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 Pub Number  Title  Date
WWC IRM684 Accelerated Math: Primary Mathematics
This What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) intervention report summarizes the research on Accelerated Math and its impacts on the mathematics achievement of primary students. Accelerated Math is a software tool that provides practice problems for students in grades K-12 and provides teachers with reports to monitor student progress. The software is typically used as a supplement to the math curriculum being used in the classroom to add practice for students and help teachers differentiate instruction through the program's progress-monitoring data.

This report replaces the 2008 and 2010 WWC Accelerated Math reports to combine reviews and include more recent publications. After reviewing the currently available research, the WWC found that Accelerated Math has mixed effects on mathematics achievement for primary students.
WWC IRM676 I CAN Learn Primary Mathematics
This What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) intervention report in the Primary Math topic area summarizes the research on I CAN Learn® Pre-Algebra, a computer-based math curriculum for students in middle school, high school, and college. This new report represents the most recent available evidence of the impact of I CAN Learn® Pre-Algebra on primary students and replaces the 2009 Middle School Math report. Based on the available evidence, the WWC found that I CAN Learn® Pre-Algebra has no discernible effects on general mathematics achievement for primary students.
WWC IRM677 I CAN Learn Algebra: Secondary Mathematics
This What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) intervention report in the Secondary Math topic area summarizes the research on I CAN Learn® Algebra, a computer-based math curriculum for students in middle school, high school, and college. This new report represents the most recent available evidence of the impact of I CAN Learn® Algebra on secondary students and replaces the 2012 High School Math report. Based on the available evidence, the WWC found that I CAN Learn® has no discernible effects on general mathematics achievement for secondary students.
NCEE 20174024 An Exploration of Instructional Practices that Foster Language Development and Comprehension: Evidence from Prekindergarten through Grade 3 in Title I Schools
To date, efforts to include evidence-based instruction in large-scale reading programs have not generated meaningful improvements in student outcomes. To identify additional instructional practices that merit further evaluation, this evaluation brief provides an exploratory analysis of practices that are related to young students' growth in language skills and comprehension in listening and reading. The analysis is based on student test scores and observations of instructional practices in 1,035 classrooms in prekindergarten through grade 3 within 83 Title I schools during the 2011-2012 school year. Among the practices measured, those that were most consistently related to student growth include engaging students in defining new words, making connections between students' prior knowledge and the texts they read, promoting higher-order thinking, and focusing instruction on the meaning of texts.
WWC IRM673 Intervention Report: Saxon Math
Saxon Math is a curriculum for students in grades K-12. The amount of new math content students receive each day is limited and students practice concepts every day. New concepts are developed, reviewed, and practiced cumulatively rather than in discrete chapters or units.
REL 2017258 Stated Briefly: The relative effectiveness of two approaches to early literacy intervention in grades K-2
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the findings from another report (REL 2017-251). This randomized controlled trial of early literacy interventions examined whether using a stand-alone intervention outside the core curriculum leads to better outcomes than using the embedded curriculum for small group intervention in grades K-2. Fifty-five schools located across Florida were randomly assigned to stand-alone or embedded interventions delivered daily throughout the school year for 45 minutes in small groups of four or five students. Students below the 30th percentile in reading-related skills and/or vocabulary were eligible for intervention. One-third of participating students were English language learners. Both interventions were implemented with high fidelity and, on average, students showed improvement in reading and language skills in both interventions. The stand-alone intervention significantly improved grade 2 spelling. However, impacts on other student outcomes were comparable. The two interventions had relatively similar impacts on reading and language outcomes among English learners and non-English learners, with the exception of some reading outcomes in kindergarten. Implications for future research are discussed.
WWC IRBR672 Success for All Intervention Report
This What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) intervention report in the Literacy topic area summarizes the research on Success for All® (SFA®) and its effects on students in grades K–4. SFA® is a whole-school reform model for students in grades pre-K-8 and includes a literacy program that emphasizes phonics for beginning readers and comprehension for all students. Teachers provide reading instruction to students grouped by reading ability for 90 minutes a day, 5 days a week. In addition, certified teachers or paraprofessionals provide daily tutoring to students who have difficulty reading at the same level as their classmates.

This updated report includes the research examined in the 2009 SFA® report and reviews of 111 additional studies. Based on this research, the WWC found SFA® to have positive effects on alphabetics, potentially positive effects on reading fluency, and mixed effects on comprehension and general reading achievement for beginning readers.
REL 2017242 Stated Briefly: Impacts of Ramp-Up to Readiness™ after one year of implementation
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the findings from another report (REL 2017-241). 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.
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.
NCES 2017076 Instructional Time for Third- and Eighth-Graders in Public and Private Schools: School Year 2011–12
This Statistics in Brief examines the amount of time that students in grades 3 and 8 spent on different activities in 2011–12 and compares how, if at all, this time varied by activity, school sector, and grade.
REL 2017219 Rubric for evaluating reading/language arts instructional materials for kindergarten to grade 5
This rubric was developed in response to a request by Improving Literacy Research Alliance members at the Florida Department of Education to be used in their instructional materials review process. It is a tool for evaluating reading/language arts instructional and intervention materials in grades K–5 based on rigorous research and standards. It can be used by practitioners at the state, district, or school level or by university faculty involved in reviewing instructional materials. The rubric is organized by content area for grades K–2 and for grades 3–5. Each item is aligned to recommendations from six What Works Clearinghouse practice guides. Each content area (for example, writing) includes a list of criteria that describe what should be consistently found within the instructional materials. Reviewers use a 1–5 scale to rate the degree to which the criteria were met. The rubric includes a guide for when and how to use it, including facilitator responsibilities, professional learning for reviewers, and ways to use the scores. Alliance members and reading coaches involved in a statewide literacy initiative in Mississippi provided feedback on the rubric.
REL 2017217 Stated Briefly: Academic outcomes for North Carolina Virtual Public School credit recovery students
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report of the same name. This report describes the results of a REL Southeast study comparing short- and longer-term student successes after completion of online credit recovery courses compared to student successes after completion of other credit recovery options, such as traditional face-to-face courses and summer school courses. Credit recovery refers to when a student fails a course and then retakes the same course to earn high school credit. This research question was motivated by the growing importance of online learning in traditional public school settings and a desire on the part of many stakeholders to understand better how students are adjusting to that transition. The data for this study covered eleven core high school courses (courses required for graduation) taken between 2008/09 and 2011/12 in North Carolina. The study compares the likelihood of a student: (a) succeeding on the state end-of-course test for the recovered course; (b) succeeding in the next course in a recovered course sequence (for instance, in English II after English I); (c) remaining in school after credit recovery; and (d) graduating and graduating on time. Results suggest that there was little difference between the short-term success rates of students who completed state-supported online credit recovery and students who completed other credit recovery options. However, on measures of longer-term success, students who completed state-provided online credit recovery courses and did not subsequently drop out were more likely than other credit recovery students to graduate on time. Among credit recovery participants in state-provided online courses, Black students were less likely to reach proficiency in their recovered courses but more likely than their peers to succeed in later coursework after their online experience. Because of limitations in the analyses possible with available data, it is not possible to directly attribute these outcomes to participation in online credit recovery, but the results do point toward intriguing and potentially beneficial areas for future, more rigorous study.
WWC PG111622 Teaching Secondary Students to Write Effectively
This practice guide presents three evidence-based recommendations for helping students in grades 6-12 develop effective writing skills. Each recommendation includes specific, actionable guidance for educators on implementing practices in their classrooms. The guide also summarizes and rates the evidence supporting each recommendation.
REL 2016180 Predicting math outcomes from a reading screening assessment in grades 3–8
District and state education leaders and teachers frequently use assessments to identify students who are at risk of performing poorly on end-of-year reading achievement tests. This study explores the use of a universal screening assessment of reading skills for the identification of students who are at risk for low achievement in mathematics and provides support for the interpretation of screening scores to inform instruction. The study results demonstrate that a reading screening assessment predicted poor performance on a mathematics outcome (the Stanford Achievement Test) with similar levels of accuracy as screening assessments that specifically measure mathematics skills. These findings indicate that a school district could use an assessment of reading skills to screen for risk in both reading and mathematics, potentially reducing costs and testing time. In addition, this document provides a decision tree framework to support implementation of screening practices and interpretation by teachers.
REL 2016227 Professional learning communities facilitator's guide for the What Works Clearinghouse practice guide: Foundational skills to support reading for understanding in kindergarten through 3rd grade
The Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southeast developed a Professional Learning Community (PLC) Facilitators Guide to support educators in the implementation of recommendations from the What Works Clearinghouse's Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade Practice Guide. The practice guide focuses on the foundational reading skills that enable students to read words, relate those words to their oral language, and read connected text with sufficient accuracy and fluency to understand what they read. The practice guide, developed by a panel of experts comprised of researchers and practitioners, presents four recommendations that educators can use to improve literacy skills in the early grades.

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are a form of professional development in which small groups of educators with shared interests work together with the goals of expanding their knowledge and improving their craft. REL Southeast developed PLC materials focused on the practice guide that were designed to assist a literacy leader in guiding a professional learning community in applying the recommendations from the practice guide. The materials include a facilitator's guide, participant activities, and videos. The facilitator's guide includes a framework for facilitators to conduct each of the ten PLC sessions. It also includes participant activities, discussion questions, small- and whole-group activities, and implementation and reflection activities. The participant's activities include reflection questions, lesson plan examples and templates, video-viewing guides, and sharing opportunities. The videos illustrate practices presented in the foundational reading skills practice guide.
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