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Search Results: (16-30 of 402 records)

 Pub Number  Title  Date
WWC QR2014230 Quick Review of "Conceptualizing Astronomical Scale: Virtual Simulations on Handheld Tablet Computers Reverse Misconceptions"
This study examined how using two different ways of displaying the solar system—a true-to-scale mode vs. an orrery mode--affects students' knowledge of astronomical concepts. Solar system displays were presented in a software application on a handheld tablet computer. In a true-to-scale mode, users navigate a simulated three-dimensional solar system environment using a tablet's pinch-to-zoom touchscreen interface; this provides an accurate representation of sizes and distances of planetary bodies. The study authors reported that student gains in learning astronomical concepts, measured as the differences between pretest and posttest scores, were significantly larger when using the true-to-scale mode than when using an orrery mode.
WWC IRD579 Spelling Mastery
Spelling Mastery is a Direct Instruction curriculum designed to explicitly teach spelling skills to students in grades 1-6 by using phonemic, morphemic, and whole-word strategies. The WWC identified seven studies that investigated the effects of Spelling Mastery on writing achievement for students with learning disabilities. Two of those studies meet WWC evidence standards without reservations and included 70 students with learning disabilities in grades 2 through 4 in three elementary schools or receiving instruction at a summer program. Based on these two studies, the WWC found that Spelling Mastery has potentially positive effects on writing for students with learning disabilities.
WWC SSR220 WWC Review of the CREDO Charter School Studies
The study, National Charter School Study: 2013, examined the effect of charter schools on annual student achievement growth in reading and math in 25 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City. The study primarily used data on students in grades 3-8, but additional elementary and high school grades were included for several states. Researchers compared year-to-year test score changes from state-level standardized reading and math tests administered during the 2008–09 through 2010–11 school years. This research meets WWC evidence standards with reservations. Although the charter school students and traditional students were well matched, using demographic and academic characteristics, unobserved differences may have existed. In addition, the study results are difficult to interpret because they blend 1-year gains from the first year of charter school attendance and 1-year gains during subsequent years.
WWC IRECE381 Intervention Report: Pre-K Mathematics
An updated WWC report on Pre-K Mathematics with DLM Early Childhood Express Math looks at how these programs impact early learning. Pre-K Mathematics is a supplemental curriculum that utilizes teacher-guided, small-group activities with concrete manipulatives and take-home activities. The DLM Early Childhood Express Math software includes corresponding math-based activities to reinforce math concepts taught in the classroom. This updated WWC report includes reviews of six studies that have been released since 2007 and evaluates three additional outcomes: oral language, print knowledge, and phonological processing. The WWC found that Pre-K Mathematics with DLM Early Childhood Express Math has positive effects on math for preschool children, but no discernible effects on their oral language, print knowledge, and phonological processing skills.

The 2012 study, The Impact of Dual Enrollment on College Degree Attainment: Do Low-SES Students Benefit?, used data from the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS:88) to examine the effects of dual enrollment programs for high school students on college degree attainment. Researchers found that dual enrollment programs significantly increased the likelihood of attaining a college degree. There were no significant differences in college attainment between first generation college students and students whose parents had attended at least some college. A supplemental analysis revealed that students earning more dual enrollment credits were significantly more likely to attain any college degree or a bachelor’s degree than comparison students. This research meets WWC evidence with reservations due to potential differences between the participating students that were unobserved in the study data.
WWC IRM627 DreamBox Learning
DreamBox Learning is a supplemental online mathematics program that provides individualized 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, but only one meets WWC evidence standards. This 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 no discernible effects on mathematics achievement for elementary school students.
WWC QR20008 "Are Tenure Track Professors Better Teachers?"
The study examined whether taking a course with a tenured/tenure track professor versus a non-tenured/tenure track professor for first-term freshman-level courses (e.g., introductory economics) was associated with whether students enrolled and performed well in future classes in the same subject.
WWC IRD626 Reciprocal Teaching
Although reciprocal teaching has been used for years as a method for teaching reading comprehension skills, the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) has found no rigorous research that shows it works or does not work for students with learning disabilities. Using the reciprocal teaching method, teachers model four comprehension strategies for their students: summarizing, questioning, clarifying, and predicting. The students then practice these strategies and take turns leading small group discussions about what has been read. The WWC identified 54 studies of reciprocal teaching for students with learning disabilities that were published or released between 1989 and 2013. None of these studies meet WWC evidence standards. More research is needed to determine the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of this method for students with learning disabilities.
WWC IRL416 Reading Mastery
The WWC recently reviewed the research on Reading Mastery for beginning readers. The program is designed to provide systematic instruction in reading to students in grades K-6, however, the WWC found no rigorous research that shows it effectiveness for beginning readers. The Reading Mastery teaching routine involves modeling new content, providing guided practice, and implementing individual practice and application. Since the previous WWC report was released in August 2008, the WWC identified an additional 106 studies of Reading Mastery and its effects on beginning readers (grades K-3), bringing the total number of studies reviewed to 166. None of these studies meet WWC evidence standards for quality research. More research is needed to determine if Reading Mastery works for beginning readers.
WWC SSR222 WWC Review of the Report "KIPP Middle Schools: Impacts on Achievement and Other Outcomes, Final Report"
The 2013 study, KIPP Middle Schools: Impacts on Achievement and Other Outcomes, Final Report, examined whether attending a Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) middle school improved students’ academic performance for up to 4 years following enrollment. For the experimental portion of the study, researchers used admissions lotteries to place about 1,000 students into either a KIPP middle school or a traditional middle school. For the quasi-experimental portion of the study, researchers used baseline achievement and demographic characteristics to match 15,916 students in 41 KIPP middle schools with similar students who had attended non-KIPP public middle schools in the same school district in the previous year. Researchers then used state assessments in math, reading, science, and social studies to measure student achievement. The experimental portion of the study meets WWC evidence standards without reservations for the 1-year follow-up. However, the research on the later follow-ups meets standards with reservations because of the large number of students who stopped participating in the study. The quasi-experimental portion of the study meets WWC evidence standards with reservations; although the KIPP students and traditional public school students included in the analysis were well-matched, other differences may have existed between the groups that could have influenced student achievement.
WWC SSR10030 WWC Review of the Report "The Role of Application Assistance and Information in College Decisions: Results from the H&R Block FAFSA Experiment"
The 2012 study, The Role of Application Assistance and Information in College Decisions: Results from the H&R Block FAFSA Experiment, examined the impact of two interventions related to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on postsecondary outcomes of low- to moderate-income individuals. The two interventions included (1) providing an estimate of need-based aid compared against tuition costs for nearby colleges and assistance in completing the FAFSA, and (2) only providing an estimate of need-based aid. Outcomes included the likelihood of filing the FAFSA, college enrollment, receipt of a Pell Grant, and retention in college after 2 years. Researchers presented results for three distinct subgroups: (a) 17-year-old high school seniors and recent graduates who were dependent on their parents; (b) independent adults aged 24 to 30 years with no college experience; and (c) independent adults aged 24 to 30 years with some college, but no degree. The research described in this report meets WWC evidence standards with reservations. This study is a well-executed randomized controlled trial; however, impacts were presented for three distinct subgroups, and attrition for each of the subgroups cannot be calculated due to unknown subgroup information at baseline.
WWC SSR10022 WWC Review of the Report "School Turnarounds: Evidence From the 2009 Stimulus"
The 2012 study, School Turnarounds: Evidence From the 2009 Stimulus, examined the effects of being eligible for and receiving School Improvement Grants (SIGs) on schoolwide achievement of students in 2,892 low-performing California public schools. SIGs are federally funded and offered to schools that are identified as persistently lowest achieving. The study used a regression discontinuity design in which average test score levels and changes on California's Academic Performance Index (API) defined which schools were eligible to receive a SIG. Because the study schools were not shown to be equivalent on all variables related to school level achievement, the research meets WWC regression discontinuity design standards with reservations. Changes in API may have been influenced by improved student learning, the movement of students from one school to another, or a combination of these factors. Additionally, the study analyzed school-level effects, and the magnitude of these effects cannot be directly compared to the magnitude of an effect from an intervention that uses student-level data for the analysis. Finally, as a result of the design used for the study, the reported impacts are only valid at the thresholds that define the eligibility criteria, and do not generalize to all SIG-eligible schools.
WWC PG01813 Practice Guide: Teaching Math to Young Children
Before they even enter a classroom, many children show an interest in math. They notice basic shapes, examine patterns, and practice counting. Teachers can build on this curiosity and get children excited about math with five recommendations from the new What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) practice guide, Teaching Math to Young Children.

To succeed in school, children need to develop skills in five critical early math areas: number and operations, geometry, patterns, measurement, and data analysis. These are complex concepts for young minds. With techniques found in the guide, teachers can make math a daily experience that children enjoy and can succeed in.

Recommendations include the following:

  • Help your students take the next developmental step in learning math by building on what they already know. Every classroom has children at different levels of progression, so utilize small-group activities to target different skill levels.
  • To get the most out of your math instruction, continually monitor children’s progress so you can tailor your future lessons to their needs. Gather specific information about each child’s skill level, such as how they perform on new tasks, and watch how they complete each activity.
  • Make math a part of the school day and create a math-rich environment. Use math concepts such as numbers and shapes to label things like classroom rules or lunch tables. This will help children see how math plays a part in everyday activities.
The research base for this guide was identified through a comprehensive search for studies evaluating instructional practices for teaching math to children in preschool, prekindergarten, or kindergarten programs.
WWC SSR10052 WWC Review of the Report "Assessing the Effectiveness of First Step to Success: Are Short-term Results the First Step to Long-term Behavioral Improvements?"
The 2013 study, Assessing the Effectiveness of First Step to Success: Are Short-term Results the First Step to Long-term Behavioral Improvements?, examined the effects of First Step to Success (First Step), a school- and home-based program intended to improve outcomes for students with moderate to severe behavior problems who may be at risk for academic failure. Researchers randomly assigned 48 elementary schools from across five states to either an intervention group that received the First Step program or a comparison group that received regular instruction. Study authors measured the effects of First Step by comparing parent, teacher, and researcher assessments of student behavior for students in the intervention and comparison groups. While 10 outcomes were measured, only three met WWC evidence standards with reservations: academic engaged time (the proportion of time a student is academically involved), problem behavior, and academic competence. Although the schools were randomly assigned to the intervention and comparison groups, the students who were selected to participate in the study may have differed systematically across the schools. In particular, teachers' selection of the students for the study and the parental consent process both occurred after randomization and, therefore, both of these processes could have been affected by knowledge of the school's research condition. Because of these selection and consent issues, the study was reviewed as a quasi-experimental design by the WWC. The research for the remaining seven outcomes measured did not meet WWC standards.
WWC SSR10013 WWC Review of the Report "Impacts of Comprehensive Teacher Induction: Final Results from a Randomized Controlled Study"
The 2010 study, Impacts of Comprehensive Teacher Induction: Final Results from a Randomized Controlled Study, examined the effects of a comprehensive teacher induction program for beginning teachers on teacher and student outcomes in 17 school districts across 13 states. Researchers randomly assigned 418 elementary schools with a total of 1,009 beginning teachers to either an intervention group that received the program or a business-as-usual comparison group. The program included mentoring, monthly professional development sessions, study groups with other beginning teachers, and opportunities to observe veteran teachers. In the second year of the study, researchers selected a subset of the original districts to receive a second year of the teacher induction program. In these districts, the schools that were originally assigned to receive the intervention continued to offer the intervention services for a second year to beginning teachers. Impacts after the first year of the study were based on data from all participating districts, all of which received the intervention during the first year. Impacts after the second and third years of the study were presented separately for districts receiving 1 or 2 years of the intervention. Study authors assessed the effects of the program on both teacher outcomes and student outcomes over a 3-year period. The study is a well-implemented randomized controlled trial that meets WWC evidence standards for assessing impacts on teacher retention for the entire sample at the end of year 1 of the study, and for the subset of districts that received only 1 year of the intervention at the end of years 2 and 3 of the study. The remaining analyses conducted by this study--including impacts on teacher practices, preparation, satisfaction, some retention outcomes, and student achievement--either do not meet WWC evidence standards or were deemed to be ineligible for review.
WWC IRL420 Reading Recovery
Reading Recovery is a short-term intervention that provides one-on-one tutoring to first-grade students who are struggling in reading and writing. The supplementary program aims to promote literacy skills and foster the development of reading and writing strategies by tailoring individualized lessons to each student. The WWC found that Reading Recovery has positive effects on general reading achievement and potentially positive effects on alphabetics, reading fluency, and comprehension for beginning readers.
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National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education