Categories for External Influences

What do we know about Principal Evaluation?

August 31, 2021

Principal Evaluation. The field of principal evaluation, while gaining increased research interest in recent years, lags behind teacher evaluation in terms of conclusions that can be made regarding effective practice. Prior to Race to the Top and ESEA waivers, principal evaluation was implemented inconsistently and evaluation systems lacked instruments with validity and/or reliability, had a tenuous relationship with leadership standards, failed to include measures of student/school outcomes, and had mixed purposes as to their intended use (e.g., sometimes as formative information to help principals improve, while other times as summative information to make personnel decisions). However, today’s evaluation systems have evolved to incorporate multiple measures of principal performance that evaluate principals on research-based principles of effective leadership, often include student outcomes (which is often controversial, however), and are used both to help principals improve and to hold them accountable for their performance. Ongoing and more frequent observations, often conducted by the principal supervisor, who often also serves as a coach/mentor and directs the principal towards needed professional learning, show promise as an effective practice. Using the results from principal evaluations for personnel decisions, such as offering incentives through pay-for-performance programs, yields mixed results and warrants further research attention. 

Citation: Donley, J., Detrich, R., States, J., & Keyworth, (2021). Principal Evaluation Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.




How Effective are Interventions to Reduce Discipline Disproportionality?

August 25, 2021

Disproportionality reduction in exclusionary school discipline: A best-evidence synthesis. Disproportionality in the application of school discipline policies has been well documented over the years (Skiba, et al. (2011), and has been resistant to change.  In a systematic review of the evidence of the effectiveness of programs and practices to reduce disproportionality, Cruz, Firestone, and Rodl (2021) found that the positive effects of individual programs such as School Wide Interventions and Support, and Restorative Justice, were either mixed or not evident.  More promising were results from combining practices from different programs and including a specific equity framework for training educators.  The most promising results were obtained when in-class coaching was a component of the training approach.  The challenge of implementing a coaching model was identifying the necessary human and time resources, as well as the financial resources, to effectively implement coaching.  This paper touches on several important aspects of the Active Implementation Frameworks including the identification of effective practices (usable innovations) and implementation drivers (professional development, leadership, and enabling contexts).  The absence of any one of these features will limit the overall impact on efforts to reduce disproportionality.

Citation: Cruz, R. A., Firestone, A. R., & Rodl, J. E. (2021). Disproportionality reduction in exclusionary school discipline: A best-evidence synthesis. Review of Educational Research91(3), 397-431.




Should financing be a component of evidence-based decision making?

June 18, 2021

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis: A Component of Evidence-Based Education. Including cost-effectiveness data in the evaluation of programs is the next step in the evolution of evidence-based practice. Evidence-based practice is grounded in three complementary elements: best available evidence, professional judgment, and client values and context. To fully apply the cost-effectiveness data, school administrators will have to rely on all three of these elements. The function of cost-effectiveness data is to guide decisions about how limited financial resources should be spent to produce the best educational outcomes. To do so, it is necessary for decision makers to choose between options with known cost-effectiveness ratios while working within the budget constraints. In this article, I discuss some of the considerations that have to be addressed in the decision-making process and implications of including cost-effectiveness analyses in data-based decision making.

Citation: Detrich, R. (2020). Cost-effectiveness analysis: A component of evidence-based education. School Psychology Review, 1-8.




How does money fit in the equation when evidence-based decision making?

June 17, 2021

A Cost Analysis of the Innovation–Decision Process of an Evidence-Based Practice in Schools. The translation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) to improve students’ social, emotional, behavioral, and academic out- comes into authentic school settings has posed significant challenges for both researchers and practitioners. Among the many barriers to the adoption and use of EBPs are their associated costs. This study presents a framework for integrating the diffusion of innovation theory into an economic evaluation utilizing a societal perspective, which affords the capturing of costs of all phases from adoption through implementation of EBPs for all stakeholders.

Citation: Barrett, C. A., Pas, E. T., & Johnson, S. L. (2020). A Cost Analysis of the Innovation–Decision Process of an Evidence-Based Practice in Schools. School Mental Health12(3), 638-649.

Link: A Cost Analysis of the Innovation–Decision Process of an Evidence-Based Practice in Schools



What do we know about standardized testing?

May 19, 2021

Standardized Testing and the Controversy Surrounding It. The purpose of this paper is to provide a general understanding of standardized testing as well as the current controversy surrounding it, particularly in the context of performance-based accountability systems. The overview addresses the following questions related to standardized testing:

  • What do stakeholders need to understand about standardized testing?
  • What is the history of standardized tests and how have the tests been used?
  • What are the reasons for the current controversy over standardized testing?

Citation: Polster, P.P., Detrich, R., & States, J., (2021). Standardized Testing: The Controversy Surrounding It. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.




What teacher prerequisites need to be in place for using formative assessment in their classroom practice?

May 12, 2021

Formative assessment: A systematic review of critical teacher prerequisites for classroom practice. Formative assessment has the potential to support teaching and learning in the classroom. This study reviewed the literature on formative assessment to identify prerequisites for effective use of formative assessment by teachers. The results show that (1) knowledge and skills (e.g., data literacy), (2), psychological factors (e.g., social pressure), and (3) social factors (e.g., collaboration) influence the use of formative assessment. The prerequisites identified can inform professional development initiatives regarding formative assessment, as well as teacher education programs.

Citation: Schildkamp, K., van der Kleij, F. M., Heitink, M. C., Kippers, W. B., & Veldkamp, B. P. (2020). Formative assessment: A systematic review of critical teacher prerequisites for classroom practice. International Journal of Educational Research, 103, 101602.




How important is assessment during Covid-19?

May 5, 2021

NEPC Review: “Student Assessment During COVID-19. School closings and the ever-increasing number of deaths provide the backdrop for a proposal by the Center for American Progress (CAP) to deny waivers of the federally mandated administration of standardized tests in spring 2021. Further, the federal government proposes to add to those assessments in ways that CAP argues would make the test results more useful. In its recent report, CAP sides with the Department of Education’s policy of denying such requests for waivers, and it calls for additional assessments that “capture multiple as- pects of student well-being, including social-emotional needs, engagement, and conditions for learning” as well as supplementary gathering of student information. The report contends this will ensure greater equity in the time of the pandemic, supposedly through the addition of the new measures to annual assessments. 

Citation: Glass, G.V., Mathis, W.J., & Berliner, D.C. (2020). NEPC Review: “Student Assessment During COVID-19.” Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved May 5, 2021 from




How can parents effectively manage their children’s conduct during Covid-19?

February 10, 2021

Supporting Positive At-Home Behaviors Among Elementary Students. Parents and caregivers know their child better than anyone. They know what motivates them and causes them to shut down. However, when the role of a parent or caregiver changes to include the role of teacher, knowing and using the most effective behavior management strategies can help support this shift. The strategies listed in this piece offer a foundation for parents and caregivers, and their students, to build positive relationships, and offer students a better environment for progressing academically while learning at home.

Citation: Taylor, M. (2020). Supporting Positive At-Home Behaviors Among Elementary Students. U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, What Works Clearinghouse.




How can I increase student attendance during Covid-19?

February 9, 2021

Improving Attendance in a Remote Learning Environment. The purpose of this brief is to adapt the suggestions and strategies provided in Improving Attendance and Reducing Chronic Absenteeism to guide practice during remote instruction. Strategies from both briefs will be helpful during hybrid instructional models.

Citation: Freeman, J., Flannery, B., Sugai, G., Goodman, S., Simonsen, B., & Barrett, S. (Aug, 2020). Improving Attendance in a Remote Learning Environment. Eugene, OR: Center on PBIS, University of Oregon.




What is the latest data on Covid-19 and schools?

January 25, 2021

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, States are struggling to reopen and keep open, most, if not all, of their 138,000 K-12 schools.  Given this level of uncertainty, it is critical to track data that will help schools identify problems quickly, assess their nature, and respond in timely and effective ways to safeguard the health of students and education staff while providing a quality education. This Wing Institute dashboard will on track issues regarding the reopening of schools under the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Citation: American Academy of Pediatrics. (2021). Children and COVID-19: State-Level Data Report. 2021. Available in: