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Search Results: (1-15 of 358 records)

 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2016224 Self-study guide for implementing literacy interventions in Grades 3-8
The Grades 3–8 Self-Study Guide for Implementing Literacy Interventions was developed to help district- and school-based practitioners conduct self-studies for planning and implementing literacy interventions. It is intended to promote reflection about current strengths and challenges in planning for implementation of literacy interventions, spark conversations among staff, and identify areas for improvement. This guide provides a template for data collection and guiding questions for discussion that may improve the implementation of literacy interventions.
9/22/2016
REL 2016180 Predicting math outcomes from a reading screening assessment in grades 3–8
District and state education leaders and teachers frequently use assessments to identify students who are at risk of performing poorly on end-of-year reading achievement tests. This study explores the use of a universal screening assessment of reading skills for the identification of students who are at risk for low achievement in mathematics and provides support for the interpretation of screening scores to inform instruction. The study results demonstrate that a reading screening assessment predicted poor performance on a mathematics outcome (the Stanford Achievement Test) with similar levels of accuracy as screening assessments that specifically measure mathematics skills. These findings indicate that a school district could use an assessment of reading skills to screen for risk in both reading and mathematics, potentially reducing costs and testing time. In addition, this document provides a decision tree framework to support implementation of screening practices and interpretation by teachers.
9/21/2016
REL 2016153 Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and the Community as Partners in Education Part 4: Engaging all in data conversations
The Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and Community as Partners in Education provides resources for school staff to build relationships with families and community members and to support family well-being, strong parent-child relationships, and students' ongoing learning and development. Originally developed for the Guam Alliance for Family and Community Engagement in Education, the Toolkit is based on information from a variety of sources that address engagement in diverse communities. Part 4 of the toolkit provides tools and activities to help school staff understand what data is important to share with families and community members and how to share such data. Part 4 is divided into two sections: determining what student data are important to share with families and community members and presenting student data in meaningful ways. Each section includes an introduction, summary of key points and related research, and activities that can be used with school staff. The activities in Part 4 help staff simplify data language, investigate data available to them, identify data to share with families, and learn strategies for sharing data with parents and community members.
9/20/2016
REL 2016152 Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and the Community as Partners in Education Part 3: Building trusting relationships with families and the community through effective communication
The Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and Community as Partners in Education provides resources for school staff to build relationships with families and community members and to support family well-being, strong parent-child relationships, and students' ongoing learning and development. Originally developed for the Guam Alliance for Family and Community Engagement in Education, the Toolkit is based on information from a variety of sources that address engagement in diverse communities. Part 3 of the toolkit focuses on cross-cultural and two-way communication as a strategy for enhancing family and community engagement. Part 3 is divided into two sections: cross-cultural communication in a school community and preparing staff for two-way communication with families. Each section includes an introduction, summary of key points and related research, and activities that can be used with school staff. Part 3 includes a tool that assists educators in examining their current use of cross-cultural communication and in planning improvements. Other Part 3 activities guide educators in discussions about effective communication strategies and ideas for listening to parents.
9/20/2016
REL 2016151 Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and the Community as Partners in Education Part 2: Building a cultural bridge
The Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and Community as Partners in Education provides resources for school staff to build relationships with families and community members and to support family well-being, strong parent-child relationships, and students’ ongoing learning and development. Originally developed for the Guam Alliance for Family and Community Engagement in Education, the Toolkit is based on information from a variety of sources that address engagement in diverse communities. Part 2 of the toolkit provides tools and activities to utilize the strengths of families and community members, and to help families establish active roles within the school community in support of student learning. Part 2 is divided into two sections: tapping into the strengths of families and communities and establishing roles for building family and community engagement. Each section includes an introduction, summary of key points and related research, and activities that can be used with family and community members. The activities emphasize a strengths-based approach and are designed to help school staff and family members establish positive roles within a partnership working toward co-constructed goals for student success.
9/20/2016
REL 2016148 Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and the Community as Partners in Education Part 1: Building an understanding of family and community engagement
The Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and Community as Partners in Education provides resources for school staff to build relationships with families and community members and to support family well-being, strong parent-child relationships, and students' ongoing learning and development. Originally developed for the Guam Alliance for Family and Community Engagement in Education, the Toolkit is based on information from a variety of sources that address engagement in diverse communities. Part 1 of the toolkit provides tools and activities to build awareness among educators about how their beliefs and assumptions influence their interactions with families. The activities also address how demographic characteristics of the families can provide information to educators about what might support or hinder family engagement with schools. Part 1 is divided into four sections: reflecting on beliefs and assumptions, getting to know your families, understanding the influence of cultural lenses, and acknowledging cultural differences. Each section includes an introduction, summary of key points and related research, and a series of activities that can be used with school staff and community members. The activities are designed to guide discussions about the influence of culture on individual beliefs, assumptions, and efforts to engage others in support of student learning.
9/20/2016
REL 2016227 Professional learning communities facilitator's guide for the What Works Clearinghouse practice guide: Foundational skills to support reading for understanding in kindergarten through 3rd grade
The Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southeast developed a Professional Learning Community (PLC) Facilitators Guide to support educators in the implementation of recommendations from the What Works Clearinghouse's Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade Practice Guide. The practice guide focuses on the foundational reading skills that enable students to read words, relate those words to their oral language, and read connected text with sufficient accuracy and fluency to understand what they read. The practice guide, developed by a panel of experts comprised of researchers and practitioners, presents four recommendations that educators can use to improve literacy skills in the early grades.

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are a form of professional development in which small groups of educators with shared interests work together with the goals of expanding their knowledge and improving their craft. REL Southeast developed PLC materials focused on the practice guide that were designed to assist a literacy leader in guiding a professional learning community in applying the recommendations from the practice guide. The materials include a facilitator's guide, participant activities, and videos. The facilitator's guide includes a framework for facilitators to conduct each of the ten PLC sessions. It also includes participant activities, discussion questions, small- and whole-group activities, and implementation and reflection activities. The participant's activities include reflection questions, lesson plan examples and templates, video-viewing guides, and sharing opportunities. The videos illustrate practices presented in the foundational reading skills practice guide.
9/20/2016
REL 2016162 How to use the School Survey of Practices Associated with High Performance
Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest, in partnership with its School Turnaround Research Alliance, developed a survey that state education departments and school districts can use to measure the degree to which schools are engaging in practices associated with high performance. An extensive literature review was conducted to determine key domains of practices and policies (for example, effective leadership, curriculum, professional development, positive school culture, data practices) in which high-performing schools engage, and a search was conducted to assess existing surveys that measured similar key dimensions and supporting constructs. The psychometric validation of the survey was completed using classical test theory and item response theory analyses. The guide includes information regarding ways that principals and educators can use the survey, as well as the development of the survey and its psychometric validation. Educators can utilize the survey to identify and describe practices associated with high performance, compare practices across subgroups of schools, target schools for specific interventions, and design interventions to improve school performance.
9/8/2016
REL 2016169 A guide to developing and evaluating a college readiness screener
This guide describes core ideas for colleges to consider when developing a screening tool for estimating college readiness. A key focal point within the guide is a discussion of ways to improve how well a screening tool can identify individuals needing remedial or developmental education along with key considerations that a user or developer of such a tool must address. Specifically, the following steps are discussed:
1.Creating an operational definition of success and college readiness
2.Selecting potential predictors of college readiness
3.Prioritizing types of classification error
4.Collecting and organizing the necessary data
5.Developing predictive models
6.Evaluating the screening results and selecting the final model
9/7/2016
REL 2016184 Stated Briefly: Ramping up to college readiness in Minnesota high schools: Implementation of a schoolwide program
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report of the same name. This study examined whether the Ramp-Up to Readiness program (Ramp-Up) differs from college readiness supports that are typically offered by high schools, whether high schools were able to implement Ramp-Up to Readiness to the developer's satisfaction, and how staff in schools implementing Ramp-Up to Readiness perceive the program. The researchers conducted interviews and focus groups with staff in two groups of schools: (1) a group of 10 schools that were in the first year of implementation of Ramp-Up to Readiness, and (2) a group of 10 other schools that were not implementing the program. The researchers also administered surveys to staff employed by these 20 schools as well as to students in grades 10-12 in these schools. Through these data collection efforts, the researchers obtained information on the types of college readiness programming and supports in the two types of schools, students' perceptions of college-focused staff-student interactions, schools' success at implementing Ramp-Up to Readiness’ core components and sub-components, and the opinions of staff in implementing schools about the program. Compared with non-Ramp-Up schools, those implementing Ramp-Up offered more college-oriented structural supports, professional development, and student-staff interactions. Ramp-Up schools also made greater use of postsecondary planning tools. Students in Ramp-Up schools perceived more emphasis on four of five dimensions of college readiness than students in comparison schools. Ramp-Up schools met the program developer’s threshold for adequate implementation on four of five program components (structural supports, professional development, curriculum delivery, and curriculum content). However only 2 of the 10 schools met the developer’s adequacy threshold for the other component (use of postsecondary planning tools). Staff at Ramp-Up schools generally had favorable perceptions of the program. Schools that implement Ramp-Up were able to offer deeper college readiness support to more students than comparison schools. Schools that adopt Ramp-Up can implement the program as intended by the program developer, but some program components are more challenging to implement than others. Additional studies should be performed to examine whether implementation improves after a second year of implementation and whether Ramp-Up improves the likelihood that students will enroll and succeed in college.
9/6/2016
REL 2016207 Stated Briefly: Identifying early warning indicators in three Ohio school districts
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report of the same name. The purpose of this study was to identify a set of data elements for students in grades 8 and 9 in three Ohio school districts that could serve as accurate early warning indicators of their failure to graduate high school on time and to comparatively examine the accuracy of those indicators. In order to identify the set of indicators with the optimal accuracy for each district, the research team collected student-level data on two cohorts of grade 8 and 9 students in each school district. Datasets used in the analyses included students' four-year graduation status (the outcome) and 8th and 9th grade data on attendance, coursework, suspensions, and test score records (the candidate early warning indicators). Logistic regression and Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve analyses were used to identify the candidate indicators that were the consistent predictors of students' failure to graduate on time in each district and to identify the cut points on the original scales that most accurately distinguish students who were at risk of not graduating on time from those who did graduate on time. The analyses were restricted to students who were first-time freshmen within the districts in 2006/07 or 2007/08, and excluded students who entered the district after grade 9. Students in the 2006/07 cohort graduated in 2010, and students in the 2007/08 cohort graduated in 2011. The three districts included in the study varied in size, demographic composition, and locale. Results show that the optimal cut point for classifying students as at risk varied significantly across districts for five of the eight candidate indicators included in the study. Across the three districts and two grades, different indicators were identified as the most accurate predictors of students’ failure to graduate on time. End-of-year attendance rate was the only indicator that was a consistent predictor for both grades in all three districts. The most accurate indicators in both grade 8 and grade 9 were based on coursework (GPAs and course credits). Consistent with prior literature, failing more than one class and earning one or more suspensions also were strong predictors of failure to graduate on time. On average, indicators were more accurate in grade 9 than in grade 8. Findings illustrate why it is important for districts to conduct local validation using their own data to verify that indicators selected for their early warning systems accurately predict students' failure to graduate on time. The methods laid out in this study can be used to help districts identify the best off-track indicators, and indicator cut points, for their particular early warning systems.
9/6/2016
REL 2016178 Summary of 20 years of research on the effectiveness of adolescent literacy programs and practices
This literature review searched the peer-reviewed studies of reading comprehension instructional practices conducted and published between 1994 and 2014 and summarizes the instructional practices that have demonstrated positive or potentially positive effects in scientifically rigorous studies employing experimental designs. Each study was rated by the review team utilizing the What Works Clearinghouse standards. The review of the literature resulted in the identification of 7,144 studies. Of these studies, only 111 met eligibility for review. Thirty-three of these studies were determined by the study team to have met What Works Clearinghouse standards. The 33 studies represented 29 difference interventions or classroom practices. Twelve of these studies demonstrated positive or potentially positive effects. These 12 studies are described and the commonalities among the studies are summarized.
9/6/2016
REL 2016144 Measurement instruments for assessing the performance of professional learning communities
This annotated bibliography is a compilation of valid and reliable measures of key performance indicators of teacher professional learning communities (PLCs). The research team employed a rigorous process of searching and screening the scientific literature and other sources for relevant qualitative and quantitative instruments, followed by a careful review and evaluation of each instrument against established standards of measurement quality, such as reliability and validity, as well as the instrument’s ability to detect a variable’s change over time. This resource, which is organized according to key elements of a PLC logic model (i.e., a model that describes how PLCs are expected to operate to achieve their goals), is intended for researchers, practitioners, and education professionals who seek to engage in evidence-based planning, implementation, and evaluation of teacher PLCs. The PLC-related measurement instruments identified in this project include 31 quantitative and 18 qualitative instruments that assess a range of teacher/principal-, team-, and student-level variables.
8/31/2016
REL 2016156 Measuring principals' effectiveness: Results from New Jersey’s first year of statewide principal evaluation
This study describes measures used to evaluate New Jersey principals in the first year of statewide implementation of the new evaluation system. It examines four statistical properties of the measures: the variation in ratings across principals, their year-to-year stability, the associations between component ratings and the characteristics of students in the schools, and the associations among component ratings. Based on statewide principal performance ratings from the 2013/14 school year and ratings from 14 districts that piloted the principal evaluation system in the 2012/13 school year, the study found a mix of strengths and weaknesses in the statistical properties of the measures used to evaluate principals in New Jersey. First, nearly all principals received effective or highly effective summative ratings. Second, fewer principals evaluated on school median student growth percentiles received highly effective summative ratings than principals not evaluated on this measure. Third, principal practice instrument ratings and school median student growth percentiles had moderate to high levels of year-to-year stability. Fourth, several component ratings—school median student growth percentiles, teachers' student growth objectives, and principal practice instrument ratings—and the summative rating had low, negative correlations with student socioeconomic disadvantage. Finally, principals' ratings on component measures had low to moderate positive correlations with each other, consistent with the idea that they measure distinct dimensions of overall principal performance. Nevertheless, the validity of the principal evaluation measures cannot be verified without a measure of principals' effectiveness at raising student achievement to use as a standard. More evidence is needed on the accuracy of measures used to evaluate principals.
8/30/2016
REL 2016154 The achievement progress of English learner students in Nevada
The purpose of this study was to examine the cumulative progress of English learner students in Nevada in English language proficiency (ELP) and in academic content knowledge in both reading and mathematics. This study identified students in grades kindergarten, 3, and 6 who were designated as English learner students in 2006/07 and examined their progress from 2006/07 through 2011/12 on the ELP test, the reading content test, and the math content test as well as student characteristics. The analytic sample included all students identified as English learner students who were enrolled in the state's public schools in the designated grade of the first year of the cohort, progressed to the next grade level each year, and who had the required test data throughout the six years being analyzed. Each cohort consisted of a separate sample of students. The annual cumulative numbers and percentages of English learner students who met each progress criterion were calculated. The analyses were for each English learner grade-level cohort as a whole, as well as separately by the four student characteristics at the start of the study (2006/07): ELP level, designation as eligible for special education services, eligibility for a school lunch program, and gender. Results indicate that after six years, more than 90 percent of the English learner students scored at or above the required level of reclassified as fluent English proficient on the Nevada ELP test. In each of the three grade-level cohorts, the overall cumulative passing percentage was highest for Nevada's ELP test, followed by the reading test, and then the math test. The largest differences in cumulative passing rates were associated with eligibility for special education services and initial ELP level. Higher grade students had lower cumulative passing percentages on all three tests compared to lower grade students. This study's findings identify subgroups of English learner students who may need more support to attain at least the expected minimum levels of academic achievement. All English learner students who are eligible for special education services will likely need additional support to be successful, and this support may need to vary by specific subgroups of learning disabilities. The study's findings also suggest that higher grade students who are eligible for special education services will need different support than what the higher grade students received during the study period if they are going to achieve even minimal levels of academic achievement in reading and math.
8/25/2016
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