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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2022125 Schools' Experiences with Georgia's District and School Flexibility Policy
Georgia instituted a flexibility policy in 2007 that provided districts with waivers from state education rules, provisions, and guidelines. In exchange, schools must meet academic performance targets. The performance contracts are meant to encourage schools and districts to implement innovative practices to increase achievement for all students in Georgia. Between 2008/09 and 2016/17, 178 of Georgia’s 180 districts entered into performance contracts with the state. The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) asked Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast to analyze how each school’s achievement changed after the start of their district’s performance contracts and the factors related to those changes. GaDOE also requested information on schools’ implementation of and experiences with the state’s flexibility policy, focusing on how schools have prioritized local innovations in practice. Overall, the study found positive but small changes in achievement for grades 3–8 English language arts and math and found significant variation in changes in achievement across schools within districts, after adjusting for other factors. Changes in achievement after performance contracts were implemented were related to schools’ demographic composition and prior achievement. In response to a survey, school leaders reported prioritizing innovations related to use of data to identify early intervention needs, formative assessments used to guide instruction, supplemental programs for low-performing students, and personalized learning for students. Leaders in schools with larger proportions of students eligible for the national school lunch program, Black students, and English learner students reported prioritizing innovations related to online and/or blended curricula more frequently than schools with smaller proportions of these students. School leaders also reported a great deal of school-level influence over decisions about priority innovations.
10/18/2021
REL 2021113 Using Enhanced Coaching of Teachers to Improve Reading Achievement in Grades PreK–2 in Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Public Schools is working to improve early literacy outcomes through a multiyear professional development initiative for preK–2 teachers. The P–2 Balanced Literacy Initiative aims to improve literacy instruction by training teachers to implement effective early literacy instruction balancing systematic foundational skills instruction with reading and writing instruction involving rich, complex texts. The initiative began in 2016/17 and served 23 percent of all district elementary schools by 2018/19. The district designated 26 of the 115 elementary schools implementing the initiative in 2018/19 to receive enhanced supports, including intensive, site-based coaching, to support students’ independent reading. This study compared the reading achievement of students who attended schools that received the enhanced supports (priority schools) with the reading achievement of students who attended similar schools that received only the initiative’s standard supports (nonpriority schools). It also examined differences between priority and nonpriority schools in teachers’ and administrators’ participation in professional development sessions and looked at the successes and challenges of implementation. The study found that one year after implementation of the initiative, attending a priority school did not lead to higher end-of-year reading achievement than attending a nonpriority school after other factors were adjusted for. Teachers and administrators in priority schools were more likely than those in nonpriority schools to participate in the initiative’s core professional development sessions. Interviews with select district, network, and school leaders; instructional support coaches; and teachers suggest that several aspects of the initiative’s professional development were valuable, most notably the opportunities for teachers to deepen their understanding of the initiative’s professional development, receive feedback through observation and school-based coaching, and learn from one another. But instructional support coaches’ limited capacity, due to competing responsibilities, was a challenge. District leaders might consider increasing the number of coaches available and limiting their competing priorities so they can focus on the initiative.
9/15/2021
NCES 2021019 Program for the International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018 Public Use File (PUF)

The PISA 2018 Public Use File (PUF) consists of data from the PISA 2018 sample. Statistical confidentiality treatments were applied due to confidentiality concerns. The PUF can be accessed from the National Center for Education Statistics website at http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/pisa/datafiles.asp.

For more details on the data, please refer to chapter 9 of the PISA 2018 Technical Report and User Guide (NCES 2021-011).

7/8/2021
NCES 2021020 Technical Report and User Guide for the 2016 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) Young Adult Follow-up Study
This technical report and user guide is designed to provide researchers with an overview of the design and implementation of PISA YAFS 2016, as well as with information on how to access the PISA YAFS 2016 data.
7/8/2021
NCES 2021022 Program for the International Student Assessment Young Adult Follow-up Study (PISA YAFS) 2016 Public Use File (PUF)

The PISA YAFS 2016 Public Use File (PUF) consists of data from the PISA YAFS 2016 sample. It contains data for individuals including responses to the background questionnaire and the cognitive assessment. Statistical confidentiality treatments were applied due to confidentiality concerns.

For more details on the data, please refer to chapter 8 of the PISA YAFS 2016 Technical Report and User Guide (NCES 2021-020).

7/8/2021
NCES 2021047 Program for the International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018 Restricted-Use Files (RUF)

The PISA 2018 Restricted Use File (RUF) consists of restricted-use data from PISA 2018 for the United States. The data file and documentation includes the data file, a codebook, instructions on how to merge with the U.S. PISA 2018 public-use dataset (NCES 2021-047), and a cross-walk to assist in merging with other public datasets, such as the Common Core of Data (CCD) and Private School Survey (PSS). As these data files can be used to identify respondent schools, a restricted-use license must be obtained before access to the data is granted. Click on the restricted-use license link below for more details https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/pisa/datafiles.asp.

For more details on the data, please refer to chapter 9 of the PISA 2018 Technical Report and User Guide (NCES 2021-011).

7/8/2021
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
NCES 2021036 Mapping State Proficiency Standards onto the NAEP Scales: Results From the 2019 NAEP Reading and Mathematics Assessments
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has periodically published reports using results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to compare the proficiency standards that states set for their students. Since standards vary across states, the results of the various state assessments cannot be used to directly compare students’ progress. However, by placing a state standard onto the NAEP scale, a common metric for all states, a NAEP equivalent score is produced, which can be compared across states. The last mapping study report released by NCES (NCES 2019-040) compared state proficiency standards for school year 2016-17. The current report highlights the results of mapping state proficiency standards onto the NAEP scales using state assessment results from the 2018–19 school year and the 2019 NAEP assessments for public schools.
6/1/2021
NCES 2021018 The National Indian Education Study 2019

The National Indian Education Study (NIES) utilizes the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and contextual questions to describe the condition of education for fourth- and eighth-grade American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students in the United States. NIES is conducted under the direction of the National Center for Education Statistics on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Indian Education.

This report provides:
  • an in-depth look at the findings from the student, teacher, and school administrator survey questions that were focused on AI/AN culture and language;
  • information about the achievement of AI/AN students at grades 4 and 8 on the NAEP reading and mathematics assessments—for the nation as well as for 15 states with relatively large proportions of AI/AN students;
  • an examination of contextual factors that are associated with higher- and lower-performing AI/AN students; and
  • an exploration of composite variables (i.e., variables built upon multiple discrete student survey questions) related to AI/AN cultural knowledge, interest in reading about cultures (both their own and others), engagement at school, and perceptions about effort in school.

Results are reported for three mutually exclusive categories of schools as well as for an overall category:

  • low density public schools (where less than 25 percent of all the students in the school were AI/AN);
  • high density public schools (where 25 percent or more of all the students in the school were AI/AN);
  • Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools; and
  • all AI/AN students (includes all AI/AN students sampled throughout the nation in public, private, BIE, and Department of Defense schools).

The survey results presented in this report are focused primarily on the responses of fourth- and eighth-grade AI/AN students to selected survey questions. Approximately 7,000 fourth-graders and 6,300 eighth-graders participated in the NIES 2019 student survey. Teachers and school administrators also completed surveys.

Average scores in NAEP reading and mathematics for AI/AN fourth- and eighth- graders from earlier NAEP assessments in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2015 are compared to their average reading and mathematics scores in 2019.

The NIES survey questions, as well as the report itself, were created in close collaboration with the NIES Technical Review Panel (TRP). The NIES TRP is composed of AI/AN educational stakeholders from across the country.

5/18/2021
REL 2021058 Trends and Gaps in Reading Achievement across Kindergarten and Grade 1 in Two Illinois School Districts
To assess educational progress in the early grades and identify achievement gaps, the Midwest Early Childhood Education Research Alliance examined reading achievement data among students in kindergarten and grade 1 in two districts in Illinois. The study documents overall reading achievement in these and examines disparities in achievement among groups defined by race/ethnicity, eligibility for the national school lunch program, English learner status, participation in special education, and gender. District administrators, policymakers, and educators can use the findings to make decisions about allocating resources to students and schools. This study analyzed student records and assessment data from two cohorts of kindergarten and grade 1 students—one from Elgin Area Schools (District U–46) and one from Springfield Public Schools (District 186). District U–46 used the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System—a formative reading assessment administered by teachers—to assess the reading proficiency of kindergarten and grade 1 students. District 186 used the Measures of Academic Progress for Primary Grades assessment, an adaptive assessment that is appropriate for universal screening and growth measurement of students’ reading. The study team performed separate analyses for both districts given a discrete, categorical outcome variable for District U–46 and a continuous outcome variable for District 186. The study found that reading achievement increased across the kindergarten and grade 1 years for all students. However, there were differences in reading achievement across student demographic groups. In both districts, Asian and White students had higher achievement than Black and Hispanic students, and students not eligible for the national school lunch program and students not in special education had higher achievement than students with this eligibility and this status. In District U–46, non-English learner students had higher achievement levels than English learner students. In District 186, female students started kindergarten and ended grade 1 with slightly higher levels of reading achievement than male students. District administrators, policy makers, and educators can use these findings to make decisions about allocating resources—such as professional development, literacy coaches, or books—to schools that serve larger concentrations of Black or Hispanic students, students eligible for the national school lunch program, students in special education, or English learner students. Examining achievement patterns by student demographic group is an important first step in identifying whether districts or schools need to distribute resources or opportunities differently to achieve more equitable outcomes across student demographic groups. District administrators, policy makers, and educators can use the results to motivate conversations about the root causes of inequities and how to resolve them.
2/9/2021
NCES 2021021 TIMSS 2019 U.S. Highlights Web Report
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019 is the seventh administration of this international comparative study since 1995, when it was first administered. TIMSS is administered every 4 years and is used to compare the mathematics and science knowledge and skills of 4th and 8th-graders over time. TIMSS is designed to align broadly with mathematics and science curricula in the participating countries. The results, therefore, suggest the degree to which students have learned mathematics and science concepts and skills likely to have been taught in school. In 2019, there were 64 education systems that participated in TIMSS at the 4th grade and 46 education systems at the 8th grade.

The focus of this web report is on the mathematics and science achievement of U.S. students relative to their peers in other education systems in 2019. Changes in achievement over the last 24 years, focusing on changes since 2015 and 1995, are also presented for the U.S. and several participating education systems. In addition, this report describes achievement gaps within the United States and other education systems between top and bottom performers, as well as among different student subgroups.

In addition to numerical scale results, TIMSS also reports the percentage of students reaching international benchmarks. The TIMSS international benchmarks provide a way to understand what students know and can do in a concrete way, as each level is associated with specific types of knowledge and skills.
12/8/2020
NCES 2020090 2019 NAEP Mathematics and Reading Assessments: Highlighted Results at Grade 12 for the Nation
These online Highlights present overviews of grade 12 results from the NAEP 2019 mathematics report and the 2019 reading report. Highlighted results include key findings at the national level only. Results are presented in terms of average scale scores and percentages of students performing at the three NAEP achievement levels: NAEP Basic, NAEP Proficient, and NAEP Advanced. Highlighted results include performance data for demographic student groups, five selected percentiles, and NAEP survey questionnaires.

The 2019 average score was lower for reading and not significantly different for mathematics compared to average scores for these subjects in 2015. Over the long term, the national average score for reading was lower compared to the first assessment year (1992), whereas over the long term, the 2019 mathematics score was not significantly different from the score in 2005.

Highlighted results include responses of students and schools to survey questionnaires designed to collect information about students’ educational experiences and opportunities to learn both inside and outside of the classroom and twelfth-graders' postsecondary plans.

Full results for each subject are available in the 2019 NAEP Mathematics Report Card and the 2019 NAEP Reading Report Card.
10/28/2020
NFES 2020132 Forum Guide to Exit Codes
The Forum Guide to Exit Codes provides best practice information for tracking data about when students transferred, completed high school, dropped out, or otherwise exited an education agency. This resource defines exit codes and reviews their use in an education agency; provides an updated, voluntary, common taxonomy for exit codes; discusses best practices and methods for addressing specific challenges in exit codes data collection; features case studies that highlight different education agencies’ approaches to and experiences with exit coding.
9/29/2020
REL 2020026 Relationships between Schoolwide Instructional Observation Scores and Student Academic Achievement and Growth in Low‑Performing Schools in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), like other state education agencies and districts, recognizes that a key lever to turning around low-performing schools is the quality of instruction (Hill & Harvey, 2004; Hopkins, Harris, Watling, & Beresford, 1999). As part of the annual monitoring of state-designated low-performing schools, DESE’s external low-performing school monitors use Teachstone’s Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) tool to conduct observations. DESE’ external monitors rated low-performing schools on three domains of instruction—Emotional Support, Classroom Organization, and Instructional Support. This paper examines the relationships between these observation scores and academic growth and achievement within a school, after adjusting for the percentage of students with low incomes and the grade levels in these low-performing schools. Results show statistically significant positive relationships between schoolwide average observation scores for each instructional domain and school-level academic growth in both English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. On a 7-point scale, a 1-point increase in a school’s overall observation rating was associated with an increase in student growth of 4.4 percentile points of growth in ELA and 5.1 percentile points of growth in mathematics. For schoolwide achievement, which is measured by the percentage of students who met or exceeded expectations on the state assessment, results show a significant positive relationship between the classroom organization domain and ELA schoolwide achievement. There was no significant relationship between observation scores and schoolwide achievement in ELA for any other domain or for mathematics schoolwide achievement. The relationship between observation scores and current achievement levels may be weak because achievement levels may be influenced by many other factors including students’ prior achievement and the economic and social challenges their families face.
9/8/2020
NCES 2020068 Process Data From the 2017 NAEP Grade 8 Mathematics Assessment
This report describes the contents of the first-ever NCES release of a response process dataset from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Response process data are the data generated from students’ interactions with a digitally based assessment. The data include the time students spend on assessment items; their keypresses as they progress through the assessment; how they use onscreen tools made available to all learners (such as the calculator); and the use of accommodations (for example, text-to-speech). The response process dataset files will be released as a restricted-use data (RUD) package including the response process data, as well as linked datasets on students’ responses to assessment items and their demographics and accommodation information. Data will be available only for students who were assessed using assessment items that were released to the public from the 2017 grade 8 mathematics assessment. People interested in accessing the data must obtain a restricted-use data license from NCES.
6/24/2020
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