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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2021111 Professional Development Incentives for Oregon's Early Childhood Education Workforce: A Randomized Study
Many states seek to increase the education levels of their early childhood education (ECE) workforce to improve the quality of care for children. Oregon encourages all ECE workforce members to sign up for a career lattice, a career pathway system that helps them determine goals related to increasing their education. The state also offers incentives for reaching specific steps in the career lattice and scholarships for college credit and community-based training. This study used two randomized controlled trials in 2018 and 2019 to test whether sending emails and offering different financial incentives to Oregon ECE workforce members increased career lattice sign-up and increased education and training levels or workplace retention. The study found that sending emails encouraging career lattice sign-up had no detectable impact on career lattice sign-up or workplace retention. Sending emails offering a monetary incentive at an earlier-than-usual step on the career lattice had a positive impact on training hours recorded but no detectable impact on career lattice movement, college credit hours earned, or workplace retention. Sending emails about automatic enrollment in a scholarship program had no detectable impact on scholarship use, career lattice movement, college credit hours earned, or workplace retention. Lastly, after participants were randomly assigned to study groups, the email campaigns were implemented as planned, reaching all intended participants, although the interventions ended sooner than planned because of a state policy change. The findings suggest that low-touch interventions such as emails have promise for increasing training hours but are not sufficient to induce changes in career lattice sign-up, continuing postsecondary education, or workplace retention for Oregon ECE workforce members. These results have implications for future research, in addition to demonstrating how better messaging and supports can mitigate barriers to further education and training and how email campaigns can be leveraged for workforce communication efforts. This information is particularly relevant for state agencies and education and training providers.
8/24/2021
REL 2021055 Effects of an Inquiry-Oriented Curriculum and Professional Development Program on Grade 7 Students' Understanding of Statistics and on Statistics Instruction
The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the Supporting Teacher Enactment of the Probability and Statistics Standards (STEPSS) program on classroom instruction and student understanding of grade 7 statistics. This randomized controlled trial in 40 Broward County, Florida, middle schools compared the STEPSS program condition (a 20-day replacement curriculum unit designed to support teaching and learning of the probability and statistics standards in grade 7, along with four days of professional development for teachers) with practice-as-usual statistics instruction and teacher professional development. The initial study sample included 155 grade 7 mathematics teachers and 14,045 grade 7 mathematics students in the 40 schools. The STEPSS program improved student performance on a test of conceptual understanding of statistics and increased the levels of cognitive demand and classroom discourse in classroom statistics instruction. The magnitude of the effect on student performance was 23 percent of one standard deviation, which is comparable to an increase of 9 percentile points for an average student. In addition, the study found that teachers involved students in tasks involving higher levels of cognitive complexity and engaged their students in higher levels of reasoning and discussion about each other’s ideas regarding probability and statistics in the schools where teachers participated in the STEPSS program. The results of this study suggest that school districts should consider implementing the STEPSS program as a way to improve student understanding of and instructional practice in grade 7 statistics. Mathematics programs that are subjected to randomized controlled trials rarely result in positive impacts on student test performance of the magnitude attained in this study.
1/26/2021
REL 2021045 Professional Learning Community: Emergent Literacy
REL Southeast developed Professional Learning Community: Emergent Literacy to build the capacity of preschool educators to provide 3–5-year-old children evidence-based emergent literacy instruction. Early childhood teachers can help build the foundation to improve emergent literacy skills related to school readiness outcomes. The goal is to engage preschool teachers in collaborative learning experiences to support implementation of evidence-based language and literacy strategies that, in turn, can benefit children. A facilitator will use the Facilitator Guide and accompanying suite of materials to lead a team of preschool teachers through professional learning community sessions. The materials, developed in collaboration with the REL Southeast School Readiness Partnership, include four modules: 1) Print Knowledge; 2) Phonological Awareness; 3) Vocabulary; and 4) Oral Language. Each module is comprised of three resources:
  • A Facilitator Guide that includes a structured plan to deliver professional learning, slides, and speaker notes.
  • A PowerPoint Presentation that includes slides to project during each PLC session. Authentic Classroom Videos of preschool teachers implementing evidence-based language and literacy instructional practices are embedded in the slides of the PowerPoint presentation.
  • A Participant Guide that includes the emergent literacy content, activities, and resources for participating preschool teachers.
12/14/2020
NCES 2020045 Principal Professional Development in U.S. Public Schools in 2017-18
This Statistics in Brief examines professional development topics and activities reported by public school principals.
11/19/2020
WWC 2020011 The eMINTS Comprehensive Program
This What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) intervention report summarizes the research on the eMINTS Comprehensive Program, which aims to help teachers improve their practice and the outcomes of their students by offering structured professional development, coaching, and support for integrating technology into the classroom. The program’s goals include supporting teachers in using classroom technology to implement high-quality, inquiry-based learning, in which students develop understanding and knowledge of content matter by engaging in meaningful investigations that require reasoning, judgement, and decision making. Based on the research, the WWC found that, in grades 4-8, eMINTS may increase students’ math achievement and may result in little or no change in students’ literacy achievement.
4/9/2020
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
NCES 2017200 Teacher Professional Development By Selected Teacher and School Characteristics: 2011–12 (NCES 2017-200)
This Statistics in Brief provides a snapshot of the state of teacher professional development activities among U.S. public school teachers using data collected through the 2011–12 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) Public School Teacher Questionnaire. This report relies on data provided by public school teachers about their professional development activities during the 2011–12 school year. The report focuses on public school teachers’ responses to questions regarding the topics covered in their professional development activities; the amount of time spent in those activities in the last 12 months; the support they received for participation; and whether they engaged in less formal professional activities, such as working collaboratively with other teachers on instruction. The report examines each of these aspects of public school teachers’ professional development not only nationwide but also by the level of the schools in which they taught, their years of teaching experience, and the locale in which they taught.
5/2/2017
REL 2017270 Educator outcomes associated with implementation of Mississippi's K-3 early literacy professional development initiative
This study examined changes in teacher knowledge of early literacy skills and ratings of quality of early literacy skills instruction, student engagement during early literacy skills instruction, and teaching competencies between winter 2014 and fall 2015. During the time frame examined, the Mississippi Department of Education began providing early literacy professional development to K-3 teachers through a series of online and face-to-face workshops. Over the course of the study, average teacher knowledge started in the 48th percentile and ended in the 59th percentile. In targeted high-need schools, during observations conducted by state literacy coaches, ratings of quality increased from the 31st percentile to the 58th percentile, student engagement increased from the 37th percentile to the 53rd percentile, and teaching competencies increased from the 30th percentile to the 44th percentile. While this study was not intended to determine if the professional development was effective or caused the observed changes, the changes appeared to be associated with teachers' participation in the professional development. At the end of the study, teachers who had not yet started the professional development were in the 54th percentile for teacher knowledge, and teachers who had completed the professional development were in the 65th percentile. Similarly, at the end of the study, teachers who had not yet started the professional development were in the 42nd percentile for quality, 39th for engagement, and 38th for teaching competencies, where as teachers who had completed the professional development were in the 59th percentile for quality, 53rd for engagement, and 54th for teaching competencies.
4/12/2017
REL 2017225 Impacts of the Retired Mentors for New Teachers program
This study evaluates the impact of the Retired Mentors for New Teachers Program, a two-year intervention at the elementary-school level. The program pairs recently retired, master educators with probationary teachers in high-need schools. These retired educators provide the teachers with weekly support over two years that includes tailored in-class observations, coaching, and mentoring. The study used a randomized controlled trial approach to assess the program’s impact on student learning in reading and math, on teacher turnover, and on teacher evaluation ratings. To assist education leaders interested in replicating the program, the study also gathered detailed data on the program’s cost to the school district and return on investment over time. Key findings include that students of teachers collaborating with retired mentors demonstrated a significant improvement in math achievement equivalent to one month’s worth of added instructional time. At an annual local cost of $171 per student, the positive impacts on math achievement produce a return on investment that can pay back the program’s cost more than 15 times over, through increased student earnings over time.
3/14/2017
REL 2016120 Stated Briefly: Teacher evaluation and professional learning: Lessons from early implementation in a large urban district
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report of the same name. REL Northeast and Islands, in collaboration with the Northeast Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance, examined the alignment of teacher evaluation and professional learning in a large urban district in the Northeast. REL researchers examined the types of professional learning activities teachers reported they participated in, the alignment of the reported activities with what evaluators prescribed, and whether evaluation ratings improved from one academic year to the next. The study found that teachers received written feedback across all standards of the evaluation rubric. Each prescription tended to include one or two recommended professional activities, and more of these activities were professional practice activities, such as independent work to improve instruction, than professional development activities, such as courses or workshops. Teachers reported participating in more professional activities for the instruction-based standards than for the non-instruction-based standards. For all standards, less than 40 percent of teachers reported participating in the activities their evaluator recommended. While further work may be needed to strengthen the connection between teacher evaluation and a comprehensive system of teacher support and development, this study takes the first step in illustrating the need for coherence among these related systems.
4/19/2016
NCES 2016063 Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2013 U.S. public-use data files and documentation
The TALIS 2013 U.S. public-use data files and documentation include the following: U.S. national TALIS 2013 data in ASCII text format, including variables unique to the United States; SPSS data files; SAS control files for reading the data and producing SAS system files; codebooks; illustrative code for merging school and teacher-level files; a Read Me file, and a Quick Guide. The U.S. TALIS 2013 data files are formatted so that they can be easily merged with the TALIS international data files, available from the OECD at http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?datasetcode=talis_2013%20. Users of this data should also consult the TALIS 2013 U.S. Technical Report available for viewing and downloading at http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2015010.
2/26/2016
NCES 2016064 Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2013 U.S. restricted-use data files and documentation
The TALIS 2013 U.S. restricted-use data files and documentation include the following: U.S. national TALIS 2013 data in ASCII text format, including variables unique to the United States; SPSS data files; SAS control files for reading the data and producing SAS system files; codebooks; illustrative code for merging school and teacher-level files; a Read Me file, and a Quick Guide. The TALIS 2013 U.S. restricted-use data files include NCES school IDs that facilitate merging with the Common Core of Data (CCD) for public schools and the Private School Universe Survey (PSS) for private schools. Users of this data should also consult the TALIS 2013 U.S. Technical Report available for viewing and downloading at http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2015010.
2/26/2016
REL 2015105 Professional learning communities facilitator's guide for the What Works Clearinghouse practice guide: Teaching academic content and literacy to English learners in elementary and middle school
The Professional Learning Communities Facilitator's Guide is designed to assist teams of educators in applying the evidence-based strategies presented in the Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School educator's practice guide, produced by the What Works Clearinghouse. Through this collaborative learning experience, educators will expand their knowledge base as they read, discuss, share, and apply key ideas and strategies to help K–8 English learners acquire the language and literacy skills needed to succeed academically.

The facilitator's guide employs a five-step cycle that encourages professional learning communities to debrief, define, explore, experiment, and reflect and plan. This cycle is supplemented with activities, handouts, readings, and videos. Participants will develop a working knowledge of some of the best practices in the English learner practice guide through analysis of teaching vignettes and other interactive activities. Included in the toolkit of materials are activities along with 31 handouts and 23 videos. Four of the videos provide a narrative overview of each of the four recommendations in the practice guide, and the remaining videos show actual classrooms from three different grade levels putting the recommendations into practice.
7/7/2015
NCES 2015010 Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2013: U.S. Technical Report
This technical report is designed to provide researchers with an overview of the design and implementation of the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2013. This information is meant to supplement that presented in OECD publications by describing those aspects of TALIS 2013 that are unique to the United States.

Chapter 2 provides information about sampling requirements and sampling in the United States. Chapter 3 provides information on instrument development. Chapter 4 describes the details of how schools and teachers were recruited, and Chapter 5 describes field operations used for collecting data. Chapter 6 describes participation rates at the school and teacher level. Chapter 6 also includes nonresponse bias analysis (NRBA) results for unit-level and item-level response rates (details of the NRBA are provided in appendix E). Chapter 7 describes international activities related to data processing, and weighting. Chapter 8 describes the data available from both international and U.S. sources. Chapter 9 discusses some special issues involved in analyzing the TALIS 2013 U.S. data because of response rates below the international TALIS standards (as described in chapter 6) and also includes selected data tables from the international TALIS report. In addition, the technical report includes all recruitment materials used during the conduct of the study, the U.S. versions of the TALIS questionnaires, and a complete list of all adaptations made to the questionnaires.
12/9/2014
REL 2014010 Summary of Research on the Effectiveness of Math Professional Development Approaches
The study identified and screened 910 research studies in a comprehensive literature search for effectiveness studies of math professional development approaches. Of these 910 studies, 643 examined professional development approaches related to math in grades K-12 and were conducted in the United States. Of the 643 studies, 32 focused primarily on math professional development provided to teachers and used a research design for examining effectiveness. Five of those were determined to have met WWC evidence standards (version 2.1) either with or without reservations. And of those five, only two found positive effects on students' math proficiency. Thus, there is very limited causal evidence to guide districts and schools in selecting a math professional development approach or to support developers' claims about their approaches.
1/22/2014
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