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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2021098 Using Promotion Power to Identify the Effectiveness of Public High Schools in the District of Columbia
This study estimated the promotion power of public high schools in the District of Columbia. Promotion power is a measure of school effectiveness that distinguishes a school/s contributions to student outcomes from the contributions of the background characteristics of the students it serves. Promotion power scores are distinct from status measures such as graduation rate and college enrollment rate because they account for prior student achievement and other student background characteristics in measuring schools’ contributions. They complement value-added measures by using similar methods to examine additional, longer-term outcomes. The study found wide variation in high schools’ promotion power for college-ready SAT scores, high school graduation, and college enrollment. Schools with high promotion power for high school graduation were also more likely to have high promotion power for college enrollment. Student background characteristics were less strongly related to promotion power scores than to status measures, suggesting that high schools serving differing student populations can show strong promotion power.
9/1/2021
REL 2021093 State-Funded Preschool in the Last Frontier: Alaska's Pre-Elementary Grant Program
Created in 2016, Alaska's Pre-Elementary Grants (PEGs) allow school districts to design, develop, and expand affordable and accessible preschool in their communities. PEGs aim, in particular, to serve historically disadvantaged students. This study aimed to help Alaska stakeholders better understand how districts implemented the grants and what were the characteristics and outcomes of children who participated in PEG programs. Based on analyses of documents, interviews, and administrative data, the study found that PEG districts served a higher proportion of Alaska Native students, English learner students, and students in rural remote schools than did non-PEG districts and that these differences increased between 2016/17 and 2018/19 as more districts received funding. PEG districts used the program’s flexibility primarily to provide or support part-day preschool. In addition, students' participation in state-funded preschool between 2013/14 and 2017/18, including PEG participation, was positively related to kindergarten readiness, kindergarten and grade 2 English language proficiency, kindergarten and grade 1 attendance, and grade 3 assessment scores in math but not to grade 3 assessment scores in reading. The study findings have important implications for Alaska’s efforts to expand preschool and might also be of interest to other predominantly rural states that are considering similar efforts. Specifically, the implementation findings can help practitioners, program directors, and state agency staff members in Alaska provide more targeted support to districts and modify the grant program in future years. The promising findings on the relationship between PEG participation and student outcomes point to the need for more rigorous research on this topic—an effort that would benefit from improved data collection.
8/31/2021
REL 2021097 First-Year Effects of Early Indicator and Intervention Systems in Oregon

Although Oregon has made recent gains in its overall high school graduation rate, 21 percent of public school students entering grade 9 in 2014 did not graduate within four years, by 2018. To improve graduation rates, Oregon voters approved Ballot Measure 98 in 2016 to fund dropout prevention and college and career readiness initiatives in high schools. Many districts used the funding to adopt an early indicator and intervention system (EIIS) to identify students who are not on track to graduate on time by monitoring related indicators, such as chronic absenteeism, disciplinary infractions, course progression, and academic performance, through a frequently updated data system. Districts can tailor the system by setting their own on-track thresholds for each indicator to identify students at risk of not graduating on time, assigning those students to interventions, and monitoring student response to the interventions.

This study took advantage of the additional funding being offered to districts across the state to look at first-year effects on chronic absenteeism, disciplinary infractions, course progression, and academic performance by comparing the outcomes in 65 districts that adopted an EIIS to the outcomes in a set of similar districts that used the additional funding for other dropout prevention or college and career readiness initiatives. The study offers insight into the effectiveness of early efforts to scale up EIISs, a popular school-level intervention. EIIS adoption appears to have reduced the percentage of students who were chronically absent by 3.9 percentage points but does not appear to have had positive effects on the three other student outcomes during the first year: the percentage of students with disciplinary infractions, the percentage of grade 10 students who had acquired enough credits by the end of grade 9 to be considered on track for on-time graduation, or the percentage of grade 11 students meeting or exceeding proficiency standards on state math and English language arts tests. The findings offer the Oregon Department of Education information on the early effects of its efforts to promote EIIS across Oregon. The findings can also be used by other state and district education leaders to inform their considerations to scale up EIIS or other similar programs.

8/30/2021
NFES 2021094 Forum Guide to Staff Records
The Forum Guide to Staff Records was developed to help education agencies effectively collect and manage staff data; protect the privacy of staff data; and ensure that requests for data access and data releases are managed appropriately. The guide builds on information from the 2000 publication, Privacy Issues in Education Staff Records: Guidelines for Education Agencies and reflects how agencies have responded to changes in staff data over time. It includes a discussion of types of staff records, updated best practices for data collection and management, and case studies from state and local education agencies.
8/27/2021
NCES 2020239REV A 2017 Follow-up: Six-year Withdrawal, Stopout, and Transfer Rates for 2011–12 First-time Postsecondary Students
Based on data collected through the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS:12/17), a nationally representative study which followed first-time college students for 6 years, these Web Tables provide information on students' characteristics and their withdrawal, stopout, and transfer rates.
8/27/2021
NCES 2021341 2008/18 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B:08/18) Restricted-Use Data File (RUF)

This B&B:08/18 restricted-use dataset is the third and final data release for this study of a national sample of 2007–08 bachelor’s degree recipients who were surveyed 4 times over 10 years, in 2008, 2009, 2012, and 2018.

The Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B) examines students' education and work experiences after they complete a bachelor’s degree, with a special emphasis on the experiences of new elementary and secondary teachers.

8/26/2021
NCES 2021141 2008/18 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B:08/18) Data File Documentation
This publication describes the methods and procedures used for the 2008/18 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B:08/18). The B&B graduates, who completed the requirements for a bachelor’s degree during the 2007–08 academic year, were first surveyed as part of the 2008 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:08), and then followed up with in 2009 and 2012. The 2018 follow-up is the third and final survey for the B&B:08 cohort, conducted 10 years after completion of the bachelor’s degree. This report details the methodology and outcomes of the B&B:08/18 student survey data collection and administrative records matching.
8/26/2021
REL 2021111 Professional Development Incentives for Oregon's Early Childhood Education Workforce: A Randomized Study
Many states seek to increase the education levels of their early childhood education (ECE) workforce to improve the quality of care for children. Oregon encourages all ECE workforce members to sign up for a career lattice, a career pathway system that helps them determine goals related to increasing their education. The state also offers incentives for reaching specific steps in the career lattice and scholarships for college credit and community-based training. This study used two randomized controlled trials in 2018 and 2019 to test whether sending emails and offering different financial incentives to Oregon ECE workforce members increased career lattice sign-up and increased education and training levels or workplace retention. The study found that sending emails encouraging career lattice sign-up had no detectable impact on career lattice sign-up or workplace retention. Sending emails offering a monetary incentive at an earlier-than-usual step on the career lattice had a positive impact on training hours recorded but no detectable impact on career lattice movement, college credit hours earned, or workplace retention. Sending emails about automatic enrollment in a scholarship program had no detectable impact on scholarship use, career lattice movement, college credit hours earned, or workplace retention. Lastly, after participants were randomly assigned to study groups, the email campaigns were implemented as planned, reaching all intended participants, although the interventions ended sooner than planned because of a state policy change. The findings suggest that low-touch interventions such as emails have promise for increasing training hours but are not sufficient to induce changes in career lattice sign-up, continuing postsecondary education, or workplace retention for Oregon ECE workforce members. These results have implications for future research, in addition to demonstrating how better messaging and supports can mitigate barriers to further education and training and how email campaigns can be leveraged for workforce communication efforts. This information is particularly relevant for state agencies and education and training providers.
8/24/2021
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 2021070 U.S. Technical Report and User Guide for the 2018 Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS)
The TALIS 2018 U.S. Technical Report and User Guide provides an overview of the design and implementation of TALIS 2018. This information is meant to supplement that presented in OECD’s TALIS 2018 Technical Report and TALIS 2018 User Guide publications by describing those aspects of TALIS 2018 that are unique to the United States including information on merging the U.S. public- and restricted-use teacher and school data files with the U.S. teacher and school data files in the international database.
8/9/2021
NCES 2021068 TALIS 2018 U.S. public-use teacher and school data files
The Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) is a survey about teachers, teaching, and learning environments. Sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), TALIS is composed of two questionnaires—one for teachers and one for their principals, and focuses on teachers and principals at the lower secondary school level (grades 7, 8, and 9 in the United States). The TALIS 2018 U.S. public-use teacher and school data files include U.S. specific variables that are not part of the U.S. teacher or school data files in the OECD’s TALIS 2018 international database. They are add-on files that do not contain weight variables or replicate weights, and therefore must be merged with the U.S. data files in the international database before any analysis can be conducted. The U.S. data files in the international database can be downloaded from the OECD at http://www.oecd.org/education/talis/talis-2018-data.htm. The TALIS 2018 U.S. public-use data files and documentation include following: teacher and school data in SPSS, SAS, and ASCII text format; SPSS and SAS control files for reading the ASCII data to produce SPSS and SAS data files; codebooks; illustrative merging code; a Read Me file; and a Quick Guide. Users of this data should consult the TALIS 2018 U.S. Technical Report and User Guide available for viewing and downloading at https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2021070
8/9/2021
NCES 2021069 TALIS 2018 U.S. restricted-use teacher and school data files
The Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) is a survey about teachers, teaching, and learning environments. Sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), TALIS is composed of two questionnaires—one for teachers and one for their principals, and focuses on teachers and principals at the lower secondary school level (grades 7, 8, and 9 in the United States). The TALIS 2018 U.S. restricted-use teacher and school data files include U.S. specific variables that are not part of the TALIS 2018 U.S. public-use data files or the U.S. data files in the OECD’s TALIS 2018 international database. They include NCES school IDs that facilitate merging with the Common Core of Data (CCD) for public schools and the Private School Universe Survey (PSS) for private schools. They are add-on files that do not contain weight variables or replicate weights, and therefore need to be merged with the U.S. teacher and school data files in the international database before any analysis can be conducted. The U.S. data files in the international database can be downloaded from the OECD at http://www.oecd.org/education/talis/talis-2018-data.htm. The TALIS 2018 U.S. restricted-use data files and documentation include following: teacher and school data in SAS, SPSS, and ASCII text format; SPSS and SAS control files for reading the ASCII data to produce SPSS and SAS data files; codebooks; illustrative merging code; a Read Me file; and a Quick Guide. Users of this data should consult the TALIS 2018 U.S. Technical Report and User Guide available for viewing and downloading at https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2021070
8/9/2021
NCES 2021411 One Year Later: Relationship Between 2015–16 Bachelor’s Degree Recipient Enrollment in Further Education and Pell Grant Receipt
This Data Point uses data from the 2016/17 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B: 16/17) to examine how Pell Grants for bachelor’s degrees relate to later education.
8/3/2021
REL 2021114 Using a survey of social and emotional learning and school climate to inform decisionmaking

The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) has prioritized efforts to support students' social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies, such as perseverance and social awareness. To measure students' SEL competencies and the school experiences that promote SEL competencies (school climate), DCPS began administering annual surveys to students, teachers, and parents in 2017/18. DCPS partnered with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Educational Laboratory to study how the district could use these surveys to improve students' outcomes. The study found the following:

  • Students' SEL competencies and school experiences are the most favorable in elementary school and the least favorable in middle school and the beginning of high school. This pattern suggests that schools might provide targeted supports before or during grades 6-10 to promote SEL competencies and school experiences when students need the most support.
  • The trajectories of students' SEL competencies and school experiences differed in different schools, to a similar degree as trajectories in academic measures like test scores. To understand why changes in SEL competencies and school experiences differ across schools, DCPS could explore differences in practices between schools with better and worse trajectories. In addition, DCPS could provide targeted support to schools with lower levels of positive change.
  • Of the SEL competencies and school experiences in DCPS's survey, self-management—how well students control their emotions, thoughts, and behavior—is most related to students' later academic outcomes. Programs or interventions that target self-management might have the most potential for improving students' outcomes compared to those that target other SEL competencies or school experiences.
  • In statistical models designed to predict students' future academic outcomes, SEL competency and school experience data add little accuracy beyond prior academic outcomes (such as achievement test scores and attendance) and demographic characteristics. Prior academic outcomes and demographic characteristics predict later outcomes with a high degree of accuracy, and they may implicitly incorporate the SEL competencies and school experiences. These findings suggest that DCPS would not need to use SEL competencies and school experiences to identify whether or not students are at risk of poor academic outcomes.
  • Student, teacher, and parent reports on SEL competencies and school experiences are positively related across schools, but they also exhibit systematic differences, suggesting that some respondent groups may not be aligned in their view of SEL competencies and school experiences. These differences may serve as a tool to help DCPS target efforts to improve communication among students, teachers, and parents.
8/3/2021
REL 2021117 Exploring the Potential Role of Staff Surveys in School Leader Evaluation

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Educational Laboratory partnered with the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) to explore the potential use of teacher surveys in school leader evaluation. The DCPS evaluation system, like many others, currently consists of two components: an assessment on how well a school performs on a set of student achievement metrics (such as proficiency on standardized tests) and an assessment by a supervisor of the principal’s leadership across multiple domains. Incorporating teacher surveys could provide an additional perspective on principals’ leadership and performance. Examining data from two teacher surveys that DCPS has used (Panorama and Insight), the study found that:

  • Most of the domains and scales from the teacher surveys can meaningfully differentiate among schools.
  • School averages of (Insight) survey domains are more similar for adjacent years in which a school had the same leader than when the school leader changed, suggesting principals have effects on these measures.
  • When a school gets a new principal, (Insight) survey domain scores change more than student proficiency rates, suggesting (consistent with theory) that principals may affect teachers more immediately than they affect student outcomes.
  • All but two of the teacher survey domains and scales have small or moderate correlations with supervisors’ ratings of principals' leadership, with values ranging from 0.26 to 0.46. Teacher survey measures are most correlated with three of the domains assessed by DCPS principal supervisors: Instruction, Talent, and School Culture.

Overall, our findings suggest that it could be useful for DCPS to use elements of teacher surveys to bring in teachers’ perspectives on principals’ leadership related to instruction, talent, and school culture. Other districts may also wish to consider employing teacher surveys to gain an additional perspective on principals from staff who interact with the principal every day.

8/2/2021
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