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Search Results: (1-15 of 839 records)

 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2016110 Professional Experiences of Online Teachers in Wisconsin: Results from a Survey About Training and Challenges
REL Midwest, in partnership with the Midwest Virtual Education Research Alliance, analyzed the results of a survey administered to Wisconsin Virtual School teachers about the training in which they participated related to online instruction, the challenges they encounter while teaching online, and the type of training they thought would help them address those challenges. REL Midwest researchers and Virtual Education Research Alliance members collaborated to develop the survey based on items from the Going Virtual! survey (Dawley et al., 2010; Rice & Dawley, 2007; Rice et al., 2008). Wisconsin Virtual School administered the survey to its 54 teachers, and 49 (91 percent) responded to the survey. The responses of the 48 teachers who indicated that they taught an online course during the 2013/14 or 2014/15 school year were analyzed for the report. Results indicate that all Wisconsin Virtual School teachers reported participating in training or professional development related to online instruction and that more teachers reported participating in training that occurred while teaching online than prior to teaching online or during preservice education. The teachers most frequently reported challenges related to students’ perseverance and engagement and indicated that they preferred unstructured professional development to structured professional development to help them address those challenges. Further research is needed to determine what types of professional development and training are most effective in improving teaching practice, especially related to student engagement and perseverance.
REL 2016101 Stated Briefly: Redesigning Teacher Evaluations: Lessons from a Pilot Implementation
This “Stated Briefly” report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report of the same name. REL Northeast and Islands, in collaboration with the Northeast Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance and the New Hampshire Department of Education conducted a study of the implementation of new teacher evaluation systems in New Hampshire’s School Improvement Grant schools. While the basic system features are similar across district plans, the specifics of these features vary considerably by district. Further, district fidelity to the plans, as measured by the exposure of teachers to different features of the evaluation system, ranged from moderate to high. Finally, researchers identified several factors related to implementation: (1) capacity of administrators to conduct evaluations; (2) initial and on-going evaluator training; (3) the introduction and design of student learning objectives; (4) the professional climate of schools, including the support of the new system by teachers and evaluators.
REL 2016102 A Descriptive Study of the Pilot Implementation of Student Learning Objectives in Arizona and Utah
Approximately 30 states are now adopting teacher evaluation policies that include student learning objectives (SLOs), which are classroom-specific student test growth targets set by teachers and approved (and scored) by principals. Today state and district leaders are trying to determine the appropriate level of guidance and oversight to provide in support of this work. This study describes results of the pilot implementation of SLOs in two states—Arizona (with 363 teachers) and Utah (with 82 teachers)—that were implementing SLOs with the same aims: to positively affect student achievement and to fulfill the state's required student-accountability component for teacher evaluations. Findings indicated that, in their SLOs, Arizona teachers tended to target student proficiency growth on vendor-developed tests, without including any specifics about instructional strategies, while Utah's pilot teachers (over half of them special education teachers) tended to define their own SLO-focused instructional strategies and/or use their own classroom-level tests or rubrics, with goals geared toward students demonstrating knowledge (through project completion) or a physical skill. Arizona teachers' end-of-year SLO scores from their principals varied, distinguishing high- and low-performing teachers, and teachers with higher SLO scores were also rated higher on classroom observations and student surveys. Conversely, SLO scores varied little in Utah's pilot, with 89 percent of teachers meeting expectations." (Utah's pilot teachers were not rated on other measures.) On end-of-year surveys, Utah pilot teachers generally perceived the SLO process as worthwhile and beneficial to their students and to their own professional growth; however, they did not perceive the SLO pilot as positively affecting their instruction or their knowledge of effective ways to assess students. (A low response rate precluded parallel survey analysis in Arizona.)
REL 2016112 Stated Briefly: Suspension, Expulsion, and Achievement of English Learner Students in Six Oregon Districts
The "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report of the same name. This study examines the rates of exclusionary discipline (i.e., suspensions and expulsions) among English learners and non-English learners in six diverse Oregon districts that serve a third of the state's English learner students. Using 2011/12 databases from the Oregon Department of Education, the study found that differences in suspension and expulsion rates between English learners and non-English learners were much larger in middle school and high school than in elementary school. Approximately 3 percent of English learners and non-English learners were suspended or expelled in elementary school. In middle school, 18 percent of English learners and 11 percent of non-English learners were suspended or expelled, while in high school 14 percent of English learners and 8 percent of non-English learners were suspended or expelled. In addition, English learners in high school were suspended for almost a full day more than non-English learners. Overall, the findings suggest that educators, parents, and community members should examine discipline policies and practices to see if they are being applied inequitably and consider extra supports for any student who is expelled or suspended.
REL 2016100 The Examining Evaluator Feedback Survey
This report presents a survey tool, developed by REL Central at Marzano Research, designed to gather information from teachers about their perceptions of and responses to evaluator feedback. District or state administrators can use this survey to systematically collect teacher perceptions on five key aspects of evaluation feedback: (1) feedback usefulness, (2) feedback accuracy, (3) evaluator credibility, (4) access to resources related to feedback, and (5) teacher response to feedback. The survey tool was developed using an iterative process that included expert review, cognitive interviews, and a pilot study. Evidence regarding the reliability and validity of the survey tool is also reported.
REL 2016099 Advanced Course Completion in Magnet and Comprehensive High Schools: A Study in Nevada's Clark County School District
The purpose of the study reported here was to explore the relationship between the type of high school attended (magnet versus comprehensive) and the likelihood of graduates having completed an advanced course, after accounting for students' prior achievement. In addition, the study examined the relationship between students' prior achievement and the likelihood of students completing an advanced course, and whether the nature of this relationship differs between different types of high schools. The REL West study team conducted a series of logistic regressions using records for 26,529 Clark County School District (CCSD) graduates from 43 high schools in 2011 and 2012. Student achievement prior to entering high school was measured using each student’s grade 8 ELA and mathematics scores from Nevada's Criterion-Referenced Test (CRT).

The results indicate that among students with similar levels of prior achievement, students have a greater likelihood of completing an honors English language arts course if they attend a magnet high school than if they attend a comprehensive high school, but there is no statistical difference between school types in the likelihood of students completing an honors mathematics course. Also, there is a stronger relationship between past achievement and the likelihood of completing an Advanced Placement course for students in the comprehensive high schools compared to those in magnet high schools. However, this was not the case for the relationship between past achievement and the likelihood of completing an honors course.
NCEE 20164000 Evaluation of Response to Intervention Practices for Elementary School Reading
Response to Intervention (RtI) is a framework for collecting and using data to match students to interventions of varying intensity. This study examines the implementation of RtI in Grade 1–3 reading in 13 states during the 2011–12 school year, focusing on 146 schools that were experienced with RtI. Full implementation of the RtI framework in Grade 1–3 reading was reported by 86 percent of the experienced schools. Fifty-five percent of these schools focused reading intervention services on Grade 1 students reading below grade level, while 45 percent of the schools also provided reading intervention services for Grade 1 students reading at or above grade level. Students who scored just below school-determined benchmarks on fall screening tests, and who were assigned to interventions for struggling readers, had lower spring reading scores in Grade 1 than students just above the threshold for intervention. In Grades 2 and 3, there were no statistically significant impacts of interventions for struggling readers on the spring reading scores of students just below the threshold for intervention.
NCEE 20164001 Summary of Research Generated by Striving Readers on the Effectiveness of Interventions for Struggling Adolescent Readers
The Striving Readers program aimed to raise the literacy levels of middle and high school students reading below grade level and to build a strong research base on effective adolescent literacy interventions. This report summarizes the results of a systematic review of evaluations of the ten different interventions funded by the Striving Readers grant program in 2006 and 2009. Twelve of the 17 evaluations met What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards without reservations, three evaluations met WWC evidence standards with reservations, and two evaluations did not meet WWC evidence standards. Based on findings from the evaluations found to meet WWC evidence standards with or without reservations, four of the ten interventions funded by Striving Readers had positive, potentially positive, or mixed effects on reading achievement. Three of these four interventions had not previously been reviewed by the WWC.
NCEE 20154016 State, District, and School Implementation of Reforms Promoted Under the Recovery Act: 2009-10 through 2011-12
This report, based on surveys completed by all 50 SEAs and the District of Columbia (DC) and nationally representative samples of districts and schools during spring 2011 and 2012, examines implementation of the key education reform strategies promoted by the Recovery Act in 2011–12, the extent to which implementation reflected progress since Recovery Act funds were first distributed, and challenges with implementation. Findings showed variation in the prevalence and progress of reform activities across the areas of reform assessed and by state, district, or school level. Implementation progress was most consistent across the areas of reform at the state level. At all levels, implementation challenges related to educator evaluation and compensation were common.
NCEE 20154018 Usage of Policies and Practices Promoted by Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 injected $7 billion into two of the Obama administration's signature competitive education grant programs: Race to the Top (RTT) and School Improvement Grants (SIG). While RTT focused on state policies and SIG focused on school practices, both programs promoted related policies and practices, including an emphasis on turning around the nation's lowest-performing schools. Despite the sizable investment in both of these programs, comprehensive evidence on their implementation and impact has been limited to date.

This report focuses on two implementation questions: (1) Do states and schools that received grants actually use the policies and practices promoted by these two programs? (2) Does their usage of these policies and practices differ from states and schools that did not receive grants? Answers to these questions provide context for interpreting impact findings that will be presented in a future report.

The first volume of this report details our RTT findings, which are based on spring 2012 interviews with 49 states and the District of Columbia.

The second volume of this report details our SIG findings, which are based on spring 2012 surveys of approximately 470 schools in 60 districts and 22 states.
NCEE 20154020 Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund: Implementation and Impacts of Pay-for-Performance After Two Years
The Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) provides grants to support performance-based compensation systems for teachers and principals in high-need schools. The study measures the impact of pay-for-performance bonuses as part of a comprehensive compensation system within a large, multisite random assignment study design. The treatment schools were to fully implement their performance-based compensation system. The control schools were to implement the same performance-based compensation system with one exception—the pay-for-performance bonus component was replaced with a one percent bonus paid to all educators regardless of performance. This second report provides implementation and impact information. Ninety percent of all TIF districts in 2012–2013 reported implementing at least 3 of the 4 required components for teachers, and only about one-half (52 percent) reported implementing all four. This was a slight improvement from the first year of implementation. In a subset of 10 districts participating in the random assignment study, educators understanding of key program components improved during the second year, but many teachers still did not understand that they were eligible for a bonus. The pay-for-performance bonus policy had small, positive impacts on students reading achievement; impacts on students math achievement were not statistically significant but similar in magnitude.
REL 2015098 The Achievement Progress of English Learner Students in Arizona
To understand the learning trajectories of the growing numbers of English learner students in the West, especially those who struggle to pass state English language arts and math content tests, this study followed three cohorts of English learner students in Arizona over six school years, 2006/07 through 2011/12, to assess their progress in English proficiency and their academic progress in English language arts and math content knowledge. Key findings from this study include: More than 90 percent of Arizona’s English learner students scored at or above the required level for reclassification as fluent English proficient students over a period of six school years. Their cumulative passing rate was highest for the English language proficiency test, followed by academic tests in English language arts and math. English learner students who were eligible for special education services had the lowest passing rates on all three tests. In general, English learner students in higher grades had lower cumulative passing rates on all three tests than students in lower grades. Educators might consider devoting additional attention to improving teaching practices and support services to help the English learner student subgroups with the poorest performance: students in higher grades, students eligible for special education services, students eligible for school lunch programs, and male students.
REL 2015095 Comparing Success Rates for General and Credit Recovery Courses Online and Face to Face: Results for Florida High School Courses
This report describes the results of a REL Southeast study comparing student success in online credit recovery and general courses taken online compared to traditional face-to-face courses. Credit recovery occurs when a student fails a course and then retakes the same course to earn high school credit. This research question was motivated by the high use of online learning in the Southeast, particularly as a method to help students engage in credit recovery. The data for this study covered all high school courses taken between 2007/08 and 2010/11 in Florida (excluding Driver’s and Physical Education). The study compares the likelihood of a student earning a C or better in an online course as compared to a face-to-face course. Comparisons for both general and online courses include those courses taken for the first time and credit recovery courses. The results show that the likelihood of a student earning a grade of C or better was higher when a course was taken online than when taken face-to-face, both for general courses and credit recovery courses. Most subgroups of students also had higher likelihood of success in online courses compared to face-to-face courses, except that English language learners showed no difference in outcomes when taking credit recovery courses online. However, it is not possible to determine whether these consistent differences in course outcomes are attributable to greater student learning, other factors such as differences in student characteristics, or differences in grading standards.
NCEE 20154015 New Findings on the Retention of Novice Teachers From Teaching Residency Programs
This brief is based on a study of residency programs that received funding from the U.S. Department of Education's Teacher Quality Partnership program. Residency programs are 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.

The brief examines two cohorts of teachers trained through residency programs (TRPs)—those who were in their first year of teaching and those who were in their second year of teaching as of spring 2012. It looks at the rates at which the TRP teachers were retained in the same district and the same school as of fall 2013, thereby tracking two successive cohorts of teachers into their third or fourth year as a teacher of record. The brief updates earlier study findings (Silva et al. 2014) which examined retention as of fall 2012. For context, like the earlier report, the brief also includes retention findings based on a representative sample of teachers with similar experience and teaching in the same districts as the residency teachers, but who were trained through other (non-TRP) programs.

REL 2015097 Development and Examination of an Alternative School Performance Index in South Carolina
The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which the measures that make up each of the three separate accountability indices of school performance in South Carolina could be used to create an overall, reliable index of school performance. Data from public elementary, middle, and high schools in 2012/13 were used in confirmatory factor analysis models designed to estimate the relations between the measures under different specifications. Four different factor models were compared at each school level, beginning with a one-factor model and ending with a bi-factor model. Results from the study suggest that the measures which currently are combined into three separate indices of school performance can instead be combined into a single index of school performance using a bi-factor model. The reliability of the school performance general factor estimated by the bi-factor model ranged from .89 to .95. Using this alternative school performance rating, the study found that approximately 3 percent of elementary schools, 2 percent of middle schools, and 3 percent of high schools were observed to statistically outperform their predicted performance when accounting for the school’s demographic characteristics. These schools, referred to as schools beating the odds, were found in most of the demographic profiles which represent South Carolina schools. The results of this study can inform decisions related to the development of new accountability indices in South Carolina and other states with similar models.
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