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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2020026 Relationships between Schoolwide Instructional Observation Scores and Student Academic Achievement and Growth in Low‑Performing Schools in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), like other state education agencies and districts, recognizes that a key lever to turning around low-performing schools is the quality of instruction (Hill & Harvey, 2004; Hopkins, Harris, Watling, & Beresford, 1999). As part of the annual monitoring of state-designated low-performing schools, DESE’s external low-performing school monitors use Teachstone’s Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) tool to conduct observations. DESE’ external monitors rated low-performing schools on three domains of instruction—Emotional Support, Classroom Organization, and Instructional Support. This paper examines the relationships between these observation scores and academic growth and achievement within a school, after adjusting for the percentage of students with low incomes and the grade levels in these low-performing schools. Results show statistically significant positive relationships between schoolwide average observation scores for each instructional domain and school-level academic growth in both English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. On a 7-point scale, a 1-point increase in a school’s overall observation rating was associated with an increase in student growth of 4.4 percentile points of growth in ELA and 5.1 percentile points of growth in mathematics. For schoolwide achievement, which is measured by the percentage of students who met or exceeded expectations on the state assessment, results show a significant positive relationship between the classroom organization domain and ELA schoolwide achievement. There was no significant relationship between observation scores and schoolwide achievement in ELA for any other domain or for mathematics schoolwide achievement. The relationship between observation scores and current achievement levels may be weak because achievement levels may be influenced by many other factors including students’ prior achievement and the economic and social challenges their families face.
NCEE 20194007 Teacher Preparation Experiences and Early Teaching Effectiveness
This report examines the frequency of particular teacher preparation experiences and explores their relationships to beginning teachers' effectiveness in improving student test scores once they get to the classroom. The report found both differences in how teachers prepare for their certification in the field and that certain experiences are related to improving test scores in the classroom. The findings provide a detailed look into current teacher preparation practices and identify potential avenues for improving them.
NCEE 2016002 Can student test scores provide useful measures of school principals' performance?
This study assessed the extent to which four principal performance measures based on student test scores--average achievement, school value-added, adjusted average achievement, and adjusted school value-added--accurately reflect principals' contributions to student achievement in future years. Average achievement used information on students' end-of-year achievement without taking into account the students' past achievement; school value-added accounted for students' own past achievement by measuring their growth; and adjusted average achievement and adjusted school value-added credited principals if their schools' average achievement and value-added, respectively, exceeded predictions based on the schools' past performance on those same measures. The study conducted two sets of analyses using Pennsylvania's statewide data on students and principals from 2007/08 to 2013/14. First, using data on 2,424 principals, the study assessed the extent to which ratings from each measure are stable by examining the association between principals' ratings from earlier and later years. Second, using data on 123 principals, the study examined the relationship between the stable part of each principal's rating and his or her contributions to student achievement in future years. Based on results from both analyses, the study simulated each measure's accuracy for predicting principals' contributions to student achievement in the following year. The study found that the two performance measures that did not account for students' past achievement--average achievement and adjusted average achievement--provided no information for predicting principals' contributions to student achievement in the following year. The two performance measures that accounted for students' past achievement--school value-added and adjusted school value-added--provided, at most, a small amount of information for predicting principals' contributions in the following year, with less than one-third of each difference in value-added ratings across principals reflecting differences in their future contributions. These findings suggest that principal evaluation systems should emphasize measures that were found to provide at least some information about principals' future contributions: school value-added or adjusted school value-added. However, study findings also indicate that even the value-added measures will often be inaccurate in identifying principals who will contribute effectively or ineffectively to student achievement in future years. Therefore, states and districts should exercise caution when using these measures to make major decisions about principals and seek to identify nontest measures that can accurately predict principals' future contributions.
REL 2016124 Can scores on an interim high school reading assessment accurately predict low performance on college readiness exams?
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between measures of reading comprehension, decoding, and language with college-ready performance. This research was motivated by leaders in two Florida school districts interested in the extent to which performance on Florida’s interim reading assessment could be used to identify students who may not perform well on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) and ACT Plan. One of the districts primarily administers the PSAT/NMSQT and the other primarily administers the ACT Plan. Data included the 2013/14 PSAT/NMSQT or ACT Plan results for students in grade 10 from these districts, as well as their grade 9 results on the Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading – Florida Standards (FAIR-FS). Classification and regression tree (CART) analyses formed the framework for an early warning system of risk for each PSAT/NMSQT and ACT Plan subject-area assessment. PSAT/NMSQT Critical Reading performance is best predicted in the study sample by a student’s reading comprehension skills, while PSAT/NMSQT Mathematics and Writing performance is best predicted by a student’s syntactic knowledge. Syntactic knowledge is the most important predictor of ACT Plan English, Reading, and Science in the study sample, whereas reading comprehension skills were found to best predict ACT Plan Mathematics results. Sensitivity rates (the percentage of students correctly identified as at risk) ranged from 81 percent to 89 percent correct across all of the CART models. These results provide preliminary evidence that FAIR-FS scores could be used to create an early warning system for performance on both the PSAT/NMSQT and ACT Plan. The potential success of using FAIR-FS scores as an early warning system could enable districts to identify at-risk students without adding additional testing burden, time away from instruction, or additional cost. The analyses should be replicated statewide to verify the stability of the models and the generalizability of the results to the larger Florida student population.
NCEE 20104016 Effectiveness of Selected Supplemental Reading Comprehension Interventions: Findings from Two Student Cohorts
The restricted-use data file for this report contains data for the 2006-7 and 2007-08 schools years for three supplemental reading comprehension interventions implemented in the 5th grade. Data includes teacher surveys, classroom observations, and student reading achievement.
WWC QRCS0710 WWC Quick Review of the Report "Charter School Performance in New York City"
"Charter School Performance in New York City" examined the effect of charter school attendance on annual student achievement growth in math and reading. The study analyzed data from a large sample of students in grades three through eight in New York City between 2003 and 2009.
NCEE 20104015 Effectiveness of Selected Supplemental Reading Comprehension Interventions: Findings from Two Student Cohorts
Results after two years of using three reading comprehension curricula show gains from one program and no effects for the other two on reading comprehension for fifth-graders, according to a study released by the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance in the Institute of Education Sciences. The study focused on whether 5th grade students in disadvantaged schools could be helped in making the transition from "learning to read" to "reading to learn" by bolstering the vocabulary and comprehension skills that allow them to organize and acquire knowledge from text.

Three commercially available supplemental reading comprehension curricula were used for a second year by school and teachers to teach explicit reading comprehension strategies--ReadAbout, Read for Real, and Project CRISS. The study included 182 teachers and 61 schools in 10 districts, with study schools within each district assigned by lottery to use one of the curricula or serve as a control group.

No positive impacts of the curricula on student reading comprehension were found in the study's first year. Key findings after two years of using the curricula include:
  • There was a positive, statistically significant impact of ReadAbout on social studies reading comprehension when teachers used it for a second year. The effect size was .22, which amounts to moving from the 50th percentile to the 59th percentile. This reading program teaches students comprehension skills--such as author's purpose, main idea, cause and effect, compare and contrast, summarizing and inferences--using a computer program that adapts to each student’s reading level. The program also allowed for easier integration of small-group instruction and provided immediate feedback to students.
  • The impacts on fifth-grade reading comprehension were not statistically significantly different from zero for the other two other curricula, Read for Real and Project CRISS, when used by schools for a second year. (A fourth curriculum, Reading for Knowledge, was studied in the first year but was not included in the second cohort).
  • Two of three teacher practices--classroom management and explicit reading strategy guidance--were positively correlated with improvements in student reading comprehension. The explicit guidance had teachers explaining text structure and modeling comprehension strategies as students practiced those strategies.
NCES 2009002 Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998 - 99 (ECLS-K), Psychometric Report for the Eighth Grade
This methodological report documents the design, development, and psychometric characteristics of the assessment instruments used in the eighth grade data collection of the ECLS-K. The instruments examined include those developed to measure cognitive and socioemotional development. In addition, issues in analyzing longitudinal measures are discussed.
NCES 1984221B High School Course Grade Standards. National Center for Education Statistics Bulletin.
Using the data from the High School and Beyond Transcript Survey for 1980 sophomores who graduated from high school by fall 1982, the course grade distributions are compared for the following major instruction program categories: English, mathematics, social sciences, physical sciences, life sciences, and foreign languages (academic courses); business, home economics, and trade and industry (vocational courses); visual and performing arts and personal and social development courses; and others. Grade distributions are contrasted by geographic region and are related to homework effort, test performance level, and other student characteristics. The results of the study are presented in table format. (DWH)
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