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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2021073 Using High School Data to Predict College Readiness and Early College Success on Guåhan (Guam)
On Guåhan (Guam), the large percentages of students enrolling in non-credit-bearing courses at Kulehon Kumunidåt Guåhan (Guam Community College) and Unibetsedåt Guåhan (University of Guam) have raised concerns about college readiness and early college success. Without adequate research on predictors of college readiness and early success among students on Guåhan, educators and other stakeholders find it difficult to identify and support students at risk of being underprepared for college. This study examined which student characteristics predicted college readiness and early college success among students who graduated from Guåhan high schools and enrolled at Kulehon Kumunidåt Guåhan or Unibetsedåt Guåhan between 2012 and 2015. Students' college readiness and early college success were assessed using three indicators: enrolling in only credit-bearing math and English courses during the first year of college, earning all credits attempted during the first semester of college, and persisting to a second year of college. About 23 percent of students met all three indicators and were thus classified as demonstrating college readiness and early college success. The percentages of students who met each individual indicator varied: 30 percent enrolled in only credit-bearing math and English courses, 43 percent earned all the credits they attempted, and 74 percent persisted to a second year. Various student characteristics predicted meeting all three indicators and each individual indicator. Graduates of John F. Kennedy High School and male students were the most likely to meet all three indicators and were the most likely to enroll in only credit-bearing math and English courses. Completing a high-level math course during high school positively predicted meeting the composite indicator of college readiness and early college success and of enrolling in only credit-bearing math and English courses and earning all credits attempted. A higher cumulative high school grade point average also positively predicted meeting all three indicators and each individual indicator. Kulehon Kumunidåt Guåhan enrollees were more likely than Unibetsedåt Guåhan enrollees to earn all credits attempted during their first semester.
4/12/2021
REL 2021083 The Impact of Word Knowledge Instruction on Literacy Outcomes in Grade 5
District leaders in a large urban school district in central Florida wanted to examine the efficacy of a new curriculum designed to enhance the word knowledge of grade 5 students so as to improve reading achievement. The new curriculum, called Word Knowledge Instruction (WKI), consists of 15-minute lessons 4 days a week for 20 weeks. The lessons address state standards and cover 20 prefixes and suffixes. Thirty-nine schools participated in the study, with 92 English language arts (ELA) teachers in high-poverty schools randomly assigned within schools either to use WKI or to continue to use their standard ELA curriculum. Classroom observations revealed that WKI was implemented as intended. WKI had a positive effect, equivalent to an increase of 9 percentile points, on students' ability to correctly extract and spell a base word from a derived word, one of the skills explicitly taught by WKI. WKI had no effect on two other related reading skills that were not directly taught by WKI (students' ability to select a nonword that best fits the grammatical context of a sentence or to use knowledge of word parts to infer meaning of new words) or on students' vocabulary or reading scores. These findings suggest that, although students learned what they were explicitly taught, the transferability to related but not directly taught skills might require more intense or longer duration instruction or additional professional development for teachers.
4/6/2021
REL 2021068 Measuring Civic Readiness: A Review of Survey Scales
This resource supports state and local education agencies in identifying, comparing, and contrasting survey scales that measure a variety of civic readiness categories. It describes the format and structure of survey scales, details the civic readiness categories measured by the scales, and summarizes the reliability and validity evidence associated with the scales.
4/5/2021
REL 2021069 Center- and Program-Level Factors Associated with Turnover in the Early Childhood Education Workforce
Staff turnover is a pressing problem in early childhood education. High turnover can create organizational instability and distract from the care and education mandate of early childhood education centers. The Early Childhood Workforce Development Research Alliance of the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands wants to better understand the factors associated with turnover in the early childhood educator workforce. Using data from the 2012 National Survey of Early Care and Education, this study found that a low average turnover rate across early childhood education centers obscured systematic variation in turnover patterns across types of centers and programs, with high turnover rates in some types. Higher wages were associated with lower turnover rates across centers. Turnover rates were highest among private-pay centers serving children ages 0–5. Nonwage benefits such as health insurance and retirement benefits and paid time off for professional development were generally unrelated to turnover rates. Educators were also clustered into certain center types based on background characteristics; Black educators and educators with lower educational attainment more likely to work in centers with low wages and high turnover.
3/29/2021
REL 2021074 Steps to Develop a Model to Estimate School- and District-Level Postsecondary Success
This tool is intended to support state and local education agencies in developing a statistical model for estimating student postsecondary success at the school or district level. The tool guides education agency researchers, analysts, and decisionmakers through options to consider when developing their own model. The resulting model generates an indicator of a school's or district's contribution to the postsecondary success of its students after contextual factors are accounted for that might be outside a school's or district's control, such as student demographic characteristics and community characteristics. State and local education agencies could use the information generated by the models they develop to help meet federal and state reporting requirements and to inform their own efforts to improve their students’ postsecondary success.
3/22/2021
REL 2021071 Do College and Career Readiness and Early College Success in Indiana Vary Depending on Whether Students Attend Public, Charter, or Private Voucher High Schools?
Indiana has a robust portfolio of high school options, including traditional public schools, charter schools, and private voucher schools that accept Indiana Choice Scholarships. This study identified the type of high school enrollment among students enrolled in grade 9 in 2010/11–2013/14 and examined their performance on indicators of college and career readiness and early college success. Charter school students and recipients of private school vouchers (voucher recipients) were most likely to belong to disadvantaged groups. After adjusting for student and high school background factors, students at private voucher schools who did not receive vouchers (nonvoucher students) performed similarly to or better than students in traditional public and charter schools on most indicators of college and career readiness; voucher recipients performed similarly to or better than students in traditional public schools; and among students who enrolled in an Indiana public college, students from all enrollment types performed similarly on indicators of early college success.
3/15/2021
REL 2021072 Do College and Career Readiness and Early College Success in Indiana Vary Depending on Whether Students Attend Public, Charter, or Private Voucher High Schools?
Indiana has a robust portfolio of high school options, including traditional public schools, charter schools, and private voucher schools that accept Indiana Choice Scholarships. This study identified the type of high school enrollment among students enrolled in grade 9 in 2010/11–2013/14 and examined their performance on indicators of college and career readiness and early college success. Charter school students and recipients of private school vouchers (voucher recipients) were most likely to belong to disadvantaged groups. After adjusting for student and high school background factors, students at private voucher schools who did not receive vouchers (nonvoucher students) performed similarly to or better than students in traditional public and charter schools on most indicators of college and career readiness; voucher recipients performed similarly to or better than students in traditional public schools; and among students who enrolled in an Indiana public college, students from all enrollment types performed similarly on indicators of early college success.
3/9/2021
REL 2021075 Evaluating the Implementation of Networked Improvement Communities in Education: An Applied Research Methods Report
The purpose of this study was to develop a framework that can be used to evaluate the implementation of networked improvement communities (NICs) in public prekindergarten (PK)–12 education and to apply this framework to the formative evaluation of the Minnesota Alternative Learning Center Networked Improvement Community (Minnesota ALC NIC), a partnership between Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, the Minnesota Department of Education, and five alternative learning centers (ALCs) in Minnesota. The partnership formed with the goal of improving high school graduation rates among students in ALCs. The evaluation team developed and used research tools aligned with the evaluation framework to gather data from 37 school staff in the five ALCs participating in the Minnesota ALC NIC. Data sources included attendance logs, postmeeting surveys (administered following three NIC sessions), a post–Plan-Do-Study-Act survey, continuous improvement artifacts, and event summaries. The evaluation team used descriptive analyses for quantitative and qualitative data, including frequency tables to summarize survey data and coding artifacts to indicate completion of continuous improvement milestones. Engagement in the Minnesota ALC NIC was strong, as measured by attendance data and post–Plan-Do-Study-Act surveys, but the level of engagement varied by continuous improvement milestones. Based on postmeeting surveys, NIC members typically viewed the NIC as relevant and useful, particularly because of the opportunities to work within teams and develop relationships with staff from other schools. The percentage of meeting attendees agreeing that the NIC increased their knowledge and skills increased over time. Using artifacts from the NIC, the evaluation team determined that most of the teams completed most continuous improvement milestones. Whereas the post–Plan-Do-Study-Act survey completed by NIC members indicated that sharing among different NIC teams was relatively infrequent, contemporaneous meeting notes recorded specific instances of networking among teams. This report illustrates how the evaluation framework and its aligned set of research tools were applied to evaluate the Minnesota ALC NIC. With slight adaptations, these tools can be used to evaluate the implementation of a range of NICs in public PK–12 education settings. The study has several limitations, including low response rates to postmeeting surveys, reliance on retrospective measures of participation in continuous improvement activities, and the availability of extant data on a single Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle. The report includes suggestions for overcoming these limitations when applying the NIC evaluation framework to other NICs in public PK–12 education settings.
3/8/2021
REL 2021067 Early Childhood Data Use Assessment Tool
The Early Childhood Data Use Assessment Tool is designed to identify and improve data use skills among early childhood education (ECE) program staff so they can better use data to inform, plan, monitor, and make decisions for instruction and program improvement. Data use is critical in quality ECE programs but can be intimidating for some ECE program staff. This tool supports growth in their data use skills. The tool has three components: (1) a checklist to identify staff skills in using child assessment and administrative data, (2) a resource guide to identify professional development resources for improving data use skills, and (3) an action plan template to support planning for the development and achievement of data use goals. Results obtained from using the tool are meant by the developers to support instruction and program improvement through increased and structured use of data.
3/2/2021
REL 2021065 Understanding the Teacher Pipeline for Indiana's K-12 Public Schools
Leaders at the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the Indiana Department of Education are concerned about teacher shortages and want a better understanding of the educator pipeline for Indiana’s K–12 public schools. This study examined the characteristics and outcomes for three cohorts of undergraduate education student in Indiana’s public colleges and universities. This study used longitudinal data for undergraduate education students in the 2010/11–2012/13 cohorts. The study team calculated the proportion of undergraduate education students who completed a bachelor’s degree in education, the proportion of degree completers who earned an initial instructional license, and the proportion of those with licenses who entered teaching in Indiana’s K–12 public schools, describing the demographic characteristics and academic preparation for students who reached those milestones. For those who entered teaching in Indiana’s K–12 public schools, the study team also described their retention and evaluation ratings in their first three years of teaching. The study team used statistical models to examine the extent to which completing a bachelor’s degree in education was related to individual and institutional factors. The study found that 41 percent of the undergraduate students completed a bachelor’s degree in education by 2017/18; among the completers, 55 percent earned an initial instructional license; and among those licensed, 69 percent entered teaching in Indiana public schools. Compared with the initial group of students entering education programs, students who completed a bachelor’s degree, those who earned initial instructional licenses, and those who entered teaching in Indiana public schools were less likely to be from racial/ethnic minority groups or have been eligible for the national school lunch program in high school. The study found that students who entered an education program in their third year of college or later had a lower probability of completing an education degree than students who entered an education program in their first year of college. Students who received Indiana’s 21st Century Scholarship in their first year of college or who received financial aid beyond their first year were more likely to complete a bachelor’s degree in education. However, students who received a Pell Grant were less likely to complete a bachelor’s degree in education. State and teacher education leaders in Indiana may want to prioritize strategies that increase diversity in teacher pipelines and consider a holistic approach to support students from low-income backgrounds which includes both increasing financial aid support to these students and expanding other support resources for them. Higher education institutions may want to encourage students to enroll in education program early in their college years and offer supports to assist students in making informed decisions about majors early on.
3/1/2021
REL 2021060 Integrating Reading Foundations: A Tool for College Instructors of Pre‑service Teachers

The College Instructor’s Guide is designed to assist college instructors build pre-service teacher knowledge of evidence-based strategies to help kindergarten through grade 3 students acquire the language and literacy skills needed to succeed academically. This tool is intended to be used in conjunction with the Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade practice guide, produced by the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), an investment of the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education. College instructors may use the lessons in this tool to provide collaborative learning experiences which engage pre-service teachers in activities that will expand their knowledge base as they read, discuss, share, and apply the key ideas and strategies presented in the WWC Practice Guide.

Each lesson in this College Instructor's Guide includes the following:

  • A recommendation reminder that provides a snapshot of the WWC practice guide recommendation and how-to steps for pre-service teachers.
  • Guidance to support college instructors as they teach pre-service teachers about a specific skill, why it is important in learning to read, and how to support that skill in the classroom.
  • Videos that explain foundational reading skills and demonstrate the use of activities intended to improve foundational reading skills with students in grades K-3. Pre-service teachers are asked to complete a video reflection worksheet for each video.
  • Activities for pre-service teachers to complete with peers in the college setting that reinforce foundational skills taught to students in grades K-3.
  • Observation forms to be used in the practicum setting that include guiding questions related to each recommendation to help pre-service teacher’s compare newly learned strategies to observed practices.
2/24/2021
REL 2021070 Characteristics of Approved Universal Prekindergarten Programs in Vermont in 2018/19
In an effort to increase access to high-quality prekindergarten (preK) programs for all of Vermont's young children, Vermont passed universal preK legislation in 2014 (Act 166). All 3- and 4-year-old children have access to 10 hours a week of state-funded preK through a mixed-delivery system of public school and private programs. Families can enroll their children at no cost in any approved preK program across the state regardless of location. To better understand the characteristics of universal preK programs related to program availability, program quality, and family choice, Vermont partnered with the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands to describe the characteristics of preK programs overall and separately for private and public school programs and programs located in local education agencies with different population sizes and poverty levels. The study found that in 2018/19, fewer than 50 percent of programs were at capacity, with more private programs and more programs in high-poverty local education agencies at capacity, raising questions about the availability of preK programs in high-poverty areas. Local education agencies at different population sizes and poverty levels had programs of similar quality within their boundaries, suggesting that Act 166, as enacted, allows for an equitable preK system for families living in rural and low-income areas of the state as it relates to program quality. The results also suggest that the current ability of families to access preK in locations other than their local education agency of residence must be retained if Vermont is to maximize availability of preK for families living in local education agencies that have few—sometimes only one—preK programs. Private programs reported being open more hours per day and weeks per year than public school programs, which may reduce the need for transitions throughout the day and year for children in private programs who need additional child care beyond the 10 hours per week of universal preK.
2/23/2021
REL 2021066 Alternative Career Readiness Measures for Small and Rural Districts in Texas

This study examined the extent to which Texas high school graduates, particularly graduates in small districts and rural districts, met college, career, and military readiness (CCMR) accountability standards. The study also examined whether graduates who did not meet CCMR accountability standards demonstrated career readiness via alternative career readiness options identified by the Texas Education Agency: career and technical education (CTE) completer, CTE concentrator, CTE explorer, CTE participant, and work-based learner. The study further explored whether graduates who did not meet CCMR accountability standards but who met the alternative career readiness options attained similar postsecondary college and career outcomes to graduates who met career readiness accountability standards.

The study used descriptive statistics to calculate the percentage of 2017–18 high school graduates in each of four mutually exclusive CCMR accountability standard categories: met a college ready accountability standard, met a career ready accountability standard, met a military ready accountability standard, and did not meet CCMR accountability standards. For graduates who did not meet CCMR accountability standards, the study team calculated the percentage of these graduates who demonstrated career readiness via alternative career readiness options. The study team used longitudinal data to compare postsecondary outcomes for graduates who met alternative career readiness options and graduates who met career readiness accountability standards.

2/22/2021
REL 2021078 Students' Use of School-Based Telemedicine Services and Rates of Returning to Class After These Services in a Small Elementary School District
In 2018, a small elementary school district in California introduced school-based telemedicine services for K–6 students to address the health, well-being, and attendance challenges that can interfere with school success. During the first two years of implementation, about a quarter of the students used telemedicine services at least once, and nearly one in ten used telemedicine services multiple times. Descriptive results indicated that students in the lower and upper elementary grades did not differ in their use of telemedicine, though there were some differences in telemedicine use and reasons for seeking services by student race/ethnicity. This suggests that the needs, awareness, level of comfort, or rate of parent/guardian consent for receiving these services may vary across student groups. Results also indicated that telemedicine can treat students during the school day, enabling them to attend classes for the remainder of instruction the day of the visit. For these students, this resulted in an average of 3 hours of instruction instead of being sent home with an unmet health need. Telemedicine may hold promise to help students stay healthy and in school, whether they are learning from home during the pandemic or when schools buildings are open.
2/18/2021
REL 2021064 Welcoming, Registering, and Supporting Newcomer Students: A Toolkit for Educators of Immigrant and Refugee Students in Secondary Schools
Meeting the unique educational and social needs of newcomer students (students who were born outside of the United States and have arrived in the country within the past three years) is an ongoing challenge for educators and community stakeholders across the country. This resource toolkit is intended to help educators and other stakeholders identify and use research-based practices, policies, and procedures for welcoming, registering, and supporting newcomer immigrant and refugee students who are attending secondary schools (grades 6-12) in the United States. The research and resources in the toolkit are divided into four areas: welcoming and engaging newcomer immigrant and refugee students, registering newcomer immigrant and refugee students, building educators' capacity to support newcomer immigrant and refugee students, and supporting newcomer immigrant and refugee students. Resources include professional development curricula, policy and implementation guides, evaluation reports, and sample surveys and assessments.
2/17/2021
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