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Search Results: (16-30 of 224 records)

 Pub Number  Title  Date
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
REL 2014011 Understanding Program Monitoring: The Relationships Among Outcomes, Indicators, Measures, and Targets
This guide offers a resource for educators, program managers, administrators, and researchers to build capacity in monitoring program outcomes effectively. The guide provides concise definitions of program monitoring components and illustrates the framework for assessing the progress of a program. Examples demonstrating the relationships between outcomes, indicators, measures, benchmarks, baselines, and targets are also included. By following a program monitoring framework, policymakers and practitioners can monitor and evaluate a program to make better data-informed decisions.

This guide is one piece of a four-part series on program planning and monitoring released by REL Pacific at McREL
REL 2014007 Logic Models: A Tool for Designing and Monitoring Program Evaluations
This quick reference guide defines the major components of education programs—resources, activities, outputs, and short-, mid-, and long-term outcomes—and uses an example to demonstrate the relationships among them.
REL 2014004 Comparing Estimates of Teacher Value-Added Based on Criterion- and Norm-Referenced Tests
The study used reading and math achievement data for grades 4 and 5 in 46 Indiana schools to compare estimates of teacher value added from two student assessments: the criterion-referenced Indiana Statewide Testing for Education Progress Plus (ISTEP+) and a norm-referenced test (NRT) that is widely used in Indiana and other Midwest Region states. The study found a moderate relationship between value-added estimates for a single year based on the ISTEP+ and NRT, with average yearly correlation coefficients of 0.44 to 0.65. Overall, findings indicate variability between the estimates of teacher value added from two different tests administered to the same students in the same years. Although specific sources of the variability in estimates of teacher value added across assessments could not be isolated in this research design, the research literature points to measurement error as an important contributor. The findings suggest that incorporating confidence intervals for value added estimates reduces the likelihood that teachers' performance will be misclassified based on measurement error.
REL 2014006 Testing the Importance of Individual Growth Curves in Predicting Performance on a High-Stakes Reading Comprehension Test in Florida
REL Southeast at Florida State University evaluated student growth in reading comprehension over the school year and compared the growth to the end-of-year Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). Using archival data for 2009/10, the study analyzes a stratified random sample of 800,000 Florida students in grades 3-10: their fall, winter, and spring reading comprehension scores on the Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading (FAIR) and their reading comprehension scores on the FCAT. This study examines the relationship among descriptive measures of growth and inferential measures for students in grades 3-10 and considers how well such measures statistically explain differences in end-of-year reading comprehension after controlling for student performance on a mid-year status assessment. Student differences in reading comprehension performance were explained by the four growth estimates (measured by the coefficient of determination, R2) and differed by status variable used (performance on the fall, winter, or spring FAIR reading comprehension screen).
REL 2014010 Summary of Research on the Effectiveness of Math Professional Development Approaches
The study identified and screened 910 research studies in a comprehensive literature search for effectiveness studies of math professional development approaches. Of these 910 studies, 643 examined professional development approaches related to math in grades K-12 and were conducted in the United States. Of the 643 studies, 32 focused primarily on math professional development provided to teachers and used a research design for examining effectiveness. Five of those were determined to have met WWC evidence standards (version 2.1) either with or without reservations. And of those five, only two found positive effects on students' math proficiency. Thus, there is very limited causal evidence to guide districts and schools in selecting a math professional development approach or to support developers' claims about their approaches.
REL 2014005 Does raising the state compulsory school attendance age achieve the intended outcomes?
Many states have raised the compulsory school attendance age to 17 or 18, anticipating that a reduction in dropout, truancy, and discipline problems will more than compensate for the higher costs of educating students longer. This review examines the evidence on whether a higher compulsory school attendance age results in improved student outcomes.

Against this background, this review addresses the following research questions:
  • What changes have occurred in dropouts, truancy, and disciplinary actions in states that raised their compulsory school attendance age during 2002–11?
  • What broader social outcomes have been identified in studies using national datasets?
  • How have these states measured changes in these expected outcomes?
NCEE 20134014 Evaluation of the Regional Educational Laboratories: Interim Report
The ten Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) respond to needs of states and school districts for applied research, technical assistance for use of data and research, and dissemination of research findings. The RELs' work is authorized by the Education Sciences Reform Act (ESRA) and is carried out under five-year contracts with the Institute of Education Sciences.

This interim report provides descriptive information on the activities undertaken by the RELs during the 2006-2011 REL contracts with IES. It also presents expert ratings of the technical quality and relevance of the RELs' short-term education research and technical assistance projects, known as Fast Response Projects.
REL 2013002 Using Alternative Student Growth Measures for Evaluating Teacher Performance: What the Literature Says
States increasingly are interested in incorporating measures of student achievement growth in teacher evaluations. But the typical measure of student growth—progress on state assessments from one school year to the next—usually covers only reading and math and only in grades 4–8. Members of REL Mid-Atlantic's Teacher Evaluation Research Alliance wanted to understand more about the alternatives, and the REL produced this literature review in response. It examines the following two alternatives to state assessments: applying statistical value-added methods to outcomes other than student performance on standard state assessments and using student learning objectives (SLOs) developed by individual teachers.
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