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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2022124 Predicting Early Fall Student Enrollment in the School District of Philadelphia
Predicting incoming enrollment is an ongoing concern for the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) and similar districts with school choice systems, substantial student mobility, or both. Inaccurate predictions can disrupt learning as districts adjust to enrollment fluctuations by reshuffling teachers and students well into the fall semester. This study compared the accuracy of four statistical techniques for predicting fall enrollment at the school-by-grade level, using data from prior years, to assess which approach might be the most useful for planning school staffing in SDP. The predictions differ little in accuracy: predicted cohort size differs from actual cohort size by roughly six students across all methods The statistical techniques leave much student mobility unaccounted for. Even under the best prediction approach, students and teachers in 22 percent of incoming grade levels within schools might have to be reassigned because of unexpected student mobility and district rules on maximum class size. Predictive accuracy is not meaningfully different in schools with larger proportions of Black students, economically disadvantaged students, or English learner students. Of the 259 predictors analyzed, 4 stand out as the most important: prior cohort sizes, in-school suspensions, out-of-school suspensions, and absences.
10/12/2021
REL 2021226 Identifying Students At Risk Using Prior Performance Versus a Machine Learning Algorithm

This report provides information for administrators in local education agencies who are considering early warning systems to identify at-risk students. Districts use early warning systems to target resources to the most at-risk students and intervene before students drop out. Schools want to ensure the early warning system accurately identifies the students that need support to make the best use of available resources. The report compares the accuracy of using simple flags based on prior academic problems in school (prior performance early warning system) to an algorithm using a range of in- and out-of-school data to estimate the specific risk of each academic problem for each student in each quarter. Schools can use one or more risk-score cutoffs from the algorithm to create low- and high-risk groups. This study compares a prior performance early warning system to two risk-score cutoff options: a cutoff that identifies the same percentage of students as the prior performance early warning system, and a cutoff that identifies the 10 percent of students most at risk.

The study finds that the prior performance early warning system and the algorithm using the same-percentage risk score cutoffs are similarly accurate. Both approaches successfully identify most of the students who ultimately are chronically absent, have a low grade point average, or fail a course. In contrast, the algorithm with 10-percent cutoffs is good at targeting the students who are most likely to experience an academic problem; this approach has the advantage in predicting suspensions, which are rarer and harder to predict than the other outcomes. Both the prior performance flags and the algorithm are less accurate when predicting outcomes for students who are Black.

The findings suggest clear tradeoffs between the options. The prior performance early warning system is just as accurate as the algorithm for some purposes and is cheaper and easier to set up, but it does not provide fine-grained information that could be used to identify the students who are at greatest risk. The algorithm can distinguish degrees of risk among students, enabling a district to set cutoffs that vary depending on the prevalence of different outcomes, the harms of over-identifying versus under-identifying students at risk, and the resources available to support interventions.

9/28/2021
NCES 2021476 2017–18 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, Administrative Collection (NPSAS:18-AC): First Look at Student Financial Aid Estimates for 2017–18
This First Look publication provides the first results of the 2017–18 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, Administrative Collection (NPSAS:18-AC), the most comprehensive national study of student financing of postsecondary education in the United States. The study includes information for about 245,000 undergraduate students and 21,000 graduate students attending 1,900 postsecondary institutions in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. NPSAS:18-AC also provides state-level estimates for undergraduate students in 30 states. This report describes the percentages of students receiving various types of financial aid and average amounts received, by type of institution attended and institution state (for undergraduate students), and by type of institution, attendance pattern, graduate program, and income level (for graduate students).
9/16/2021
REL 2021107 Characteristics and Performance of High School Equivalency Exam Takers in New Jersey
Since 2014 the New Jersey Department of Education has offered three high school equivalency (HSE) exams for nongraduates seeking credentials: the GED, the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), and the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC). This study used data on exam takers who had been grade 8 students in a New Jersey public school between 2008/09 and 2013/14 and who had attempted at least one HSE exam in New Jersey between March 2014 and December 2018. It analyzed how the characteristics of exam takers differ across exams and from the characteristics of non–exam takers, how the performance of exam takers with similar backgrounds varies, and how a recent reduction in the passing threshold for two of the exams affected passing rates. Among all students who had been grade 8 students in a New Jersey public school during the study years, HSE exam takers completed fewer years of school, were more likely to have been eligible for the national school lunch program in grade 8, and were more likely to identify as Black or Hispanic than non–exam takers. GED takers had received higher grade 8 standardized test scores, were more likely to identify as White, and were less likely to have been eligible for the national school lunch program in grade 8 than HiSET and TASC takers. Under the New Jersey Department of Education's original passing thresholds, exam takers in the study sample were more likely to pass the HiSET and TASC than the GED on the first attempt (after grade 8 standardized test scores were controlled for). However, after the reduction in passing thresholds, the first-attempt passing rate was similar across the three exams. Under the new passing thresholds, two-thirds of GED takers and more than half of HiSET and TASC takers passed on the first attempt, and—when all exam attempts are included—three-quarters of all exam takers ever passed each exam.
8/23/2021
NCES 2021411 One Year Later: Relationship Between 2015–16 Bachelor’s Degree Recipient Enrollment in Further Education and Pell Grant Receipt
This Data Point uses data from the 2016/17 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B: 16/17) to examine how Pell Grants for bachelor’s degrees relate to later education.
8/3/2021
REL 2021114 Using a survey of social and emotional learning and school climate to inform decisionmaking

The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) has prioritized efforts to support students' social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies, such as perseverance and social awareness. To measure students' SEL competencies and the school experiences that promote SEL competencies (school climate), DCPS began administering annual surveys to students, teachers, and parents in 2017/18. DCPS partnered with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Educational Laboratory to study how the district could use these surveys to improve students' outcomes. The study found the following:

  • Students' SEL competencies and school experiences are the most favorable in elementary school and the least favorable in middle school and the beginning of high school. This pattern suggests that schools might provide targeted supports before or during grades 6-10 to promote SEL competencies and school experiences when students need the most support.
  • The trajectories of students' SEL competencies and school experiences differed in different schools, to a similar degree as trajectories in academic measures like test scores. To understand why changes in SEL competencies and school experiences differ across schools, DCPS could explore differences in practices between schools with better and worse trajectories. In addition, DCPS could provide targeted support to schools with lower levels of positive change.
  • Of the SEL competencies and school experiences in DCPS's survey, self-management—how well students control their emotions, thoughts, and behavior—is most related to students' later academic outcomes. Programs or interventions that target self-management might have the most potential for improving students' outcomes compared to those that target other SEL competencies or school experiences.
  • In statistical models designed to predict students' future academic outcomes, SEL competency and school experience data add little accuracy beyond prior academic outcomes (such as achievement test scores and attendance) and demographic characteristics. Prior academic outcomes and demographic characteristics predict later outcomes with a high degree of accuracy, and they may implicitly incorporate the SEL competencies and school experiences. These findings suggest that DCPS would not need to use SEL competencies and school experiences to identify whether or not students are at risk of poor academic outcomes.
  • Student, teacher, and parent reports on SEL competencies and school experiences are positively related across schools, but they also exhibit systematic differences, suggesting that some respondent groups may not be aligned in their view of SEL competencies and school experiences. These differences may serve as a tool to help DCPS target efforts to improve communication among students, teachers, and parents.
8/3/2021
REL 2021102 Associations between High School Students' Social-Emotional Competencies and Their High School and College Academic and Behavioral Outcomes in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
This study addressed the need expressed by education stakeholders in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to better understand their high school students' social-emotional competencies and how those competencies might be associated with students' academic and behavioral outcomes in high school and college. Social-emotional competencies refer to the knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors that help students recognize and manage their emotions, build positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. In May 2019 grade 11 and 12 students who were enrolled in high schools within the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Public School System responded in May 2019 to survey questions regarding their self-management, growth mindset, self-efficacy, sense of belonging, and social awareness using a 5-point scale, with higher scores reflecting greater social-emotional competencies. The study found that high school students and high school students who went on to attend Northern Marianas College scored highest in self-management and lowest in self-efficacy. High school students with higher growth mindset or self-efficacy scores had higher high school grade point averages and grade 10 ACT Aspire math and reading scale scores. Higher self-efficacy scores were also associated with fewer days absent from high school. Students with higher social awareness scores had lower high school grade point averages. Among the high school students who went on to attend college at Northern Marianas College, higher growth mindset scores were associated with higher first semester college grade point averages, after student characteristics were controlled for. None of the four other social-emotional competency domains was associated with any of the college academic or behavioral outcomes.
7/29/2021
NCES 2010171REV2 2007-08 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:08) Restricted-Use Data File

The 2007–08 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:08) restricted-use data file contains data on a sample of 114,000 undergraduate students and 14,000 graduate and first-professional students. These students were enrolled between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008 in about 1,730 postsecondary institutions. The data are representative of all undergraduate, graduate, and first professional students enrolled in postsecondary institutions in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico that were eligible to participate in the federal financial aid programs in Title IV of the Higher Education Act. NPSAS focuses on how students and their families pay for postsecondary education and collects a wide range of demographic information about the nation’s postsecondary students.

In 2021, the RUF was converted from the Microsoft Windows-based Electronic Codebook into flat text data files that can be accessed using statistical software syntax. The RUF includes all of the revised weights and derived variables added since the original release of the data.

7/20/2021
NCES 2021456 2019–20 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:20): First Look at the Impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic on Undergraduate Student Enrollment, Housing, and Finances (Preliminary Data)
This First Look publication provides preliminary results of the 2019–20 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:20), with a particular focus on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affected student experiences. The report includes information for about 61,000 undergraduate students attending postsecondary institutions in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Since NPSAS:20 is designed to be nationally representative, the data used in this report provide the first national estimates of the impact of COVID-19 on postsecondary students. This First Look describes pandemic disruptions to students’ enrollment, housing, and finances, as well as how institutions supported and informed students on these and other impacts.
6/16/2021
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.
6/15/2021
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
NFES 2021058 Forum Guide to Attendance, Participation, and Engagement Data in Virtual and Hybrid Learning Models
The Forum Guide to Attendance, Participation, and Engagement Data in Virtual and Hybrid Learning Models was developed as a companion publication to the 2018 Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data, drawing upon the information included in that resource and incorporating lessons learned by state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The information is intended to assist agencies in responding to the current need for these data, as well as future scenarios, such as courses with blended/hybrid learning models or natural disaster situations in which extended virtual education is required.
6/2/2021
NCES 2021144 Condition of Education 2021
The Condition of Education 2021 is a congressionally mandated annual report summarizing the latest data from NCES and other sources on education in the United States. This report is designed to help policymakers and the public monitor educational progress.
5/25/2021
WWC 2021043 Bottom Line Intervention Report
This What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) intervention report summarizes the research on Bottom Line. Bottom Line provides intensive advising for low-income high school students, most of whom are the first in their family to go to college. The advising is designed to help students apply for college and financial aid and select a high-quality, affordable institution. For students who attend one of Bottom Line's target colleges, which they identified as providing a high-quality education at an affordable price, Bottom Line continues to provide regular support to students on campus for up to six years. Based on the research, the WWC found that Bottom Line has potentially positive effects on college enrollment and potentially positive effects on progressing in college.
4/29/2021
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
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