Categories for Education Outcomes

Do homework assignments have a significant impact on student learning?

January 22, 2018

Homework and academic achievement: A meta-analytic review of research

This study from Turkey looks at the effect of homework on students’ academic achievement. This meta-analysis attempts to answer to the question: “What kind of effect does homework assignment have on students’ academic achievement levels?” The effect size of homework on student achievement was determined to be a small effect size, d = 0.229. Despite the significant time students spend on homework, this study supports previous research that suggest these efforts only have a modest effect. Successful use of homework requires making smart choices about when to assign homework and how much to assign. To maximize the impact, teachers must grade homework assignments promptly and provide timely feedback. Unless these rules are followed, homework unsurprisingly achieves poor results (See Wing Institute Homework Abstract).

Citation: Bas, G., Senturk, C., & Cigerci, F. M. (2017). Homework and academic achievement: A meta-analytic review of research. Issues in Educational Research, 27(1), 31-50.




How effective are Tier 1 Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) reading instruction interventions?

January 22, 2018

The impact of tier 1 reading instruction on reading outcomes for students in Grades 4–12: A meta-analysis

This meta-analysis examines the impact of 1st tier reading instruction on reading outcomes for students in grades 4-12 in an Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) service delivery model. 37 studies met criteria for inclusion in the meta-analysis. The study finds small, but positive effects for 1st tier reading instruction on comprehension, vocabulary, and indicates minimum evidence for struggling readers maintaining or improving reading comprehension over struggling students receiving typical instruction. Hedges’s g was used calculating effect sizes. Because of the limited number of studies examining phonics/word recognition and fluency instruction, it was not possible these critical instruction areas in this meta-analysis.

Citation: Swanson, E., Stevens, E. A., Scammacca, N. K., Capin, P., Stewart, A. A., & Austin, C. R. (2017). The impact of tier 1 reading instruction on reading outcomes for students in Grades 4–12: A meta-analysis. Reading and Writing30(8), 1639-1665.




How Can Schools Intervene to Reduce Sexual Harassment and Dating Violence?

December 18, 2017

A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Interventions Aimed to Prevent or Reduce Violence in Teen Dating Relationships

The issue of sexual harassment has been front page news this past year. What does the research tell us about school interventions designed to reduce sexual harassment? This meta-analysis examines research on the topic and provides insight into how effective current efforts are at stemming incidents of this serious problem. This review provides a quantitative synthesis of empirical evaluations of school-based programs implemented in middle and high schools designed to prevent or reduce incidents of dating violence. This meta-analysis of 23 studies indicates school-based programs having no significant impact on dating violence perpetration and victimization; however, they can have a positive influence on dating violence knowledge and student attitudes.

Citation: De La Rue, L., Polanin, J. R., Espelage, D. L., & Pigott, T. D. (2017). A meta-analysis of school-based interventions aimed to prevent or reduce violence in teen dating relationships. Review of Educational Research87(1), 7-34.


For more information on this topic please examine a Campbell Collaboration Systematic Review by the same authors:



What Are The Long-term Consequences Of Offering Early Childhood Education On Key Student Outcomes?

December 14, 2017

Impacts of Early Childhood Education on Medium-and Long-Term Educational Outcomes

This meta-analysis examines over 50 years of data on the impact of early childhood interventions designed to improve student performance. As schools look for initiatives that can make a difference improving important social outcomes, early childhood education (ECE), as a structural intervention, appears to offer results that last beyond the first few years of elementary school. This study finds ECE has a positive effect on reducing special education placements (effect size = 0.33), reduces grade retention (effect size = 0.26), and increases high school graduation rates (effect size = 0.24). Although, these are considered to be small effect sizes they have an impact improving large numbers of student’s education experiences while reducing overall education expenditures.

Citation: McCoy, D. C., Yoshikawa, H., Ziol-Guest, K. M., Duncan, G. J., Schindler, H. S., Magnuson, K., Yang, R., Koepp, A., & Shonkoff, J. P. (2017). Impacts of Early Childhood Education on Medium-and Long-Term Educational Outcomes. Educational Researcher46(8), 474-487.





High School Graduation Rates Reach Record High Levels

December 14, 2017

U.S. Graduation Rate Hits New All-Time High, With Gains in All Student Groups

The National Center on Education Statistics has released graduation rate data for the school year 2015-2016 (the most recent year in which data are available).  The graduation rate for this school year is 84% making it the highest level reported since all states began using a standard measure for reporting graduation rates in the 2010-2011 school year.  Not only is the overall graduation rate higher but there were improvements in each of the sub-groups as well.

Citation: Education Week, December 5, 2017





Multitiered System of Support (MTSS) Overview

December 4, 2017

Framework for Improving Education Outcomes

Multitiered system of support (MTSS) is a framework for organizing service delivery. At the core of MTSS is the adoption and implementation of a continuum of evidence-based interventions that result in improved academic and behavioral outcomes for all students. MTSS is a data-based decision making approach based on the frequent screening of progress for all students and intervention for students who are not making adequate progress.

Citation: States, J., Detrich, R., and Keyworth, R. (2017). Multitiered System of Support Overview. Oakland, Ca. The Wing Institute.




What Are the Key Factors Needed to Increase Reading Comprehension?

November 15, 2017

Reading Comprehension Tests Don’t Test Reading

In this video from Cool Reading Facts, Daniel Willingham, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, discusses significant factors key to success in reading comprehension. His analysis suggests that educators frequently miss the critical role that basic knowledge plays in successfully interpreting and understanding passages in reading texts and that reading comprehension tests are actually knowledge tests in disguise. He makes three important points: (1) Students must have the basic decoding skills to translate print into meaningful information, (2) having a basic familiarity with the subject matter is of prime importance in comprehending what the writer is trying to communicate, and (3) providing students with an enriched knowledge base through the school’s curriculum is especially important for students from disadvantaged circumstances, whose only source of essential background information often is school. In contrast, children from privileged circumstances may be introduced to essential background information away from school.

Citation: Willingham, D. (2017). Cool Reading Facts 5: Reading comprehension tests don’t test reading [Video file]. National Public Radio, Science Friday Educator Collaborative.




What Explains the Persistent Gap in Achievement in American Schools?

November 15, 2017

Two Models of Learning and Achievement: An Explanation for the Achievement Gap?

A 2015 paper by Stuart Yeh offers evidence on how to improve the performance of all students and close the achievement gap between students of different socioeconomic statuses and races. A persistent gap in student achievement between disadvantaged minority students and their middle-class peers has existed in the United States for over 50 years. This gap continues despite decades of education reform. Yeh hypothesizes that the conventional school system is structured in a way that reduces student motivation to succeed. Students become disengaged after experiencing repeated failure, resulting in depressed achievement and grades. This cycle continues to feed on itself as low achievement and poor grades further decrease motivation, engagement, and achievement. Yeh’s research suggests that two critical factors may account for the phenomenon of substandard student achievement: lack of a system for individualizing task difficulty and insufficient rapid performance feedback. These factors appear to be significantly more powerful than sociocultural circumstances (socioeconomic status or race), lack of accountability, lack of choice and competition, and low teacher quality. The implication is that letter grades are not merely an indicator of performance but potentially a causal factor in perpetuating the achievement gap.

Citation: Yeh, S. S. (2015). Two models of learning and achievement: An explanation for the achievement gap? Teachers College Record117(12), 1–48.




What Is the Impact of Career and Technical Training?

October 18, 2017

The Effect of Career and Technical Education on Human Capital Accumulation: Causal Evidence from Massachusetts

Twenty percent of high school students take four or more courses in career and technical education (CTE). Despite this high rate of participation, little is known about what constitutes high-quality CTE and whether high-quality CTE allows participants to accumulate meaningful knowledge and skills to succeed in a career. This study from the Association for Education Finance and Policy examined the impact of participating in CTE on high school attendance, high school completion, professional certifications, and performance on standardized test scores. The evidence suggests that a high-quality CTE program boosts on-time graduation for higher income students and for lower income .

Citation: Dougherty, S. M. (2016). The effect of career and technical education on human capital accumulation: Causal evidence from Massachusetts. Education Finance and Policy. doi:10.1162/EDFP_a_00224.




Recommendations for Reducing Student Dropout Rates

September 26, 2017

Preventing Dropout in Secondary Schools

This What Works Clearinghouse practice guide provides educators and administrators with four evidence-based recommendations for reducing dropout rates in middle and high schools. The guide offers specific, strategies; examples of how to implement the practices; advice on how to overcome obstacles; and a summary of the supporting evidence.

Citation: Rumberger, R. W., et al. (2017). Educator’s Practice Guide: Preventing Dropout in Secondary School. IES National Center for Education and Evaluation and Regional Assistance.