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IES Grant

Title: National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER)
Center: NCER Year: 2012
Principal Investigator: Goldhaber, Dan Awardee: American Institutes for Research (AIR)
Program: National Research and Development Centers      [Program Details]
Award Period: 5 years (7/1/20126/30/2017) Award Amount: $10,000,000
Goal: Multiple Goals Award Number: R305C120008

Topic: State and Local Education Policy

Purpose: Since 2006, the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER) has conducted a focused program of research on current State or district education policies intended to improve student achievement and other education outcomes (e.g., high school graduation rates) in any grades from prekindergarten through Grade 12.

In this new award, the primary research focus of CALDER will continue to be on State and district education personnel policy issues and their relationship to student outcomes. In addition, CALDER will examine two other issues addressed by State and district policy: turning around low-performing schools and college/career ready outcomes for secondary school students. CALDER's work will draw on longitudinal administration data from six states (Florida, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Washington) and the District of Columbia. These datasets follow students over multiple years and link them to data on their teachers, schools, and programs.

CALDER is housed at the American Institutes for Research and operated in collaboration with partners at Duke University, Northwestern University, Stanford University, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Texas at Dallas, and the University of Washington.

Research Projects

CALDER's work is organized around six research topics. Multiple studies are to be done under each topic and many of these are to be planned and carried out in conjunction with the collaborating States/districts as they establish and implement new policies and programs.

Research Topic 1: The contribution of personnel policies (e.g., preparation, recruitment, induction, incentives, supports) to teacher and student outcomes
CALDER will examine a number of State and district programs that have been developed or are under preparation in the areas of teacher and administrator recruitment and induction (e.g., alternative licensure pathways), teacher training programs, performance incentive programs (not yet fully established in its collaborating partners), and professional development and other instructional supports.

Research Topic 2: The extent to which teacher value-added estimates are correlated with other measures of teacher performance (e.g., classroom observations) and with subsequent student outcomes (e.g., grade progression, graduation, college enrollment)
CALDER will examine new evaluation systems for teachers that combine value-added measures with other measures, such as classroom observations and ratings by principals and parents. The technical merits and correlations of the measures will be examined along with relationships between them and teacher characteristics and program interventions. In addition, researchers will examine ways to evaluate teachers in non-tested subjects or grades (e.g., using principal ratings, student ratings, end-of-course exams) and the links between teacher's value-added estimates and students' later outcomes (e.g., high school course-taking, high school graduation, entry into postsecondary education, and labor market outcomes).

Research Topic 3: The distribution and mobility patterns among teachers and principals (especially high-quality ones) and the influence of financial and non-financial factors on these patterns
CALDER will attempt to determine the factors associated with the entry, retention, and exit of effective teachers. This work will include the examination of the movement and effectiveness of teachers over time as well as the evaluation of the specific State programs aimed at improving the quality of teachers in high poverty and/or low-performing schools (e.g., expedited certification, bonuses or salary differentials, reduction of seniority provisions).

Research Topic 4: Teacher exit through retirement and layoffs and the links to teacher quality
CALDER will examine policies regarding pensions, early retirements, and lay-offs and the exit of teachers and changes in the composition and distribution of remaining teachers, especially highly effective ones, that occur as these policies change.

Research Topic 5: Improving and transforming low-performing schools
CALDER will examine the characteristics of low-performing schools and investigate the effects of different improvement strategies proposed by States and districts, especially in regards to the movement of effective teachers in and out of these schools.

Research Topic 6: The policies and practices that affect students' college readiness and the advantages and disadvantages of different measures and predictors of college readiness
CALDER will address student outcomes regarding high school course-taking, high school graduation, and postsecondary enrollment. In addition, the team will explore how investments made and interventions delivered in the early grades and in the later grades will be examined for their impacts on these outcomes.

Key Personnel: Jane Hannaway (American Institutes for Research), David Figlio (Northwestern University), Helen Ladd (Duke University), Susanna Loeb (Stanford University), Rodney Andrews (University of Texas at Dallas), Dan Goldhaber (University of Washington-Bothell), Tim Sass (Florida State University), Michael Podgursky (University of Missouri-Columbia), Cory Koedel (University of Missouri), Charles Clotfelter (Duke University), Jacob Vigdor (Duke University), James Wyckoff (University of Virginia), Erik Hanushek (Stanford University), Steve Rivkin (University of Texas at Dallas), and Clara Muschkin (Duke University)

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