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|REL 2019011||The postsecondary education and employment pathways of Minnesota public high school graduates: Investigating opportunity gaps
In Minnesota, as in many other states, not all students have access to the types of educational experiences in high school that are likely to lead to high-paying jobs. If Minnesota policymakers and practitioners are to be well positioned to reduce achievement gaps that lead to different career and college outcomes, they must have reliable data on the postsecondary pathways Minnesota public high school graduates take, as well as information about differences in pathways and outcomes for different groups of students. Members of the Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance collaborated with Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest to conduct a study that describes the postsecondary pathways of Minnesota public high school graduates, including the pathways graduates take within one year of high school graduation and their degree attainment and employment outcomes six years later. The study also examined differences in initial pathways, degree attainment, and employment outcomes for students with different characteristics. Using data from the Minnesota Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System, the study examined the initial postsecondary pathways of Minnesota public high school students who graduated from high school between 2008 and 2015. The study also examined the college certificate and degree attainment and employment outcomes of Minnesota public high school students who graduated from high school between 2008 and 2010. The study describes differences in initial postsecondary pathways, college certificate and degree attainment, and employment for students from different groups. The study found that within one year of high school graduation, nearly all Minnesota public high school graduates were enrolled in college or employed. There were differences in initial postsecondary pathway by student characteristics but not by rurality. Graduates who had disabilities, graduates who had limited English proficiency, Hispanic graduates, and American Indian/Alaska Native graduates were the most likely to be neither employed nor enrolled in college within one year of high school graduation. Six years after high school graduation, 48 percent of graduates had not earned a college certificate or degree. Thirty-seven percent of graduates had earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, 11 percent of graduates had earned an associate’s degree, and 4 percent of graduates had earned a college certificate. In addition, six years after high school graduation, 71 percent of graduates were employed, and their median annual earnings were $22,717. Finally, there were differences in college certificate and degree attainment, employment, and earnings by student characteristics. These differences remained when comparing graduates who participated in the same initial postsecondary pathway.
|REL 2019009||Past and projected trends in teacher demand and supply in Michigan
State and district leaders in Michigan have described a need for better and more comprehensive information on the existence and extent of teacher shortages within the state of Michigan in recent years and projected into the near future. Michigan has experienced challenges matching the active supply of teachers to the demand for the kinds of teachers that districts need. This study aims to provide a systematic understanding of teacher supply, demand, and shortages in Michigan. This study used data from the 2013/14 to 2017/18 school years to examine trends in teacher supply and demand in Michigan, and make projections for the next five years. Data used include personnel, certification, and substitute permit data from the Michigan Department of Education as well as publicly available data from the MI School Data portal and the federal Title II website. Methods used include descriptive statistics and regression analysis to project teacher supply and demand. The study found that total student enrollment in Michigan public schools declined by 2.8 percent between 2013/14 and 2017/18, while the enrollment of English learner students increased by 27.1 percent over the five-year period. The size of the teacher workforce, as measured by teacher full-time equivalents, decreased by 2.1 percent between 2013/14 and 2017/18. The number of newly certified, active teachers decreased by 23.4 percent between 2013/14 and 2017/18. Although the overall active supply of teachers in Michigan public schools is projected to meet the demand over the next five years, shortages are expected in a few subject areas (for example, business education and career and technical education) and regions (for example, the Northwest and Upper Peninsula). Study findings suggest leverage points in teacher retention and certification to address potential teacher shortages. Moreover, efforts to increase the supply of qualified teachers should be focused on those subject areas, regions, and locales where shortages are projected.
|REL 2019008||Factors related to teacher mobility and attrition in Colorado, Missouri, and South Dakota
This report describes teacher and school characteristics related to teacher movement within and out of public school systems in Colorado, Missouri, and South Dakota. Stakeholders in each of these states expressed interest in better understanding teacher mobility and attrition and related factors. The authors used administrative data provided by state education agencies to examine the characteristics related to the likelihood that teachers would move to different schools or leave state public school systems from 2015/16 to 2016/17. Results suggest that the likelihood of teachers either moving or leaving was most strongly related to age, years of experience in their schools or districts, special education teaching assignments, average salaries, school demographics and performance, and school state accountability designation. Information about factors that contribute to moving and leaving may help decision-makers improve the policy and practices aimed at attracting and keeping teachers.
|REL 2019007||Math course sequences in grades 6–11 and math achievement in Mississippi
The purpose of this study was to examine how students in Mississippi met their mathematics requirements and the extent to which their mathematics sequence is related to student performance and demographic characteristics such as race and ethnicity. The study used data from the Mississippi Department of Education over a six-year period, beginning in 2011/12 and ending in 2016/17. The sample includes all students enrolled in grade 11 in Mississippi public high schools during the 2016/17 school year who had scores on the ACT Mathematics in grade 11 and recorded coursework in grade 6. Sequence analysis was used to summarize and then cluster the mathematics course-taking experience, or mathematics sequence, of these students in grades 6-11. Classification and regression tree analysis facilitated the identification of associations between mathematics sequence, student demographic characteristics, and college-ready performance on the ACT Mathematics in grade 11. Results indicate that membership in a particular mathematics sequence cluster did not improve the classification accuracy of the decision tree predicting risk status over and above the use of student achievement in grade 5 and student race. That these differences have less association with college-ready performance than student grade 5 mathematics achievement suggests a need to focus on prevention efforts before grade 6. Algebra I is often viewed as the gatekeeper course, but it is also possible that mathematics preparation at the elementary level sets a student on the path to taking Algebra I earlier in their mathematics sequence. While this study did not explore the quality of mathematics curriculum and instruction at the secondary level, the results of this study underscore the importance of mathematics instruction at the elementary level.
|REL 2019004||Technology use in instruction and teacher perceptions of school support for technology use in Iowa high schools
A growing national consensus shows the need for educational systems to prepare students to succeed in working environments and society of the 21st century. Recognizing this need, Iowa school districts have invested in technology to assist in addressing the expectations of the Iowa Core Standards related to 21st century skills. The rural districts served by the Central Rivers Area Education Agency (Central Rivers AEA) and three high schools formed the Iowa Learning and Technology Networked Improvement Community (Iowa NIC) to promote effective use of these technology resources. To inform these improvement efforts, the Iowa NIC requested that REL Midwest conduct a descriptive research study to describe the extent to which teachers are using technology to support the development of 21st century skills and describe teacher perceptions and school supports related to technology integration. The study team obtained teacher survey data and school data from Central Rivers AEA. The study examined proportion of teachers emphasizing each of the four 21st century skills (that is, collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking). In addition, the study performed tests to determine which groups of teachers (for example, by subject area taught) differed in their responses for a given topic area. The proportions of teachers asking students to use technology to support the development of 21st century skills differed across the four skills, as well as across subject areas taught and teacher experience. Specifically, half or nearly half of the teachers emphasized the use of technology for collaboration or critical thinking at least monthly. By contrast, less than a fourth of the teachers emphasized the use of technology for communication or creativity at least monthly.
|REL 2019003||Student and school characteristics associated with academic performance and English language proficiency among English learner students in grades 3–8 in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) has witnessed an increase in the number of English learner students in grades K–12 over recent years, with students coming from more diverse backgrounds in race/ethnicity, countries of origin, and native language. This requires more support from the district to meet diverse needs in terms of languages, cultures, and educational supports. The Cleveland Partnership for English Learner Success—a partnership among CMSD's Multilingual Multicultural Education office, the research office and researchers from Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest—has prioritized identifying English learner student and school characteristics associated with student achievement and language proficiency. This will provide a step toward improving district and school supports for English learner students. Student and school data from 2011/12 through 2016/17 were obtained from the district administrative records. The study examined means and percentages of student and school characteristics and student achievement of English learner students in grades 3–8 from school years 2011/12 through 2016/17. The study team examined these characteristics for English learner students in grades 3–8 each year separately, enabling the team to identify stable patterns while helping to uncover changes over time.
|REL 2019002||Professional Learning Community: Improving Mathematical Problem Solving for Students in Grades 4 Through 8 Facilitator's Guide
REL Southeast developed this facilitator's guide on the topic of mathematical problem solving for use in professional learning community (PLC) settings. The facilitator's guide is a set of professional development materials designed to supplement the What Works Clearinghouse practice guide, Improving Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4 Through 8 (Woodward et al., 2012). The practice guide provides research-based recommendations for teachers to incorporate into their classroom practice. The facilitator's guide is designed to complement and extend the practice guide by providing teachers in a PLC setting with additional, step-by-step guidance for the best ways to implement some of these evidence-based recommendations.
The facilitator's guide focuses on three of the five recommendations from the mathematics problem solving practice guide to ensure in-depth coverage of the topics and to provide ample practice opportunities and time for reflection. The three practice guide recommendations on which the facilitator's guide is based are: teach students how to use visual representations (Recommendation 3), expose students to multiple problem-solving strategies (Recommendation 4), and help students recognize and articulate mathematical concepts and notation (Recommendation 5). REL Southeast chose these three recommendations because they are interrelated and include critical content to address the two high-leverage regional needs communicated by the Improving Mathematics Instruction Research Alliance which include improving classroom discourse in mathematics and enhancing students' mathematical problem-solving skills.
|NCEE 20194006||Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Impacts After Three Years
The DC Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), established in 2004, is the only federally-funded private school voucher program for low-income parents in the United States. This report examines impacts on achievement and other outcomes three years after eligible students were selected or not selected to receive scholarships using a lottery process in 2012, 2013, and 2014. The report found that the OSP had no effect on either math or reading achievement. The OSP did have positive effects on students' – but not parents' – satisfaction with their schools and perceptions of school safety.
|WWC 20090001||Using Technology to Support Postsecondary Student Learning
Using Technology to Support Postsecondary Student Learning is a practice guide that focuses on promising uses of technologies associated with improving postsecondary student learning outcomes. The practice guide will help higher education instructors, instructional designers, and administrators support learning through the effective use of technology.
Compiled by a panel of national experts and practitioners, the practice guide offers five evidence-based recommendations:
* Use communication and collaboration tools to increase interaction among students and between students and instructors.
* Use varied, personalized, and readily available digital resources to design and deliver instructional content.
* Incorporate technology that models and fosters self-regulated learning strategies.
* Use technology to provide timely and targeted feedback on student performance.
* Use simulation technologies that help students engage in complex problem-solving.
Each recommendation includes research-based strategies and examples for implementing these recommendations in postsecondary settings. Examples include sample tools for increasing communication and collaboration; strategies for varying course formats and packaging course content; technologies to foster self-regulated learning or provide feedback to students; and implementation examples from studies that provide the evidence base for the recommendations.
|WWC IRTC0419||Facilitating Long-Term Improvements in Graduation and Higher Education for Tomorrow (FLIGHT)/Take Stock in Children (TSIC)
The intervention report summarizes the WWC’s examination of the impact of Take Stock in Children's (TSIC's) FLIGHT program on high schools students' college access and enrollment, general achievement, and attendance.
The FLIGHT intervention is designed to provide students with wrap-around case-management services including college preparation assistance, academic monitoring, and behavioral monitoring. Eligible students are connected with volunteer mentors, student advocates, and provided a two-year scholarship to college. FLIGHT also provides students and parents with workshops that cover a range of topics such as goal setting, study skills, and college preparation and applications. FLIGHT students also have access to college transition and retention services in their first three semesters of college.
Based on the most recent available evidence, the WWC found that FLIGHT had potentially positive effects on college access and enrollment for recent high school graduates. There were no discernible effects on general achievement or attendance for high school students.
|NCEE 20194001||Are Ratings from Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement Systems Valid Measures of Program Quality? A Synthesis of Validation Studies from Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge States
The Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant program (RTT-ELC) promoted the use of rating systems to document and improve the quality of early learning programs. These publications assess the progress made by RTT-ELC states in implementing Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (TQRIS). The publications are based on interviews with state administrators, administrative TQRIS data on early learning programs and ratings, and validation studies from a subset of RTT-ELC grantee states. The publications find that states made progress in promoting program participation in TQRIS but that most programs did not move from lower to high rating levels during the study period and higher TQRIS ratings were generally not related to better developmental outcomes for children.
|NCEE 20194005||Do Charter Middle Schools Improve Students' College Outcomes?
A study from the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE) obtained college enrollment and completion data for students who — more than a decade ago — entered lotteries to be admitted to 31 charter middle schools across the United States. College outcomes were compared for 1,723 randomly selected "lottery winners" and 1,150 randomly selected "lottery losers". The study found that being admitted to a charter middle school did not affect college outcomes. Also, there was not a consistent relationship between a charter school's impact on middle school achievement and the school's impact on college outcomes.
|REL 2019001||Teacher retention, mobility, and attrition in Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota
This report describes rural and nonrural teacher movement within and out of public school systems in Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota. All four states have high proportions of rural districts and schools. The authors used administrative data provided by state education agencies to examine the percentages of teachers who stayed in the same school, moved to a different school or district, or left a teaching position. Results suggest that the proportions of stayers, movers, and leavers in these states were similar to national statistics and varied substantially across districts within states.
|NCEE 20194003||Presenting School Choice Information to Parents: An Evidence-Based Guide
Presenting School Choice Information to Parents: An Evidence-Based Guide, from the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE), presents findings from an online experiment conducted with 3,500 low-income parents. Each parent viewed one of 72 different web pages displaying information about schools in a hypothetical district. They study examined how variations in the displays affected parents' understanding of the information; perceived ease of use and satisfaction; and which schools they would choose given what was shown. Findings suggest parents generally preferred looking at school information displays that had graphs as well as numbers, more rather than less data, and a list of choices ordered by each school's distance from home. But showing schools ordered by their academic performance made parents more likely to pick a higher performing school for their child.
|NCEE 20194002||Study of Enhanced College Advising in Upward Bound: Impacts on Steps Toward College
The U.S. Department of Education tested a set of promising, low-cost advising strategies, called Find the Fit, designed to help low-income and "first generation" students enrolled in the Department's Upward Bound program choose more selective colleges and stay in until they complete a degree. About 200 Upward Bound projects with 4,500 seniors agreed to participate. The projects were randomly assigned to receive Find the Fit to supplement their regular college advising (treatment group) or to offer their regular advising (control group). This first of three reports looks at Find the Fit's effects on students' steps toward enrolling in a more selective college. The study found that the enhanced advising increased the number and selectivity of colleges to which students applied.