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Search Results: (16-30 of 744 records)

 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2014028 Suspension and Expulsion Patterns in Six Oregon School Districts
This Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Northwest study identifies how frequently students in six selected urban districts received exclusionary discipline during the 2011/12 school year, the most common reasons for such discipline, the percentage of students receiving multiple suspensions, and how many school days students lost to suspensions. The study also examined the application of exclusionary discipline at different grade spans and by student gender, race/ethnicity, and special education status.

Key findings include:
  • During 2011/12, 6.4 percent of students were removed from regular classroom instruction because they were suspended or expelled. The most common reasons were physical and verbal aggression and insubordination/disruption.
  • Nearly 40 percent of students who were suspended received more than one suspension over the school year.
  • The average number of school days suspended among students receiving at least one suspension was 3.3 days.
5/6/2014
REL 20140037 Recognizing and Conducting Opportunistic Experiments in Education: A Guide for Policymakers and Researchers
Opportunistic experiments are type of randomized controlled trial that study the effects of a planned intervention or policy change with minimal added disruption and cost. This guide defines opportunistic experiments and provides examples, discusses issues to consider when identifying potential opportunistic experiments, and outlines the critical steps to complete opportunistic experiments. It concludes with a discussion of the potentially low cost of conducting opportunistic experiments and the potentially high cost of not conducting them. Readers will also find a checklist of key questions to consider when conducting opportunistic experiments.
5/6/2014
NCEE 20144016 State Requirements for Teacher Evaluation Policies Promoted by Race to the Top

This brief describes the extent to which states required teacher evaluation policies aligned with the Race to the Top (RTT) initiative as of spring 2012. Although teacher evaluation policies appear to be rapidly evolving, documenting policy requirements in the early years of RTT implementation can help inform policymakers about the pace of policy innovation nationally. This brief examines the presence of state-level requirements for certain practices but not the actual district- or school-level implementation of such practices. Key findings, based on interviews with administrators from 49 states and the District of Columbia (12 Round 1 and 2 RTT states, 7 Round 3 RTT states, and 31 non-RTT states), include the following:

  • States, on average, reported requiring less than half of eight teacher evaluation policies aligned with RTT priorities, although the number of policies required by RTT states was higher than non-RTT states (3.7 policies for Round 1 and 2 RTT states, 3.6 for Round 3 RTT states, and 2.2 for non-RTT states).
  • States' reported teacher evaluation policies were most aligned with RTT priorities focused on using multiple measures to evaluate teacher performance (30 states); using multiple rating categories to classify teacher performance (31 states); and conducting annual evaluations (25 states).
  • States' reported teacher evaluation policies were least aligned with RTT priorities focused on using evaluation results to inform decisions regarding career advancement (1 state) and compensation (6 states for annual salary increases, and 5 states for performance-based compensation).
4/30/2014
REL 2014016 Alternative student growth measures for teacher evaluation: Profiles of early‑adopting districts
States and districts are beginning to use student achievement growth — as measured by state assessments (often using statistical techniques known as value-added models or student growth models) — as part of their teacher evaluation systems. But this approach has limited application in most states, because their assessments are typically administered only in grades 3–8 and only in math and reading. In response, some districts have turned to alternative measures of student growth. These alternative measures include alternative assessment-based value-added models (VAMs) that use the results of end-of-course assessments or commercially available tests in statistical models, and student learning objectives (SLOs), which are determined by individual teachers, approved by principals, and used in evaluations that do not involve sophisticated statistical modeling.

For this report, administrators in eight districts that were early adopters of alternative measures of student growth were interviewed about how they used these measures to evaluate teacher performance. Key findings from the study are:
  • Districts using SLOs chose them as a teacher-guided method of assessing student growth, while those using alternative assessment-based VAMs chose to take advantage of existing assessments.
  • SLOs can be used for teacher evaluation in any grade or subject, but require substantial effort by teachers and principals, and ensuring consistency is challenging.
  • In the four SLO districts, SLOs are required of all teachers across grades K–12, regardless of whether the teachers serve grades or subjects that include district-wide standardized tests.
  • Alternative student assessments used by VAM districts differ by developer, alignment with specific courses, and coverage of grades and subjects.
  • VAMs applied to end-of-course and commercial assessments create consistent districtwide measures but generally require technical support from an outside provider.
4/29/2014
NCEE 20144014 A Focused Look At Schools Receiving School Improvement Grants That Have High Percentages of English Language Learner Students
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 evaluation brief focuses on 11 of these SIG schools with high proportions of English Language Learner (ELL) students (a median of 45 percent ELLs).
4/16/2014
REL 2014019 Early Childhood Educator and Administrator Surveys on the use of assessments and standards in early childhood settings
The Early Childhood Educator Survey and the Early Childhood Administrator Survey allow users to collect consistent data on the use of child assessments and learning standards in early childhood learning settings. Each survey includes modules on educator/administrator background information, assessment use, and learning standards implementation. The surveys and modules can be used either together or individually, and are part of a research agenda to improve early childhood programming and child outcomes through research- and evidence-based practices. Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands developed these surveys in partnership with its Early Childhood Education Research Alliance.
4/15/2014
WWC SSR10070 WWC Review of the Report "Staying on Track: Testing Higher Achievement's Long-Term Impact on Academic Outcomes and High School Choice"
The 2013 study, Staying on Track: Testing Higher Achievement’s Long-Term Impact on Academic Outcomes and High School Choice, examined the effects of Higher Achievement, a multi-year afterschool and summer program for incoming fifth and sixth graders attending schools in at-risk communities. The program's goal is to improve academic achievement and encourage matriculation into an academically competitive high school. The study included 952 fifth and sixth graders in Washington, DC and Alexandria, Virginia. The researchers found that 4 years after randomization, students who were offered participation in Higher Achievement had significantly higher standardized test scores in mathematical problem solving. They were also significantly more likely than comparison students to be admitted to and matriculate at private high schools, and were less likely to apply to, be admitted to, and matriculate at noncompetitive public charter/magnet schools. No statistically significant differences were found for standardized tests of reading comprehension; application to private schools; application to, admittance to, or matriculation at competitive public charter/magnet schools; or matriculation at neighborhood public schools. This study is a well-executed randomized controlled trial that meets WWC evidence standards without reservations.
4/15/2014
NCEE 20144013 A Focused Look At Rural Schools Receiving School Improvement Grants
The Study of School Turnaround is a set of case studies of the school improvement process in a purposive sample of 35 schools receiving federal funds through the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program over a three-year period (school years 2010-11 to 2012-13). This evaluation brief focuses on the nine SIG schools that were in rural areas and how respondents in these schools perceived their rural context to influence specific turnaround activities. Key findings that emerged from the rural case study data collected in spring 2012 include:
  • Although rural SIG schools reported some challenges that nonrural SIG schools have also reported, such as low student motivation and staff morale, the rural schools reported additional challenges resulting from their schools' remote locations and large catchment areas. For example, respondents reported that these rural characteristics affected the recruitment or retention of teachers and, to a lesser extent, parents' involvement in the schools.
  • School and district administrators in eight of the nine schools suggested that long teacher commutes or isolated communities posed challenges to recruiting or retaining teachers. To counter these challenges, respondents in two schools reported offering direct support for teacher commutes (for example, gas stipends or vans), and respondents in three schools reported offering signing bonuses to incoming teachers.
  • School and district administrators and teaching staff in the nine schools mentioned multiple factors limiting parent involvement in school-based activities. Respondents from five schools perceived that a lack of access to transportation limited parent involvement, whereas respondents from three schools noted that the distance between schools and parents' homes was a contributing factor. Four schools focused on hiring or expanding the role of parent liaisons to increase parent involvement.
4/2/2014
WWC PGELL19 Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School
As English learners face the double demands of building knowledge of a second language while learning complex grade-level content, teachers must find effective ways to make challenging content comprehensible for students. This updated English learner practice guide, Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School, provides four recommendations for teaching complex content to English learners while simultaneously building academic language and writing and oral language proficiency.
4/1/2014
REL 2014025 Logic Models: A Tool for Effective Program Planning, Collaboration, and Monitoring
This guide describes the role of logic models in effective program planning, collaboration, and monitoring. It explains how the four components of these models—resources, activities, outputs, and outcomes—relate to one another to provide a visual display of a program's mechanics and structure. An example is provided to demonstrate how the work of a program connects to intended student outcomes in order to chart a course toward improved policy and practice. This guide is one piece of a four-part series on program planning and monitoring released by REL Pacific at McREL.
3/26/2014
REL 2014012 Connections Between Teacher Perceptions of School Effectiveness and Student Outcomes in Idaho’s Low-Achieving Schools
This study found that teachers’ perceptions of school improvement goals, processes, and supports measured by the Educational Effectiveness Survey (EES) were not generally related to three student outcomes in Idaho schools: proficiency in reading, proficiency in math, and attendance. The EES, an annual survey developed by the Center on Educational Effectiveness, is used widely in the Northwest region and is similar to other teacher perceptual surveys used nationally. The study focused on 75 low-achieving Idaho schools that used the state’s improvement services and took the EES in 2012. The findings suggest that educators should proceed cautiously when using perceptual survey data to make school improvement decisions.
3/25/2014
REL 2014013 How States Use Student Learning Objectives in Teacher Evaluation Systems: A Review of State Websites
This report provides an overview of how states define and apply student learning objectives (SLOs) in evaluation systems. The research team conducted a systematic scan of state policies by searching state education agency websites of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. to identify tools, guidance, policies, regulations, and other documents related to the use of SLOs in teacher evaluation systems. The researchers reviewed each relevant document to code the requirements, components, and uses of SLOs, which are summarized in a brief report and a series of searchable tables. The report and tables were produced in response to research questions posed by the Northeast Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance (NEERA), one of eight research alliances working with REL Northeast & Islands.
3/6/2014
REL 2014017 Disproportionality in School Discipline: An Assessment of Trends in Maryland, 2009–12
This study examines whether disproportionate rates of suspensions and expulsions exist for racial/ethnic minority students and special education students in Maryland during the period 2009/10 to 2011/12. The study found that disproportionalities between Black and White students increased in 2011/12 despite an overall decrease in the number of out-of-school suspensions and expulsions. Moreover, black students receive out-of-school suspensions or expulsions at more than twice the rate of White students. In addition, special education students are removed from school at more than twice the rate of students who are not in special education.
3/5/2014
REL 2014009 Participation and Pass Rates for College Preparatory Transition Courses in Kentucky
The purpose of this study was to examine Kentucky high school students' participation and pass rates in college preparatory transition courses, which are voluntary remedial courses in math and reading offered to grade 12 students in the state. Three groups of students were compared using the population of grade 12 students in Kentucky public schools in school year 2011/12 (n=33,928): students meeting state benchmarks, students approaching state benchmarks (1 to 3 points below), and students performing below state benchmarks (4 or more points below). The courses targeted students who were approaching state benchmarks, but all students were eligible to take them. Results were examined for member school districts of the Southeast/South-Central Educational Cooperative (a research partner with Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia), a matched comparison group of districts with similar characteristics identified through propensity score matching, and the state as a whole. The study found that most students, even those targeted for the intervention, did not participate in the college preparatory transition courses. Among students who were approaching state benchmarks in math, fewer than one-third (28.1 percent) took transition courses, and among students approaching state benchmarks in reading, fewer than one-tenth (8.0 percent) enrolled in transition courses. Despite the intention of the policy, students from all three groups (meeting, approaching, and below state benchmarks) enrolled in the courses. Statewide pass rates for students who did enroll in transition courses in math or reading were more than 90 percent. Examining participation and pass rates can help schools and districts understand how college preparatory transition courses are used and may be adapted to meet the needs of students targeted for intervention.
3/4/2014
WWC IRM62714 DreamBox Learning
DreamBox Learning is a supplemental online mathematics program that provides adaptive instruction for students in grades K-5 and focuses on number and operations, place value, and number sense. The WWC identified 11 studies that investigated the effects of DreamBox Learning on the math performance of elementary school students, one of which meets WWC evidence standards. This one study meets standards without reservations and included 557 elementary school students in kindergarten and first grade in three charter schools in San Jose, California. Based on this study, the WWC found that DreamBox Learning has potentially positive effects on mathematics achievement for elementary school students.
3/4/2014
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