Categories for Monitoring
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).
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. https://www.winginstitute.org/assessment-summative.
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.
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.
January 22, 2018
The impact of tier 1 reading instruction on reading outcomes for students in Grades 4–12: A meta-analysis
This meta-analysis examines the impact of 1st tier reading instruction on reading outcomes for students in grades 4-12 in an Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) service delivery model. 37 studies met criteria for inclusion in the meta-analysis. The study finds small, but positive effects for 1st tier reading instruction on comprehension, vocabulary, and indicates minimum evidence for struggling readers maintaining or improving reading comprehension over struggling students receiving typical instruction. Hedges’s g was used calculating effect sizes. Because of the limited number of studies examining phonics/word recognition and fluency instruction, it was not possible these critical instruction areas in this meta-analysis.
Citation: Swanson, E., Stevens, E. A., Scammacca, N. K., Capin, P., Stewart, A. A., & Austin, C. R. (2017). The impact of tier 1 reading instruction on reading outcomes for students in Grades 4–12: A meta-analysis. Reading and Writing, 30(8), 1639-1665.
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.
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.
July 10, 2017
Research recognizes the power of assessment to amplify learning and skill acquisition. Assessing students is a fundamental ingredient of effective teaching. It is the tool that enables teachers to measure the extent to which a student or group of students have mastered the material taught in a lesson or a class or during the school year, and it gives instructors the necessary information to modify instruction when progress falters. Assessment affects decisions about grades, placement, advancement, instructional strategies, curriculum, special education placement, and funding. It works to improve instruction in the following ways: (1) as a diagnostic tool, (2) by providing feedback on progress measured against benchmarks, (3) as a motivating factor, and (4) as an accountability instrument for improving systems.
Citation: States, J., Detrich, R. & Keyworth, R. (2017). Overview of Education Assessment. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. http://www.winginstitute.org/student-formative-assessment.
June 13, 2017
Effective ongoing assessment, referred to in the education literature as formative assessment or progress monitoring, is indispensable in promoting teacher and student success. Feedback through formative assessment is ranked at or near the top of practices known to significantly raise student achievement. For decades, formative assessment has been found to be effective in clinical settings and, more important, in typical classroom settings. Formative assessment produces substantial results at a cost significantly below that of other popular school reform initiatives such as smaller class size, charter schools, accountability, and school vouchers. It also serves as a practical diagnostic tool available to all teachers. A core component of formal and informal assessment procedures, formative assessment allows teachers to quickly determine if individual students are progressing at acceptable rates and provides insight into where and how to modify and adapt lessons, with the goal of making sure that students do not fall behind.
Citation: States, J., Detrich, R. & Keyworth, R. (2017). Overview of Formative Assessment. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. http://www.winginstitute.org/student-formative-assessment.
May 12, 2017
Treatment Integrity Strategies Overview
Student achievement scores in the United States remain stagnant despite repeated attempts to reform the education system. New initiatives promising hope arise, only to disappoint after being adopted, implemented, and quickly found wanting. The cycle of reform followed by failure has had a demoralizing effect on schools, making new reform efforts problematic. These efforts frequently fail because implementing new practices is far more challenging than expected and require that greater attention be paid to how initiatives are implemented. Treatment integrity is increasingly recognized as an essential component of effective implementation in an evidence-based education model that produces results, and inattention to treatment integrity is seen as a primary reason new initiatives fail. The question remains, what strategies can educators employ to increase the likelihood that practices are implemented as designed? The Wing Institute overview on the topic of Treatment Integrity Strategies examines the essential practice elements indispensable for maximizing treatment integrity.
Citation: States, J., Detrich, R. & Keyworth, R. (2017). Overview of Treatment Integrity Strategies. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. http://www.winginstitute.org/effective-instruction-treatment-integrity-strategies.