Categories for Decision Making

Active Student Responding (Wing Institute Original Paper)

May 8, 2019

Active Student Responding (ASR) is a powerful set of low cost strategies teachers can use to improve student achievement. ASR occurs when a student makes a response by answering questions or responding in a variety of ways that communicates the student’s understanding of the content being taught during the lesson. The more opportunities the student has to respond, the increased likelihood the student is learning. Increasing active responses allows teachers to rapidly assess performance. As opportunities to respond increase so does opportunities for praise and corrective feedback that results in accelerated learning. Attending and being on-task are insufficient ways for teachers to know if learning is occurring. For a teacher to know if a student is actually learning a written, action, or oral response is required. The more opportunities to respond the more quickly students master lessons. ASR strategies are designed to engage all students regardless of class size and ASR avoids the common problem of having only high achievers answer questions while low achievers remain silent, thus escaping detection. Examples of ASR strategies include; guided notes, response slates, response cards, and choral responding.

Citation: States, J., Detrich, R. & Keyworth, R. (2019). Active Student Responding (ASR) Overview.Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.




Performance Feedback Overview (Wing Institute Original Paper)

April 16, 2019

Performance feedback is a practice used to improve performance. Principals give feedback to teachers to clarify expectations and to provide information for increasing administrative, instructional, behavior management, and personal competency skills. More than seven meta-analyses conducted since 1980 support feedback as one of the most powerful tools for improving performance. To deliver useful feedback, principals need current and accurate information on student performance and a teacher’s instructional skills. Research finds that principals depend on unreliable sources of data such as “walk-throughs,” brief informal observations that provide snapshots of classroom activities but are not designed for performance improvement. Principals should replace traditional walk-throughs with more effective feedback practices, such as coaching, that are better suited to improving specific teaching skills. For the best results, feedback must meet these four conditions: (1) It is objective, reliable, measurable, and specific; (2) it provides information about what was done well, what needs improvement, and how to improve; (3) it is delivered frequently and immediately following performance; and (4) it is about performance rather than personal characteristics.

Citation: Cleaver, S., Detrich, R. & States, J. (2019). Overview of Performance Feedback. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.




How can educators more effectively use web-based resources?

April 15, 2019

Proceed With Caution: Using Web-Based Resources for Instructing Students With and at Risk for EBD. This article examines issues relating to the use of websites popular with educators. Today educators often rely on social media platforms such as Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers for information for solving problems encountered in the classroom. These sites can offer teachers helpful information, but also come with potential risks that educators need to consider when utilizing such resources. This article offers guidelines for maximizing the usefulness of such sites and for avoiding many of the pitfall educators may face. The authors suggest educators first identify and learn the critical elements of effective practices from trustworthy sources and then use sites such as Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers to facilitate implementation.

Citation: Beahm, L. A., Cook, B. G., & Cook, L. (2019). Proceed With Caution: Using Web-Based Resources for Instructing Students With and at Risk for EBD. Beyond Behavior28(1), 13-20.




How can educators harness big data to benefit students?

February 26, 2019

Big Data and data science: A critical review of issues for educational research. Big data proliferates across a wide spectrum of fields in the 21stcentury. Education is no exception. This paper examines critical issues that must be considered to maximize the positive impact of big data and minimize negative effects that are currently encountered in other domains. This review is designed to raise awareness of these issues with particular attention paid to implications for educational research design in order that educators can develop the necessary policies and practices to address this complex phenomenon and its possible implications in the field of education. 

Citation: Daniel, B. K. (2017). Big Data and data science: A critical review of issues for educational research. British Journal of Educational Technology.




How valid are curriculum-based measures?

February 25, 2019

Meta-Analysis of Criterion Validity for Curriculum-Based Measurement in Written Language.  A shout out to one of the Wing Institute’s past student grant recipients, John Romig. A recent study in which he was the lead author, looks at valid measures of student progress as critical tools in effective and efficient progress monitoring. One of the most frequently adopted instruments is curriculum-based measures. Curriculum-based measures (CBM) have been used to assess student progress in reading, arithmetic, spelling, and writing. For CBM to be widely embraced these tools should meet standards for reliability and validity. This study examines the technical adequacy of curriculum-based measures for written language, one of the critical skills required for student success in school. The study concludes two scoring procedures, correct word sequences and correct minus incorrect sequences met criterion validity with commercially developed and state or locally developed criterion assessments. 

Citation: Romig, J. E., Therrien, W. J., & Lloyd, J. W. (2017). Meta-analysis of criterion validity for curriculum-based measurement in written language. The Journal of Special Education, 51(2), 72-82.




Are more high quality education studies produced today as compared to thirty years ago?

January 28, 2019

High-Quality Education Research.

A recent article published in Best Evidence in Brief examines the issues of quantity and quality of education research. Robert Slavin highlights the progress made over the past 30 years in delivering the evidence that education practitioners need to make informed decisions. His conclusions are based on three studies: Effective Programs for Struggling Readers: A Best-Evidence Synthesis; A Synthesis of Quantitative Research on Reading Programs for Secondary Students; and Effective Programs in Elementary Mathematics: A Best-Evidence Synthesis. The research found that the number of rigorous randomized or quasi-experimental studies in elementary reading for struggling readers, secondary reading, and elementary math rose significantly over the past 20 years. Despite the important gains, the trend may be going in the wrong direction. Given the importance of research in developing an effective evidence-based culture in education, educators need to diligently support the production of the types of research (including replication studies) essential to building a robust evidence base.


Slavin, R. (2019). Replication. [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Baye, A., Inns, A., Lake, C., & Slavin, R. E. (2018). A synthesis of quantitative research on reading programs for secondary students. Reading Research Quarterly.

Inns, A., Lake, C., Pellegrini, M., & Slavin, R. (2018). Effective programs for struggling readers: A best-evidence synthesis.Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, Washington, DC.

Pellegrini, M., Inns, A., & Slavin, R. (2018). Effective programs in elementary mathematics: A best-evidence synthesis.Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, Washington, DC.

Link: For copies of the papers presented at the annual meeting, please contact, and for the Baye article, go to



Why do evidence-based practices frequently fail to produce positive results?

January 22, 2019

Citation: Gonzalez, N. (2018). When evidence-based literacy programs fail. Phi Delta Kappan, 100(4), 54–58.



How can teachers overcome obstacles to executing effective classroom management?

January 22, 2019

Barriers to Implementing Classroom Management and Behavior Support Plans: An Exploratory Investigation. Ample evidence supports effective classroom management’s place in maximizing student achievement. Unfortunately, sustained implementation of classroom management strategies too often fail. This study examines obstacles encountered by 33 educators along with suggested interventions to overcome impediments to effective delivery of classroom management interventions or behavior support plans. Having the right classroom management plan isn’t enough if you can’t deliver the strategies to the students in the classroom.

Citation: Collier‐Meek, M. A., Sanetti, L. M., & Boyle, A. M. (2019). Barriers to implementing classroom management and behavior support plans: An exploratory investigation. Psychology in the Schools56(1), 5-17.





The Myth of Learning Styles

December 6, 2018

The Learning Styles Educational Neuromyth: Lack of Agreement Between Teachers’ Judgments, Self-Assessment, and Students’ Intelligence. The issue of learning styles (LS) have been overwhelmingly embraced by teachers and the public for over forty years. International surveys of teachers have shown more than 90% believe that grouping students into categories, like auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learners, or concrete versus abstract learners will enhance student achievement. This study examined the hypothesis that teachers’ and students’ assessment of preferred LS correspond. The study found no relationship between pupils’ self-assessment and teachers’ assessment. Teachers’ and students’ answers didn’t match up. The study suggests that teachers cannot assess the LS of their students accurately. This is important because if teachers cannot accurately identify which style is preferred, they cannot assign the appropriate curriculum to each student. For a thorough summary on research on this topic the article by Daniel Willingham, “Does Tailoring Instruction to Learning Styles Help Student Learn?” offers arguments for and against LS. At this time the preponderance of evidence finds learning styles to have no basis in fact, despite the very strong and persistent preference teachers and the public have for the concept.

Citation:Papadatou-Pastou, M., Gritzali, M., & Barrable, A. (2018). The Learning Styles Educational Neuromyth: Lack of Agreement Between Teachers’ Judgments, Self-Assessment, and Students’ Intelligence. Front. Educ. 3:105. doi: 10.3389/feduc.2018.00105




What obstacles do teachers face in using data for decision making?

December 5, 2018

Accountability policies and teacher decision making: Barriers to the use of data to improve practice. Underlying many accountability policies is the assumption that standardized test data and other common sources of data will be used to make decisions that will result in changes to instructional practices. This study examines longitudinal from nine high schools nominated as leading practitioners of Continuous Improvement (CI) practices. The researchers compared continuous improvement best practices to teachers actual use of data in making decisions. The study found teachers to be receptive, but also found that significant obstacles were interfering with the effective use of data that resulted in changes in instruction. The analysis showed cultural values and practices inconsistent with accountability policies and continuous improvement practices impede implementation. The researchers identify barriers to use of testing and other data that help to account for the less than successful results. Given the current understanding of the importance on implementation science in the effective application of any new practice, these findings are not a surprise. As our colleague, Ronnie Detrich, is quoted as saying, “Implementation is where great ideas go to die”.

Citation: Ingram, D., Louis, K. S., & Schroeder, R. G. (2004). Accountability policies and teacher decision making: Barriers to the use of data to improve practice. Teachers College Record106(6), 1258-1287.

LinkAccountability policies and teacher decision making: Barriers to the use of data to improve practice