a little less than one-third of a performance level on the CST when students repeated the course. But when the data was disaggregated based on initial performance in the class, higher-achieving students experienced variation in improvement levels. Repeating students who initially received average course grades of at least a “C” in Algebra I earned higher CST scores but lower course grades on average when they repeated the course. Students who initially scored Proficient on the Algebra I CST experienced increases in course grades but declines in CST scores on average when they repeated the course. Overall, these findings show that lower-performing students are likely to experience improvements in grades and CST scores when they repeat Algebra I, but that higher-performing students are likely to experience improvements on some measures of performance and declines on others when they repeat the course.
11/25/2014
REL 2015062 Principal and teacher perceptions of implementation of multiple‑measure teacher evaluation systems in Arizona
This study describes how multiple-measure teacher evaluations were put into practice in a set of ten volunteering local education agencies (LEAs) in Arizona. After a key shift in state policy, five “pilot” LEAs implemented the new Arizona Department of Education teacher evaluation model in the 2012/13 school year, while five other “partner” school districts developed their own local models aligned with the new state requirements. Secondary analyses of survey and focus group data from the pilot and partner LEAs indicated that teachers and principals tended to more favorably view performance assessments (observations of teachers) that have traditionally comprised evaluations, and were more skeptical about incorporating results from student assessments and stakeholder surveys. Study participants had mixed perceptions about the new evaluations’ initial outcomes, and raised concerns about the time burden involved, inter-rater reliability, and the need for ongoing training and support.
11/25/2014
WWC IRPE629 Residential Learning Communities
Residential learning communities in postsecondary education, also known as living-learning programs, aim to improve student learning and success by integrating students’ academic and daily living environments. Students participating in these programs live together (usually in a residential dormitory), take certain classes together, and engage in structured co-curricular and extracurricular activities. The goal is to create deep social and academic connections that serve to both enhance learning and increase student success. The WWC identified eight studies of residential learning communities in postsecondary education that were published or released between 1999 and 2012, none of which both fall within the scope of the Developmental Students in Postsecondary Education topic area and meet WWC group design standards. Because no studies meet WWC group design standards at this time, the WWC is unable to draw any conclusions based on research about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of these programs for students in postsecondary developmental education. Additional research is needed to determine the impacts of residential learning communities on this student population.
11/18/2014
WWC IRPE630 Linked Learning Communities
Linked learning communities in postsecondary education are programs defined by having social and curricular linkages that provide undergraduate students with intentional integration of the themes and concepts that they are learning. The theory behind these programs is that active learning in a community-based setting can improve academic outcomes by increasing social as well as academic integration. The WWC identified six studies of linked learning communities and their impacts on the enrollment and achievement of postsecondary students in developmental education. All six studies meet WWC standards without reservations and included about 7,400 undergraduate students across six community colleges. Overall, the effects of linked learning communities on academic achievement, degree attainment, postsecondary enrollment, credit accumulation, and progress in developmental education for postsecondary students were neither statistically significant nor large enough to be considered to be substantively important. Therefore, the WWC considers linked learning communities to have no discernible effects on these outcomes for community college students in developmental education.
11/18/2014
NCEE 20154002 Teaching Residency Programs: A Multisite Look at a New Model to Prepare Teachers for High-Need Schools
In Fall 2009 and Spring 2010, 30 teaching residency programs received funding through one of 28 Teacher Quality partnership grants awarded to establish or expand residency programs. These programs follow a model of teacher preparation in which prospective teachers complete graduate-level coursework alongside a year-long fieldwork experience in the district in which the prospective teacher will be hired. This report provides descriptive information regarding the 30 residency programs. For a purposefully-selected subset of 12 of the programs, in-depth information is provided regarding program participants and the retention rates of teachers once hired by the district.

The residency programs provided a fieldwork experience with a mentor teacher, along with integrated coursework. On average, residents reported being fully in charge of instruction for 21 days during the first half of the residence and 37 days during the second half. The programs included the equivalent of 10 courses, on average. The programs somewhat broadened the pool of people entering the teaching profession in the participating districts. For example, novice teachers from the residency programs were more likely than teachers from other programs to report having worked in a full-time job other than teaching (72 percent versus 63 percent). However, novice residency program teachers and teachers from other preparation programs had similar demographic characteristics. Novice teachers from residency programs had similar retention rates to other novice teachers. Approximately 90 percent of teachers from both groups reported staying in the same district from spring 2012 to fall 2012; about 5 percent of teachers were no longer teaching.
11/18/2014
REL 2015031 Gearing up to teach the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in rural Northeast Region schools
This study describes key challenges and necessary supports related to implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) identified by rural math educators in the Northeast. The research team interviewed state and district math coordinators and surveyed teachers in Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, to assess their most pressing challenges and associated needs. Key challenges included time and support for teachers to change their instructional practices to meet the CCSSM, availability of high-quality instructional materials, and opportunities for collaboration. The report was produced in response to input from the Northeast Rural Districts Research Alliance (NRDRA), one of eight research alliances working with REL Northeast & Islands.
11/12/2014
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education