Categories for Monitoring

Active Student Responding (Wing Institute Original Paper)

May 8, 2019

Active Student Responding (ASR) is a powerful set of low cost strategies teachers can use to improve student achievement. ASR occurs when a student makes a response by answering questions or responding in a variety of ways that communicates the student’s understanding of the content being taught during the lesson. The more opportunities the student has to respond, the increased likelihood the student is learning. Increasing active responses allows teachers to rapidly assess performance. As opportunities to respond increase so does opportunities for praise and corrective feedback that results in accelerated learning. Attending and being on-task are insufficient ways for teachers to know if learning is occurring. For a teacher to know if a student is actually learning a written, action, or oral response is required. The more opportunities to respond the more quickly students master lessons. ASR strategies are designed to engage all students regardless of class size and ASR avoids the common problem of having only high achievers answer questions while low achievers remain silent, thus escaping detection. Examples of ASR strategies include; guided notes, response slates, response cards, and choral responding.

Citation: States, J., Detrich, R. & Keyworth, R. (2019). Active Student Responding (ASR) Overview.Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.




What are the negative health impacts of student absenteeism?

February 1, 2019

The Link Between School Attendance and Good Health. The American Academy of Pediatrics just released a policy statement regarding the negative impact that chronic student absenteeism has on children’s health.  They cite numerous ways the two are linked.  First, evidence clearly documents that chronic absenteeism puts children at a much higher risk of dropping out of school and not graduating. There is a significant amount of research associating poor school performance (resulting in lower education attainment) and poor adult health outcomes, including increased mortality risk and lower life expectancy.  The act of missing school itself is also linked to increased risk behaviors, including alcohol consumption, drug use, smoking and risky sexual behavior.  Also, children with chronic absenteeism are 3.5 times more likely to be arrested or referred to the juvenile justice system.  The policy statement finishes with a discussion of roles the medical community can play working with schools and families to help address this problem.  It reviews the evidence regarding possible physical and mental health interventions, including:  infection prevention programs, school nurses, school-based health centers, mental health care, health awareness school policies and programs, parent interventions, and coordinated school health models.

Citation: Allison, M. A., & Attisha, E. (2019). The Link Between School Attendance and Good Health. Pediatrics, e20183648.




Digest of Education Statistics 2017 Released

January 31, 2019

Digest of Education Statistics 2017: The Digest of Education Statistics 2017was just released by The Institute for Education Sciences (IES) National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This annual publication is thedefinitive compendium of data on virtually every aspects of education from pre-kindergarten through graduate school. Its chapters include: All Levels of Education, Elementary and Secondary Education, Postsecondary Education, Federal Funds for Education and Related Activities, Outcomes of Education, International Comparisons of Education, and Libraries and Use of Technology. It draws from a wide range of government and private sources and applies rigorous review to everything published. It has been published annually since 1962, providing over 50 years of data with which to benchmark education performance at the system level in this country.

Citation: Snyder, T.D., de Brey, C., and Dillow, S.A. (2019). Digest of Education Statistics 2017 (NCES 2018-070). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC.




2016-17 High School Graduation Rates Show Continued Improvement

January 31, 2019

Digest of Education Statistics 2017. The most recent high school graduation rate data were just released for the 2016-17 school year. The following graph shows consistent improvement in this critical student and school performance metric. Student graduation increased by 12 percentage points during the fifteen years from 2002 and 2017.  While there is still much work to be done to identify and implement graduation standards that translate into meaningful and life long benefits, this type of consistent performance improvement should be acknowledged.

AFGR:   The Average Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR) was used by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) from 2002 through 2013.

•ACGR: The Four-Year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR) was established by DOE in 2008, establishing a uniform and more accurate measure for calculating the rate at which students graduated from high school. 

Both models co-existed for threes years and had comparable graduate rate data during that time.

A second area of the report disaggregates graduation rate data by students from different ethnic backgrounds.  There remains an unacceptable graduation rate gap between White and Black students, and White and Hispanic students.  The resulting graduation rate for Black students (77.8%) and Hispanic students (80.0%) are failures of the system.  While progress will always be too slow in this area, the data do show steady progress in closing the gap over the last six years.  The graduation gap between White and Black students decreased by 6.2 percentage points (from 17% in 2010-11 to 10.8% in 2016-17).  The graduation gap between White and Hispanic students decreased by 4.4 percentage points (from 13% in 2010-11 to 8.6% in 2016-17). 

A third area of disaggregated data was that of graduation rates by individual states.  The variation between states continues to be extreme with the top ten states averaging a 89.7% graduation rate and the bottom ten states averaging 77.4%.  

Improving graduation rates continue to be a clear focus of the education system, and while there is a long way to go, it is one of the few areas where progress is being made.

Citation: Snyder, T.D., de Brey, C., and Dillow, S.A. (2019). Digest of Education Statistics 2017 (NCES 2018-070). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC.




Why do evidence-based practices frequently fail to produce positive results?

January 22, 2019

Citation: Gonzalez, N. (2018). When evidence-based literacy programs fail. Phi Delta Kappan, 100(4), 54–58.



High School Dropout and Completion Rates (SY 2016)

December 21, 2018

“Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 2018”. Dropping out of high school has significant negative impacts on students. Statistically, they will have lower earnings than high school graduates, are more likely to be unemployed, have poorer health, and have a higher rate of incarceration.  This report provides a detailed analysis of long-term dropout and completion trends and student characteristics of high school dropouts and completers.  The first measure examined was the “event dropout rate” which is the percent of students who drop out in grades 10-12 without a high school diploma or alternative credential. The event dropout rate for SY 2015-16 was 4.8%, which translated into 532,000 students.

The 40 year trend show an alarming lack of progress.  While 2015-16 was lower than in 1976 (5.8%), it reflects a worsening over the last ten years (increasing from 3.8% to 4.8%).  Of all of the student demographic data, the clearest impact was that of family income. Students from the lowest income families had a 7.2% dropout rate compared to 3.9% for highest income families. The “adjusted cohort graduation rate” for 2015-16 was 84% which showed steady improvement over the past five years.  The main problem is the significant differences in graduate rates across race, economic status, states, and disabilities.  For example, graduation rates for white students ranged from 76% in New Mexico to 94% in New Jersey; black students from 57% in Nevada to 88% in West Virginia; Hispanic students from 65% in Minnesota to 89 % in Vermont.


McFarland, J., Cui, J., Rathbun, A., and Holmes, J. (2018). Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 2018 (NCES 2019-117). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved December 14, 2018 from




How predictive are student grades?

October 29, 2018

Grade Inflation in High Schools (2005–2016)

Student grades have been one of the longest standing tools for measuring student performance and there is an inherent assumption by educators and parents that they are accurate reflections of how well their children are doing.  This study examines that assumption, asking the question:  how well do student grades correlate with test scores, school demographics, student performance on college entrance exams, and the historical difficulty for getting A’s (is it easier or harder to get A’s).  The study found that students who scored higher on end-of-course (EOC) examinations also had higher grades.  However having high grades did not correlate with doing well on the examination.  For example only 21% of “A” students and 3% of “B” students passed the highest standard on the EOC exam.  Over one third of students receiving B’s failed to score proficient on the exam. The overall conclusions were:  (1) having good grades is no guarantee that a student has learned the expected knowledge from a course, (2) in the case of math (the curriculum area studied), end of course scores are much more predictive of ACT scores than course grades, and (3) grade point averages (GPA’s) have grown steadily from 2005 to 2016, and that the most significant growth has been in more affluent schools.

Citation: Gershenson, S. (2018). Grade Inflation in High Schools (2005–2016).




What does the research tell us about teacher evaluation?

July 26, 2018

Teacher Evaluation Overview (Wing Institute Original Paper)

Teachers contribute to student achievement. As a practice, teacher evaluation has developed over time. Today, the focus of teacher evaluation is to determine the impact of teaching on student outcomes and for use as professional development. Research on teacher evaluation has produced mixed results. This overview provides information about teacher evaluation as it relates to collecting information about teacher practice and using it to improve student outcomes. The history of teacher evaluation and current research findings and implications are included. (Read More)

Citation: Cleaver, S., Detrich, R. & States, J. (2018). Overview of Teacher Evaluation. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.





How well are we preparing special education students for life after school?

July 2, 2018

Preparing for Life after High School: The Characteristics and Experiences of Youth in Special Education. Findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012. Volume 2: Comparisons across Disability Groups. Full Report

News Summary:The United States has committed to improving the lives of students with disabilities for over 40 years. Since the advent of Federal Law PL 94-142 in 1975 that mandated a free and appropriate education for all students regardless of ability and six reauthorizations of legislation, the federal government has emphasized the need to prepare students with disabilities for post-secondary education, careers, and independent living. The federal investment in funding special education services exceeds $15 Billion annually. It is reasonable to ask, are student with disabilities substantially benefiting from these efforts? The National Longitudinal Transition Study (NLTS) provides the most recent data on youth with disabilities and efforts to address their needs. The study used surveys in 2012 and 2013 on a nationally representative set of nearly 13,000 students. The student included were mostly those with an individualized education program (IEP) and expected to receive special education services. The data reveal participation in key transition activities by youth with an IEP and their parents have declined, although they are just as likely to have gone to an IEP meeting. The findings from this report suggest a closer examination of current practices is warranted with a focus on achieving the stated outcomes the laws were designed to remedy.

Citation: Lipscomb, S., Hamison, J., Liu Albert, Y., Burghardt, J., Johnson, D. R., & Thurlow, M. (2018). Preparing for Life after High School: The Characteristics and Experiences of Youth in Special Education. Findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012. Volume 2: Comparisons across Disability Groups. Full Report. NCEE 2017-4018. National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance.




What are the drivers of effective school turnaround?

June 27, 2018

Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: An Implementation Framework

The National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) and the National Center for School Turnaround published the “Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: An Implementation Framework” as a companion to the Center for School Turnaround’s publication of “The Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: A Systems Framework“. This paper describes “how” to effectively implement lasting school improvement initiatives that maximize leadership, develop talent, amplify instructional transformation, and shift the culture.

Citation:Jackson, K., R., Fixsen, D., and Ward, C. (2018). Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: An Implementation Framework. The Center on School Turnaround.