Search Results: (1-15 of 19 records)
|Practical Strategies for Recruiting Districts and Schools for Education Impact Studies
This brief will help researchers newer to school-based impact studies recruit districts and schools that represent the study's population of interest so that the findings are more actionable for educators. Practical strategies are provided on four topics that may play an increasingly important role in a district or school's willingness to participate in a study: attention to urgent priorities and needs, limited staff capacity, commitment to fairness and collaborative practices, and protection of student and staff privacy.
|Study of Training in Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for Behavior: Impacts on Elementary School Students' Outcomes
To prevent and address students’ problem behaviors and support their learning, the Department of Education and many states have promoted the use of multi-tiered systems of support for behavior (MTSS-B). This study evaluated one promising, intensive program of MTSS-B training and technical assistance. The MTSS-B approach seeks to change the school learning environment by consistently teaching and reinforcing good behavior for all students and identifying and providing supplemental support to students who need it. About 90 elementary schools were randomly assigned either to participate in the program or to continue with their usual strategies for supporting student behavior. The study compared student and teacher experiences in the two sets of schools to measure the effectiveness of the program.
|Study of Teacher Coaching Based on Classroom Videos: Impacts on Student Achievement and Teachers' Practices
Helping teachers become more effective in the classroom is a high priority for school leaders and policymakers. This study examined one promising strategy for improving teachers’ effectiveness: providing individualized coaching using videos of teachers’ instruction for reflection, practice, and feedback. The coaching focused on general, rather than subject specific, teaching practices. About 100 elementary schools were randomly divided into three groups: one where teachers received five highly structured cycles of focused, professional coaching during a single school year, one where teachers received more coaching (eight cycles), and one that continued with its usual strategies for supporting teachers. The study compared teachers’ experiences and their students’ achievement across the three groups to determine the effectiveness of the two versions of the coaching.
|Enhancing the Generalizability of Impact Studies in Education
This guide will help researchers design and implement impact studies in education so that the findings are more generalizable to the study’s target population. Guidance is provided on key steps that researchers can take, including defining the target population, selecting a sample of schools—and replacement schools, when needed—managing school recruitment, assessing, and adjusting for differences between the sample and target population, and reporting information on the generalizability of the study findings.
|Examining the implementation and impact of full-day kindergarten in Oregon
Many states and districts offer full-day kindergarten (FDK) to provide additional time for student learning in the hope that it will improve student outcomes. Prior research has shown an association between FDK and gains in student outcomes such as math and reading standardized assessment scores. In 2015/16, through a policy shift, Oregon changed its funding structure for kindergarten enrollment, which created incentives for districts to offer FDK. This study examines three aspects of FDK in Oregon. First, the study looked at the characteristics of Oregon districts that offered FDK in 2013/14 and 2014/15 (the two years before the policy shift) and how those FDK programs were structured. Next, the study estimated the impact of attending FDK in one large Oregon school district in 2013/14 and 2014/15 on academic and non-academic outcomes. Lastly, the study explored how FDK programs were implemented in 2017/18 (after the policy shift).
Examining how FDK programs were implemented after the policy shift, only 22 percent of teachers responded to a survey, and those respondents reported a focus on teacher-directed activities and limited use of kindergarten entry assessment data in 2017/18. These findings cannot be generalized to all FDK teachers in Oregon and only apply to teachers who responded. In the same year, the 42 percent of principals who responded to the survey reported that a small number of FDK students only received a half day of instruction and that there was a lack of curricular and professional development alignment between preschool and kindergarten. Again, these findings cannot be generalized to all schools with FDK. The study’s mixed findings indicate that FDK may slightly improve student attendance in early elementary grades for some student groups and in settings that are similar to the large district examined in this study. The study also reveals a need for more research on the barriers to offering, accessing, and implementing FDK, as well as the variation in the impact of FDK on student outcomes. Finally, the study points to a need for additional state guidance and support on how to implement high-quality FDK programs.
|Impacts of Home Visits on Students in District of Columbia Public Schools
This study examined the impacts of structured relationship-building teacher home visits conducted in grades 1–5 as part of a family engagement program in the District of Columbia Public Schools. Using a matched comparison group research design, the study measured the impacts of the home visits on student disciplinary incidents and attendance. The study found that a home visit before the start of the school year reduced the likelihood of a student having a disciplinary incident in that school year. During the school year following a home visit, 9.27 percent of visited students had a disciplinary incident compared with 12.22 percent of nonvisited comparison students. The study also found that, on average, a home visit slightly improved student attendance. The attendance rate averaged 95.28 percent for visited students and 94.93 percent for nonvisited comparison students.
|What Were the Reach and Impact of the Oregon Promise Financial Aid Program in Its First Two Years?
In 2015 Oregon became the second state in the country to implement a statewide promise program. Its program, Oregon Promise, seeks to promote students' postsecondary attainment by covering nearly all community college tuition. This study used student data from K–12 public schools, Oregon Promise applications, and postsecondary records to examine which public high school seniors the program reached and served and to assess the program's impact on high school graduates' postsecondary outcomes in its first two years. The study found that Oregon Promise applicants generally reflected the demographic composition of all Oregon public high school seniors in 2015/16 and 2016/17, although applicants were more likely to be female and less likely to have received special education services. While applicant characteristics were similar in the first and second years, there were fewer eligible applicants and recipients in the second year, when an expected family contribution limit was added, than in the first year, and they were more likely to be from low-income households and to be students of color. Using grade point average (GPA) data from the Portland metropolitan area, the study also found that lowering the GPA requirement would have increased the overall applicant pool, as well as the number of applicants from low-income households and applicants of color. Just over half of recipients in the first year of the program renewed their award and received it in their second year at a community college. These recipients had better high school attendance and were more likely to have participated in college-level coursework during high school than recipients who received an award only in their first year. Finally, among high school graduates in the Portland metropolitan area with a GPA close to the eligibility cutoff (2.5), the offer of an award had a positive impact on first-year persistence and on persistence or college completion within four years of high school graduation. Findings from the statewide exploratory analysis also found positive program impacts on first-year persistence and persistence or college completion within three or four years of high school graduation for all 2015/16 and 2016/17 seniors in the state. Oregon stakeholders can use the findings to better understand the reach and impact of the Oregon Promise program, implications of program requirements on the number and composition of applicants and recipients, and the high school experiences of recipients who renewed their award.
|The Effect of School Report Card Design on Usability, Understanding, and Satisfaction
Education policymakers view transparency and accountability as critical to the success of schools. To support these goals, the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) has developed an online school report card for communicating information about the characteristics and performance of schools. To support OSSE’s interest in making report cards more usable, this study assessed the effect of different designs on how easy the report cards are to use and understand, how easy it is to find information in them, and whether users would recommend the site to others.
The study found that moving the link to details of the district’s School Transparency and Reporting (STAR) framework from the top of the page to beneath the STAR score improved the site’s usability and that reporting the number of points possible for each metric led to a better understanding of how the score is calculated. The combination of design features that produced the best performance on all measures included these two design changes. Other designs had mixed effects. In particular, making year-over-year change in school performance salient made it easier to identify which schools had improved the most, but participants disliked this feature (demonstrated by lower ratings for usability and satisfaction). In general, participants who accessed the site with mobile devices had more difficulty using it. This study illustrates how policymakers and practitioners in other states can efficiently test school report card design changes at scale.
|The Impact of Career and Technical Education on Postsecondary Outcomes in Nebraska and South Dakota
Education leaders in Nebraska and South Dakota partnered with the Regional Educational Laboratory Central to examine how completing a sequence of career and technical education (CTE) courses in high school affects students' rates of on-time high school graduation and their rates of postsecondary education enrollment and completion within two and five years. The study found that CTE concentrators (students who complete a sequence of CTE courses aligned to a specific career field such as manufacturing or education and training) were 7 percentage points more likely than non-CTE concentrators to graduate from high school on time and 10 percentage points more likely to enroll in any type of postsecondary education within two years of their expected high school graduation year. The study also found that CTE concentrators were 3 percentage points more likely than non-CTE concentrators to earn a postsecondary award, such as a professional certificate, diploma, or associate’s or bachelor’s degree, within five years of their expected high school graduation year. CTE concentrators were 4 percentage points more likely than non-CTE concentrators to obtain up to an associate’s degree as their highest postsecondary award within five years of their expected high school graduation year but 1 percentage point less likely to obtain a bachelor’s degree or higher.
|Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Impacts After Three Years
The DC Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), established in 2004, is the only federally-funded private school voucher program for low-income parents in the United States. This report examines impacts on achievement and other outcomes three years after eligible students were selected or not selected to receive scholarships using a lottery process in 2012, 2013, and 2014. The report found that the OSP had no effect on either math or reading achievement. The OSP did have positive effects on students' – but not parents' – satisfaction with their schools and perceptions of school safety.
|Impacts of Ramp-Up to Readiness™ after one year of implementation
This study examined whether the Ramp-Up to Readiness program (Ramp-Up) produced impacts on high school students' college enrollment actions and personal college readiness following one year of program implementation. The study also looked at Ramp-Up's impact on more immediate outcomes, such as the emphasis placed on college readiness and the amount of college-related teacher-student interactions taking place in high schools. The impacts were studied in context by assessing the degree to which schools were implementing Ramp-Up to the developer's satisfaction. Forty-nine Minnesota and Wisconsin high schools were randomly assigned to one of two groups: (1) the Ramp-Up group that would implement the program during the 2014–15 school year (25 schools), or (2) the comparison group that would implement Ramp-Up the following school year, 2015–16 (24 schools). The researchers collected data from students and school staff during the fall of 2014, before program implementation and during the spring of 2015 after one year of implementation. The study team administered surveys to staff, surveys to students in grades 10–12, and the commitment to college and goal striving scales from ACT's ENGAGE instrument. Researchers also obtained extant student-level data from the high schools and school-level data from their respective state education agencies. The outcomes of most interest were students' submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and their scores on the two ENGAGE scales. Data indicated that following a single year of implementation, Ramp-Up had no impact on grade 12 students' submission rates for the FAFSA or on the commitment to college and goal striving of students in grades 10–12. However, the program did produce greater emphasis on college-readiness and more student-teacher interactions related to college. Implementation data showed mixed results: on average, Ramp-Up schools implemented the program with adequate fidelity, but some schools struggled with implementation and 88 percent of schools did not adequately implement the planning tools component of the program. Schools implementing Ramp-Up demonstrated a greater emphasis on college-readiness than comparison schools, but a single year of program exposure is insufficient to produce greater college readiness among students or FAFSA submissions among grade 12 students. Schools that adopt Ramp-Up can implement the program as intended by the program developer, but some program components are more challenging to implement than others. Additional studies need to examine Ramp-Up's impact on students' college enrollment actions, their college admission rates, and their success in college following multiple years of program exposure. Studies also should investigate whether implementation gets stronger in subsequent years as schools gain more experience with Ramp-Up's curriculum and processes.
|Statistical Theory for the RCT-YES Software: Design-Based Causal Inference for RCTs
This Second Edition report updates the First Edition published in June 2015 that presents the statistical theory underlying the RCT-YES software that estimates and reports impacts for RCTs for a wide range of designs used in social policy research. The preface to the new report summarizes the updates from the previous version. The report discusses a unified, non-parametric design-based approach for impact estimation using the building blocks of the Neyman-Rubin-Holland causal inference model that underlies experimental designs. This approach differs from the more model-based impact estimation methods that are typically used in education research. The report discusses impact and variance estimation, asymptotic distributions of the estimators, hypothesis testing, the inclusion of baseline covariates to improve precision, the use of weights, subgroup analyses, baseline equivalency analyses, and estimation of the complier average causal effect parameter.
|Understanding Variation in Treatment Effects in Education Impact Evaluations: An Overview of Quantitative Methods
This report summarizes the complex research literature on quantitative methods for assessing how impacts of educational interventions on instructional practices and student learning differ across students, educators, and schools. It also provides technical guidance about the use and interpretation of these methods. The research topics addressed include: subgroup (moderator) analyses based on study participants’ characteristics measured before the intervention is implemented; subgroup analyses based on study participants’ experiences, mediators, and outcomes measured after program implementation; and impact estimation when treatment effects vary. The focus is on randomized controlled trials, but the methods are also applicable to quasi-experimental designs.
|Addressing Teacher Shortages in Disadvantaged Schools: Lessons From Two Institute of Education Sciences Studies
Two IES studies evaluated teachers from two highly selective alternative routes--Teach For America and the Teaching Fellows programs--and less selective alternative routes that accept nearly all applicants. An evaluation brief discusses the following lessons learned from these two studies:
|Estimating the Impacts of Educational Interventions Using State Tests or Study-Administered Tests
State assessments provide a relatively inexpensive and increasingly accessible source of data on student achievement. In the past, rigorous evaluations of educational interventions typically administered standardized tests selected by the researchers ("study-administered tests") to measure student achievement outcomes. Increasingly, researchers are turning to the lower cost option of using state assessments for measures of student achievement.