August 1, 2017
A Guide to Calculating District Expenditure-to-Performance Ratios Using Publicly Available Data
Efficient use of educational resources is a perennial challenge for school systems. Maximizing the impact of education interventions to magnify student achievement is an important goal for all school districts. This guide examines the use of expenditure-to-performance ratios as a critical indicator for school systems to help decide which interventions make sense when education dollars are at a premium. It describes how states and districts can use available data on district expenditures and student academic achievement to calculate six district-level expenditure-to-performance ratios.
Citation: Ryan, S., Lavigne, H. J., Zweig, J. S., & Buffington, P. J. (2017). A guide to calculating district expenditure-to-performance ratios using publicly available data. (REL 2017-179). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands.
June 13, 2017
Effective ongoing assessment, referred to in the education literature as formative assessment or progress monitoring, is indispensable in promoting teacher and student success. Feedback through formative assessment is ranked at or near the top of practices known to significantly raise student achievement. For decades, formative assessment has been found to be effective in clinical settings and, more important, in typical classroom settings. Formative assessment produces substantial results at a cost significantly below that of other popular school reform initiatives such as smaller class size, charter schools, accountability, and school vouchers. It also serves as a practical diagnostic tool available to all teachers. A core component of formal and informal assessment procedures, formative assessment allows teachers to quickly determine if individual students are progressing at acceptable rates and provides insight into where and how to modify and adapt lessons, with the goal of making sure that students do not fall behind.
Citation: States, J., Detrich, R. & Keyworth, R. (2017). Overview of Formative Assessment. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. http://www.winginstitute.org/student-formative-assessment.
March 1, 2017
Sage Spotlight on Data Visualization
The February issue of Sage Publishing’s newsletter, Sage Methods Minute, presents useful guidance on understanding and managing data visualization in making effective decisions. The newsletter offers a lecture, interview, and webinar on this important but often neglected topic. Productive data-based decisions rely on the effective use of analytics and the acquisition, interpretation, and communication of meaningful patterns in data. In an increasingly complicated world in which vast quantities of data are available, it is essential that educators become astute in presenting data adapted to different audiences and in identifying deceptive data so they are able to make wise decisions in the service of educating children. The Sage Spotlight newsletter on visualization includes Tailoring Data Visualization to Reach Different Audiences by Tom Schenk; Textbooks in Data Visualization: 60 Seconds with Andy Kirk; and Webinar: Learn the Essentials of Data Visualization by Andy Kirk and Stephanie Evergreen. For those interested in additional resources on this topic, the works of Edward Tufte, professor emeritus of political science, statistics, and computer science at Yale University, and Howard Wainer, adjunct professor of statistics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, provide insight in how to deliver information that communicates your message.
Sage February Newsletter: http://info.sagepub.com/q/17I2b2bhfM2Fc8adzqeF1h/wv
Edward Tufte: https://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/index
Howard Wainer: https://www.amazon.com/Howard-Wainer/e/B000AP7SUU
February 15, 2017
The Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University has announced a February release for a website that reviews every math and reading program for grades K to 12 to determine which meet the strong, moderate, or promising levels of evidence defined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This web site is designed to provide education decision-makers at the state, district and school levels, teachers, parents, and the public with the information to ascertain which programs meet the ESSA evidence standards.
Additional commentary on this topic is available from Robert Slavin
December 18, 2014
Hans Rosling, a Swedish medical doctor, academic, statistician and public speaker, has a particular talent for presenting data in a way that effectively tells a story that links critical issues in economic development, agriculture, poverty, Read More…
December 11, 2014
This opinion piece by Robert Slavin questions the effectiveness of how test-based accountability is currently been employed in the United States. Slavin doesn’t question the use of high stakes testing as a valuable tool for identification of poorly performing students and schools. Read More…
September 5, 2014
A recently published study on replication of research in education, “Facts Are More Important Than Novelty: Replication in the Education Sciences” finds that as few as 0.13 percentage of journal studies are were replications. Read More…
May 28, 2014
An important rule of research is; correlation does not equal causation. Just because two events track each other over time does not mean that one caused the other. An example of this is ice cream sales and murder rates Read More…
September 12, 2013
This guide, produced by the REL Pacific is one of ten Regional Education Laboratories established and funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, offers educators an tool for educators to effectively use data to inform decisions. The guide offers data teams a five step in process for strategic action: setting the stage, examining the data, understanding the findings, developing an action plan, and monitoring progress and measuring success.
October 31, 2012
A special meeting of researchers and experts in the field of value-added modeling (VAM) was held in August 2012 sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The purpose of the Read More…