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 Pub Number  Title  Date
WWC SSR10070 WWC Review of the Report "Staying on Track: Testing Higher Achievement's Long-Term Impact on Academic Outcomes and High School Choice"
The 2013 study, Staying on Track: Testing Higher Achievement’s Long-Term Impact on Academic Outcomes and High School Choice, examined the effects of Higher Achievement, a multi-year afterschool and summer program for incoming fifth and sixth graders attending schools in at-risk communities. The program's goal is to improve academic achievement and encourage matriculation into an academically competitive high school. The study included 952 fifth and sixth graders in Washington, DC and Alexandria, Virginia. The researchers found that 4 years after randomization, students who were offered participation in Higher Achievement had significantly higher standardized test scores in mathematical problem solving. They were also significantly more likely than comparison students to be admitted to and matriculate at private high schools, and were less likely to apply to, be admitted to, and matriculate at noncompetitive public charter/magnet schools. No statistically significant differences were found for standardized tests of reading comprehension; application to private schools; application to, admittance to, or matriculation at competitive public charter/magnet schools; or matriculation at neighborhood public schools. This study is a well-executed randomized controlled trial that meets WWC evidence standards without reservations.
4/15/2014
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.
9/10/2013
WWC IRCWD616 Tools for Getting Along
The Tools for Getting Along program is designed to help elementary school teachers establish a positive, cooperative classroom atmosphere for their students with disabilities. The program is intended to reduce disruptive and aggressive behavior by helping students develop anger management skills. The WWC identified four studies that investigated the effects of Tools for Getting Along on children classified as having an emotional disturbance (or children at risk for classification). None of the studies meet WWC evidence standards. Therefore, the WWC is unable to draw any conclusions based on research about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the program. More research is needed to determine if the program works for students with disabilities.
1/8/2013
REL 2012134 Using the Freshman On-Track Indicator to Predict Graduation in Two Urban Districts in the Midwest Region
This report examines how well the freshman on-track indicator developed by the Consortium on Chicago School Research predicts on-time graduation in two urban districts in the Midwest Region. This indicator classifies students at the end of the first year of high school as on-track or off-track to graduate based on grade 9 course credits earned and failures.

REL Midwest examined on-track and off-track rates and for recent freshman cohorts as well as 4-year graduation rates for on-track and off-track students.

Key findings include:
  • For both districts, students who were on track at the end of grade 9 graduated on time at a higher rate than did students who were off track. This was the case both overall and for student subgroups based on gender, race/ethnicity, special education status, free or reduced-price lunch status, age, and proficiency level on grade 8 state math and reading assessments.
  • For the 2005/06 cohort, the on-time graduation rate in District A was 80.7 percent for on-track students and 30.2 percent for off-track students; in District B, it was 91 percent for on-track students and 45 percent for off-track students.
  • On-track status was a significant predictor of on-time graduation, even after controlling for student background characteristics and grade 8 achievement test scores. The effect size for on-track status was larger than the effect sizes for any student background characteristic and for achievement test scores.
4/25/2012
REL 20124007 An Evaluation of Number Rockets: A Tier-2 Intervention for Grade 1Students at Risk for Difficulties in Mathematics
The 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) approved schools’ use of alternative methods for determining student eligibility for special education services. IDEA encourages schools to intervene as soon as there is a valid indication that a student might experience academic difficulties, rather than after performance falls well below grade-level. The Response to Intervention (RtI) framework is an approach for providing instructional support to students at risk for these difficulties.
2/14/2012
NCEE 20094048 Impact Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Education's Student Mentoring Program
The restricted-use file for this study contains data from a sample of 2004 and 2005 mentoring program grantees, and students who were randomly assigned to either receive or not receive services from one of those grantees. The data include: students' school and district records of disciplinary infractions, absences, truancy, grades, and performance on state assessments; self-reported attitudes and behaviors from student surveys; and information on program implementation from surveys of students' mentors and program grantees.
1/20/2011
REL 2010093 Patterns of Student Mobility Among English Language Learner Students in Arizona Public Schools
REL West's study, Patterns of Student Mobility Among English Language Learner Students in Arizona Public Schools, looked at three types of student mobility to determine what proportion of Arizona public school students and English language learner students are mobile, whether mobility varies by education level, whether mobility is greater within or between districts, and how district size is related to mobility rates within and between districts. The study also sought to determine whether mobility in Arizona public schools is similar to findings elsewhere showing an association between student mobility and student characteristics such as special education status and race/ethnicity.
10/25/2010
NCES 2010045 Public-Use Data Files and Documentation (FRSS 96): Alternative Schools and Programs for Public School Students at Risk of Educational Failure, 2007-08
This file contains data from an initial 2008 fast-response survey titled "District Survey of Alternative Schools and Programs: 2007-08" and a short follow-up survey. Together, these surveys provide national estimates on the availability of alternative schools and programs for students at risk of educational failure in public school districts during the 2007–08 school year. The initial survey asked about alternative schools and programs administered by the district. The follow-up survey expanded the coverage by asking about students enrolled in the district who attended alternative schools and programs administered by an entity other than the district. NCES released the results of the initial and follow-up surveys in the First Look report Alternative Schools and Programs for Public School Students At Risk of Educational Failure: 2007–08.

Questionnaires and cover letters for the initial study were mailed to the superintendent of each sampled school district in August 2008. The weighted response rate was 96 percent. Questionnaires and cover letters for the follow-up study were mailed in April 2009 to all respondents who completed the initial 2007–08 survey. Completed questionnaires were received from 99 percent of districts that responded to the initial 2007–08 survey.

The initial survey asked respondents to report on the availability and number of district-administered alternative schools and programs. The initial survey also asked about enrollment in district-administered alternative schools and programs, entry and exit procedures, and curriculum and services offered. The follow-up survey asked whether any students enrolled in the district attended an alternative school or program administered by an entity other than the district. The follow-up survey also requested the number of students enrolled in the district who attended alternative schools and programs administered by an entity other than the district and the type of entity that administered the alternative school or program. For both the initial and follow-up surveys, alternative schools and programs were defined as those that are designed to address the needs of students that typically cannot be met in regular schools. The students who attend alternative schools and programs are typically at risk of educational failure (as indicated by poor grades, truancy, disruptive behavior, pregnancy, or similar factors associated with temporary or permanent withdrawal from school).
3/29/2010
NCES 2010026 Alternative Schools and Programs for Public School Students At Risk of Educational Failure: 2007-08
This First Look report presents data from a recent district Fast Response Survey System (FRSS) survey about alternative schools and programs available to students during the 2007-08 school year. Alternative schools and programs are specifically designed to address the educational needs of students at risk of school failure in a setting apart from that of the regular public school. They can be administered by the district or an entity other than the district. The study includes information on the availability and number of alternative schools and programs, the number of students enrolled in alternative schools and program, and district policy on returning students to a regular school.
3/23/2010
REL 2009077 The Status of State-level Response to Intervention Policies and Procedures in the West Region States and Five Other States
Response to intervention (RTI) can be both a system for providing early interventions to struggling students and a special education diagnostic tool for evaluating and identifying students with specific learning disabilities. Contributing to the very limited literature on state-level approaches, this report describes how nine states define and support RTI at the state level.
8/3/2009
NCEE 20094074 NCEE Evaluation Brief: Impact of the Federal School-based Student Mentoring Program
School-based mentoring programs can provide at-risk students with guidance, academic assistance, and new experiences. But mentoring programs under the federal competitive Student Mentoring Program grants had no statistically significant impacts on student-level outcomes after one school year. For the full evaluation report visit: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20094047/index.asp
8/2/2009
WWC IRDPHS09 High School Puente Program
The High School Puente Program aims to help disadvantaged students graduate from high school, become college eligible, and enroll in four-year colleges and universities. The program consists of the following components: 1) a 9th- and 10th-grade college preparatory English class that incorporates Mexican-American/Latino and other multicultural literature; 2) a four-year academic counseling program for students; and 3) student leadership and mentoring activities with volunteers from the local community. High School Puente is open to all students and is targeted to students from populations with low rates of enrollment at four-year colleges. Students are identified for the program at the end of their 8th-grade year through an application and selection process. Each High School Puente site is implemented by a team consisting of an academic counselor and an English teacher. These team members receive intensive initial training in program methodologies, along with ongoing training and support for as long as they implement the program. In addition to High School Puente, the Puente Program has a community college program model. The community college program does not fall within the WWC Dropout Prevention protocol.
7/28/2009
WWC QRNG0609 National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program Study
The study examined whether participating in the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program improved the educational and other outcomes of at-risk youth. The study analyzed data on about 1,000 16- to 18-year-old high school dropouts enrolled in 10 ChalleNGe programs throughout the country.
6/30/2009
WWC QRSM0609 Impact Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Education's Student Mentoring Program
The study examined the effects of the U.S. Department of Education's Student Mentoring Program (SMP) on students' interpersonal relationships, academic outcomes, and delinquent and risk behaviors.

The study focused on about 2,600 at-risk fourth-through-eighth-grade students in 32 SMP sites.

Applicants were randomly assigned to a program group that was offered SMP services or to a control group that was not. Control-group students were free to receive mentoring services through other programs.

The authors collected data on students' interpersonal relationships and delinquent and risk behaviors through student surveys. They collected data on course grades, statewide assessment scores, and disciplinary infractions from school records.
6/23/2009
WWC QRRC0409 Recess and Classroom Behavior Study
The study analyzed a nationally representative sample of over 10,000 students enrolled in third grade during the 2001–02 school year. These data were drawn from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998–1999 (ECLS–K).
4/28/2009
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