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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2021092 Using High School Data to Explore Early College Success on Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
As of 2010, about 15 percent of residents older than age 25 on Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) had completed an associate degree or higher. To increase the number of college graduates, the Pohnpei Department of Education and the College of Micronesia-FSM are working together to improve the early college outcomes of their students. They noted that in 2018, 42 percent of applicants from Pohnpei to the College of Micronesia-FSM were not admitted or were admitted to a one-year nondegree certificate program. No studies have examined possible links between high school academic preparation in the FSM and early college success outcomes, such as the college entrance test result. Examining these links could inform strategies to improve degree attainment. Using data on Pohnpei public high school graduates from 2016 to 2018 provided by the Pohnpei Department of Education and the College of Micronesia-FSM, this study examined high school academic preparation characteristics and college student characteristics to determine whether they are associated with five early college success outcomes: College of Micronesia-FSM Entrance Test result; placement in credit-bearing math, reading, and writing courses; and persistence to a second year. The study found that high school grade point average was positively associated with all five outcomes. Students who were enrolled in the high school academic coursework track were more likely than students who were enrolled in the business and vocational tracks to be admitted to a degree program and to enroll in credit-bearing reading courses. College students who first enrolled at the College of Micronesia-FSM in the summer term immediately after high school graduation were more likely to persist to a second year than those who first enrolled in the fall term.
6/22/2021
REL 2021094 Pathways to Teaching: Teacher Diversity, Testing, Certification, and Employment in Washington State
The number and percentage of students of color are growing in Washington state, yet the teacher workforce remains largely White (non-Hispanic). This means that few students of color have teachers who share their race or ethnicity, which could have consequences for student achievement and wellbeing. To better understand the state’s shortage of teachers of color, this study investigated six steps in the teacher preparation and career pathway at which teacher candidates and teachers are likely to drop out or leave the profession: three teacher preparation tests, certification, employment, and retention. Among all teacher candidates who took at least one of these steps during 2010-19, Hispanic candidates and non-Hispanic candidates of color were less likely than White candidates to complete each step, took longer to complete each step, and were less likely to become a certificated educator in a Washington K-12 public school. The descriptive findings suggest that education policymakers consider revising policies and programs to increase the number of teachers of color. The state has already made changes, such as revising testing requirements for teacher candidates.
6/21/2021
REL 2021091 Identifying Indicators that Predict Postsecondary Readiness and Success in Arkansas
Arkansas has identified college and career readiness indicators for schools that can be used to monitor students' performance and to improve their postsecondary readiness and success. Using two cohorts of grade 6 students, this study examined the extent to which Arkansas’s middle school and high school indicators of postsecondary readiness predict a student postsecondary readiness outcome (an ACT score of 19 or higher) and success outcomes (enrolled in college for at least one term within eight years of beginning grade 6, and persisted in college by enrolling for more than one term within eight years of beginning grade 6). The study estimated the accuracy and strength of the middle school and high school indicators for predicting the outcomes. While fewer than half of students met the Arkansas postsecondary readiness standard, more than half enrolled in college and about half persisted for more than one term within eight years of beginning grade 6. Middle school and high school indicators, when combined with student background characteristics, predicted readiness and success outcomes with greater accuracy than did student background characteristics alone. Middle school indicators that were major predictors for at least two of the three outcomes examined included proficiency in English language arts and math, regular school attendance, no suspensions, and no expulsions. High school indictors that were major predictors for at least two of the outcomes included grade point average, enrollment in an advanced course, regular school attendance, and no expulsions.
6/7/2021
REL 2021103 The Effects of Accelerated College Credit Programs on Educational Attainment in Rhode Island
This study examined participation in accelerated college credit programs dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, and Advanced Placement courses in Rhode Island high schools to understand their effects on educational attainment in the 2013/14 grade 9 cohort. The state, which has funded and promoted these opportunities for students to earn college credit during high school over the past five years, sought evidence of the programs' effects on participants' high school graduation rates, postsecondary enrollment rates, and enrollment rates in developmental education courses in college. The study found that male, economically disadvantaged, and racial/ethnic minority students were underrepresented in accelerated college credit programs. Participation in these programs had positive effects on students' rates of high school graduation and postsecondary enrollment. Among students in the cohort who enrolled in Rhode Island public colleges, participation was associated with lower rates of developmental education course enrollment in the first year of college. The effects of participating in an accelerated college credit program were similar for economically disadvantaged students and for their peers.
6/1/2021
REL 2021089 Understanding Access to and Participation in Dual Enrollment by Locale and Income Level
By providing students with an opportunity to take college courses and earn college credits while in high school, dual enrollment programs effectively increase college access, enrollment, and degree attainment. Such programs might be particularly beneficial for high school students who might be less likely to go to college, including students from rural areas and low-income households. Given the comparatively rural geography of the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Central region, stakeholders need a comprehensive resource for understanding dual enrollment access and participation in their states in order to support the identification of strategies to expand opportunities for college and career preparation. This report presents information on patterns in dual enrollment access and participation for the 2017/18 school year in the REL Central states (Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming) and the region as a whole and compares these state and regional patterns with national patterns. The report also reveals how dual enrollment access and participation varied with school characteristics, including school locale (city, suburban, town, or rural) and percentage of students from low-income households. The study found that dual enrollment access and participation were higher in the REL Central region than nationally. Additionally, students in rural and city locales tended to have lower dual enrollment access than did their peers in town and suburban locales. In contrast, dual enrollment participation was generally higher for students in rural and town locales than for their peers in city locales. In some states, however, both dual enrollment access and participation were higher in rural and town schools than in city schools. The study also found that in the REL Central region and nationally, schools serving higher percentages of students from low-income households had higher dual enrollment access and participation than did schools serving lower percentages of students from low-income households. Education leaders can use the study findings to advance progress toward state and district postsecondary readiness goals and to inform the development of supports or incentives related to dual enrollment.
5/24/2021
REL 2021088 Alaska Native Students as English Learner Students: Examining Patterns in Identification, Classification, Service Provision, and Reclassification
This report examines the population of Alaska Native students who are classified as English learner (EL) students and how EL policies function for these students, focusing on EL identification, classification, service provision, and reclassification as fluent English proficient. Alaska is one of several states where Indigenous students make up a large segment of the EL population. Drawing on Alaska state data from 2011/12 to 2018/19, this study found that roughly a quarter of Alaska Native kindergarten students statewide were classified as EL students. Alaska Native EL students are a diverse group. The Alaska Native EL students in the study spoke 24 different home languages and had varied demographic and education characteristics. Compared with non–Alaska Native EL kindergarten students, Alaska Native EL students had lower English proficiency levels and higher rates of economic disadvantage in a cash-based economy (defined in box 1). The percentage of kindergarten students who were Alaska Native EL students was highest in schools that were rural, schools that had higher rates of economic disadvantage, and schools that employed fewer English as a second language teachers. In interviews, four district leaders shared that identification, classification, service provision, and reclassification practices were the same for Alaska Native EL students as for other Alaska EL students. These interviewees shared that limited financial and human resources compromised the quality and availability of EL supports. However, a review of 26 district EL Plans of Service revealed that less than a third of districts described policies and services directed specifically toward Alaska Native EL students, including heritage language programs, community outreach, and collaboration between Alaska Native education programs and EL programs. Statewide, EL reclassification rates were low for all EL students but especially low among Alaska Native EL students. By the end of grade 7, only 11 percent of Alaska Native EL students had been reclassified compared with 30 percent of non–Alaska Native EL students. This report identifies implications for Alaska, and for other states serving Indigenous EL students, for ensuring that EL education policy, funding, and service provision support Alaska Native and other Indigenous EL students equitably and with excellence.
5/18/2021
REL 2021085 Relationship between State Annual School Monitoring Indicators and Outcomes in Massachusetts Low‑Performing Schools
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education supports low-performing schools through a process that draws on qualitative and quantitative data from monitoring visits. The data are used to produce ratings for 26 turnaround indicators in four turnaround practice areas relating to school leadership, instructional practices, student supports, and school climate. This study analyzed data on school indicator ratings collected during school years 2014/15–2018/19 from 91 low-performing schools, with a focus on the distribution of the ratings among schools during their first year in the monitoring system and on the relationship of ratings to school outcomes. During the first year in which ratings data were available for a school, a majority of schools were in the two highest rating levels for 21 of the 26 indicators. Schools generally had lower rating levels for indicators in the student supports practice area than in the other three practice areas. Ratings for half the indicators were statistically significantly related to better schoolwide student outcomes and had a practically meaningful effect size of .25 or greater, and none was statistically significantly related to worse outcomes. Two indicators in the leadership practice area (school leaders' high expectations for students and staff and trusting relationships among staff) were related to lower chronic absenteeism rates. Ratings for five indicators in the instructional practices area were related to higher student academic growth in English language arts or math; two of these indicators (use of student assessment data to inform classroom instruction and school structures for instructional improvements) were related to higher growth in both English language arts and math. Ratings for four indicators in the student supports practice area (teacher training to identify student needs, research-based interventions for all students, interventions for English learner students, and interventions for students with disabilities) were related to higher student academic growth in English language arts or math. Two indicators in the school climate practice area (schoolwide behavior plans and adult–student relationships) were related to higher student academic growth in English language arts or math or lower chronic absenteeism rate. Eight indicators were not statistically related to any of the outcomes of interest.
5/17/2021
REL 2021079 Outcomes for Early Career Teachers Prepared through a Pilot Residency Program in Louisiana
Louisiana's Believe and Prepare pilot program, supported by grants from the Louisiana Department of Education, aimed to prepare teacher candidates or in-service teachers through a residency with a mentor and a competency-based curriculum. To improve teacher preparation and teacher residencies, state and teacher education leaders in Louisiana sought to better understand the early career outcomes for participants in the pilot program. This study analyzed data for the three cohorts that participated in the program between 2014/15 and 2016/17. A majority (76 percent) of pilot participants were enrolled in a university-based teacher preparation program. The study examined certification, employment, and retention outcomes for a subset of pilot participants who were teacher candidates or early career teachers (together referred to as early career Believe and Prepare pilot participants). About 30 percent of early career Believe and Prepare pilot participants who attained a Level 1 professional certificate in 2015/16–2017/18 were certified in a high-need subject, as defined by the Louisiana Department of Education (middle grades math and science, secondary math and science, or special education), and 28 percent of participants who entered teaching in 2015/16–2018/19 taught in a high-need subject in their first year of teaching. Early career pilot program participants who completed a residency in a primary school were more likely than those who completed a residency in a nonprimary school to attain a Level 1 professional certificate. Participants who completed a residency in a charter school were less likely than those who completed a residency in a noncharter school to attain a Level 1 professional certificate. (Louisiana does not require Level 1 certifications for charter schools.) Of early career Believe and Prepare teachers who entered teaching in 2015/16–2017/18, 89 percent were retained in the state for a second year, 76 percent were retained in the same district, and 71 percent were retained in the same school. Among these teachers the within-state retention rate was lowest for teachers in high-need subjects, and the within-school retention rate was lowest for secondary and middle grades math and science teachers.
5/10/2021
REL 2021082 Supporting Students with Health Conditions in District of Columbia Public Schools
To inform a plan for supporting students with health conditions, District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) partnered with the Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic on a study to understand how the prevalence of health conditions differs by student characteristics, whether students are supported through a 504 plan or an individualized education program (IEP), and the relationship between student health conditions and education outcomes. The study found that 27 percent of students in DCPS had a reported health condition in 2018/19, which is lower than the percentages reported for health conditions in the city in other data sources and could thus be an undercount. Health conditions were most prevalent among DCPS students who are male, who are Black/non-Hispanic, who are economically disadvantaged, or who attended school outside their ward of residence. Asthma was the most prevalent health condition, reported by 16 percent of students, which is double the national average. Among students with a reported health condition, 28 percent received support through a 504 plan or an IEP. Students with health conditions who are Black/non-Hispanic, who are economically disadvantaged, or who attended school outside their ward of residence were more likely to receive support through an IEP than students without these characteristics. In contrast, students with health conditions who are White/non-Hispanic or who are not economically disadvantaged were more likely to receive support through a 504 plan than other groups of students. Students with a reported health condition generally fared worse on education outcomes than students without a health condition.
4/27/2021
REL 2021076 Michigan Teachers Who Are Not Teaching: Who Are They, and What Would Motivate Them to Teach?
Statewide teacher shortages in Michigan are impeding efforts to ensure all students equitable access to qualified teachers. To alleviate shortages, education leaders have considered recruiting certified teachers who are not currently teaching (both those who have never taught and those who left teaching). This study analyzed teacher certification and employment data and data from a survey of certified teachers who were not teaching in a Michigan public school in 2017/18 to gather information on the viability of this recruitment option. The report describes the characteristics of these nonteaching certified teachers, the three most important reasons why they are not teaching, and the three most important incentives that would motivate them to teach in a public school in the state. The study found that approximately 61,000 teachers certified in Michigan were not teaching in the state’s public schools in 2017/18. A survey of nonteaching certified teachers found that they most frequently selected wanting a higher salary as one of the three most important reasons why they were not teaching and that they most frequently selected an increase in salary as one of the three most important incentives that would motivate them to teach. Respondents also frequently selected financial incentives, such as allowing retirees to retain their retirement benefits, improving other benefits, and forgiving student loans, as one of their three most important incentives. Nonteaching certified teachers might consider becoming a public school teacher if it were easier and less costly to earn or renew a teaching certificate, if they could more easily obtain a full-time or part-time position, and if they were assured of school leadership support and smaller class sizes or a lighter student load.
4/14/2021
REL 2021077 Advanced Placement Participation, Staffing, and Staff Training in the District of Columbia Public Schools
To expand participation in Advanced Placement (AP) courses, several District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) high schools have enacted a policy mandating that all students enroll in one or more AP courses. To promote quality instruction in AP courses, DCPS recommends regular teacher participation in the Advanced Placement Summer Institute (APSI) and is considering recommending that teachers' college major be factored into teacher assignments to AP courses. To better understand this policy and these recommendations, this study examined students' AP exam taking and passing rates in schools that mandate AP course enrollment and in schools that do not, teacher participation in the APSI, and the alignment of AP teachers' college major with the AP course they teach. Three of the four high schools that adopted a mandate on AP course enrollment during the study period had higher AP exam taking and passing rates after their mandate went into place. In three of the five schools that adopted a mandate before or during the study period, the passing rate (grade 10–12 students in the school who passed at least one AP exam as a percentage of all grade 10–12 students in the school) was below 20 percent in every year of the study period, and in a fourth it was below 50 percent in every year. Fewer than one-fifth of AP teachers participated in the APSI at least once every three years. Participation rates were higher in schools offering more AP courses, in schools with lower percentages of racial/ethnic minority students, among teachers whose college major aligned with the AP course they taught, and among more experienced teachers. Among AP teachers with a college major on record, about half had a college major aligned with each specific AP course they taught, and 70 percent had a college major aligned with the broad subject area of each AP course they taught.
4/13/2021
REL 2021073 Using High School Data to Predict College Readiness and Early College Success on Guåhan (Guam)
On Guåhan (Guam), the large percentages of students enrolling in non-credit-bearing courses at Kulehon Kumunidåt Guåhan (Guam Community College) and Unibetsedåt Guåhan (University of Guam) have raised concerns about college readiness and early college success. Without adequate research on predictors of college readiness and early success among students on Guåhan, educators and other stakeholders find it difficult to identify and support students at risk of being underprepared for college. This study examined which student characteristics predicted college readiness and early college success among students who graduated from Guåhan high schools and enrolled at Kulehon Kumunidåt Guåhan or Unibetsedåt Guåhan between 2012 and 2015. Students' college readiness and early college success were assessed using three indicators: enrolling in only credit-bearing math and English courses during the first year of college, earning all credits attempted during the first semester of college, and persisting to a second year of college. About 23 percent of students met all three indicators and were thus classified as demonstrating college readiness and early college success. The percentages of students who met each individual indicator varied: 30 percent enrolled in only credit-bearing math and English courses, 43 percent earned all the credits they attempted, and 74 percent persisted to a second year. Various student characteristics predicted meeting all three indicators and each individual indicator. Graduates of John F. Kennedy High School and male students were the most likely to meet all three indicators and were the most likely to enroll in only credit-bearing math and English courses. Completing a high-level math course during high school positively predicted meeting the composite indicator of college readiness and early college success and of enrolling in only credit-bearing math and English courses and earning all credits attempted. A higher cumulative high school grade point average also positively predicted meeting all three indicators and each individual indicator. Kulehon Kumunidåt Guåhan enrollees were more likely than Unibetsedåt Guåhan enrollees to earn all credits attempted during their first semester.
4/12/2021
REL 2021069 Center- and Program-Level Factors Associated with Turnover in the Early Childhood Education Workforce
Staff turnover is a pressing problem in early childhood education. High turnover can create organizational instability and distract from the care and education mandate of early childhood education centers. The Early Childhood Workforce Development Research Alliance of the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands wants to better understand the factors associated with turnover in the early childhood educator workforce. Using data from the 2012 National Survey of Early Care and Education, this study found that a low average turnover rate across early childhood education centers obscured systematic variation in turnover patterns across types of centers and programs, with high turnover rates in some types. Higher wages were associated with lower turnover rates across centers. Turnover rates were highest among private-pay centers serving children ages 0–5. Nonwage benefits such as health insurance and retirement benefits and paid time off for professional development were generally unrelated to turnover rates. Educators were also clustered into certain center types based on background characteristics; Black educators and educators with lower educational attainment more likely to work in centers with low wages and high turnover.
3/29/2021
REL 2021071 Do College and Career Readiness and Early College Success in Indiana Vary Depending on Whether Students Attend Public, Charter, or Private Voucher High Schools?
Indiana has a robust portfolio of high school options, including traditional public schools, charter schools, and private voucher schools that accept Indiana Choice Scholarships. This study identified the type of high school enrollment among students enrolled in grade 9 in 2010/11–2013/14 and examined their performance on indicators of college and career readiness and early college success. Charter school students and recipients of private school vouchers (voucher recipients) were most likely to belong to disadvantaged groups. After adjusting for student and high school background factors, students at private voucher schools who did not receive vouchers (nonvoucher students) performed similarly to or better than students in traditional public and charter schools on most indicators of college and career readiness; voucher recipients performed similarly to or better than students in traditional public schools; and among students who enrolled in an Indiana public college, students from all enrollment types performed similarly on indicators of early college success.
3/15/2021
REL 2021072 Do College and Career Readiness and Early College Success in Indiana Vary Depending on Whether Students Attend Public, Charter, or Private Voucher High Schools?
Indiana has a robust portfolio of high school options, including traditional public schools, charter schools, and private voucher schools that accept Indiana Choice Scholarships. This study identified the type of high school enrollment among students enrolled in grade 9 in 2010/11–2013/14 and examined their performance on indicators of college and career readiness and early college success. Charter school students and recipients of private school vouchers (voucher recipients) were most likely to belong to disadvantaged groups. After adjusting for student and high school background factors, students at private voucher schools who did not receive vouchers (nonvoucher students) performed similarly to or better than students in traditional public and charter schools on most indicators of college and career readiness; voucher recipients performed similarly to or better than students in traditional public schools; and among students who enrolled in an Indiana public college, students from all enrollment types performed similarly on indicators of early college success.
3/9/2021
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