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Search Results: (16-30 of 748 records)

 Pub Number  Title  Date
NCEE 20144015 Case Studies of Schools Receiving School Improvement Grants: Findings After the First Year of Implementation
The Study of School Turnaround examines the improvement process in a purposive sample of 35 case study schools receiving federal School Improvement Grants (SIG) over a three-year period (2010-11 to 2012-13 school years). Using site visit, teacher survey, and fiscal data, the case studies describe the school contexts, the principals’ leadership styles, the schools’ improvement strategies and actions, the supports states and districts provide to the schools, school stakeholders’ perceptions of improvement, and how SIG fits into the schools’ change process. Findings after the first year of implementation in the 25 “core” sample schools reveal that while all were low-performing, the schools differed in their community and fiscal contexts, performance and reform histories, interpretations of the causes of—and potential solutions for—their performance problems, and perceptions of improvement after the first year of SIG. However, most schools did report that their improvement strategies and actions during the first year of SIG were a continuation of activities or plans that predated SIG, and few schools appeared to have experienced a disruption from past practice as of spring 2011.
5/28/2014
REL 2014034 Program Monitoring: The Role of Leadership in Planning, Assessment, and Communication
This guide examines three components of program monitoring—planning, assessment, and communication—and identifies key measures of successful leadership for each component. This guide is one piece of a four-part series on program planning and monitoring released by REL Pacific at McREL.
5/27/2014
NCEE 20144017 Understanding Variation in Treatment Effects in Education Impact Evaluations: An Overview of Quantitative Methods
This report summarizes the complex research literature on quantitative methods for assessing how impacts of educational interventions on instructional practices and student learning differ across students, educators, and schools. It also provides technical guidance about the use and interpretation of these methods. The research topics addressed include: subgroup (moderator) analyses based on study participants’ characteristics measured before the intervention is implemented; subgroup analyses based on study participants’ experiences, mediators, and outcomes measured after program implementation; and impact estimation when treatment effects vary. The focus is on randomized controlled trials, but the methods are also applicable to quasi-experimental designs.
5/13/2014
REL 2014032 Beating the Odds: Finding Schools Exceeding Achievement Expectations with High-Risk Students
State education leaders are often interested in identifying schools that have demonstrated success with improving the literacy of students who are at the highest level of risk for reading difficulties. The identification of these schools that are “beating the odds” is typically accomplished by comparing a school’s observed performance on a particular exam, such as a state achievement exam, with how the school would be expected to perform when taking into account its demographic characteristics including the percentage of students classified as economically disadvantaged, minority, or as an English language learner. This study used longitudinal data from the Florida Department of Education on grade 3 public school students for the academic years 2010/11-2012/13 to determine which schools are exceeding student achievement expectations, and what demographic similarities exist between schools that are exceeding expectations and other schools.
5/6/2014
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
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