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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 20114005 Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Impact on Elementary School Mathematics in the Central Region: Final Report
Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), states, districts, and schools are required to ensure that all students meet the same high standards in mathematics and reading by the end of the 2013/14 school year (No Child Left Behind Act 2002). In working toward this goal, states, districts, and schools are increasingly in need of rigorous, high-quality research on efficient and effective interventions to improve student achievement.
4/4/2011
REL 20114001 The Impact of Collaborative Strategic Reading on the Reading Comprehension of Grade 5 Students in Linguistically Diverse Schools
Recent findings from an expert panel of reading researchers noted that approximately 8 million adolescents struggle with literacy in middle and high school (Biancarosa and Snow 2006); the “most common problem is that they are not able to comprehend what they read” (p. 3). Before the 1980s, teachers rarely taught reading comprehension (Carlisle and Rice 2002; Durkin 1978). However, over the last 20 years, a large body of research emerged on methods for explicitly teaching reading comprehension to students in the upper elementary grades (Carlisle and Rice 2002). The goal is to teach students to learn from text—to discern which information is critical, integrate such information with what is already known, and draw valid inferences.
3/28/2011
NCEE 20114002 Achievement Effects of Four Early Elementary Math Curricula: Findings for First and Second Graders
The restricted-use data file for this report contains data for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 schools years for 4 core early elementary mathematics curricula implemented in 1st and 2nd grades. Data includes teacher surveys, teacher math knowledge, classroom observation, and student mathematics achievement.
2/4/2011
NCEE 20094078 The Evaluation of Enhanced Academic Instruction in After-School Programs: Final Report
The restricted-use file for this study contains data from this study for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 school years including school/after-school program characteristics data, program implementation information, after-school staff surveys, and student demographic data and math achievement for elementary school after-school participants.
1/20/2011
NCEE 20104026 The Effectiveness of Mandatory Random Student Drug Testing
The restricted-use file for this study contains student survey data on drug use and school records data at baseline (spring 2007) and follow up (spring 2008), information on drug testing procedures and outcomes in study districts during the 2007-2008 school year, and information collected through district/school staff interviews conducted during spring 2008 on school substance use policies and prevention programs.
1/19/2011
NCEE 20104028 Impacts of Comprehensive Teacher Induction: Final Results from a Randomized Controlled Study
The restricted-use file for this study contains data for the 2005-06, 2006-07, and 2007-08 school years, including background information on teachers and mentors, measures of teacher induction support, and student achievement data, as well as classroom observation data collected in spring 2006 and teacher retention data collected through Fall 2008 (the beginning of teachers' fourth year in the classroom).
1/19/2011
NCEE 20094073 Impacts of Comprehensive Teacher Induction: Results from the Second Year of a Randomized Controlled Study
The restricted-use file for this study includes data from the 2005-06 and 2006-07 school years including background information on teachers and mentors, measures of teacher induction support, and student achievement data, as well as classroom observation data collected in spring 2006 and teacher retention data collected through Fall 2007 (the beginning of teachers' third year in the classroom).
1/19/2011
NCEE 20114001 Achievement Effects of Four Early Elementary Math Curricula: Findings for First and Second Graders
According to a national evaluation of four math curricula, among first graders, the results favored Math Expressions over both Investigations and SFAW, but not over Saxon. Among second graders, the results favored Math Expressions and Saxon over SFAW, but not over Investigations.

The four curricula studied include: (1) Investigations in Number, Data, and Space, (2) Math Expressions, (3) Saxon Math, and (4) Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics (SFAW).

The evaluation compared the relative effects, including differences in teacher training, instructional strategies, content coverage, and materials, of these four curricula on the math achievement of first and second graders in 110 schools in 12 participating districts in 10 states. Schools were randomly assigned within each district to implement one of the four curricula in first and second grade. After one year, this study found significant impacts on student achievement of two curricula relative to the other two curricula in the study.

  • The average math achievement of first graders in schools using Math Expressions was higher than in schools using Investigations and SFAW, but not in schools using Saxon. The difference is equivalent to moving a student from the 50th to the 54th percentile.
  • The average math test score for second graders in schools using Math Expressions and in schools using Saxon was higher than that in schools using SFAW, but not in schools using Investigations. The differences are equivalent to moving a student from the 50th to the 55th and 57th percentile, respectively. Based on the curriculum requirements, Saxon teachers reported spending an average of one hour more on math instruction per week than teachers using other curricula, largely due to the extensive daily routines included in the Saxon curricula.
  • Almost all teachers reported using their assigned curriculum and, based on classroom observations, the instructional approaches of teachers in the four curriculum groups differed as expected. Math Expressions blended student-centered and teacher-directed approaches to math instruction, while student-centered instruction and peer collaboration were highest in Investigations classrooms, and teacher-directed instruction was highest in Saxon classrooms.
11/2/2010
REL 20104022 Effects of Problem Based Economics on High School Economics Instruction
REL West conducted a randomized control trial in two Western states that examined the effects of a problem based high school curriculum on students’ proficiency in economics. The study found a significant positive impact for students of teachers who received receive professional development and support in Problem Based Economics compared with their peers. This publication was revised in March 2011 to correct typos. The original release date was August 2010.
8/9/2010
NCEE 20104025 The Effectiveness of Mandatory-Random Student Drug Testing

Students involved in extracurricular activities and subject to in-school drug testing reported less substance use than comparable students in high schools without drug testing, according to a new evaluation released today by the Institute of Education Sciences.

Although illicit substance use among adolescents has declined over the past decade, it remains a concern. Under one approach to address this problem, students and their parents agree to students being tested for drugs (and in some cases, tobacco or alcohol) on a random basis as a condition of participation in athletic or other school-sponsored competitive extracurricular activities.

The study, The Effectiveness of Mandatory-Random Student Drug Testing, examined 7 districts that were awarded grants in 2006 by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools to implement mandatory-random drug testing programs in their 36 high schools. The districts volunteered to be in the program and were spread across seven states. Because these were districts committed to adopting such programs and they were clustered in mostly Southern states, the study results cannot be generalized to all high schools nationally.

The evaluation involved more than 4,700 students and compares the substance use reported by those in "treatment" high schools randomly assigned to implement the drug testing program immediately (in the 2007–08 school year) with the substance use reported by students in "control" schools assigned to delay implementing the program for a year (until 2008–09).

7/13/2010
NCEE 20104027 Impacts of Comprehensive Teacher Induction: Final Results from a Randomized Controlled Study

The final report on an impact evaluation of comprehensive induction on beginning teachers compares retention, achievement, and classroom practices of teachers who were offered comprehensive induction services to teachers who were offered the support normally offered by the school.

Teachers assigned to receive comprehensive induction for either one or two years were supported by a full-time mentor who received ongoing training and materials to support the teachers' development. The teachers also were offered monthly professional development sessions and opportunities to observe veteran teachers.

The teachers were followed for three years. Key findings include:

  • There were no impacts on teacher retention rates after each of the three years of follow-up.
  • There were no impacts on teachers' classroom practices, which were measured during teachers' first year in the classroom.
  • For teachers offered one year of comprehensive induction, there were no impacts on student achievement in any of the teachers' first three years in the classroom.
  • For teachers offered two years of comprehensive induction, there were no impacts on student achievement in either of the first two years. However, in the third year, there were positive impacts on student achievement, based on the sample of teachers whose students had both pre-test and post-test scores. These impacts were equivalent to moving the average student from the 50th percentile to the 54th percentile in reading and the 58th percentile in math.

The report, Impacts of Comprehensive Teacher Induction: Final Results from a Randomized Controlled Study, uses data collected from 1,009 beginning teachers in 418 schools in 17 districts. Districts included in the study were not already offering comprehensive induction services, including paying for full-time mentors.

Novice teachers in approximately half of the schools were assigned by lottery to receive comprehensive induction services. In 10 of the districts, these teachers were provided one year of comprehensive induction services; in the remaining 7 districts, the teachers were provided two years of services. Teachers in the schools not assigned to receive comprehensive induction services were provided the support normally offered to novice teachers by the school.

Teacher practices were measured via classroom observations conducted in the spring of 2006. Data on teacher retention were collected via surveys administered in the fall of 2006, 2007, and 2008. Student test scores were collected from district administrative records for the 2005–06, 2006–07, and 2007–08 school years.

6/28/2010
REL 20094068 A Multisite Cluster Randomized Trial of the Effects of Compass Learning Odyssey Math on the Math Achievement of Selected Grade 4 Students in the Mid-Atlantic Region
This study was the first randomized controlled trial to assess the impact of Odyssey Math on student achievement. The study had the statistical power needed to detect a 0.20 effect size and was well designed in that comparable groups were created at baseline and maintained through posttesting. Implementation during the school year was documented and shown to be consistent with typical implementation of the Odyssey Math software. The results from the multilevel model with pretest covariates also indicate that Odyssey Math did not yield a statistically significant impact on end-of-year student achievement. This study generated a statistically unbiased estimate of the effect of Odyssey Math on student achievement when implemented in typical school settings with typical teacher and student use. However, the findings apply only to participating schools, teachers, and students because the study used a volunteer sample.
11/30/2009
NCEE 2009013 Technical Methods Report: Using State Tests in Education Experiments: A Discussion of the Issues
Securing data on students' academic achievement is typically one of the most important and costly aspects of conducting education experiments. As state assessment programs have become practically universal and more uniform in terms of grades and subjects tested, the relative appeal of using state tests as a source of study outcome measures has grown. However, the variation in state assessments--in both content and proficiency standards--complicates decisions about whether a particular state test is suitable for research purposes and poses difficulties when planning to combine results across multiple states or grades. This discussion paper aims to help researchers evaluate and make decisions about whether and how to use state test data in education experiments. It outlines the issues that researchers should consider, including how to evaluate the validity and reliability of state tests relative to study purposes; factors influencing the feasibility of collecting state test data; how to analyze state test scores; and whether to combine results based on different tests. It also highlights best practices to help inform ongoing and future experimental studies. Many of the issues discussed are also relevant for non-experimental studies.
11/16/2009
NCEE 20094065 Do Typical RCTs of Education Interventions Have Sufficient Statistical Power for Linking Impacts on Teacher Practice and Student Achievement Outcomes
For RCTs of education interventions, it is often of interest to estimate associations between student and mediating teacher practice outcomes, to examine the extent to which the study's conceptual model is supported by the data, and to identify specific mediators that are most associated with student learning. This paper develops statistical power formulas for such exploratory analyses under clustered school-based RCTs using ordinary least squares (OLS) and instrumental variable (IV) estimators, and uses these formulas to conduct a simulated power analysis. The power analysis finds that for currently available mediators, the OLS approach will yield precise estimates of associations between teacher practice measures and student test score gains only if the sample contains about 150 to 200 study schools. The IV approach, which can adjust for potential omitted variable and simultaneity biases, has very little statistical power for mediator analyses. For typical RCT evaluations, these results may have design implications for the scope of the data collection effort for obtaining costly teacher practice mediators.
10/13/2009
NCEE 20090049 What to Do When Data Are Missing in Group Randomized Controlled Trials
This NCEE Technical Methods report examines how to address the problem of missing data in the analysis of data in Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) of educational interventions, with a particular focus on the common educational situation in which groups of students such as entire classrooms or schools are randomized. Missing outcome data are a problem for two reasons: (1) the loss of sample members can reduce the power to detect statistically significant differences, and (2) the introduction of non-random differences between the treatment and control groups can lead to bias in the estimate of the interventionfs effect. The report reviews a selection of methods available for addressing missing data, and then examines their relative performance using extensive simulations that varied a typical educational RCT on three dimensions: (1) the amount of missing data; (2) the level at which data are missing„Ÿat the level of whole schools (the assumed unit of randomization) or for students within schools; and, (3) the underlying missing data mechanism. The performance of the different methods is assessed in terms of bias in both the estimated impact and the associated standard error.
10/13/2009
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