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 Pub Number  Title  Date
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.
REL 2017252 A Randomized Experiment Using Absenteeism Information to "Nudge" Attendance
Can a single postcard sent to guardians help reduce student absenteeism? This randomized controlled trial, conducted in collaboration with the School District of Philadelphia, shows that: (a) a single mail piece that encouraged guardians to improve their student's attendance reduced absences by roughly 2.4 percentage points; (b) there were no statistically significant differences between two types of messages in reducing student absences; and (c) the effect of the single mailing did not differ for students in grades K–8 versus students in grades 9–12.
NCES 2017414 New American Undergraduates: Enrollment Trends and Age at Arrival of Immigrant and Second-Generation Students
This Statistics in Brief profiles the demographic and enrollment characteristics of New Americans (undergraduates who are immigrants or children of immigrants). Based on data from the 2011–12 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:12), the report examines how the proportions of immigrants (first generation) and children of immigrants (second generation) in postsecondary education have changed over time and compares the demographic characteristics, academic preparation, and postsecondary enrollment of these New Americans with other undergraduates (third generation or higher). The core analysis compares the demographic characteristics, academic preparation, and enrollment characteristics of New American students with a focus on Asian and Hispanic undergraduates. The report also examines immigrant students’ age at arrival in the United States and its association with their academic preparation and enrollment.
REL 2017202 The characteristics and education outcomes of American Indian students in grades 6–12 in North Carolina
The purpose of this study was to compare American Indian students in grades 6–12 in North Carolina to all other students in the same grades both within the same schools and statewide on student demographics, school characteristics, and education outcomes. The North Carolina State Advisory Council on Indian Education (SACIE) requested this research based on a prior report identifying achievement gaps between American Indian students and White students. The primary source of quantitative data for this study is longitudinal administrative data provided to the Education Policy Initiative at Carolina by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). These data include student-level outcomes for all students in grades 6–12 in North Carolina public schools for the school years 2010/11 through 2013/14. Outcomes considered include state test scores, attendance, retention in grade, advanced course taking, graduation rates, and disciplinary referrals. Quantitative analyses include all American Indian students in grades 6–12 in North Carolina public schools for school years 2010/11 through 2013/14. Students of other ethnicities in the same grades and years both within the same schools and statewide serve as comparison groups. Descriptive analyses compare averages for all student characteristics, school characteristics, and education outcomes for American Indian students compared to their within school and statewide peers. Regression analyses using multilevel modeling were used examine the extent to which controlling for student, school, and teacher characteristics accounts for differences in outcomes between American Indian students and their peers. The analyses found that American Indian students are demographically different from non-American Indian students statewide, but similar to other students attending the same schools. Schools attended by American Indian students are more likely to be rural and in the Coastal plain. American Indians also tend to attend schools that serve more economically disadvantaged students and more disadvantaged minority students. Across all middle school and high school standardized tests, American Indian students have lower average scores than other students statewide and within the same schools. American Indian students are absent more often on average than their peers both statewide and within the same school, are less likely to take advanced courses, and graduate at lower rates, but are equally likely to be retained in grade as their peers. When school and student demographics are held constant, the size of the gaps on most outcomes between American Indian students and their peers both within the same schools and statewide are substantially reduced.
REL 2017206 Characteristics and education outcomes of Utah high school dropouts who re-enrolled
While numerous studies have examined the national dropout crisis, comparatively little is known about students who drop out but later return to high school. Following a cohort of students expected to graduate from Utah public schools in 2011 after four years of high school, this report describes the extent of dropout and reenrollment statewide; how dropout and reenrollment rates differed by demographic characteristics; how academic progress differed for re-enrollees prior to leaving school compared to students who graduated without an interruption in enrollment and dropouts who did not return; and the final high school outcomes of dropouts who came back to school. Findings indicate that while three-fourths of the students in the 2011 graduating cohort earned a diploma in four years, about a fifth of the students dropped out and, among them, about a fifth returned to school by 2011. Students with certain demographic characteristics were more likely to drop out and less likely to reenroll, such as Black students and English learner students, putting them at particular risk for not graduating. The percentage of dropouts who reenrolled decreased with each year of school, but some re-enrollees still earned a diploma. Among those who had dropped out and reenrolled by 2011, 26 percent graduated on time with the cohort. Among those who dropped out and reenrolled by 2013—extending the analysis two years beyond the conventional four years of high school—the graduation rate for re-enrollees increased to 30 percent. Results show that while dropping out is not necessarily a permanent outcome, re-enrollees as a group are at risk for poor graduation outcomes. Identifying and supporting dropouts who return for another chance to graduate can boost their chances to earn a diploma.
NCEE 20174001 Race to the Top: Implementation and Relationship to Student Outcomes
Race to the Top (RTT), one of the Obama administration's signature programs and one of the largest federal government investments in an education grant program, received $4.35 billion in funding as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Through three rounds of competition in 2010 and 2011, RTT awarded grants to states that agreed to implement a range of education policies and practices designed to improve student outcomes. Using 2013 interview data from all states, this report documents whether states that received an RTT grant used the policies and practices promoted by RTT and how that compares to non-grantee states. The report also examines whether receipt of an RTT grant was related to improvements in student outcomes. Findings show that 2010 RTT grantees reported using more policies and practices than non-grantees in four areas (standards and assessments, teachers and leaders, school turnaround, charter schools), and 2011 RTT grantees reported using more in one area (teachers and leaders). However, the relationship between RTT and student outcomes was not clear, as trends in test scores could be plausibly interpreted as providing evidence of either a positive, negative, or null effect for RTT.
NFES 2017017 Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Disaggregated Data on Racial/Ethnic subgroups
The Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Disaggregated Data on Racial/Ethnic Subgroups discusses strategies for collecting data on more detailed racial/ethnic subgroups than the seven categories used in federal reporting. This guide is intended to help state and district personnel learn more about data disaggregation in the field of education, decide whether this effort might be appropriate for them, and, if so, how to implement or continue a data disaggregation project. Access to and analysis of more detailed—that is, disaggregated—data can be a useful tool for improving educational outcomes for small groups of students who otherwise would not be distinguishable in the aggregated data used for federal reporting. Disaggregating student data can help schools and communities plan appropriate programs, decide which interventions to select, use limited resources where they are needed most, and see important trends in educational outcomes and achievement.
REL 2016153 Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and the Community as Partners in Education Part 4: Engaging all in data conversations
The Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and Community as Partners in Education provides resources for school staff to build relationships with families and community members and to support family well-being, strong parent-child relationships, and students' ongoing learning and development. Originally developed for the Guam Alliance for Family and Community Engagement in Education, the Toolkit is based on information from a variety of sources that address engagement in diverse communities. Part 4 of the toolkit provides tools and activities to help school staff understand what data is important to share with families and community members and how to share such data. Part 4 is divided into two sections: determining what student data are important to share with families and community members and presenting student data in meaningful ways. Each section includes an introduction, summary of key points and related research, and activities that can be used with school staff. The activities in Part 4 help staff simplify data language, investigate data available to them, identify data to share with families, and learn strategies for sharing data with parents and community members.
REL 2016152 Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and the Community as Partners in Education Part 3: Building trusting relationships with families and the community through effective communication
The Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and Community as Partners in Education provides resources for school staff to build relationships with families and community members and to support family well-being, strong parent-child relationships, and students' ongoing learning and development. Originally developed for the Guam Alliance for Family and Community Engagement in Education, the Toolkit is based on information from a variety of sources that address engagement in diverse communities. Part 3 of the toolkit focuses on cross-cultural and two-way communication as a strategy for enhancing family and community engagement. Part 3 is divided into two sections: cross-cultural communication in a school community and preparing staff for two-way communication with families. Each section includes an introduction, summary of key points and related research, and activities that can be used with school staff. Part 3 includes a tool that assists educators in examining their current use of cross-cultural communication and in planning improvements. Other Part 3 activities guide educators in discussions about effective communication strategies and ideas for listening to parents.
REL 2016147 An analysis of student engagement patterns and online course outcomes in Wisconsin
Student enrollment in online courses has increased over the past 15 years and continues to grow. However, there is much that is not known about students' educational experiences and outcomes in online courses. The purpose of the study conducted by REL Midwest in partnership with the Virtual Education Research Alliance was to identify distinct patterns—or trajectories—of students' engagement within their online courses over time and examine whether these patterns were associated with their academic outcomes in the online course. The study used data collected by Wisconsin Virtual School's learning management system and student information system, including 1,512 student enrollments in 109 online elective, core, and Advanced Placement high school courses. Group-based trajectory modeling was employed to estimate the number and shapes of engagement patterns evident in the sample, and hierarchical linear modeling assessed the associations between engagement group membership and course outcomes, controlling for demographic characteristics. Analyses revealed six distinct patterns of student engagement in online courses: Initial 1.5 Hours with Decrease, Steady 1.5 Hours, Initial 2 Hours with Spike, Steady 2.5 Hours, 4+ Hours, and 6+ Hours. Students with relatively low but steady engagement had better outcomes than students with similar initial engagement that diminished throughout the course. Overall, students engaging two or more hours per week had better online course outcomes than students who engaged less than two hours per week. Wisconsin Virtual School directors and directors of other online learning programs can use information from this study to consider the supports they implement to help students successfully complete their courses, especially students who display engagement patterns that are associated with poorer course outcomes. Other online learning programs across the country can use the results of this project as a framework for investigating the data they have available in their learning management systems and student information systems.
REL 2016158 Getting It Right: Reference Guides for Registering Students With Non-English Names
Getting a student’s name right is the first step in welcoming him or her to school. Incorrectly entering student names can mean that the same student is listed in different databases in various ways and often with incomplete records. Consequently, students who are eligible for services (for example, English learner support) can be unidentified or overlooked. This set of naming conventions guides can serve as a reference for accurately and consistently entering students’ names in school, district, and state databases as well as address and greet parents and other family members in a culturally responsive and respectful way. The guides are available for students with home languages of Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Ukrainian, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
NCES 2016144 The Condition of Education 2016
NCES has a mandate to report to Congress on the condition of education by June 1 of each year. The Condition of Education 2016 summarizes important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. The 2016 report presents 43 key indicators on the status and condition of education and are grouped under four main areas: (1) population characteristics, (2) participation in education, (3) elementary and secondary education, and (4) postsecondary education. Also included in the report are 3 Spotlight indicators that provide a more in-depth look at some of the data.
REL 2016128 English Learner Student Characteristics and Time to Reclassification: An Example From Washington State
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.
REL 2015094 Suspension, Expulsion, and Achievement of English Learner Students in Six Oregon Districts
States and districts are increasingly concerned about how exclusionary discipline (i.e., suspensions and expulsions) and lost instructional time impacts student outcomes. Also, there is concern about whether there are disparities in exclusionary discipline rates between students from different subgroups and their peers. This study examines data from six Oregon school districts to discern patterns of exclusionary discipline and the association of exclusionary discipline with achievement on state assessments in reading and mathematics for English language learner (ELL) students, who are a large, growing, and challenging population in Oregon schools. The districts will use the results to develop specific plans for making their disciplinary practices both fair and effective.
REL 2015070 Summer Reading Camp Self-study Guide
This guide is designed to facilitate self-studies of planning and implementation of state-required summer reading camp programs for grade 3 students who scored at the lowest level on the state reading assessment. It provides a template for data collection and guiding questions for discussion that may improve instruction and increase the number of students meeting the grade-level standard by the end of the summer reading camp.

The guide is composed of a scoring guide and consensus rating form. The scoring guide includes guiding questions and potential sources of evidence. After completion of the scoring guide, a facilitator will guide the self-study team through a consensus rating process to come to agreement on the current status of implementation in the district or school and planning for next steps. The content of the scoring guide is based on eight areas that research indicates are important for summer reading camp implementation: teacher effectiveness and qualifications; student selection and enrollment; instructional time; content and instruction; assessment selection and data use; mentoring and/or paraprofessional use; learning environment; and communication with administration, staff, and parents.
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