Categories for Education Resources

Does the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification (NBPTS) have a positive effect on student outcomes?

April 17, 2019

What Works Clearinghouse Intervention Report: National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification. NBPTS was established in 1987 to foster “high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do” (NBPTS mission statement). As a voluntary national system, NBPTS certifies that a teacher has taught in the field and meets certification requirements for best practices for instruction and pedagogy. The standards reflect five core propositions: (1) effective teachers are committed to students and their learning, (2) effective teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students, (3) effective teachers manage and monitor student learning, (4) effective teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience, and (5) effective teachers are members of learning communities. 

The process requires teachers to pay a fee and can take from 3 months to several years to complete. School districts have come to view the process as a way to improve student achievement, allocating scarce resources in the form of performance compensation to encourage teachers who acquire certification. The What Works Clearinghouse review found NBPTS-certified teachers had mixed effects on mathematics achievement and no discernible effects on English language arts achievement for students in grades 3 through 8. 

Citation: Mathematica Policy Research (2018). What Works Clearinghouse Intervention Report: National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Retrieved from




How does attending a charter school impact success in college?

April 17, 2019

Do Charter Middle Schools Improve Students’ College Outcomes? This study examines the impact of Charter schools on college enrollment. The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE) used college enrollment and completion data for students who (more than a decade ago) entered lotteries to be admitted to 31 charter middle schools across the United States. College outcomes were compared for 1,723 randomly selected “lottery winners” and 1,150 randomly selected “lottery losers”. The results show that admission to a charter middle school did not affect college outcomes. Additionally, the study finds no consistent relationship between the impact a charter middle school achievement and the school’s impact on college outcomes

Citation: Place, K., & Gleason, P. Do Charter Middle Schools Improve Students’ College Outcomes? (Study Highlights) (No. 61bd53574633412b9136328cb4e143ef). Mathematica Policy Research.




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.




Chronic Student Absenteeism: A Significant and Overlooked Obstacle to Student Achievement

April 12, 2019

Decades of research document the significant negative impacts of student absenteeism on academic achievement, emotional development, graduation, health, and long-term success (Gottfried, 2015). Yet, until just a few years ago, the U.S. K–12 education system was virtually unaware that it had a chronic student absenteeism problem. Prior to that time, chronic absenteeism was never tracked by school systems, let alone addressed. A recent analysis of the data revealed that a significant number of students (one in seven) were chronically absent, defined as missing 10% of school days (Balfanz & Brynes, 2012). And that was the threshold number. Many students identified as chronically absent missed more than 10%. The corresponding negative impacts worsen with every additional day of school missed. 

This overview looks at the best available evidence on chronic student absenteeism in the context of (1) the scale of the problem at all levels of the education system: national, state, school, and grade; (2) the impact on student academic performance, graduation, health, and financial impact on school districts; (3) impact multipliers that exacerbate chronic absenteeism, such as poverty, student mobility, homelessness, and disciplinary suspensions; and (4) interventions utilizing a public health tiered model for different levels of action depending on need, a performance feedback system to track and modify the results of each intervention, and coordination of resources across a wide range of education stakeholders.

Citation: Keyworth, R., Detrich, R. & States, J. (2019). Overview of Chronic Student Absenteeism: A Significant and Overlooked Obstacle to Student Achievement. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.




Evaluation of a Principal Development Model: the Principal Pipeline

April 11, 2019

Principal Pipeline:  A Feasible, Affordable, and Effective Way for Districts to Improve Schools. The Rand Corporation just released its report evaluating the impact of the Principal Pipeline Initiative (PPI),a project supported by the Wallace Foundation to create and implement a strategic process for school leadership talent management.  PPI was operated from 2011 to 2016 in six large school districts. It was composed of leadership standards, pre-service preparation opportunities for assistant principals and principals, selective hiring and placement, and on-the-job induction, evaluation and support.  The Rand Study evaluated PPI’s feasibility, effectiveness, and affordability.  It concluded that the model was feasible as each participating district was able to implement all components of the model at scale in different ways depending on the unique aspects of the district. From an effectiveness standpoint, newly placed principals in PPI districts had a greater statistically significant impact on student reading and math scores than non-PPI principals, they were more likely to stay ion their schools for at least two years, and the novice principals rated the program’s hiring, evaluation, and support process higher than non-participating principals rated the baseline model. And finally, the study found the model affordable at $ 42 per student per year, which represented a significant return on investment.  Note:  It is hoped that future studies will include outcome measure such as teacher retention, effectiveness, and satisfaction in the context of principal development.  

Citation: Gates, Susan M., Matthew D. Baird, Benjamin K. Master, and Emilio R. Chavez-Herrerias, Principal Pipelines: A Feasible, Affordable, and Effective Way for Districts to Improve Schools, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, RR-2666-WF, 2019. 




An examination of one program designed to increase teacher praise.

February 26, 2019

Increasing Teachers’ Use of Behavior-Specific Praise with the Teacher vs. Student Game. Research has long supported the importance of teacher behavior specific praise in the classroom. This study examines the impact of a Teacher Versus Student Game, a program that is based upon The Good Behavior Game (GBG). GBG has been in use since 1967 and is an evidence-based behavioral classroom management strategy that helps children learn how to work together to create a positive learning environment. Pressure for teachers to show academic results is hindered by challenging student conduct. Maintaining control of student behavior is a critical factor in teacher’s ability to effectively deliver instruction that results in increased student academic outcomes. Using group contingencies found in the Teacher Versus Student Game provides teachers another program designed to accomplish this important goal. This paper found that the game increased teachers rates of praise; however, the teachers gradually decreased their use of BSP over time.

Two additional papers on practices to increase teacher praise are identified under citations.

Citation: Lastrapes, R. E., Fritz, J. N., and Hasson, R. C., (2019). Increasing Teachers’ Use of Behavior-Specific Praise with the Teacher vs. Student Game. Retrieved from Researchgate:

Gage, N. A., MacSuga-Gage, A. S., & Crews, E. (2017). Increasing teachers’ use of behavior-specific praise using a multitiered system for professional development. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions19(4), 239-251.

White, K. (2018). Increasing Teachers’ Use of Behavior Specific Praise Via a Smart Watch.




Do students benefit from longer school days?

December 12, 2018

Do students benefit from longer school days? Regression discontinuity evidence from Florida’s additional hour of literacy instruction: This research examines the impact of longer school days on student achievement. The amount of time available for instruction has a role to play in student learning. Insufficient instruction would appear to have an effect on learning, but the current knowledge-base on this topics is insufficient. This study attempts to fill in gaps in the evidence-base on this topic. The results indicate significant positive effects of additional literacy instruction on student reading achievement. Although this study finds positive outcomes for additional reading instruction, it is important to note that for achieving maximum results it is important to pair evidence-based reading instruction practices with the additional instruction time in order to achieve maximum results.

Citation:Figlio, D., Holden, K. L., & Ozek, U. (2018). Do students benefit from longer school days? Regression discontinuity evidence from Florida’s additional hour of literacy instruction. Economics of Education Review67, 171-183.





What is the impact of small group tutoring on student math achievement?

November 14, 2018

Tutor Trust: Affordable Primary Tuition: Evaluation report and executive summary November 2018

The purpose of this study is the examination of low-cost interventions to improve the performance of disadvantaged students. The intervention was designed to improve the performance of students by providing small-group tutoring sessions. The selected students who participated in tutoring received 12 hours of additional instruction for 12 weeks. The students were tutored in groups of three by trained university students and recent graduates. Students in the control schools continued with normal teaching. The research found that children who received tutoring progressed more in math compared to children in control schools (effect size = +0.19). Students eligible for free reduced school meals benefited even more with an 0.25 effect size.

Citation:Torgerson, C. J., Bell, K., Coleman, E., Elliott, L., Fairhurst, C., Gascoine, L., Hewitt, C. E., & Torgerson, D. J. (2018). Tutor Trust: Affordable Primary Tuition. The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).




How does teacher pay compare to other professions?

October 29, 2018

The teacher pay penalty has hit a new high: Trends in the teacher wage and compensation gaps through 2017

Given that evidence clearly shows teachers as having the single greatest school-based impact on student learning, it becomes crucial that schools recruit and retain high quality teachers.  A key component to this involves teacher wage and benefit packages.   This study concludes that teacher compensation is falling further and further behind that of comparable career opportunities each year.  One metric that can be used to study this issue over time is “relative teacher pay”—teacher pay compared with that of other career opportunities for potential and current teachers.  This is referred to as the “teacher wage penalty” which calculates wage gaps as a percentage of difference.  The study concludes:  The teacher pay penalty has been steadily worsening over the last two decades, increasing from a -1.8% wage gap in 1994 to a wage gap of -18.7% in 2017.  While weekly wages for comparable jobs increased from $ 1,339 to $ 1,476 over this period of time, teacher weekly wages actually decreased $ 27 from $ 1,164 to $ 1,137.  This gap varies significantly between the genders (-15.6% for women and -26.8% for men), across states (from a .3.1% for Wyoming to -36.4% Arizona).  The study also downplays the impact of the recent recession on this trend, highlighting the impact of state government decisions on reducing education funding.

 Citation:  Allegretto, S.& Mishel, L. (2018). The teacher pay penalty has hit a new high: Trends in the teacher wage and compensation gaps through 2017. Washington DC: Economic Policy Institute.

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How Powerful Is Parent Involvement in Improving Student Achievement?

September 10, 2018

A Review of the Relationship Between Parental Involvement Indicators and Academic Achievement

This review examines the relationship between parental involvement and student academic achievement. The definition of parental involvement isn’t always clear and encompasses a wide range of parental interventions and involvement in a child’s education. Two types of parental involvement are generally examined in the available research: home-based strategies, such as providing structure and support for learning and education at home, and school-based strategies, such as communicating with teachers and attending school events.

  1. Parental involvement and early childhood academic achievement(22 studies)

The majority of studies reported small to medium positive effect sizes on achievement for parental interventions in early childhood. When parents engage with preschoolers in learning activities at home, academic achievement improves. Research suggests that enriching activities such as telling stories, teaching letters and numbers, engaging in problem-solving activities, singing songs, and playing games improve children’s literacy skills. Research on parental involvement in school revealed mixed results depending on the type of involvement.

  1. Parental involvement and academic achievement for elementary school children(22 studies)

The majority of studies of elementary school children that examined the link between parental involvement and school achievement found a small to medium impact in math and reading. Not all studies reported positive outcomes and a small number reported a negative relationship to student achievement. It is important to note that outcomes for parental involvement varied according to the form of parental activity being examined.

This review found that parents’ educational expectations were the strongest predictor of academic achievement for elementary school children. Negative outcomes were associated with parents applying academic pressure in the form of commands, punishment, or coercive interactions. On the other hand, positive parental engagement, such as praising children’s performance, progress, and efforts and letting children know they cared about them and their school performance, was related to improved academic performance.

  1. Parental involvement and academic achievement at middle school, high school, and beyond(31 studies)

The majority of the studies investigated the link between parental involvement and student achievement in math and literacy. Most reported small to medium positive effect sizes associated with parental involvement and academic achievement.

Parental expectations were generally reported to have a positive correlation with academic achievement, or higher GPA. Valuing academic achievement and then reinforcing it produced significant positive outcomes in mathematics among high school students. Parent-child discussions about school activities and educational planning produced positive outcomes and reduced truancy. Parental control and interference resulted in negative academic achievement. Parents attending school events, meeting with teachers, and/or volunteering at school produced no improvement in academic performance.


The strongest associations with improved student performance across all grades were parental expectations and aspirations. The review also concluded that parental involvement and academic achievement do not diminish as children grow into young adulthood. What does change is how parents engage with their child over time; direct involvement in learning diminishes, but the value of fostering conditions for academic success increases. Parents seem to affect their children’s academic outcomes by setting high academic expectations and by creating, in ways not considered intrusive or controlling, a comfortable space for the children to develop their own academic motivations. The review also found that the benefits of school-based involvement by parents are not strong or produce mixed results.

Citation:Boonk, L., Gijselaers, H. J., Ritzen, H., & Brand-Gruwel, S. (2018). A review of the relationship between parental involvement indicators and academic achievement. Educational Research Review24, 10–30.