Categories for Policy Initiatives

What are the latest trends in education?

May 31, 2019

The Condition of Education 2019 Newly ReleasedThe Condition of Education 2019 is produced by The Institute for Education Sciences (IES) National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).  This annual publication is one of the best ongoing sources for tracking and analyzing important developments and trends in education over time using the latest available data. It is essential that education systems have feedback mechanisms at the macro level. The 2019 report presents 50 key indicators on important topics and trends in U.S. education. These descriptive and performance indicators focus on family characteristics, such as educational attainment and economic outcomes; participation in education at all levels (preprimary, elementary, secondary and post secondary); and several contextual aspects of education, including international comparisons, at both the elementary and secondary education level and the postsecondary education level. Each year the report “spotlights” new supplemental indicators to provide more in-depth analyses on critical topics.  In 2019 the spotlights were on: “Early Childhood Care Arrangements”; “Choices and Costs Characteristics of Public School Teachers Who Completed Alternative Route to Certification Programs”; and “Trends in Student Loan Debt for Graduate School Completers.”

Characteristics of Public School Teachers Who Completed Alternative Route to Certification Programs”; and “Trends in Student Loan Debt for Graduate School Completers.”

Citation: McFarland, J., Hussar, B., Zhang, J., Wang, X., Wang, K., Hein, S., Diliberti, M., Forrest Cataldi, E., Bullock Mann, F., and Barmer, A. (2019). e Condition of Education 2019 (NCES 2019-144). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved [date] from https://nces.ed.gov/ pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2019144. 

Link: https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2019/2019144.pdf

 


 

Are current reading practices bridging the reading gap for student with disabilities?

May 30, 2019

Are Students with Disabilities Accessing the Curriculum? A Meta-analysis of the Reading Achievement Gap between Students with and without Disabilities. A critical goal of federal education policy is improving students with disabilities participation in grade level curriculum. This meta-analysis examines 23 studies for student access to curriculum by assessing the gap in reading achievement between general education peers and students with disabilities (SWD). The study finds that SWDs performed more than three years below peers. The study looks at the implications for changing this pictures and why current policies and practices are not achieving the desired results.

Citation: Gilmour, A. F., Fuchs, D., & Wehby, J. H. (2018). Are students with disabilities accessing the curriculum? A meta-analysis of the reading achievement gap between students with and without disabilities. Exceptional Children. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1177/0014402918795830

Link

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0014402918795830

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Allison_Gilmour/publication/327653148_Are_Students_With_Disabilities_Accessing_the_Curriculum_A_Meta-Analysis_of_the_Reading_Achievement_Gap_Between_Students_With_and_Without_Disabilities/links/5b9bd83c299bf13e603155c5/Are-Students-With-Disabilities-Accessing-the-Curriculum-A-Meta-Analysis-of-the-Reading-Achievement-Gap-Between-Students-With-and-Without-Disabilities.pdf

 


 

What is the impact of classroom management for ethnically diverse student populations?

May 15, 2019

Classroom management for ethnic–racial minority students: A meta-analysis of single-case design studies. Demographic changes in the United States support the need to examine the impact of evidence-based classroom management interventions for students from ethic and racially diverse backgrounds. Research consistently shows African-American students receive harsher and exclusionary discipline. Studies also reveal that African American, Latinex, and Native American children are subject to punitive consequences disproportionate to their numbers in the population. This meta-analysis of behavior management strategies includes single-subject designed studies of 838 students from 22 studies for K-12 classrooms. Half of the studies included met the What Works Clearinghouse design standards for the use of single subject design methodology. The study finds the behavior management strategies are highly effective for improving student conduct. Interventions that used an individual or group contingency demonstrated large effects and were the most common behavior management strategies used. The study finds few studies included diverse populations other than African-American students. The authors conclude there exists a need to increase the number of studies of diverse student populations when examining classroom management. They also find a need to improve upon the quality of available studies on the classroom management strategies.

Citation: Long, A. C. J., Miller, F. G., & Upright, J. J. (2019). Classroom management for ethnic–racial minority students: A meta-analysis of single-case design studies. School Psychology, 34(1), 1-13. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/spq0000305

Linkhttps://psycnet.apa.org/record/2018-65318-001?_ga=2.74983442.1820096213.1557858091-255501757.1557858091

 


 

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 https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/Docs/InterventionReports/wwc_nbpts_021318.pdf.

Linkhttps://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/Docs/InterventionReports/wwc_nbpts_021318.pdf

 


 

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. https://www.winginstitute.org/perform-levels-student.

Link: https://www.winginstitute.org/perform-levels-student

 


 

How can educators harness big data to benefit students?

February 26, 2019

Big Data and data science: A critical review of issues for educational research. Big data proliferates across a wide spectrum of fields in the 21stcentury. Education is no exception. This paper examines critical issues that must be considered to maximize the positive impact of big data and minimize negative effects that are currently encountered in other domains. This review is designed to raise awareness of these issues with particular attention paid to implications for educational research design in order that educators can develop the necessary policies and practices to address this complex phenomenon and its possible implications in the field of education. 

Citation: Daniel, B. K. (2017). Big Data and data science: A critical review of issues for educational research. British Journal of Educational Technology.

Linkhttps://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/bjet.12595

 


 

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.

Linkhttp://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/early/2019/01/24/peds.2018-3648.full.pdf

 


 

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.

Link:   https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2018/2018070.pdf

 


 

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.

Citation:

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 http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch.

Linkhttps://nces.ed.gov/pubs2019/2019117.pdf

 


 

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.

Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0272775718303662