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 Pub Number  Title  Date
NCEE 2022007 The Effects of an Academic Language Program on Student Reading Outcomes
Helping English learners and economically disadvantaged students read as well as their more advantaged peers is a struggle for many schools. This study tested a promising program to improve fourth- and fifth-grade students' ability to understand the academic language used in school and support their reading achievement. The supplemental program included reading, speaking, and writing activities for students and training for teachers. About 60 schools were randomly assigned to implement the program for one school year or to continue using their typical strategies. The study compared the average reading performance of the two groups to assess the program's effectiveness.
8/16/2022
NCEE 2022008 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.
7/14/2022
NCEE 2022006 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.
6/6/2022
NCEE 2022002 Study of Enhanced College Advising in Upward Bound: Impacts on Where and How long Students Attend College
Decisions about whether and where to go to college can make a difference in students' later success. However, many students from low-income families "undermatch"—they do not enroll at all or not in the most selective college they likely could attend. This report examined whether promising advising strategies, bundled in a package called Find the Fit, could improve college choices and persistence for rising high school seniors in the federal college access program Upward Bound.
11/16/2021
NCEE 2021011 State and District Use of Title II, Part A Funds in 2019–20
Title II, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) provides over $2 billion per year to states and districts to support effective instruction through the preparation, recruitment, and training of educators. This report provides a national picture of state and district priorities for Title II-A funds in the 2019–20 school year. The report finds that half of the states and a quarter of districts used the new flexibility provided in the 2015 reauthorization. Districts most often used Title II-A funds to provide professional development. Other common uses included reducing class sizes and recruiting and retaining effective teachers and principals.
6/9/2021
NCEE 2021005 Study of College Transition Messaging in GEAR UP: Impacts on Enrolling and Staying in College
Text-message-based college advising is a popular strategy to get students timely information and support, including among states and districts that participate in the federal college access program Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP). In this study, about 4,800 college-intending seniors in high-need GEAR UP high schools across the country were randomly divided into two groups: one received their regular GEAR UP supports in the summer before and during their first year of college, and the other group received these regular supports along with 37 text messages customized to their college and the option to communicate with an advisor. The study found that students sent text messages were no more likely to enroll or persist in college than were students not sent messages. The messages also did not affect whether students completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
2/24/2021
NCEE 2021001 The Effects of Expanding Pell Grant Eligibility for Short Occupational Training Programs: Results from the Experimental Sites Initiative
Pell Grants are the cornerstone of federal financial aid for low-income students enrolled in postsecondary education. Between 2012 and 2017, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) conducted pilots of two experimental expansions to Pell Grant eligibility. The first experiment allowed income-eligible students with a bachelor’s degree, not normally eligible for Pell Grants, to obtain them for short-term occupational training programs. The second experiment allowed income-eligible students to obtain Pell Grants for very short-term programs lasting as little as eight weeks, under the normal minimum of 15 weeks of instruction. This report presents the findings from a study that tested whether these experimental expansions to Pell Grant eligibility were effective. Both pilots improved enrollment in and completion of postsecondary programs, a first step toward improving individuals’ success in the labor market. However, the labor market returns from the two experiments and how these compare to the cost of expanding Pell Grant eligibility—about $1,800 per student in this study—remain important open questions for the future.
12/15/2020
NCEE 2021002 The Transition to ESSA: State and District Approaches to Implementing Title I and Title II-A in 2017-18
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) retained certain K-12 schooling federal requirements under prior law while shifting many decisions to states and districts. This report, based on national surveys administered in 2018, describes state and district policies and practices in the law’s core areas of content standards and assessments, identification of and support for low-performing schools, and educator effectiveness (Title I and II-A). The report also compares the policies and practices in 2018 to 2014, prior to ESSA. Between 2014 and 2018, most states made few substantive changes to their content standards while broadening the measures used to identify low-performing schools and increasingly using performance data to support effective teaching. Districts increasingly provided supports to implement state content standards, and a larger share of districts reported specific improvement activities in their low-performing schools in 2018 compared to 2014. Districts also increasingly used performance measures such as evaluation results to identify and support low-performing teachers.
12/8/2020
NCEE 2020006 Can Texting Parents Improve Attendance in Elementary School? A Test of an Adaptive Messaging Strategy
Chronic absence is a nationwide problem, even among young students. This report presents findings from a study that tested four versions of an adaptive text messaging strategy to see which, if any, would reduce chronic absence and improve achievement among 26,000 elementary school students. All four versions of the adaptive text messaging strategy reduced chronic absence but did not improve achievement after one school year.
9/15/2020
NCEE 20200002 The Effects of a Principal Professional Development Program Focused on Instructional Leadership
Helping principals improve their leadership practices is a common use of federal funds and one way to improve instruction and student achievement. This study sought to better understand the effectiveness of an intensive principal professional development program focused primarily on helping principals conduct structured observations of teachers' classroom instruction and provide targeted feedback based on those observations. The report found that the program did not change principal practices as intended or improve students' achievement. However, improvements in some of the targeted principal practices were positively associated with improved student achievement. Attention on how to change these practices might be a potential avenue for improving the program.
10/30/2019
REL 2020012 Children's knowledge and skills at kindergarten entry in Illinois: Results from the first statewide administration of the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey
Starting in fall 2017, the Illinois State Board of Education required kindergarten teachers to use an observational kindergarten entry assessment called the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey. This study examined whether the measures formed using the assessment data were valid and reliable and described the means and variation in children's knowledge and skills at school entry. To inform future professional development on data collection and use, the study team also interviewed teachers and administrators about their experience with the assessment.
10/28/2019
NCEE 2020001 National Evaluation of the Comprehensive Centers Program Final Report
Between 2012 and 2018, the U.S. Department of Education invested nearly $350 million in 22 Comprehensive Technical Assistance (TA) Centers operating across the nation. These Centers were charged with delivering TA that builds the capacity of state education agencies (SEAs) to support local educational agencies (LEAs) in improving student outcomes. Centers were given broad discretion in interpreting and enacting this mandate. This evaluation sought to address the open questions about how the Centers designed and implemented the TA, what challenges they encountered, and what outcomes they achieved. With thorough documentation of how this process played out, stakeholders will be in a better position to inform future program improvement.
10/21/2019
NCEE 20194007 Teacher Preparation Experiences and Early Teaching Effectiveness
This report examines the frequency of particular teacher preparation experiences and explores their relationships to beginning teachers' effectiveness in improving student test scores once they get to the classroom. The report found both differences in how teachers prepare for their certification in the field and that certain experiences are related to improving test scores in the classroom. The findings provide a detailed look into current teacher preparation practices and identify potential avenues for improving them.
9/30/2019
NCEE 20194008 Evaluation of Support for Using Student Data to Inform Teachers' Instruction
Most districts help teachers use data to improve student learning, often supporting this effort with federal funds. But many teachers feel unprepared to use student data to inform their instruction — referred to as data-driven instruction (DDI) — and there is little evidence of whether it improves student achievement. This report assesses an intensive approach to supporting teachers' use of student data to tailor their instruction. The report found that this specific approach to DDI did not improve students' achievement, perhaps because the approach did not change teachers' reported use of data or classroom practices.
9/30/2019
NCEE 20194006 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.
5/15/2019
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