Categories for Education Outcomes
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
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.
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.
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 Record, 117(12), 1–48.
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.
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.
August 4, 2017
Find Out If Your Job Will Be Automated
Bloomberg has published an interactive graphic that reveals valuable information on the probability of a particular employment path being impacted by automation. The graphic also provides information on average annual wage, number of people employed in the sector, and academic degree required for the job. This data is especially important as schools consider models for preparing students’ future careers. As schools are increasingly held accountable for career preparation, how can educators use this data to create career pathways that will adequately equip students with the skills and knowledge required for well-paying jobs obtainable when they graduate?
Citation: Whitehouse, M., & Rojanasakul, M. (2017). Find out if your job will be automated. Retrieved from
August 3, 2017
The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL)
C-SAIL was established in July 2015 as a resource on the implementation and effects of college and career readiness standards. The Center is funded through a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.
The goals of C-SAIL are:
- Compare and contrast college and career readiness standards implementation in English language arts (ELA) and math across different states.
- Capture the differences in approaches to implementation between states, districts, schools, and classrooms, and between students within a classroom, and determine their effects.
- Measure college and career readiness standards’ impact on student achievement, through NAEP scores, high school graduation rates, and college enrollment and employment rates.
- Create and make available new tools for teachers to monitor in real-time how well-aligned the content of their enacted curriculum is to their states’ college and career readiness standards in ELA and math.
- Test the Feedback on Alignment and Support for Teachers (FAST) Program to support teachers through feedback and coaching.
- Engage policymakers, education practitioners, and researchers in national discussions of the Center’s work and its findings.
Eight reports have been published in 2017.
- How is policy affecting classroom instruction?
- Standards Implementation in Kentucky: Local Perspective on Policy, Challenges, Resources, and Instruction
- Standards Implementation in Texas: Local Perspective on Policy, Challenges, Resources, and Instruction
- Standards Implementation In Ohio: Local Perspectives on Policy, Challenges, Resources, and Instruction
- Year 1 State Report: Texas
- Year 1 State Report: Ohio
- Year 1 State Report: Massachusetts
- Year 1 State Report: Kentucky
- Edgerton, A. Polikoff, M., Desimone, L. (2017). How is policy affecting classroom instruction?. Evidence Speaks Reports. Volume 2, #14. The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL).
- Edgerton, A. Polikoff, M., Desimone, L. (2017). Standards Implementation in Kentucky: Local Perspective on Policy, Challenges, Resources, and Instruction. The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL).
- Edgerton, A. Polikoff, M., Yang, R. (2017). Standards Implementation in Texas: Local Perspective on Policy, Challenges, Resources, and Instruction. The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL).
- Edgerton, A. Polikoff, M., Yang, R. (2017). Standards Implementation in Ohio: Local Perspective on Policy, Challenges, Resources, and Instruction. The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL).
- Flores, N., Nichols, T. P., Pak, K., Plummer, E., Stornaiuolo, A., and Desimone L. (2017). Year 1 State Report: Texas. The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL).
- Stornaiuolo, A., Flores, N., Nichols, T. P., Pak, K., Plummer, E., and Desimone L. (2017). Year 1 State Report: Ohio. The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL).
- Nichols, T. P., Plummer, E., Flores, N., Pak, K., Stornaiuolo, A., and Desimone L. (2017). Year 1 State Report: Massachusetts. The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL).
- Pak, K., Flores, N., Nichols, T. P., Plummer, E., Stornaiuolo, A., and Desimone L. (2017). Year 1 State Report: Massachusetts. The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL).
August 3, 2017
The Relationship Between Teacher Qualification and the Quality of the Early Childhood Education and Care Environment
Research suggests that inadequate or poor-quality early education and care can lead to increased negative social, emotional, educational, health, economic, and conduct outcomes for children. This systematic review published by the Campbell Collaboration examines the evidence on the relationship between childcare teacher qualification and the quality of the care children receive. The study reveals that the higher the qualification, the higher the quality of the services delivered and, most important, the more positive the outcomes.
Citation: Manning, M., Garvis, S., Fleming, C., & Wong, G. T. W. (2017). The relationship between teacher qualification and the quality of the early childhood education and care environment. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 1. Oslo, Norway: Campbell Collaboration.
July 12, 2017
Characteristics and Education Outcomes of Utah High School Dropouts Who Reenrolled
Reducing the dropout rate of high school students remains one of the great challenges facing education. The consequences for those who do not obtain a high school diploma are real and long lasting. Individuals who do not complete high school are more likely to face unemployment, earn less income over a lifetime, experience poverty, rely on public assistance, suffer health problems, and spend time in prison. This study undertaken by WestEd researchers provides valuable information necessary for developing interventions to support the approximate 20% of students who reenroll after initially dropping out of school.
Citation: Barrat, V. X.,& Berliner, B. (2016). Characteristics and education outcomes of Utah high school dropouts who re-enrolled (REL 2017–206). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory West.