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What's New for February 2017

Review of Study Examining How Technology Access Impacts Student Achievement (February 22, 2017)
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) reviewed the design and details of a study that found that students who were permitted to use Internet-enabled devices in class scored lower on final exams than those in classes that prohibited such devices. The impact estimate for the combined multiple choice and short answer portion of the final exam meets WWC group design standards without reservations. The impact estimate for the essay portion does not meet WWC standards.

New Report Looks at Revenues and Expenditures for Public School Districts in 2013-14 (February 15, 2017)
A new report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) provides information about revenues and expenditures in the nation's public school districts in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014.

WWC Review on Study Comparing Online and Traditional Credit Recovery Programs (February 14, 2017)
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) reviewed the design and technical details of a study comparing the academic performance of students enrolled in online credit recovery courses to students enrolled in traditional face-to-face credit recovery courses. The study reported that students in the online courses were less likely to recover credits and scored lower than students in the traditional credit recovery courses. The research meets WWC group design standards without reservations.

Schools That Beat the Odds in Mississippi (February 14, 2017)
REL Southeast identified which schools in Mississippi performed better than expected in mathematics and English given their demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. The report covers outcomes for the 2013-14 school year.

Guide shows states and districts how to use publicly available data to create district expenditure-to-performance ratios (February 14, 2017)
A report from REL Northeast and Islands shows states and districts how to create and compare six different district expenditure-to-performance ratios.

Updated Intervention Report on Connected Mathematics Project (CMP)  (February 14, 2017)
Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) is a curriculum for students in grades 6–8 that uses interactive problems and everyday situations to explore math concepts and foster an inquiry-based learning environment. This updated report includes the research examined in the 2010 CMP report and reviews of 40 additional studies. Based on this research, the WWC found CMP to have no discernible effects on the mathematics achievement of students in grades 6–8.

Enrollment and Employees in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2015; and Financial Statistics and Academic Libraries, Fiscal Year 2015: First Look (Provisional Data) (February 14, 2017)
This provisional First Look report includes fully edited and imputed data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) spring 2016 data collection, which included four survey components: Enrollment for fall 2015; Finance for fiscal year 2015; data on employees in postsecondary education for Fall 2015; and data for Academic Libraries for fiscal year 2015.

Follow-up study examines changes in financial aid and student enrollment at HBCUs (February 9, 2017)
This follow-up study looks at changes in financial aid and enrollment after the summer of 2013, when the Department of Education changed the appeals process for families denied Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS).

College outcomes for Metro Nashville's high school class of 2007 after six years (February 8, 2017)
REL Appalachia and Metro Nashville Public Schools partnered to analyze district, state, and national data for the public high school class of 2007.

College outcomes for Tennessee's high school class of 2007 after six years (February 8, 2017)
REL Appalachia and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission analyzed state and national data on Tennessee's public high school class of 2007.

A Randomized Experiment Using Postcards to "Nudge" Attendance (February 7, 2017)
The School District of Philadelphia and REL Mid-Atlantic examined if different types of messages—delivered via postcards sent to students' homes—are effective in increasing attendance. A single postcard encouraging guardians to improve their student's attendance reduced absences by roughly 2.4 percentage points.

Odyssey Math Has Potentially Positive Effects on Math Achievement (February 7, 2017)
The web-based curriculum, Odyssey Math, is designed for K–8 math instruction and incorporates formative assessments designed to support differentiated and data-driven instruction. This report includes research previously examined by the WWC, as well as six new studies.

Instructional Time for Third- and Eighth-Graders in Public and Private Schools: School Year 2011–12 (February 7, 2017)
This Statistics in Brief examines the amount of time that students in grades 3 and 8 spent on different activities in 2011–12 and compares how, if at all, this time varied by activity, school sector, and grade.

REL Southeast examines charter schools that beat the odds in South Carolina (February 1, 2017)
REL Southeast identified which charter schools in South Carolina beat the odds, or performed better than statistically predicted, in mathematics and English language arts for the 2013/14 school year.

Impact of Student Listening Circles on School Climate Perceptions and Competencies (February 1, 2017)
REL West examined the impact of Student Listening Circles on student participants' connectedness to school, quality of relationships to school staff, and perceptions of school climate and personal competencies.