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What's New for April 2014

A Focused Look At Schools Receiving School Improvement Grants That Have High Percentages of English Language Learner Students (April 16, 2014)
This evaluation brief sheds light on the implementation of School Improvement Grants (SIG) by examining 11 high-ELL SIG schools' capacity and efforts to address the unique needs of ELLs as they try to turn around a history of low performance.

E-Book Now Available: Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School (April 16, 2014)
Access our latest practice guide from anywhere on a variety of electronic devices such as the Nook, Kindle, iPad, tablets, personal computers, and smartphones. Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School is now available as an e-book. Get your copy now.

Technical Report and User Guide for the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012 (April 16, 2014)
The Technical Report and User Guide for the PISA 2012 is a technical manual that describes how the U.S. data were collected and processed as well as how to use the data files to conduct statistical analyses. Information is presented on sampling, response rates, school and student recruitment, instrument development and distribution, and data management. The appendices of the Technical Report and User Guide include school recruitment materials, student and parent materials, student and school questionnaires, and a nonresponse bias analysis of PISA 2012 U.S. data.

Out-of-Pocket Net Price for College (April 15, 2014)
This Data Point uses data from four administrations of the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:2000, NPSAS:04, NPSAS:08, and NPSAS:12) to briefly present trends in out-of-pocket net price for college, the amount that students and their families must pay to attend college after subtracting grants, loans, work-study, and all other student aid from the total price of attendance.

New REL Northeast & Islands Surveys for Early Childhood Educators and Administrators (April 15, 2014)
REL Northeast & Islands has developed two new surveys to help users collect data on the use of child assessments and learning standards in early childhood settings.

Examining the Effectiveness of the Higher Achievement Program for At-Risk Youth (April 15, 2014)
This study of 952 fifth and sixth graders in Washington, DC and Alexandria, Virginia, found that students who were offered the Higher Achievement program had higher test scores in mathematical problem solving and were more likely to be admitted to and attend private competitive high schools. Higher Achievement is a multi-year afterschool and summer program aimed at middle school students from at-risk communities. The program’s goal is to improve academic achievement and encourage matriculation into an academically competitive high school. This study is a well-executed randomized controlled trial that meets WWC evidence standards without reservations.

Instructional Coaching and the Effective Teacher: New Webinar from the Regional Ed Labs (April 14, 2014)
REL Mid-Atlantic is offering a free online webinar on instructional coaching and how it can contribute to teacher effectiveness. Dr. Jim Knight of the University of Kansas, will explore the attributes of a successful coaching program.

NCES announces online dataset training modules (April 8, 2014)
The DLDT computer-based training module resource is an online, interactive tool that allows users to learn about NCES data across the education spectrum and evaluate it for suitability for particular research purposes.

The Impacts of Tenure Track Versus Non-Tenure Track Professors on Future Enrollment and Performance (April 8, 2014)
Using transcript data from 15,662 first-term freshmen at Northwestern University, researchers found that students who took a freshman-level class with a tenure track professor were less likely to take another class in the same subject. In addition, among students who did take another class in the same subject, those whose introductory course was taken with a tenure track professor earned slightly lower grades. This study meets WWC evidence standards with reservations. While the study did establish baseline equivalence between groups on student SAT scores, students were not randomly assigned to the intervention and comparison conditions.

Evaluación Nacional del Progreso Educativo Visión General de NAEP (April 7, 2014)
This brochure is the Spanish version of Overview of NAEP. It introduces audiences to NAEP, outlines valuable resources available, and details what makes NAEP the gold standard of assessments.

IES Grantees Presenting at AERA (April 3, 2014)
The 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) is taking place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on April 3-April 7. Many Institute of Education Sciences (IES) grantees will present findings from their research grants from the National Center for Education Research (NCER).

A Focused Look at Rural Schools Receiving School Improvement Grants (April 2, 2014)
This evaluation brief sheds light on the implementation of School Improvement Grants (SIG) by examining the special challenges that nine rural SIG schools face in trying to turn around a history of low performance and the approaches that they took to address the challenges.

New PISA 2012 Results: U.S. 15-year-olds Perform Above OECD Average in Problem Solving (April 1, 2014)
NCES releases new data tables documenting the performance of U.S. 15-year-old students on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012 problem solving assessment in comparison to their peers in 43 other education systems.

WWC Releases New Practice Guide: Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School (April 1, 2014)
Elementary and middle school teachers, literacy coaches, and administrators: Don't miss the newest WWC practice guide, Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School! This practice guide includes four concrete recommendations that address what works for English learners during reading and content area instruction (e.g., mathematics, science, history). It provides extensive examples of activities that can be used to support your students as they build the language and literacy skills they need to be successful in school: listening, reading, writing, and speaking in English for academic purposes.