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 Pub Number  Title  Date
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.
4/29/2019
NFES 2019035 Forum Guide to Early Warning Systems
The Forum Guide to Early Warning Systems provides information and best practices to help education agencies plan, develop, implement, and use an early warning system in their agency to inform interventions that improve student outcomes. The document includes a review of early warning systems and their use in education agencies and explains the role of early warning indicators, quality data, and analytical models in early warning systems. It also describes how to adopt an effective system planning process and recommends best practices for early warning system development, implementation, and use. The document highlights seven case studies from state and local education agencies who have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, an early warning system.
11/16/2018
REL 2017272 Getting students on track for graduation: Impacts of the Early Warning Intervention and Monitoring System after one year
Early warning systems that use research-based warning signs to identify students at risk of dropping out of high school have emerged as one strategy for improving graduation rates. This study tested the impact of one early warning system, the Early Warning Intervention and Monitoring System (EWIMS), on 37,671 students in grades 9 and 10 and their schools after one year of implementation. Seventy-three high schools were randomly assigned to implement EWIMS during the 2014/15 school year or to continue their usual practices for identifying and supporting students at risk of not graduating on time. Impact findings show that EWIMS reduced the percentage of students with risk indicators related to chronic absence and course failure but not related to low grade point averages, suspensions, or insufficient credits to graduate. At the school level, EWIMS did not have a detectable impact on school data culture, that is, the ways in which schools use data to make decisions and identify students in need of additional support. Findings suggest that overall implementation of the EWIMS seven-step process was low in nearly all EWIMS schools, and that implementation of EWIMS was challenging for participating schools. The authors hypothesize that other school-level processes, unmeasured in this study, also may have contributed to impacts on students. For example, effects might have emerged for chronic absence and course failure if schools prioritized encouraging students to show up and participate in their courses, even if they did not have a sophisticated set of interventions. Further research is needed to better understand the mechanisms through which EWIMS had an impact on chronic absence and course failure. This report provides rigorous, initial evidence that even with limited implementation during the first year of adoption, use of a comprehensive early warning system such as EWIMS can reduce the percentage of students who are chronically absent or who fail one or more courses. These short-term results are promising because chronic absence and course failures in grades 9 and 10 are two key indicators that students are off track for graduation.
4/25/2017
REL 2017258 Stated Briefly: The relative effectiveness of two approaches to early literacy intervention in grades K-2
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the findings from another report (REL 2017-251). This randomized controlled trial of early literacy interventions examined whether using a stand-alone intervention outside the core curriculum leads to better outcomes than using the embedded curriculum for small group intervention in grades K-2. Fifty-five schools located across Florida were randomly assigned to stand-alone or embedded interventions delivered daily throughout the school year for 45 minutes in small groups of four or five students. Students below the 30th percentile in reading-related skills and/or vocabulary were eligible for intervention. One-third of participating students were English language learners. Both interventions were implemented with high fidelity and, on average, students showed improvement in reading and language skills in both interventions. The stand-alone intervention significantly improved grade 2 spelling. However, impacts on other student outcomes were comparable. The two interventions had relatively similar impacts on reading and language outcomes among English learners and non-English learners, with the exception of some reading outcomes in kindergarten. Implications for future research are discussed.
4/4/2017
REL 2017251 The relative effectiveness of two approaches to early literacy intervention in grades K-2
This study examined whether using a stand-alone intervention outside the core curriculum leads to better outcomes than using the embedded curriculum for small group intervention in grades K-2. Fifty-five schools located across Florida were randomly assigned to stand-alone or embedded interventions delivered daily throughout the school year for 45 minutes in small groups of four or five students. Students below the 30th percentile in reading-related skills and/or vocabulary were eligible for intervention. One-third of participating students were English language learners. Both interventions were implemented with high fidelity. The stand-alone intervention significantly improved grade 2 spelling. However, impacts on other student outcomes were comparable. On average, students showed improvement in reading and language skills in both interventions. The two interventions had relatively similar impacts on reading and language outcomes among English learners and non-English learners, with the exception of some reading outcomes in kindergarten.
2/28/2017
REL 2017199 Patterns of classroom quality in Head Start and center-based early childhood education programs
REL researchers analyzed data from the 2002/03 Head Start Impact Study (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) using latent class analysis to determine whether multiple measures, each designed to address one aspect of classroom quality, could collectively differentiate classrooms in a consistent and substantively meaningful way. Using data on measures such as structural quality, process quality, teacher-child interactions, and instructional activities, they found that Head Start (n = 1,061) and center-based (n = 421) classrooms may be grouped according to three classroom quality patterns: good, fair, and poor. The researchers also found that classroom quality measures determined by independent observers distinguish classroom quality groups better than self-reported measures.

There are three main implications of this study: (1) it is possible to use multiple dimensions of the classroom experience to identify classroom quality patterns; (2) identifying classroom quality patterns will likely require independent observers; and (3) an individual classroom may not be perfectly characterized by its classroom quality group. This exploratory study, which was supported by the Early Childhood Education Research Alliance, shows an alternative way to measure classroom quality and provides an example of what patterns of classroom quality exist in programs serving Head Start-eligible children across the country—thus informing practitioners about what quality looks like in these settings and adding to the literature regarding measuring quality in early childhood education. Practitioners and policymakers can use the results of this study to inform the way that they measure the quality of their classrooms and to examine further the characteristics and practices of the different groups of classrooms.
10/11/2016
REL 2016129 Self-study Guide for Implementing Early Literacy Interventions
The Self-study Guide for Implementing Early Literacy Interventions is a tool to help district and school-based practitioners conduct self-studies for planning and implementing early literacy interventions for kindergarten, grade1 and grade 2 students. This guide is designed to promote reflection about current strengths and challenges in planning for implementation of early literacy interventions, spark conversations among staff, and identify areas for improvement. This self-study guide provides a template for data collection and guiding questions for discussion.
4/5/2016
REL 2015079 Early Identification of High School Graduation Outcomes in Oregon Leadership Network Schools
The purpose of this study was to examine student characteristics related to completing high school within four years, with particular emphasis on graduation outcomes for male and English language learner students. The authors looked at a cohort of students who began grade 9 in the 2007/08 school year in four Oregon districts. Factors related to three key graduation outcomes were analyzed: dropping out within four years of starting grade 9, graduating on time (within four years), and staying in school but not graduating on time. Findings confirmed previous studies showing that attendance and grade point average (GPA) in grades 8 and 9 are significantly associated with graduating on time. In addition, race/ethnicity and achievement on standardized tests are less predictive of graduating on time after other factors are considered. When the influence of demographic, behavioral, and academic characteristics were considered at the same time, only gender, status as an English language learner, and attendance and GPA in grades 8 and 9 were associated with graduation outcomes. Practitioners and policymakers concerned with early identification of students at-risk of not graduating on time could consider these early warning indicators: grade 8 attendance rates below 80 percent; grade 8 GPA of less than 2.0; grade 9 attendance rates below 80 percent, and grade 9 GPA of less than 2.0.
4/29/2015
REL 2015056 A Practitioner's Guide to Implementing Early Warning Systems
To stem the tide of students dropping out, many schools and districts are turning to early warning systems (EWS) that signal whether a student is at risk of not graduating from high school. While some research exists about establishing these systems, there is little information about the actual implementation strategies that are being used across the country. This report summarizes the experiences and recommendations of EWS users throughout the United States.
1/6/2015
NCEE 20144000 National Evaluation of the IDEA Technical Assistance & Dissemination Program
This report examines (1) the primary technical assistance activities carried out by the Technical Assistance & Dissemination Program national centers, (2) states’ needs for technical assistance and the extent to which these needs are addressed by TA&D centers or other sources, and (3) within specific areas of special education, the extent to which states are satisfied with the products and services received from TA&D Program centers. The report is based on data collected from 27 national TA&D Centers, 51 Part C Early Intervention Coordinators administering IDEA Part C infant/toddler programs, and 51 Part B Special Education Directors. An additional 805 surveys, focused on needs for and receipt of technical assistance within specific areas of special education, were also completed by state staff.
10/18/2013
WWC SSREC12 Randomized, Controlled Trial of the LEAP Model of Early Intervention for Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
The study, Randomized, Controlled Trial of the LEAP Model of Early Intervention for Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders, examined the intervention Learning Experiences and Alternative Program for Preschoolers and Their Parents (LEAP) which involves immersing children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) into preschool classrooms with other children. The study examined the effectiveness of a full two-year LEAP training and support model for teachers on improving outcomes of preschool children with ASD, as compared to a limited LEAP model in which no professional development support was provided. Researchers found that the full LEAP model produced positive impacts on behavior, communication, intellectual outcomes, and social outcomes of preschool children. This study is a well-implemented randomized controlled trial that meets WWC evidence standards without reservations.
7/31/2012
WWC IRSNFS12 First Step to Success
First Step to Success is an early intervention program designed to help children who are at risk for developing aggressive or antisocial behavioral patterns. The program uses a trained behavior coach who works with each student and his or her class peers, teacher, and parents for approximately 50 to 60 hours over a three-month period. First Step to Success includes three interconnected modules: screening, classroom intervention, and parent training. The screening module is used to identify candidates who meet eligibility criteria for program participation. Classroom intervention and parent training comprise the program intervention component of First Step to Success.
3/13/2012
NCEE 20114026 National Assessment of IDEA Overview IDEA National Assessment Implementation Study Executive Summary and Report

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), reauthorized in 2004, supports states in the provision of early intervention and special education and related services for 7 million children and youth with disabilities. In fiscal year 2010, federal funding for IDEA was $12.6 billion.

The congressionally mandated study provides a national picture of state agency implementation of early intervention programs for infants and toddlers (IDEA Part C) and both state and school district implementation of special education programs for preschool- and school-age children (IDEA Part B). The study is based on surveys of state agency directors and a nationally representative sample of district special education directors conducted in 2009. The key findings include:

  • State Part C agencies support the transition of toddlers with disabilities to Part B preschool-age special education programs, but Part C has not expanded to serve children until kindergarten. At age 3, toddlers receiving Part C services transition to Part B services (if eligible), typically involving a change in lead agency (in 46 states) and often a change in support staff, service settings, and services.
  • Most school districts (85 percent) do not use IDEA Part B funds to provide Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS). IDEA 2004 permits, and in some cases requires, school districts to use some of their Part B funds to provide CEIS, services for students not yet identified as needing special education. These services are meant to address the overrepresentation of racial/ethnic minority students in special education.
  • Most school districts implement Response to Intervention (RtI), use RtI data when determining specific learning disability (SLD) eligibility, and support RtI with district general funds. RtI, a range of practices for monitoring student academic and behavioral progress and providing targeted interventions, was added to IDEA in 2004 as a way to inform the determination of SLD and implement CEIS.
7/26/2011
REL 2011116 State Policies and Procedures on Response to Intervention in the Midwest Region
Based on a review of state documents and interviews with state and local officials in six Midwest Region states, this qualitative study describes state education agency policy development and planning for response to intervention approaches to instruction. It also looks at the support provided to districts and schools implementing response to intervention.
6/6/2011
NCEE 20104005 Patterns in the Identification of and Outcomes for Children and Youth With Disabilities
This study utilizes existing data collected by the U.S. Department of Education and other federal agencies to provide a national description of identification patterns across time and comparisons of the outcomes for children and youth with disabilities with outcomes of samples including their nondisabled peers. The study found that, across age groups, there was an increase from 1997 to 2005 in the percentages of children either newly identified or continuing to receive early intervention and special education services. Children identified for services under IDEA, while demonstrating growth in their performance, had lower skill levels than their same-age peers not identified for IDEA services or in the general population across outcomes, including developmental skills appropriate for young children, NAEP reading and math scores, and school completion for older school-age youth.
1/19/2010
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