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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2022125 Schools' Experiences with Georgia's District and School Flexibility Policy
Georgia instituted a flexibility policy in 2007 that provided districts with waivers from state education rules, provisions, and guidelines. In exchange, schools must meet academic performance targets. The performance contracts are meant to encourage schools and districts to implement innovative practices to increase achievement for all students in Georgia. Between 2008/09 and 2016/17, 178 of Georgia’s 180 districts entered into performance contracts with the state. The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) asked Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast to analyze how each school’s achievement changed after the start of their district’s performance contracts and the factors related to those changes. GaDOE also requested information on schools’ implementation of and experiences with the state’s flexibility policy, focusing on how schools have prioritized local innovations in practice. Overall, the study found positive but small changes in achievement for grades 3–8 English language arts and math and found significant variation in changes in achievement across schools within districts, after adjusting for other factors. Changes in achievement after performance contracts were implemented were related to schools’ demographic composition and prior achievement. In response to a survey, school leaders reported prioritizing innovations related to use of data to identify early intervention needs, formative assessments used to guide instruction, supplemental programs for low-performing students, and personalized learning for students. Leaders in schools with larger proportions of students eligible for the national school lunch program, Black students, and English learner students reported prioritizing innovations related to online and/or blended curricula more frequently than schools with smaller proportions of these students. School leaders also reported a great deal of school-level influence over decisions about priority innovations.
10/18/2021
REL 2021113 Using Enhanced Coaching of Teachers to Improve Reading Achievement in Grades PreK–2 in Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Public Schools is working to improve early literacy outcomes through a multiyear professional development initiative for preK–2 teachers. The P–2 Balanced Literacy Initiative aims to improve literacy instruction by training teachers to implement effective early literacy instruction balancing systematic foundational skills instruction with reading and writing instruction involving rich, complex texts. The initiative began in 2016/17 and served 23 percent of all district elementary schools by 2018/19. The district designated 26 of the 115 elementary schools implementing the initiative in 2018/19 to receive enhanced supports, including intensive, site-based coaching, to support students’ independent reading. This study compared the reading achievement of students who attended schools that received the enhanced supports (priority schools) with the reading achievement of students who attended similar schools that received only the initiative’s standard supports (nonpriority schools). It also examined differences between priority and nonpriority schools in teachers’ and administrators’ participation in professional development sessions and looked at the successes and challenges of implementation. The study found that one year after implementation of the initiative, attending a priority school did not lead to higher end-of-year reading achievement than attending a nonpriority school after other factors were adjusted for. Teachers and administrators in priority schools were more likely than those in nonpriority schools to participate in the initiative’s core professional development sessions. Interviews with select district, network, and school leaders; instructional support coaches; and teachers suggest that several aspects of the initiative’s professional development were valuable, most notably the opportunities for teachers to deepen their understanding of the initiative’s professional development, receive feedback through observation and school-based coaching, and learn from one another. But instructional support coaches’ limited capacity, due to competing responsibilities, was a challenge. District leaders might consider increasing the number of coaches available and limiting their competing priorities so they can focus on the initiative.
9/15/2021
NCES 2021029 2012–2016 Program for International Student Assessment Young Adult Follow-up Study (PISA YAFS): How reading and mathematics performance at age 15 relate to literacy and numeracy skills and education, workforce, and life outcomes at age 19
This Research and Development report provides data on the literacy and numeracy performance of U.S. young adults at age 19, as well as examines the relationship between that performance and their earlier reading and mathematics proficiency in PISA 2012 at age 15. It also explores how other aspects of their lives at age 19—such as their engagement in postsecondary education, participation in the workforce, attitudes, and vocational interests—are related to their proficiency at age 15.
6/15/2021
NCES 2021045 2019 NAEP Science Assessment: Highlighted Results at Grades 4, 8, and 12 for the Nation

These online Highlights present an overview of results from the NAEP 2019 science report. Highlighted results include key findings for nationally representative samples of fourth-, eighth-, and twelfth-grade students. Results are presented in terms of average scale scores and as percentages of students performing at the three NAEP achievement levels: NAEP Basic, NAEP Proficient, and NAEP Advanced. In addition to the overall average scale score, NAEP science results are also reported as average subscale scores for each of three content areas—Physical Science, Life Science, and Earth and Space Sciences. Highlighted results also include performance data for demographic student groups, scores at five selected percentiles, and responses to NAEP survey questionnaires

The 2019 average science score was lower for grade 4, and not significantly different for grades 8 and grade 12, compared to average scores in 2015. Average science scores were higher for grades 4 and 8, but not significantly different for grade 12, compared to 2009, the first year under the current science framework. Compared to 2015, the average score was lower for grade 4 in two of the three science content areas; there were no significant changes in average content areas scores for grades 8 and 12. Average scores were higher in two of the three content areas for grades 4 and 8 compared to 2009 while there were no significant changes in average scores across the content areas for grade 12.

Reported results include responses of students, teachers, and school administrators to survey questionnaires designed to collect information about student’s educational experiences and opportunities to learn both inside and outside of the classroom. The report includes detailed descriptions of released interactive scenario-based tasks and discrete questions to illustrate the types of science knowledge and scientific inquiry skills that were measured as part of the NAEP science assessment.

Full results are available in the 2019 NAEP Science Report Card.

5/25/2021
NCES 2021144 Condition of Education 2021
The Condition of Education 2021 is a congressionally mandated annual report summarizing the latest data from NCES and other sources on education in the United States. This report is designed to help policymakers and the public monitor educational progress.
5/25/2021
NCES 2021009 Digest of Education Statistics, 2019
The 55th in a series of publications initiated in 1962, the Digest's purpose is to provide a compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of education from prekindergarten through graduate school. The Digest contains data on a variety of topics, including the number of schools and colleges, teachers, enrollments, and graduates, in addition to educational attainment, finances, and federal funds for education, libraries, and international comparisons.
2/25/2021
REL 2021058 Trends and Gaps in Reading Achievement across Kindergarten and Grade 1 in Two Illinois School Districts
To assess educational progress in the early grades and identify achievement gaps, the Midwest Early Childhood Education Research Alliance examined reading achievement data among students in kindergarten and grade 1 in two districts in Illinois. The study documents overall reading achievement in these and examines disparities in achievement among groups defined by race/ethnicity, eligibility for the national school lunch program, English learner status, participation in special education, and gender. District administrators, policymakers, and educators can use the findings to make decisions about allocating resources to students and schools. This study analyzed student records and assessment data from two cohorts of kindergarten and grade 1 students—one from Elgin Area Schools (District U–46) and one from Springfield Public Schools (District 186). District U–46 used the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System—a formative reading assessment administered by teachers—to assess the reading proficiency of kindergarten and grade 1 students. District 186 used the Measures of Academic Progress for Primary Grades assessment, an adaptive assessment that is appropriate for universal screening and growth measurement of students’ reading. The study team performed separate analyses for both districts given a discrete, categorical outcome variable for District U–46 and a continuous outcome variable for District 186. The study found that reading achievement increased across the kindergarten and grade 1 years for all students. However, there were differences in reading achievement across student demographic groups. In both districts, Asian and White students had higher achievement than Black and Hispanic students, and students not eligible for the national school lunch program and students not in special education had higher achievement than students with this eligibility and this status. In District U–46, non-English learner students had higher achievement levels than English learner students. In District 186, female students started kindergarten and ended grade 1 with slightly higher levels of reading achievement than male students. District administrators, policy makers, and educators can use these findings to make decisions about allocating resources—such as professional development, literacy coaches, or books—to schools that serve larger concentrations of Black or Hispanic students, students eligible for the national school lunch program, students in special education, or English learner students. Examining achievement patterns by student demographic group is an important first step in identifying whether districts or schools need to distribute resources or opportunities differently to achieve more equitable outcomes across student demographic groups. District administrators, policy makers, and educators can use the results to motivate conversations about the root causes of inequities and how to resolve them.
2/9/2021
REL 2021056 Exploring Teachers’ Influence on Student Success in an Online Biology Course
This study of an online high school biology course offered by Florida Virtual School examined the amount of variation in course completion, students’ final exam scores, and time to completion that is attributable to the influence of teachers. This study examined three different student outcomes for segment 1 of the course: the rate of course completion, score on the final exam at the end of the course segment, and time taken to complete the segment. Students' end-of-segment exam varied only slightly across teachers, but teachers showed more influence on completion rates and time to completion. As a result, students with the highest- and lowest-performing teachers had notable differences in their time to completion and minor differences in course completion and exam scores.
1/6/2021
REL 2021051 District Changes in Student Achievement and Local Practice under Georgia’s District and School Flexibility Policy
Georgia instituted a flexibility policy in 2007 that provided districts with waivers from state education rules, provisions, and guidelines. Granted waivers and annual accountability targets are agreed upon in district performance contracts with the state. The performance contracts are meant to encourage districts to implement innovative practices to increase achievement for all students in Georgia. Between 2008/09 and 2016/17, 178 of Georgia’s 180 districts entered into performance contracts with the state. The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) asked Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast to analyze how districts’ achievement changed after the start of their performance contracts and factors related to those changes. GaDOE also requested information on districts’ implementation of and experiences with the state’s flexibility policy, focusing on how districts have used their performance contracts to prioritize local innovations in practice. Overall, the study found little evidence of that changes in academic achievement coincided with performance contract adoption but significant variation in changes in achievement across districts, after adjusting for other factors. Changes in achievement were largely unrelated to district characteristics, including urbanicity, timing of performance contract adoption, and district type, as well as features of the performance contract. District leaders indicated prioritizing innovations related to college and career readiness, teacher certification requirements, instructional spending, and funding for school improvement. Leaders perceived broad benefits from the priority innovations they identified, especially in relation to staff and school climate, but they also indicated that, in many cases, waivers were not required to implement the innovations they identified as priorities. Despite the perceived benefits, changes in achievement were largely unrelated to the academic, human resources, and financial innovations that districts indicated prioritizing after implementing their performance contracts.
12/17/2020
NCES 2021021 TIMSS 2019 U.S. Highlights Web Report
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019 is the seventh administration of this international comparative study since 1995, when it was first administered. TIMSS is administered every 4 years and is used to compare the mathematics and science knowledge and skills of 4th and 8th-graders over time. TIMSS is designed to align broadly with mathematics and science curricula in the participating countries. The results, therefore, suggest the degree to which students have learned mathematics and science concepts and skills likely to have been taught in school. In 2019, there were 64 education systems that participated in TIMSS at the 4th grade and 46 education systems at the 8th grade.

The focus of this web report is on the mathematics and science achievement of U.S. students relative to their peers in other education systems in 2019. Changes in achievement over the last 24 years, focusing on changes since 2015 and 1995, are also presented for the U.S. and several participating education systems. In addition, this report describes achievement gaps within the United States and other education systems between top and bottom performers, as well as among different student subgroups.

In addition to numerical scale results, TIMSS also reports the percentage of students reaching international benchmarks. The TIMSS international benchmarks provide a way to understand what students know and can do in a concrete way, as each level is associated with specific types of knowledge and skills.
12/8/2020
NCES 2020090 2019 NAEP Mathematics and Reading Assessments: Highlighted Results at Grade 12 for the Nation
These online Highlights present overviews of grade 12 results from the NAEP 2019 mathematics report and the 2019 reading report. Highlighted results include key findings at the national level only. Results are presented in terms of average scale scores and percentages of students performing at the three NAEP achievement levels: NAEP Basic, NAEP Proficient, and NAEP Advanced. Highlighted results include performance data for demographic student groups, five selected percentiles, and NAEP survey questionnaires.

The 2019 average score was lower for reading and not significantly different for mathematics compared to average scores for these subjects in 2015. Over the long term, the national average score for reading was lower compared to the first assessment year (1992), whereas over the long term, the 2019 mathematics score was not significantly different from the score in 2005.

Highlighted results include responses of students and schools to survey questionnaires designed to collect information about students’ educational experiences and opportunities to learn both inside and outside of the classroom and twelfth-graders' postsecondary plans.

Full results for each subject are available in the 2019 NAEP Mathematics Report Card and the 2019 NAEP Reading Report Card.
10/28/2020
REL 2020023 What Grade 7 Foundational Knowledge and Skills Are Associated with Missouri Students' Algebra I Achievement in Grade 8?
Algebra I is considered a gateway course for advanced math. Consequently, there has been a trend toward enrolling students in Algebra I earlier in the middle grades in order to increase opportunities for students to take more advanced math courses in high school. The challenge for educators lies in determining which students are ready to take Algebra I in middle school and which students need more time to develop foundational knowledge and skills before taking Algebra I. To inform strategies that address this challenge, educators from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education partnered with Regional Educational Laboratory Central to investigate the specific foundational knowledge and skills that are associated with achievement in Algebra I. This study examined whether student knowledge in five domains of math assessed in grade 7 was associated with Algebra I achievement. The study found that students’ scores in all five of the grade 7 domains were related to Algebra I achievement, but their performance in the expressions, equations, and inequalities domain was most strongly related. The number sense and operations domain was more strongly associated with Algebra I achievement for English learner students than it was for students without this designation. No clear differences in these associations were found between students who were receiving special education services and those who were not.
8/4/2020
WWC 2020006 Intervention Report: Full Option Science System
This What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) intervention report summarizes the research on Full Option Science System (FOSS), a curriculum including content in the physical, earth, and life sciences that is designed to improve student science achievement in kindergarten through Grade 8. No eligible studies of FOSS met WWC design standards, so the WWC is unable to draw any conclusions at this time about the effectiveness of this program.
5/20/2020
NCES 2020144 The Condition of Education 2020
The Condition of Education 2020 is a congressionally mandated annual report summarizing the latest data from NCES and other sources on education in the United States. This report is designed to help policymakers and the public monitor educational progress.
5/19/2020
NCES 2020072 Highlights of the 2018 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) Financial Literacy Assessment
This web-based report presents the 2018 results of the PISA financial literacy assessment. The United States, along with 19 other economies, participated in this optional assessment. The United States has now administered financial literacy in PISA in three successive cycles: 2012, 2015, and 2018.

This web report focuses on the results of the 2018 PISA financial literacy assessment from a U.S. perspective, providing average and trend scores for U.S. students by a number of demographic variables, including gender, race/ethnicity, and poverty status.

This web report can be accessed directly by going to https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/pisa/pisa2018 and selecting "Financial Literacy."
5/7/2020
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