WWC review of this study

Impact of achievement of a five-year intensive professional development program in elementary science.

Nedley, S. (2016). Pittsburgh, PA: ASSET STEM Education. Retrieved from https://assetinc.org/.

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
    , grade

Reviewed: January 2017

No statistically significant positive
Meets WWC standards with reservations
Science achievement outcomes—Substantively important positive effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) Science

Achieving Student Success through Excellence in Teaching (ASSET) vs. Business as usual

3 Years

Grade: 4;
39 schools




More Outcomes

Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) Science

Achieving Student Success through Excellence in Teaching (ASSET) vs. Other professional development

3 Years

Grade: 4;
41 schools





Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

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The study took place among 69 schools in rural and high-needs schools in Pennsylvania.

Study sample

No data were provided regarding sample characteristics of the students in the study. However, the schools in the study were identified as high-need and/or rural based on the following criteria: (1) at least 40% of students receive free/reduced lunch, (2) the school is a Title I-eligible Race to the the Top Turnaround school that met established benchmarks for poor academic performance, or (3) the school was designated Rural or Rural Low-Income based on federal guidelines.

Intervention Group

Schools in the intervention condition participated in the ASSET (Achieving Student Success through Excellence in Teaching) Advanced Professional Development model. This model includes a number of components aimed at increasing K-6 teachers' preparedness to deliver high-quality instruction in science, as well as improving schools' capacity to support this instruction. The intervention condition in the current study implemented two Professional Development services through ASSET. The services were: (1) development of a professional learning community school culture through 3 years of a 3 consecutive day Leadership Academy, and (2) comprehensive professional development to increase teacher's content knowledge and self-efficacy in science, through 4 years of a 1-day Content Enrichment session.

Comparison Group

There were two comparison groups in the study. The key differences between the two comparison groups concern the schools' prior professional development in science. Comparison group 1 consisted of schools that had not participated in the intervention or any other statewide science initiatives, while comparison group 2 were not currently participating in the Advanced Professional Development provided by the i3 grant, but may have participated in other professional development offerings of ASSET.

Support for implementation

The intervention includes coaching support, and support for schools in building leadership and professional learning communities in science. No other implementation support is described.


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