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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2020036 Are State Policy Reforms in Oregon Associated with Fewer School Suspensions and Expulsions?
In 2013 and 2015, Oregon enacted legislation that shifted school discipline policies from a zero-tolerance approach to one that emphasizes preventing behavioral problems and reducing unnecessary suspensions and expulsions. These types of discipline are often referred to as exclusionary because they remove students from classroom instruction. This study examines the association between state-level policies and suspension and expulsion rates in Oregon.

Study findings suggest that the policy shift has led to some short-term progress on two of the state’s main goals: reducing unnecessary removal of students from classroom instruction for disciplinary reasons and reducing exclusionary discipline for weapons offenses that do not involve firearms. Across all grade spans, the use of exclusionary discipline declined from 2008/09 to 2016/17 in Oregon schools, with higher reductions in the secondary grades. The declining rates of exclusionary discipline indicate progress, but growth in out-of-school suspensions in recent years suggests the need for further monitoring and additional support. For example, strengthening efforts to reduce suspensions for minor infractions, especially in secondary grades, could help reduce unnecessary suspensions overall&mdash:a priority of Oregon’s school discipline policy reforms.
9/18/2020
REL 2017249 Overview of selected state policies and supports related to K–12 competency-based education
This report categorizes and summarizes state laws and regulations relevant to competency based-education. Competency-based education is a system where students must demonstrate mastery of course content to be promoted to the next class or grade rather than spend a prerequisite number of hours in a class, with students allowed to take as much or as little time necessary to achieve a comprehensive understanding of course content. Policies associated with competency-based education are summarized for the seven states in the Regional Educational Laboratory Central region (Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming), as well five states identified as being proactive in aligning their policies to support competency-based education (Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, and Oregon). This study also categorizes the different types of assistance and resources these states have provided to intentionally support competency-based education.

State laws and regulations were classified into the following three broad policy categories: credit flexibility, academic progression flexibility, and individual learning options. Identified categories of state-provided supports for competency-based education included informational and technical assistance resources, support for educational collaboratives, and funding for pilot programs and demonstration sites. Descriptions and examples of each policy and support category are provided. State and school administrators can use the information in this report to learn about the policies and supports in their state and others as they consider implementing competency-based education.
2/28/2017
REL 2015086 Identifying and Supporting English Learner Students with Learning Disabilities: Key Issues in the Literature and State Practice
While the literature on learning disabilities and on second-language acquisition is relatively extensive within the field of education, less is known about the specific characteristics and representation of English learner students with learning disabilities. Because there are no definitive resources and processes for identifying and determining best placement for English learner students with learning disabilities, schools, districts, and states struggle with this issue. As a result, English learner students who may or may not have learning disabilities are both over- and underrepresented in special education. This report aims to inform policymakers interested in developing procedures, including the use of guidelines and protocols, for identifying, assessing, and placing English learner students who may or may not have learning disabilities. The report describes 1) the key issues discussed in the research literature and 2) current state procedures for the 20 states with the largest English learner populations.
7/9/2015
REL 2015041 Coordination of Instructional Services by Washington State’s Educational Service Districts
This REL Northwest study looked at the funding, delivery, and coordination of instructional services offered by Washington state's network of nine Educational Service Districts (ESDs). REL Northwest examined 13 statewide teaching and learning support areas, including the percentages of districts served, the funding for each service, and ESD perceptions of coordination of services. The study showed that while the network believes it’s desirable to coordinate their services, the structures needed to do that aren’t always in place. The findings can help inform similar education service agencies around the country, which provide services to 79 percent of public schools.
10/14/2014
REL 2012108 A Descriptive Analysis of Enrollment and Achievement Among English Language Learner Students in New Jersey
This report describes enrollment and achievement trends of LEP students in New Jersey public schools between 2002/03 and 2008/09. It documents achievement gaps between LEP and general education students in language arts literacy and math, as measured by statewide assessments administered in grades 3, 4, 8, and 11. The study's main findings include:

  • LEP students in New Jersey spoke 187 languages in 2008/09, up from 151 in 2002/03. In 2008/09, Spanish (spoken by 66.8 percent of LEP students in the state) had the most speakers, followed by Arabic (2.6 percent), Korean (2.5 percent), and Portuguese (2.0 percent).
  • The achievement of LEP students increased in both language arts literacy and mathematics in elementary, middle, and high school. As a result, the achievement gap between LEP students and general education students in grades 3 and 4 narrowed in both language arts literacy and math, and the achievement gap in grades 8 and 11 narrowed in language arts literacy but widened in math.
4/24/2012
REL 2012127 A Descriptive Analysis of Enrollment and Achievement Among English Language Learner Students in Pennsylvania
The number of English language learner (ELL) students in Pennsylvania public schools rose 24.7 percent from 2002/03 to 2008/09, whereas total student enrollment fell 2.4 percent. During that period, ELL student enrollment increased from 2.1 percent of the student population in 2002/03 to 2.7 percent in 2008/09. These figures are of concern to educators because of the large achievement gaps between ELL and non-ELL students and the need to meet the No Child Left Behind Act goal of bringing all students to proficiency by 2014.

This report describes enrollment and achievement trends of ELL students in Pennsylvania public schools between 2002/03 and 2008/09. It documents achievement gaps between ELL and general education students in reading, math, and writing, as measured by statewide assessments administered in grades 3–8 and 11. The study's main findings include:

  • ELL students in Pennsylvania spoke 211 languages in 2008/09, up from 138 in 2002/03. In 2008/09, Spanish (spoken by 57.6 percent of ELL students in the state) had the most speakers, followed by English dialects (7.0 percent), Chinese (3.6 percent), Vietnamese (3.2 percent), Arabic (2.6 percent), and Russian (2.3 percent). ELL students speaking "other" languages (languages other than the 18 most common in the state) accounted for 12.2 percent of the ELL student population in 2008/09.
  • During the period studied, the overall achievement gap in reading, math, and writing between ELL and non-ELL students increased in all grades studied except for grade 3, where the achievement gap narrowed in reading and math.
  • The achievement gap between ELL and non-ELL students was 21–55 percentage points in reading, math, and writing every year during the period studied.
4/24/2012
REL 2012128 A Descriptive Analysis of Enrollment and Achievement Among English Language Learner Students in Maryland
The number of limited English proficient (LEP) students in Maryland public schools rose 73 percent from 2002/03 to 2008/09, whereas total student enrollment rose only 2.1 percent. During that period, LEP student enrollment increased from 3.0 percent of total student enrollment in 2002/03 to 5.2 percent in 2008/09. These figures are of concern to educators because of the large achievement gaps between LEP and non-LEP students nationally and the need to meet the No Child Left Behind Act goal of bringing all students to proficiency by 2014.

This report, describes enrollment and achievement trends of LEP students in Maryland public schools between 2002/03 and 2008/09. It documents large achievement gaps, ranging from 11 to 49 percentage points, between LEP and non-LEP students in reading and math, as measured by statewide assessments administered in grades 3–8 and 10. The study's main findings include:

  • From 2002/03 to 2008/09, Spanish speakers accounted for the largest percentage of LEP students, peaking at 59.9 percent in 2004/05. In 2008/09, Spanish (spoken by 56.8 percent of LEP students) had the most speakers, followed by French (3.3 percent), Chinese (3.2 percent), Vietnamese (2.3 percent), and Korean (2.2 percent). LEP students speaking "other" languages (languages other than the five most common in the state) accounted for 32.1 percent of LEP students in 2008/09.
  • Between 2002/03 and 2008/09, LEP students accounted for a larger percentage of enrollment in elementary school (grades K–5) than in middle school (grades 6–8) or in high school (grades 9–12). In 2008/09, LEP students accounted for 8.2 percent of elementary school enrollment, 2.7 percent of middle school enrollment, and 2.5 percent of high school enrollment.
  • During the period studied, the percentage of LEP students scoring at the proficient or advanced level in reading and math increased in all grades studied (grades 3–8 and 10). However, the achievement gap in both subjects between LEP and non-LEP students ranged from 11 to 49 percentage points each year.
  • During the period studied, the achievement gap in reading and math between LEP and non-LEP students narrowed in grades 3–5 and grade 10; the achievement gap narrowed in reading in grades 6–8 but widened in math in grades 7 and 8.
4/24/2012
REL 2012131 A Descriptive Analysis of Enrollment and Achievement Among English Language Learner Students in the District of Columbia
The number of English language learner (ELL) students in District of Columbia public schools rose 1.8 percent from 2002/03 to 2008/09, whereas total student enrollment fell 6.3 percent. ELL student enrollment increased from 7.7 percent of total student enrollment in 2002/03 to 8.4 percent in 2008/09. These figures are of concern to educators because of the need to meet the No Child Left Behind Act goal of bringing all students to proficiency by 2014 and because nationally ELL students' achievement lags behind that of non-ELL students.

This report describes enrollment trends between 2002/03 and achievement trends between 2006/07 and 2008/09 among ELL students in District of Columbia public schools. It documents the achievement of ELL and non-ELL students in reading and math, as measured by districtwide assessments administered in grades 3–8 and 10. The study's main findings include:

  • From 2005/06 to 2008/09, Spanish speakers accounted for the largest percentage of ELL students, peaking at 74.9 percent in 2005/06. In 2008/09, Spanish (spoken by 60.4 percent of ELL students in the district) had the most speakers, followed by Amharic (2.4 percent), Chinese (2.2 percent), French (1.9 percent), and Vietnamese (1.7 percent). ELL students speaking "other" languages (languages other than the five most common in the district) accounted for 31.5 percent of ELL students in 2008/09.
  • Between 2006/07 and 2008/09, ELL students' performance in reading and math increased in all grades studied (grades 3–8 and 10). The increase ranged from 1.9 to 20.5 percentage points in reading and from 16.7 to 24.0 percentage points in math.
  • During the period studied, in every grade, the performance of ELL students relative to that of non-ELL students was stronger in math than in reading.
  • ELL students' performance was higher than that of non-ELL students in grade 3 reading and in grade 3 and 4 math in every year studied. From 2006/07 to 2008/09, the achievement gap in reading between ELL and non-ELL students widened in grade 8, narrowed in grades 7 and 10, closed in grade 5, and reversed in grade 6 (with ELL students' performance higher than that of non-ELL students). From 2006/07 and 2008/09, the achievement gap in math between ELL and non-ELL students narrowed in grade 7 and reversed in grades 5, 6, 8, and 10.
  • By 2008/09, ELL students' performance in reading was higher than their non-ELL peers in reading in two grades and all but one grade in math. This directly contrasts national trends, where performance is typically 20-30 percentage points higher among non-ELL students than among ELL students.
4/24/2012
REL 2012132 A Descriptive Analysis of Enrollment and Achievement Among English Language Learner Students in Delaware
The number of English language learner (ELL) students in Delaware public schools rose 91.7 percent from 2002/03 to 2008/09, whereas total enrollment increased 7.7 percent. ELL student enrollment increased from 3.0 percent of total student enrollment in 2002/03 to 5.4 percent in 2008/09. These figures are of concern to educators because of the large achievement gaps nationally between ELL and non-ELL students and the need to meet the No Child Left Behind Act goal of bringing all students to proficiency by 2014.
This report describes enrollment and achievement trends between 2002/03 and 2008/09 among ELL students in Delaware public schools. It documents achievement gaps between ELL and non-ELL students in reading and math state assessments in grades 2–10 and in science and social studies assessments in grades 4, 6, 8, and 11. The study's main findings include:

  • ELL students in Delaware spoke 81 languages in 2008/09, up from 60 in 2002/03. In 2008/09, Spanish (spoken by 77.2 percent of ELL students in the state) had the most speakers, followed by Creole (4.2 percent), Chinese (2.0 percent), and Gujarati (1.5 percent). ELL students speaking "other" languages (languages other than the 12 most common in the state) accounted for 7.2 percent of the ELL student population in 2008/09.
  • Between 2005/06 and 2008/09, ELL students' performance in reading increased in grades 3–10 but decreased in grade 2. During this time, ELL students' performance in math increased in grades 3–9, but decreased in grades 2 and 10.
  • Between 2002/03 and 2008/09, ELL students' performance in science increased in all grades studied (grades 4, 6, 8, and 11), and ELL students' performance in social studies increased in grades 4, 6, and 8, but decreased in grade 11.
  • Between 2005/06 and 2008/09, the overall achievement gap in reading between ELL and non-ELL students narrowed in all grades studied except grade 2, where an achievement gap formed and widened. The achievement gap in grade 3 reading narrowed, with ELL students' performance higher than that of non-ELL students in two of the four years studied.
  • Between 2005/06 and 2008/09, the overall achievement gap in math between ELL and non-ELL students narrowed in all grades studied except grades 2, 9, and 10, where the achievement gap widened. In grade 3, ELL students' performance was higher than that of non-ELL students in 2008/09 only.
  • Between 2002/03 and 2008/09, the achievement gap in science and social studies between ELL and non-ELL students narrowed in all grades studied except grade 8, where the achievement gap widened in science, and grade 11, where the achievement gap widened in both science and social studies.
4/24/2012
REL 2011113 Superintendent Turnover in Kentucky
This REL Appalachia report, Superintendent Turnover in Kentucky, is the state's first detailed description of superintendent turnover. It intends to help policymakers and other leaders better understand turnover so that they can develop new programs to prepare, recruit, and retain superintendents. The report describes superintendent turnover statewide, by rural status, and by Appalachian and non-Appalachian region over 1998/99-2007-08 and also looks at how turnover varies by 2007/08 school district characteristics.
8/23/2011
REL 2011116 State Policies and Procedures on Response to Intervention in the Midwest Region
Based on a review of state documents and interviews with state and local officials in six Midwest Region states, this qualitative study describes state education agency policy development and planning for response to intervention approaches to instruction. It also looks at the support provided to districts and schools implementing response to intervention.
6/6/2011
REL 2009083 Features of State Response to Intervention Initiatives in Northeast and Islands Region States
The report documents the results of a search of state education agency web sites in the nine Northeast and Islands Region jurisdictions for publicly available information related to RTI (response to intervention). It finds that seven jurisdictions have developed state documents on RTI that address core features of RTI identified by the National Research Center on Learning Disabilities: high quality classroom instruction, research-based instruction, classroom performance, universal screening, continuous progress monitoring, research-based interventions, progress monitoring during interventions, and fidelity measures. Six of these jurisdictions had documents addressing all eight core features (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont), and one (Rhode Island) had documents addressing seven. Documents are also categorized by theme: whether the state education agency required RTI as a component of the special education eligibility process, whether the state education agency used or encouraged a three-tiered RTI model, whether a self-assessment or local plan was required before implementing RTI at the local level, and whether the state education agency supported or funded RTI pilot sites. The seven jurisdictions used or promoted RTI as an approach to supporting struggling students in general education or for determining eligibility for special education at the local level. The most commonly found document types were nonregulatory guidance (six states), followed by regulations (four states). The document review could not shed light on the extent of RTI use at the local level. While there was no evidence of RTI policies or procedures on the public state education agency web sites for two jurisdictions (Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands), that cannot be taken as evidence that the two jurisdictions do not allow RTI.
11/30/2009
REL 2009079 Models of Response to Intervention in the Northwest Region States
This report provides information on the response to intervention (RTI) models supported by state education agencies in the Northwest Region and identifies states' RTI-related resources, policies, and activities. The information will help the Northwest Regional Comprehensive Center focus its technical assistance for RTI and identify areas for cross-state collaboration, while enabling states to learn from each other’s experience.
9/8/2009
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