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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2021107 Characteristics and Performance of High School Equivalency Exam Takers in New Jersey
Since 2014 the New Jersey Department of Education has offered three high school equivalency (HSE) exams for nongraduates seeking credentials: the GED, the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), and the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC). This study used data on exam takers who had been grade 8 students in a New Jersey public school between 2008/09 and 2013/14 and who had attempted at least one HSE exam in New Jersey between March 2014 and December 2018. It analyzed how the characteristics of exam takers differ across exams and from the characteristics of non–exam takers, how the performance of exam takers with similar backgrounds varies, and how a recent reduction in the passing threshold for two of the exams affected passing rates. Among all students who had been grade 8 students in a New Jersey public school during the study years, HSE exam takers completed fewer years of school, were more likely to have been eligible for the national school lunch program in grade 8, and were more likely to identify as Black or Hispanic than non–exam takers. GED takers had received higher grade 8 standardized test scores, were more likely to identify as White, and were less likely to have been eligible for the national school lunch program in grade 8 than HiSET and TASC takers. Under the New Jersey Department of Education's original passing thresholds, exam takers in the study sample were more likely to pass the HiSET and TASC than the GED on the first attempt (after grade 8 standardized test scores were controlled for). However, after the reduction in passing thresholds, the first-attempt passing rate was similar across the three exams. Under the new passing thresholds, two-thirds of GED takers and more than half of HiSET and TASC takers passed on the first attempt, and—when all exam attempts are included—three-quarters of all exam takers ever passed each exam.
8/23/2021
NCES 2021456 2019–20 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:20): First Look at the Impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic on Undergraduate Student Enrollment, Housing, and Finances (Preliminary Data)
This First Look publication provides preliminary results of the 2019–20 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:20), with a particular focus on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affected student experiences. The report includes information for about 61,000 undergraduate students attending postsecondary institutions in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Since NPSAS:20 is designed to be nationally representative, the data used in this report provide the first national estimates of the impact of COVID-19 on postsecondary students. This First Look describes pandemic disruptions to students’ enrollment, housing, and finances, as well as how institutions supported and informed students on these and other impacts.
6/16/2021
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
WWC 2021043 Bottom Line Intervention Report
This What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) intervention report summarizes the research on Bottom Line. Bottom Line provides intensive advising for low-income high school students, most of whom are the first in their family to go to college. The advising is designed to help students apply for college and financial aid and select a high-quality, affordable institution. For students who attend one of Bottom Line's target colleges, which they identified as providing a high-quality education at an affordable price, Bottom Line continues to provide regular support to students on campus for up to six years. Based on the research, the WWC found that Bottom Line has potentially positive effects on college enrollment and potentially positive effects on progressing in college.
4/29/2021
REL 2021034 Are Neighborhood Factors Associated with the Quality of Early Childhood Education in North Carolina?
The purpose of this study was to examine whether and how geographic, demographic, and socioeconomic characteristics of the neighborhood (that is, census tract) in which an early childhood education (ECE) site is located within North Carolina is associated with aspects of the quality of these sites, as characterized by their 2017 Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) measures. The study used data on 5,254 licensed early childhood sites from numerous publicly-available data sources, including the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education, the American Community Survey, and the National Center for Education Statistics. The strength of association between neighborhood characteristics and quality rating scores among ECE sites was determined using multilevel structural equation modeling to account for the way in which ECE sites are nested within neighborhoods. After taking into consideration characteristics of the ECE sites themselves, the nature of the neighborhood did not help further explain why some sites earned higher quality rating scores than other sites. Findings suggest that geographic location and the socio-demographic characteristics of a neighborhood need not be seen as impediments to providing or ensuring access to higher quality ECE, as represented by higher scores on the states’ QRIS measures. Neighborhood-related predictors, such as socioeconomic characteristics, were only weakly associated with the quality rating scores. Moreover, the analyses also indicated that high-quality sites are available in most neighborhoods in the state. Some site-level variables, such as accepting child care subsidies and the age groups served by the site, were associated with quality rating scores among ECE sites. Sites that served fewer different age groups had higher quality rating scores, on average. More research is needed to understand what characteristics of sites, and their contexts, may best predict whether an ECE site will be of higher or lower quality.
10/23/2020
REL 2020031 How Legacy High School Students Use Their Flexible Time
Legacy High School in Bismarck Public Schools, North Dakota, personalizes education through flexible time, which allows students to choose how they spend a portion of the school day, outside of their regularly scheduled classes. This report describes how students at Legacy High School used their flexible time and whether their use of flexible time varied by demographic characteristics and academic achievement level. The study used data that Legacy High School collected through a survey tool. Results show that students had approximately 80 minutes of flexible time on average per day and spent 19 percent of this time on academic pursuits. These findings did not vary significantly by academic achievement level or demographic characteristics.
7/21/2020
REL 2020010 A review of instruments for measuring social and emotional learning skills among secondary school students
This purpose of this resource is to support state and local education agencies in identifying reliable and valid instruments that measure collaboration, perseverance, and self-regulated learning among secondary school students. This resource, developed by the Regional Education Laboratory Northeast & Islands in collaboration with its Social and Emotional Learning Alliance, presents social and emotional learning instruments and the reliability and validity information available for those instruments. Specifically, this resource indicates whether psychometric information was available for reliability and seven components of validity—content, substantive, structural, external, generalizability, consequential, and fairness. To identify and review instruments, researchers conducted a literature search, determined the eligibility of instruments, reviewed the reliability and validity information available for eligible instruments; and determined whether the reliability and validity information provided met conventionally accepted criteria. In total, 17 instruments were eligible for inclusion in the resource. Eligible instruments included six measures of collaboration, four measures of perseverance, four measures of self-regulated learning, and three measures of both perseverance and self-regulated learning. With 12 instruments developed for use in research and 5 instruments developed for formative instruction, practitioners should use caution when using any measure for summative use that has not been developed and validated for that specific purpose. With schools and districts ramping up their efforts to measure social and emotional learning for formative and summative use, practitioners would benefit from the development of additional measures for these specific purposes. Among the 17 instruments eligible for inclusion in this resource, 16 instruments have information on reliability and at least one component of validity. The component of validity most commonly available for eligible instruments was content validity whereas only three instruments had information on fairness and no instruments had information on substantive validity. Practitioners should use caution when using instruments that lack information on substantive validity or fairness, since these measures may not be appropriate for all students that are evaluated.
10/16/2019
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.
6/11/2019
NCES 2019467 Profile of Undergraduate Students: Attendance, Distance and Remedial Education, Degree Program and Field of Study, Demographics, Financial Aid, Financial Literacy, Employment, and Military Status: 2015–16
These Web Tables provide comprehensive information on undergraduate students who were enrolled in postsecondary institutions during the 2015–16 academic year. Using data from the 2015–16 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:16), these tables include topics on attendance, average grades, credit card debt, participation in distance and remedial education, degree program, field of study, financial aid, financial literacy, military service and veteran status, and student characteristics (including sex, race/ethnicity, age, dependency status, disability status, income, marital status, and parents’ education).
1/23/2019
NCES 2018418 Trends in Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Submissions
These Web Tables combine FAFSA submission data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid, starting with the 2006–07 application cycle, with other nationally representative data to show variation in FAFSA submissions by region, state or jurisdiction, selected applicant characteristics, and over time. The publication presents two measures of the number of FAFSA submissions per person. One measure divides the number of FAFSA submissions by the number of individuals who are 18 through 24 years old, which approximates the population of potential traditional-age undergraduates. The other measure divides the number of FAFSA submissions by the enrollment of undergraduate and graduate students.
8/30/2018
REL 2017226 Growth mindset, performance avoidance, and academic behaviors in Clark County School District
Previous research strongly suggests that beliefs regarding the nature of ability and the payoff to effort (academic mindsets) and the related actions (academic behaviors) play an important role in supporting student success. Not much is known about the distribution of these beliefs among teachers and students in different academic contexts. This study examined the distribution of reported academic mindsets and behaviors in Nevada’s Clark County School District. The analysis revealed that most students reported beliefs that are largely consistent with a growth mindset. However, reported beliefs and behaviors differed significantly depending on students' English learner status, race/ethnicity, grade level and prior achievement. For example, Black and Hispanic students reported lower levels of growth mindset than White students. English learner students reported significantly lower levels of growth mindset and higher levels of performance avoidance than their non-English learner counter parts. Lower achieving students reported significantly lower levels of growth mindset and significantly higher levels of performance avoidance than their higher achieving peers. Teachers reported greater beliefs in growth mindset than students, and their beliefs regarding growth mindset did not, for the most part, vary significantly depending on the characteristics of the students attending their schools.
4/5/2017
REL 2017263 Analyzing student-level disciplinary data: A guide for districts
The purpose of this report is to help guide districts in analyzing their own student-level disciplinary data to answer important questions about the use of disciplinary actions. This report, developed in collaboration with the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands Urban School Improvement Alliance, provides information to district personnel about how to analyze their student-level data and answer questions about the use of disciplinary actions, such as whether these actions are disproportionately applied to some student subgroups, and whether there are differences in student academic outcomes across the types of disciplinary actions that students receive. This report identifies several considerations that should be accounted for prior to conducting any analysis of student-level disciplinary data. These include defining all data elements to be used in the analysis, establishing rules for transparency (including handling missing data), and defining the unit-of-analysis. The report also covers examples of descriptive analyses that can be conducted by districts to answer questions about their use of the disciplinary actions. SPSS syntax is provided to assist districts in conducting all of the analyses described in the report. The report will help guide districts to design and carry out their own analyses, or to engage in conversations with external researchers who are studying disciplinary data in their districts.
3/29/2017
NCEE 20174016 Preparing for Life after High School: The Characteristics and Experiences of Youth in Special Education. Findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012.
This multi-volume descriptive report presents information from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012 (NLTS 2012), the third longitudinal study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education over several decades to examine the characteristics, experiences, and post-high school outcomes of youth with an individualized education program (IEP). NLTS 2012 collects information on a nationally representative set of nearly 13,000 youth who were ages 13-21 when selected for the study and, for the first time, includes a small sample of students without disabilities so that youth with an IEP can be compared to youth who receive accommodations through a plan developed under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and to youth with neither an IEP nor a 504 plan. Among youth with an IEP are students who represent each of the disability categories recognized by IDEA 2004.

The first two volumes of the report present updated information on secondary school youth with disabilities across the country based on 2012-2013 surveys collected from youth and parents. Volume 1 compares the characteristics and experiences of youth with an IEP to their non-IEP peers, and Volume 2 compares youth across disability groups. Overall, youth with an IEP feel positive about school but are more likely than their peers to struggle academically and to lag behind in taking key steps towards postsecondary education and jobs. Among youth with an IEP, those with autism, deaf-blindness, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, and orthopedic impairments are most at-risk for not transitioning successfully beyond high school.
3/28/2017
REL 2017255 Stated Briefly: English learner student characteristics and time to reclassification: An example from Washington state
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the findings from another report (REL 2016-128).This study examined how long it typically takes English learner students to become proficient in English and how this time differs by student characteristics, such as gender, home language, or initial proficiency in English. The authors analyzed state data for 16,957 English learner students who entered kindergarten between 2005/06 and 2011/12 in seven cohorts. The students attended seven school districts that comprise the Road Map Project, an initiative designed to double the number of students in South King County (Washington) who are on track to graduate from college or earn a career credential by 2020. The study looked at five language groups in the region, each of which comprises at least 3 percent of the total sample: Spanish, Vietnamese, Somali, Russian and Ukrainian combined, and Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese combined. All other languages, 160 in total, were combined into an "other language" category. The findings show that students who entered kindergarten as English learners took a median of 3.8 years to be reclassified by Washington state as former English learners. Those who entered kindergarten with advanced English language proficiency were more likely to be reclassified than English learner students with basic or intermediate English proficiency. Also, female English learner students were more likely to be reclassified than male English learner students. Speakers of Chinese, Vietnamese, and Russian and Ukrainian were more likely to be reclassified than Somali or Spanish speakers. In addition to contributing to the research base, the study findings may be of interest to state education agencies as they create new targets and standards for English language proficiency. State agencies may wish to consider taking initial English language proficiency into account when determining appropriate targets for federal accountability measures, for example by setting longer expected times to reclassification and providing additional support to students entering school with basic or intermediate levels of English language proficiency. Many states are also implementing new standards for college and career readiness and overhauling their assessment and accountability systems, both of which involve setting additional targets for English learner students. A better understanding of the factors related to variation in time to proficiency may allow states to establish targets that take particular factors, such as initial English language proficiency, into account.
3/7/2017
REL 2017234 Characteristics and postsecondary pathways of students who participate in acceleration programs in Minnesota
Minnesota high school students have the opportunity to take advanced courses that simultaneously earn high school and college credit, yet little is known about what types of students are participating and succeeding in these programs, or their college pathways after high school. This study examined participation in the various acceleration programs available to Minnesota high school students, including Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate coursework, postsecondary enrollment options, concurrent enrollment, and other/unknown programs. Student- and school-level data on the 2011 cohort of Minnesota high school graduates (N = 59,499) were obtained from the Minnesota Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System. The study team used descriptive statistics to examine differences in (a) rates of participation and credit awarded at the college level between student demographic and academic subgroups, and high school size and locale; and (b) college enrollment patterns and early college success between participants and nonparticipants. The study team also used hierarchical linear modeling to examine the association between acceleration program participation and college enrollment, achievement, and persistence while controlling for other student- and school-level characteristics. Almost half of the 2011 cohort of Minnesota high school graduates participated in at least one acceleration program during high school, and half of participants were awarded dual credit by the Minnesota colleges in which they enrolled. Participation and dual credit award rates varied by acceleration program and student subgroups; economically disadvantaged students, racial/ethnic minorities, and academically lower achieving students did not participate in acceleration programs and were not awarded credit at a rate equivalent to their peers. The majority of Minnesota colleges where acceleration program participants enrolled and were awarded credit were selective and very selective four-year colleges. Students who participated in acceleration programs had higher rates of college enrollment, readiness, and persistence than nonparticipants, and this difference was statistically significant after controlling for student gender, race/ethnicity, ACT/SAT scores, economic status, and high school size and locale, regardless of whether credit was awarded at the college level. Half of all high school graduates participated in acceleration programs, however participation was disproportionately white, economically advantaged, and academically high achieving. While more rigorous research is needed to examine the effectiveness of participation in these programs, the results of this study point to a relationship between acceleration program participation and positive early college outcomes, regardless of the number of credits awarded by colleges.
2/28/2017
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