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IES Grant

Title: A Partnership to Improve the Use of a Developmental Assessment Framework in Kindergarten
Center: NCER Year: 2014
Principal Investigator: Strand, Paul S. Awardee: Washington State University
Program: Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships in Education Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2 years (8/1/2014 – 7/31/2016) Award Amount: $399,998
Type: Researcher-Practitioner Partnership Award Number: R305H140135

Co-Principal Investigators: Juarez, Cynthia; French, Brian F.; Gotch, Chad M.; Catlin, Lexi; Beecher, Constance

Partnership Institutions: Washington State Education Services District (ESD 105)

Purpose: The purpose of this partnership was to bring together Washington State University and Washington State Education Services District (ESD) 105 to conduct preliminary research on the adequacy of Teaching Strategies Gold (TSGold) for assessing literacy skills and on the potential of the WaKIDS enhanced condition to improve literacy outcomes when compared to the non-enhanced condition. The partnership also examined teacher responses to the use of WaKIDS and TSGold.

Project Activities: The partnership between Washington State University and ESD 105 was developed through a variety of mechanisms. First, members from both partners attended the Regional Early Learning Collaboration Steering Committee (RELCSC) meetings and formed a RELCSC subcommittee with the goal of creating a network of contacts among the schools, and obtaining feedback to ensure the partnership sought answers to relevant questions and that the research aims were well-aligned with district needs. The RELCSC met weekly throughout the project and guided virtually all partnership activities. Second, the Data Collection and Study Design Committee strategized on using existing data to answer the most immediate questions of the districts. The goal of this committee was to help districts conceptualize ways that their current data collection efforts could inform education practices. This committee also provided training workshops for ESD staff to use and collect data. Third, the Conference Committee involved members from both partners and focused on the dissemination of outcomes to local, regional, and state conferences. This committee was also responsible for writing manuscripts for publication, and for drafting a written document outlining the protocol for dissemination of work including workflow structures, roles, and expectations.

Key Outcomes: This section will be updated when key outcomes are published and available in ERIC.

Structured Abstract

Setting: This project took place at school districts in ESD 105 in Washington State.

Sample: This research project involved approximately 3,140 kindergarten students and 128 kindergarten teachers, including 36 enhanced kindergarten classrooms and 92 non-enhanced kindergarten classrooms.

Education Issue: Washington State was piloting a developmental assessment framework, WaKIDS. WaKIDS utilizes the TSGold assessment tool which is intended to align and improve instructional practices. Additionally, some classrooms were piloting an enhanced version of WaKIDS, which involved professional support for teachers and more frequent use of TSGold. The current project evaluated the adequacy of the mandated assessment tool for assessing literacy skills, and whether literacy outcomes were improved for students in the enhanced condition compared to the non-enhanced WaKIDS classrooms.

Research Design and Methods: This project used descriptive statistics, correlational analysis, and multilevel modeling.

Key Measures: Key measures included TSGold literacy, Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) literacy, and Woodcock-Johnson III achievement battery (WJIII).

Data Analytic Strategy: To determine the validity of the TSGold assessment, the partnership explored the correlations between the TSGold literacy items and scores on the DIBELS and the WJIII achievement battery. A stratified subsample of 60 students were administered the WJIII during the 2014/2015 school year. Teachers completed the Teacher Educational Measurement Literacy Scales (TEMLS) during the 2014/2015 school year. Researchers conducted data analyses to examine the impact of the enhanced WaKIDS condition on student literacy outcomes as compared to the non-enhanced WaKIDS condition. Schools in the enhanced condition were those that sought out additional funding from the Gates Foundation and were willing to dedicate resources and teacher time to the enhanced condition.

Products and Publications

ERIC Citations: Find available citations in ERIC for this award here.

Select Publication:

Gotch, C. M., Beecher, C. C., Lenihan, K., French, B. F., Juarez, C., & Strand, P. S. (2017). WaKIDS GOLD as a measure of literacy and language in relation to other standardized measures. The WERA Educational Journal, 10(1), 44–51.