Categories for Monitoring

What do school leaders need to support low performing schools?

January 19, 2021

The Next Generation of State Reforms to Improve their Lowest Performing Schools: An Evaluation of North Carolina’s School Transformation Initiative. Over the past 20 years, significant resources have been spent to raise low-performing schools’ performance. This research examines the impact of federally mandated school reforms under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on North Carolina schools. The revised education legislation allows states more discretion in reforming their lowest-performing schools, removes requirements to disrupt the status quo, and does not allocate substantial additional funds. This study relies on a regression discontinuity design to evaluate North Carolina’s turnaround initiative aligned with ESSA requirements. The results reveal no significant growth in student test performance and decreased performance in year two. Schools also continued to experience high teacher turnover despite the school reform intervention. 

The study authors suggest current reform interventions that do not disrupt the status quo of how schools go about instruction are likely to fail. The paper also highlights the need for school leaders to embrace implementation science to ensure that adequate resources are available to implement initiatives as designed.  

Citation: Henry, G. T., & Harbatkin, E. (2020). The Next Generation of State Reforms to Improve their Lowest Performing Schools: An Evaluation of North Carolina’s School Transformation Intervention. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness13(4), 702-730.

Linkhttps://www.edworkingpapers.com/sites/default/files/ai19-103.pdf

 


 

How important is implementation science to effective leadership?

January 11, 2021

Implementation Science: Fidelity Predictions and Outcomes. This paper examines the importance of science in the effective implementation and sustainability of new practices and initiatives. The authors provide examples of significant attempts to remedy critical social issues over the past 50 years and how the failure of systematic implementation and, in particular, the lack of implementation fidelity has hindered progress in the use of practices found useful in research but have failed in the general application in the community.

Citation: Fixsen, D. L., Van Dyke, M., & Blase, K. A. (2019). Implementation Science: Fidelity Predictions and Outcomes. Retrieved from Chapel Hill, NC: Active Implementation Research Network: www.activeimplementation.org/resources.

Linkhttps://www.activeimplementation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Implementation-Science-FidelityPredictionsOutcomes.pdf

 


 

What is the future of standardized testing?

December 8, 2020

The Big Test: The Future Of Statewide Standardized Assessments. Standardized testing has been a cornerstone of school reform for two decades. But a bipartisan backlash against testing in recent years and the suspension of statewide testing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic have left the future of state assessments in question. Standardized testing has a vital role to play in building effective schools. Unfortunately, the purpose of testing is misunderstood to the detriment of schools, teachers, parents, and students. The report examines the evolution of the testing backlash, the current landscape, and how state testing systems must change to survive.

Citation. Olson, L. & Jerald, C. (2020). The Big Test: The Future Of Statewide Standardized Assessments. Future Ed. Georgetown University. https://www.future-ed.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/TheBigTest_Final.pdf

Link: https://www.future-ed.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/TheBigTest_Final.pdf

 


 

How can schools effectively assess students during the pandemic?

December 4, 2020

Learning as We Go: Principles for Effective Assessment During the COVID-19 Pandemic. This paper summarizes the findings from a panel of assessment experts on diagnostic assessments and their role in helping educators and parents support student learning due to covid-19. Schools struggle with finding solutions on how to meet the needs of students who encounter dramatically different models of instruction due to the 2020 pandemic. It is becoming clear that students will need various academic and nonacademic interventions and supports as schooling resumes. The panel’s task was to advise the field on the state of diagnostic testing: which types of assessment are best for what purposes, and which produce more noise than useful guidance.

Citation: Lake, R., & Olson, L. (2020). Learning as We Go: Principles for Effective Assessment during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Center on Reinventing Public Education.

Linkhttps://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED606373.pdf

 


 

Can formative assessment increase students’ use of self-regulation strategies?

December 4, 2020

The Association between Teachers’ Use of Formative Assessment Practices and Students’ Use of Self-Regulated Learning Strategies. Three Arizona school districts surveyed teachers and students in grades 3–12 in spring 2019 to understand the teachers’ use of formative assessment practices and students’ use of self-regulated learning strategies. The study found only a small positive association between the frequency of teachers’ formative assessment practices and the average number of self-regulated learning strategies that their students use. The correlation was more robust in elementary school than in secondary school and stronger in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) classrooms than in non-STEM classrooms. The research identified the more frequently teachers reported using these practices, the more self-regulated learning strategies their students reported using.

Citation: Makkonen, R., and Jaquet, K. (2020). The Association between Teachers’ Use of Formative Assessment Practices and Students’ Use of Self-Regulated Learning Strategies. San Francisco, CA: Regional Educational Laboratory West. https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/west/pdf/REL_2021041.pdf

Linkhttps://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/west/pdf/REL_2021041.pdf

 


 

Can teachers leverage the use of smart phones to assess student performance?

December 4, 2020

Using smartphones for formative assessment in the flipped classrooms. This paper describes different strategies used to incorporate smartphones to enhance teaching and learning effectively. The authors offer ways to integrate formative assessment with the use of smartphones. The paper provides innovative teaching practices to improve student understanding and performance using a classroom response system app. Results suggest that using this technology enhances student understanding of course concepts.

Citation. Onodipe, G., & Ayadi, M. F. (2020). Using smartphones for formative assessment in the flipped classroom. Journal of Instructional Pedagogies23.

Link: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1241944.pdf

 


 

Fidelity of Implementation in Educational Research and Practice

December 2, 2020

Fidelity of implementation is a critical but often neglected component of any new system, practice, or intervention in educational research and practice. Fidelity is a multidimensional construct focused on providing evidence of adherence, quality, dosage, differentiation, and responsiveness following implementation. Unfortunately, fidelity has not always been prioritized, although evidence suggests that is changing, at least in published research. Further, although there are myriad methods for measuring fidelity, psychometric evaluations of fidelity tools have been limited, except in the SWPBIS literature. Calls for a science of fidelity have been made (Gresham, 2017) and are beginning to be answered. Overall, there appears to be more research focused exclusively on fidelity, including measurement approaches, psychometric evaluations, and relation to outcomes. As this research expands, we hope that the broad use and integration of fidelity in practice follows. We believe that the days of neglecting fidelity are behind us in education and see fidelity playing a central role in education moving forward. Through reliable and valid measurement of fidelity, scalable evidence-based practices can be developed and proliferated, positively impacting students’ academic and behavioral outcomes. 

Citation: Gage, N., MacSuga-Gage, A., and Detrich, R. (2020). Fidelity of Implementation in Educational Research and Practice. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/systems-program-fidelity

Link: https://www.winginstitute.org/systems-program-fidelity

 


 

What do teacher preparation programs and school principals need to get right to train new teachers during covid-19?

November 17, 2020

Sustaining Teacher Training in a Shifting Environment. Brief No. 7. This brief is a part of a series of briefs that address critical issues schools face because of the coronavirus. This paper provides K-12 education policymakers and school administrators with an evidence base about how best to provide teacher practicum experience and professional development during the coronavirus. Evidence supports student teaching placements are a critical training opportunity for new teachers. The covid-19 pandemic has constrained student teaching experiences. Acknowledging this fact, educators need to develop new ways of providing alternative clinical training during certification training and when these new teachers enter the workforce. This summary examines what we know about training, offers strategies to overcome the obstacles to be confronted by covid-19, and warns professional development planners to avoided specific practices unsupported by evidence.

Citation: Goldhaber, D., & Ronfeldt, M. (2020). Sustaining Teacher Training in a Shifting Environment. Brief No. 7. EdResearch for Recovery Project.

Linkhttps://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED607712.pdf

 


 

What is implementation fidelity and why is it important to student success?

November 16, 2020

Fidelity of implementation is a critical but often neglected component of any new system, practice, or intervention in educational research and practice. Fidelity is a multidimensional construct focused on providing evidence of adherence, quality, dosage, differentiation, and responsiveness following implementation. Unfortunately, fidelity has not always been prioritized, although evidence suggests that is changing, at least in published research. Further, although there are myriad methods for measuring fidelity, psychometric evaluations of fidelity tools have been limited, except in the SWPBIS literature. Calls for a science of fidelity have been made (Gresham, 2017) and are beginning to be answered. Overall, there appears to be more research focused exclusively on fidelity, including measurement approaches, psychometric evaluations, and relation to outcomes. As this research expands, we hope that the broad use and integration of fidelity in practice follows. We believe that the days of neglecting fidelity are behind us in education and see fidelity playing a central role in education moving forward. Through reliable and valid measurement of fidelity, scalable evidence-based practices can be developed and proliferated, positively impacting students’ academic and behavioral outcomes. 

Citation: Gage, N., MacSuga-Gage, A., and Detrich, R. (2020). Fidelity of Implementation in Educational Research and Practice. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/systems-program-fidelity

Link: https://www.winginstitute.org/systems-program-fidelity

 


 

How effective is teacher prep program classroom management clinical practice for new teachers?

October 30, 2020

2020 Teacher Prep Review: Clinical Practice & Classroom ManagementThis report is from the National Center for Teacher Quality (NCTQ), and organization that provides ongoing reviews of the effectiveness of the nation’s teacher preparation programs.  This particular report examines two critical components of teacher preparation—clinical practice (also known as student teaching) and classroom management—and the degree to which current teacher preparation programs have adopted and implemented best practices for each.

It is generally accepted that new teachers benefit from high quality student teaching.  The NCTQ report reviews specific evidence of just how beneficial quality clinical training can be, including research that: (1) identifies clinical practice as one of three “aspects of preparation that have the highest potential for effects on outcomes for students, and (2) provides evidence that first-year teachers can be as effective as typical third-year teachers if they spent their student teaching experience in the classrooms of highly effective teachers.  

NCTQ has reviewed existing teacher preparation clinical programs in 2013, 2016, and 2020, assigning grades (A to F) based on their performance on three indicators (length, supervisory visits, and selection of the mentor teacher). Unfortunately only 9% earned an A or B, and 91% earned C’s or D’s.  The data also showed that there had been no improvement over the seven-year time period between first and most recent reports.

The second critical component reviewed—classroom management—showed great progress but still lags in one of the most critical strategies for effective management.  NCTQ identifies five critical components that should be taught in teacher preparation programs:  1) Establishing rules and routines that set expectations for behavior;, 2) Maximizing learning time by managing time, class materials and the physical setup of the classroom, and by promoting student engagement; 3) Reinforcing positive behavior by using speci c, meaningful praise and other forms of positive reinforcement; 4) Redirecting off-task behavior through unobtrusive means that do not interrupt instruction and that prevent and manage such behavior, and; 5) Addressing serious misbehavior with consistent, respectful and appropriate consequences.  The good news is that there has been a 26% increase in the number of programs looking to research-based approaches to classroom management.  The bad news is that one of the most effective and well documented classroom management strategies—praising good behavior—is the least likely to be taught. 

Citation(s): Pomerance, L. & Walsh, K. (2020). 2020 Teacher Prep Review: Clinical Practice
and Classroom Management. Washington, D.C.: National Council on Teacher Quality.   

Link:  https://www.nctq.org/review/docs/NCTQ%202020%20Teacher%20Prep%20Review_Clinical%20Practice%20and%20Classroom%20Management_Final_10.19.pdf