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 Pub Number  Title  Date
NCES 2021029 2012–2016 Program for International Student Assessment Young Adult Follow-up Study (PISA YAFS): How reading and mathematics performance at age 15 relate to literacy and numeracy skills and education, workforce, and life outcomes at age 19
This Research and Development report provides data on the literacy and numeracy performance of U.S. young adults at age 19, as well as examines the relationship between that performance and their earlier reading and mathematics proficiency in PISA 2012 at age 15. It also explores how other aspects of their lives at age 19—such as their engagement in postsecondary education, participation in the workforce, attitudes, and vocational interests—are related to their proficiency at age 15.
REL 2021075 Evaluating the Implementation of Networked Improvement Communities in Education: An Applied Research Methods Report
The purpose of this study was to develop a framework that can be used to evaluate the implementation of networked improvement communities (NICs) in public prekindergarten (PK)–12 education and to apply this framework to the formative evaluation of the Minnesota Alternative Learning Center Networked Improvement Community (Minnesota ALC NIC), a partnership between Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, the Minnesota Department of Education, and five alternative learning centers (ALCs) in Minnesota. The partnership formed with the goal of improving high school graduation rates among students in ALCs. The evaluation team developed and used research tools aligned with the evaluation framework to gather data from 37 school staff in the five ALCs participating in the Minnesota ALC NIC. Data sources included attendance logs, postmeeting surveys (administered following three NIC sessions), a post–Plan-Do-Study-Act survey, continuous improvement artifacts, and event summaries. The evaluation team used descriptive analyses for quantitative and qualitative data, including frequency tables to summarize survey data and coding artifacts to indicate completion of continuous improvement milestones. Engagement in the Minnesota ALC NIC was strong, as measured by attendance data and post–Plan-Do-Study-Act surveys, but the level of engagement varied by continuous improvement milestones. Based on postmeeting surveys, NIC members typically viewed the NIC as relevant and useful, particularly because of the opportunities to work within teams and develop relationships with staff from other schools. The percentage of meeting attendees agreeing that the NIC increased their knowledge and skills increased over time. Using artifacts from the NIC, the evaluation team determined that most of the teams completed most continuous improvement milestones. Whereas the post–Plan-Do-Study-Act survey completed by NIC members indicated that sharing among different NIC teams was relatively infrequent, contemporaneous meeting notes recorded specific instances of networking among teams. This report illustrates how the evaluation framework and its aligned set of research tools were applied to evaluate the Minnesota ALC NIC. With slight adaptations, these tools can be used to evaluate the implementation of a range of NICs in public PK–12 education settings. The study has several limitations, including low response rates to postmeeting surveys, reliance on retrospective measures of participation in continuous improvement activities, and the availability of extant data on a single Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle. The report includes suggestions for overcoming these limitations when applying the NIC evaluation framework to other NICs in public PK–12 education settings.
NFES 2021023 School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Uses and Benefits
The School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Uses and Benefits publication was developed to provide a brief overview of SCED, highlight the research application and benefits of SCED to users, and illustrate SCED uses with case studies. SCED is a voluntary, common classification system for prior-to-secondary and secondary school courses. It can be used to compare course information, maintain longitudinal data about student coursework, and efficiently exchange coursetaking records. SCED is a free resource intended for federal, state, and local education agencies.
NCES 2020047 U.S. PIAAC Skills Map: State and County Indicators of Adult Literacy and Numeracy
The U.S. PIAAC Skills Map allows users to access estimates of adult literacy and numeracy proficiency in all U.S. states and counties through heat maps and summary card displays. It also provides estimates of the precision of its indicators and facilitates statistical comparisons among states and counties.
NCSER 2020001 An Introduction to Adaptive Interventions and SMART Designs in Education
Educators must often adapt interventions over time because what works for one student may not work for another and what works now for one student may not work in the future for the same student. Adaptive interventions provide education practitioners with a prespecified, systematic, and replicable way of doing this through a sequence of decision rules for whether, how, and when to modify interventions. The sequential, multiple assignment, randomized trial (SMART) is one type of multistage, experimental design that can help education researchers build high-quality adaptive interventions.

Despite the critical role adaptive interventions can play in various domains of education, research about adaptive interventions and the use of SMART designs to develop effective adaptive interventions in education is in its infancy. To help the field move forward in this area, the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) and the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE) commissioned a paper by leading experts in adaptive interventions and SMART designs. This paper aims to provide information on building and evaluating high-quality adaptive interventions and review the components of SMART designs, discuss the key features of the SMART, and introduce common research questions for which SMARTs may be appropriate.
NCES 2019084 Technology and K-12 Education: The NCES Ed Tech Equity Initiative
This interactive brochure provides an overview of the Initiative—including its purpose, goal, and target outcomes.
NCES 2019085 Technology and K-12 Education: Advancing the NCES Ed Tech Equity Initiative
This infographic outlines the key steps NCES is taking to advance the NCES Ed Tech Equity Initiative.
NCES 2019086 Technology and K-12 Education: The NCES Ed Tech Equity Initiative: Framework
Check out our new factsheet to learn about the factors most critical to informing ed tech equity in the context of K-12 education!
NCES 2019087 Technology and K-12 Education: The NCES Ed Tech Equity Initiative: Data Collection Priorities
This factsheet outlines the key subtopics NCES will prioritize in its ed tech equity data collections.
NCEE 20184013 The Investing in Innovation Fund: Summary of 67 Evaluations
The Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund is a tiered-evidence program that aligns the amount of funding awarded to grantees with the strength of the prior evidence supporting the proposed intervention. One of the goals of i3 is to build strong evidence for effective interventions at increasing scale. The i3 program requires grantees to conduct an independent impact evaluation. This report, from the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE), assesses the quality of the 67 i3 grant evaluations completed by May 2017 and summarizes the findings of the evaluations. The report found that 49 of the first 67 completed i3 grant evaluations were implemented consistent with What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards and 12 of the evaluations found a positive impact on at least one student academic outcome.
REL 2018291 Regional Educational Laboratory researcher-practitioner partnerships: Documenting the research alliance experience
This report provides a detailed account of the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Program's experience establishing and supporting research-practice partnerships (called "research alliances") during its 2012–17 contract cycle. The report adds to the growing literature base on researcher-practitioner partnerships by sharing how the RELs reported creating, engaging, and maintaining multiple partnerships, with the purpose of informing future collaborative efforts for researchers and practitioners and for those who wish to support research-practice partnerships. It addresses questions about: how REL research alliances fit within the broader context of research-practice partnerships; what characteristics existed among REL research alliances and how they evolved over time; and what challenges RELs reported experiencing while establishing and supporting research alliances and the strategies RELs employed to address those challenges. Finally, the paper discusses the implications of the REL research alliance experience for other networks of research-practice partnerships.
NFES 2017007 The Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data
The Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data is designed to help state and local education agency staff improve their attendance data practices – the collection, reporting, and use of attendance data to improve student and school outcomes. The guide offers best practice suggestions and features real-life examples of how attendance data have been used by education agencies. The guide includes a set of voluntary attendance codes that can be used to compare attendance data across schools, districts, and states. The guide also features tip sheets for a wide range of education agency staff who work with attendance data.
NCES 2017121 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015 United States Restricted-use Data File
This CD-ROM contains PISA 2015 restricted-use data for the United States. The CD-ROM includes the data file, a codebook, instructions on how to merge with the U.S. PISA 2015 public-use dataset (NCES 2017-120), and a cross-walk to assist in merging with other public datasets, such as the Common Core of Data (CCD) and Private School Survey (PSS). As these data files can be used to identify respondent schools, a restricted-use license must be obtained before access to the data is granted. Click on the restricted-use license link below for more details.
NCEE 20184002 Asymdystopia: The threat of small biases in evaluations of education interventions that need to be powered to detect small impacts
Evaluators of education interventions are increasingly designing studies to detect impacts much smaller than the 0.20 standard deviations that Cohen (1988) characterized as "small." While the need to detect smaller impacts is based on compelling arguments that such impacts are substantively meaningful, the drive to detect smaller impacts may create a new challenge for researchers: the need to guard against smaller inaccuracies (or "biases"). The purpose of this report is twofold. First, the report examines the potential for small biases to increase the risk of making false inferences as studies are powered to detect smaller impacts, a phenomenon the report calls asymdystopia. The report examines this potential for both randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and studies using regression discontinuity designs (RDDs). Second, the report recommends strategies researchers can use to avoid or mitigate these biases. For RCTs, the report recommends that evaluators either substantially limit attrition rates or offer a strong justification for why attrition is unlikely to be related to study outcomes. For RDDs, new statistical methods can protect against bias from incorrect regression models, but these methods often require larger sample sizes in order to detect small effects.
REL 2017214 Workshop on Survey Methods in Education Research: Facilitator's guide and resources
Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest has developed a tool for state and local education agencies to use to organize and conduct training for their staff members who design and conduct surveys. Surveys are often used by education agencies to collect data to assess needs, inform policy decisions, evaluate programs, or respond to legislative mandates. The workshop presentation materials draw from evidence-based research from the field of survey research methodology and offer guidance on designing and administering high-quality surveys. The materials provide practical advice and examples drawn from experiences in developing surveys for local, state, and national education applications. The workshop includes eight modules that describe the steps of survey design and administration—from planning to data collection—and covers the following topics: planning for a survey, exploring existing item sources, writing items, pretesting survey items, sampling, data collection methods, response rates, and focus groups. The facilitator's guidebook includes the goals for each module, considerations for adapting the materials for various purposes, an annotated agenda, and participant handouts (slide decks and accompanying notes, activities, and handouts). Individuals and groups who are developing surveys can use these materials to facilitate workshops, guide a survey project, or ensure that they are adhering to best practices for designing and conducting surveys. Although this guide is intended to help survey researchers in state and local education agencies organize and conduct a training for their staff, the materials also can be used as a stand-alone resource for anyone wishing to learn the basics about survey design and administration in education settings.
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