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 Pub Number  Title  Date
NCES 2020051 U.S. Performance on the 2015 TIMSS Advanced Mathematics and Physics Assessments: A Closer Look
“U.S. Performance on the 2015 TIMSS Advanced Mathematics and Physics Assessments: A Closer Look” expands upon the results described in NCES’ initial "Highlights" report on TIMSS Advanced. This new report provides in-depth analyses that (1) examine the demographics, school characteristics, and coursetaking patterns of the small subset of U.S. 12th-graders taking the TIMSS Advanced assessments; (2) describe the extent to which the topics assessed in the study were covered in the curricula of the advanced mathematics and physics courses taken by U.S students; (3) provide detailed performance data within content domains for student subgroups and overall; and (4) illustrate student performance with example items.

This report uses data from the 2015 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study Advanced (TIMSS Advanced), an international assessment that measures advanced mathematics and physics achievement in the final year of secondary school. TIMSS Advanced is sponsored by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) and conducted in the United States by NCES.
WWC 2020003 Evidence Snapshot: Passport Reading Journeys
This What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) intervention report summarizes the research on Passport Reading Journeys, a supplemental literacy curriculum that is designed to improve reading comprehension, vocabulary, word study, and writing skills of struggling readers in grades 6-12. Lessons incorporate both teacher-led instruction and technology, including whole-class and small-group instruction, independent reading, video segments, and individualized computer-based practice. The curriculum includes a series of instructional sequences ("expeditions") on topics in science, math, fine art, literature, and social studies. Based on the research, the WWC found that Passport Reading Journeys has inconsistent effects on comprehension and little or no effect on general literacy achievement for struggling adolescent 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.
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.
WWC IRM654 Cognitive Tutor
The Cognitive Tutor secondary mathematics curriculum offers a variety of courses designed to improve mathematics achievement. The curriculum focuses on how students think about and learn mathematics and can be implemented using a textbook, adaptive software, or both. The WWC found that Cognitive Tutor Algebra I has mixed effects on algebra achievement and no discernible effects on general mathematics achievement for secondary students. In addition, the WWC found that Cognitive Tutor Geometry has potentially negative effects on geometry achievement for secondary students. No studies that examine Cognitive Tutor Algebra II or Cognitive Tutor Integrated Math I, II, and III meet WWC group design standards; therefore, more research is needed to determine their effectiveness.
WWC IRM052416 University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (UCSMP)
The University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (UCSMP) is a core mathematics curriculum for secondary students that emphasizes a student-centered approach incorporating problem solving, real-world applications, and the use of technology. The WWC reviewed the research on UCSMP’s secondary courses and found that UCSMP Algebra I has potentially positive effects on both general mathematics achievement and algebra for secondary students. In addition, the cumulative effect of multiple UCSMP courses was found to have potentially positive effects on general mathematics achievement for secondary students. No studies of UCSMP Geometry; UCSMP Advanced Algebra; UCSMP Functions, Statistics, and Trigonometry; or UCSMP Precalculus and Discrete Mathematics meet WWC group design standards. More research is needed to determine the effectiveness of these courses.
NCES 2013451 Algebra I and Geometry Curricula: Results from the 2005 High School Transcript Mathematics Curriculum Study

The Mathematics Curriculum Study explores the relationship between student coursetaking and achievement by examining the content and challenge of two mathematics courses taught in the nation’s public high schools—algebra I and geometry. Conducted in conjunction with the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) High School Transcript Study (HSTS), the study uses textbooks as an indirect measure of what was taught in classrooms, but not how it was taught (i.e., classroom instruction). The study uses curriculum topics to describe the content of the mathematics courses and course levels to denote the content and complexity of the courses. The results are based on analyses of the curriculum topics and course levels developed from the textbook information, coursetaking data from the 2005 NAEP HSTS, and performance data from the twelfth-grade 2005 NAEP mathematics assessment.

Highlights of the study findings show that about 65 percent of the material covered in high school graduates’ algebra I was devoted to algebra topics, while about 66 percent of the material covered in graduates’ geometry courses focused on geometry topics. School course titles often overstated course content and challenge. Approximately 73 percent of graduates in “honors” algebra I classes received a curriculum ranked as an intermediate algebra I course, while 62 percent of graduates who took a geometry course labeled “honors” by their school received a curriculum ranked as intermediate geometry. Graduates who took rigorous algebra I and geometry courses scored higher on NAEP than graduates who took beginner or intermediate courses.

REL 20124021 Access to Algebra I: The Effects of Online Mathematics for Grade 8 Students
This report presents findings from a randomized control trial designed to inform the decisions of policymakers who are considering using online courses to provide access to Algebra I in grade 8. It focuses on students judged by their schools to be ready to take Algebra I in grade 8 but who attend schools that do not offer the course. The study tested the impact of offering an online Algebra I course on students' algebra achievement at the end of grade 8 and their subsequent likelihood of participating in an advanced mathematics course sequence in high school. The study was designed to respond to both broad public interest in the deployment of online courses for K–12 students and to calls from policymakers to provide students with adequate pathways to advanced coursetaking sequences in mathematics (National Mathematics Advisory Panel 2008).
NCSER 20123000REV Secondary School Programs and Performance of Students With Disabilities: A Special Topic Report of Findings From the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2)
Secondary School Programs and Performance of Students With Disabilities: A Special Topic Report of Findings From the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 uses data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 dataset to provide a national picture of what courses students with disabilities took in high school, in what settings, and with what success in terms of credits and grades earned.

This report has been revised to reflect the updated NLTS2 dataset released in 2013.
NCES 2011465 The 2009 High School Transcript Study User’s Guide
This user’s guide documents the procedures used to collect and summarize the data from the 2009 High School Transcript Study. Chapters detail the sampling of schools and graduates, data collection procedures, data processing procedures, weighting procedures, and the 2009 data files and codebooks that are encompassed by this report. The appendices contain the data collection and documentation forms; associated National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2009 questionnaires; information concerning nonresponse bias associated with creating the HSTS weights; a description of the Classification of Secondary School Courses (CSSC), which was used to code the courses on the collected transcripts, plus a complete listing of CSSC codes; codebooks for all of the 2009 data files; and a glossary.
WWC IRHSMUC11 University of Chicago School Mathematics Project 6-12 Curriculum.
The University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (UCSMP) 6-12 Curriculum is a series of year-long courses-(1) Transition Mathematics; (2) Algebra; (3) Geometry; (4) Advanced Algebra; (5) Functions, Statistics, and Trigonometry; and (6) Precalculus and Discrete Mathematics-emphasizing problem solving, real-world applications, and the use of technology. The program is designed to allow schools to offer the appropriate math courses to students, independent of grade level. The WWC reviewed 20 studies that investigate the effects of UCSMP on high school students. Two studies meet WWC evidence standards with reservations and included 251 high school students in five schools in five districts. Based on these two studies, the WWC considers UCSMP to have potentially positive effects on mathematics achievement for high school students.
NCES 2011462 America’s High School Graduates: Results of the 2009 NAEP High School Transcript Study
This report presents information about the types of courses 2009 high school graduates took during high school, how many credits they earned, and the grades they received. Information on the relationships between high school records and performance in mathematics and science on the twelfth-grade National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is also included. Transcripts were collected from a nationally representative sample of 37,700 high school graduates. The 2009 results are compared to the results of earlier transcript studies, and differences among graduates by race/ethnicity, gender, and other demographic characteristics are examined. In addition, the report takes a closer look at science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) coursetaking, ways in which graduates may earn more credits, and the coursetaking patterns of students with disabilities and English language learners. Additional technical notes provide information on the sample design, school and student participation rates, the inclusion/exclusion criteria for graduates, and other statistical information for interpreting the results.

Highlights of the study findings show that in 2009 graduates earned over three credits more than their 1990 counterparts, or about 420 additional hours of instruction during their high school careers. A greater percentage of 2009 graduates completed more challenging curriculum levels than 1990 or 2005 graduates. Graduates with stronger academic records earned higher NAEP scores. For example, graduates who completed who a rigorous curriculum, completed a higher level mathematics or science course in ninth grade, or who completed an Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) mathematics or science course, had NAEP scores at the Proficient level in both mathematics and science. A larger percentage of female than male graduates completed a midlevel or rigorous curriculum in 2009. In 2009, male graduates generally had higher NAEP mathematics and science scores than female graduates completing the same curriculum level. White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander graduates earned, on average, more credits and higher grade point averages (GPAs) in 2009 than they did in 1990. Since 1990, more graduates from each racial/ethnic group completed at least a standard curriculum.
WWC IRESMAM10 Accelerated Math
Accelerated Math is a software tool used to customize assignments and monitor progress in mathematics for students in grades 1112. Based on its review of the research, the WWC found Accelerated Math to have mixed effects for math achievement for elementary school students.
WWC IRALRT10 Reciprocal Teaching
Reciprocal teaching is an interactive instructional practice that aims to improve students' reading comprehension by teaching strategies to obtain meaning from a text. Based on its review of the research, the WWC found reciprocal teaching to have mixed effects on comprehension for adolescent learners.
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