This analysis examines the performance of the U.S. K–12 education system over time, in comparison to other nations, and at different levels of organizational structure: states, school districts, and schools. It also reviews performance in terms of four societal outcomes: effectiveness, equity, efficiency, and participation.
Keyworth, R., States, J. & Detrich, R. (2013). Feedback at the System Level: Benchmarking U.S. Education Performance. In Performance Feedback: Using Data to Improve Educator Performance (Vol. 3, pp. 1-76). Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.
Summative assessment is an appraisal of learning at the end of an instructional unit or at a specific point in time. It compares student knowledge or skills against standards or benchmarks. Summative assessment includes midterm exams, final project, papers, teacher-designed tests, standardized tests, and high-stakes tests.
States, J., Detrich, R. & Keyworth, R. (2018). Overview of Summative Assessment. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/assessment-summative
This review examines 40 years of data for 4th, 8th, 12th grade math proficiency scores in the United States.
Keyworth, R. (2011). Have NAEP math scores improved over the past 40 years of school reform? Retrieved from have-naep-math-scores925.
This review examines 40 years of data for 4th, 8th, 12th grade reading proficiency scores in the United States.
Keyworth, R. (2011). Have NAEP reading scores improved over the past 40 years of school reform? Retrieved from have-naep-reading-scores924.
This review examines at 17 years of data on 4th grade reading proficiency in the United States.
Keyworth, R. (2011). What percent of 4th grade students are reading below proficiency level? Retrieved from what-percent-of-4th.
This review examines 17 years of data on 8th grade reading proficiency in the United States.
Keyworth, R. (2011). What percent of 8th grade students are reading below proficiency level? Retrieved from what-percent-of-8th.
This review examines student reading performance since 1971 to look for evidence of school reform's impact.
Keyworth, R. (2015). Have reading scores improved over 40-plus years of school reform? Retrieved from have-reading-scores-improved865.
This review looks at trends in reading performance for a twenty year period.
States, J. (2010). How have American students been performing in reading over the past 20 years? Retrieved from how-have-american-students936.
This review looks at trends in mathematics performance for a twenty year period.
States, J. (2010). How have American students been performing in reading over the past 20 years? Retrieved from how-have-american-students937.
This paper examines the history, impact, and future of school reform in the context of empirical data, scientific research, and policy initiatives.
Keyworth, R. (2010). Evidence-based Education Policy: An Oxymoron [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2010-ucberkeley-guest-presentation-randy-keyworth.
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students.
PISA Reports Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/pisa/.
This overview examines the best available evidence from a wide range of descriptive and correlational analyses executed by various state and city education departments, research groups, and academic researchers. Fortunately, the data paint an unequivocal picture. The results are overwhelmingly consistent across levels of analysis (school, students), units of measurement (achievement tests, graduation rates, dropout rates), areas of focus (reading, math, social indicators), units of education (grades, schools), and students of all demographics. Additionally, each analysis shows a linear relationship between absences and performance; the greater the number of absences, the worse the performance.
Alexander, K. L., Entwisle, D. R., & Olson, L. S. (2001). Schools, achievement, and inequality: A seasonal perspective. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 23(2), 171–191.
Allison, M. A., Attisha, E., & AAP Council on School Health. (2019). The link between school attendance and good health. Pediatrics, 143(2). e20183648
Anguiano, M., Eastin D., Fine, M, Lockyer, B., Robles, D., Santana, M.,…Wong, K. (2015). Los Angeles Unified School District Report of the Independent Financial Review Panel. Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles Unified School District.
Applied Survey Research. (2011). Attendance in early elementary grades: Associations with student characteristics, school readiness, and third grade outcomes. San Francisco, CA: Attendance Works.
Ashby, C. M. (2010). K–12 education: Many challenges arise in educating students who change schools frequently.Report to Congressional Requesters (GAO-11-40). Washington, DC: Government Accountability Office.
Attendance Works. (2018).3 tiers of intervention.Retrieved from https://www.attendanceworks.org/chronic-absence/addressing-chronic-absence/3-tiers-of-intervention/
Attendance Works and Everyone Graduates Center. (2017). Portraits of change: Aligning school and community resources to reduce chronic absence.Retrieved from https://www.attendanceworks.org/portraits-of-change/
Balfanz, R., & Byrnes, V. (2012). The importance of being in school: A report on absenteeism in the nation’s public schools. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Center for Social Organization of Schools.
Balfanz, R., & Byrnes, V. (2013). Meeting the challenge of combating chronic absenteeism: Impact of the NYC mayor’s interagency task force on chronic absenteeism and school attendance and its implications for other cities. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins School of Education.
Balfanz, R., Durham, R., & Plank, S. (2008). Lost days: Patterns and levels of chronic absenteeism among Baltimore City public school students 1999-00 to 2005-06. Baltimore, MD: Baltimore Education Research Consortium.
Balfanz, R., Herzog, L., & Mac Iver, D. J. (2007). Preventing student disengagement and keeping students on the graduation path in urban middle-grades schools: Early identification and effective interventions. Educational Psychologist, 42(4), 223–235.
Baltimore Education Research Consortium. (2011). Destination graduation: Sixth grade early warning indicators for Baltimore city schools. Their prevalence and impact. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Bauer, L., Liu, P., Whitmore Schanzenbach, D., & Shambaugh, J. (2018). Reducing chronic absenteeism under the every student succeeds act. The Hamilton Project. Washington, DC: Brookings Institute. Retrieved from http://www.hamiltonproject.org/assets/files/reducing_chronic_absenteeism_under_the_every_student_succeeds_act.pdf
Buehler, M. H., Tapogna, J., Chang, H. N., & ECO Northwest, Ltd. (2012). Why being in school matters: Chronic absenteeism in Oregon Public Schools. Attendance Works.
Burkam, D. T., Ready, D. D., Lee, V. E., & LoGerfo, L. (2004). Social-class differences in summer learning between kindergarten and first grade: Model specification and estimation. Sociology of Education, 77(1), 1–31.
Chang, H. N., Bauer, L., & Byrnes, V. (2018). Data matters: Using chronic absence to accelerate action for student success.Attendance Worksand Everyone Graduates Center.
Chang, H. N., & Romero, M. (2008). Present, engaged, and accounted for: The critical importance of addressing chronic absence in the early grades.New York, NY: National Center for Children in Poverty.
Chen, C., & Stevenson, H. W. (1995). Motivation and mathematics achievement: A comparative study of Asian‐American, Caucasian‐American, and East Asian high school students. Child Development, 66(4), 1215–1234.
Chingos, M., & Blagg, K. (2017). Making sense of state school funding policy.Washington, DC: Urban Institute.
Coelho, R., Fischer, S., McKnight, F., Matteson, S., & Schwartz, T. (2015). The effects of early chronic absenteeism on third-grade academic achievement measures.Madison, WI: Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin.
Connell, J. P., Spencer, M. B., & Aber, J. L. (1994). Educational risk and resilience in African‐American youth: Context, self, action, and outcomes in school. Child Development, 65(2), 493–506.
da Costa Nunez, R., Erb-Downward, J., & Shaw-Amoah, A. (2015). Empty seats: The epidemic of absenteeism among homeless elementary students. New York, NY: Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness. Retrieved from https://www.attendanceworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ICPH-Policy-Report_Empty-Seats_Chronic-Absenteeism.pdf
Digest of Education Statistics. (2017). Homeless students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools, by grade, primary nighttime residence, and selected student characteristics: 2009-10 through 2015–16.Table 204.75a.Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.
Downey, D. B., von Hippel, P. T., & Broh, B. A. (2004). Are schools the great equalizer? Cognitive inequality during the summer months and the school year. American Sociological Review, 69(5), 613–635.
Durán-Narucki, V. (2008). School building condition, school attendance, and academic achievement in New York City public schools: A mediation model. Journal of environmental psychology, 28(3), 278–286.
Epstein, J. L. & Sheldon, S. B. 2002. Present and accounted for: Improving student attendance through family and community involvement. Journal of Educational Research 95(5): 308–318.
Fantuzzo, J. W., LeBoeuf, W. A., Chen, C. C., Rouse, H. L., & Culhane, D. P. (2012). The unique and combined effects of homelessness and school mobility on the educational outcomes of young children. Educational Researcher, 41(9), 393–402.
Fiester, L. (2010). Early warning! Why reading by the end of third grade matters.Kids Count special report. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation.
GAO, (1994) Elementary school children: Many change schools frequently, harming their education,GAO/HEHS-94-45 (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 4, 1994).
Ginsburg, A., Jordan, P., & Chang, H. (2014). Absences Add Up: How School Attendance Influences Student Success. Attendance Works.
Gottfried, M. A. (2010). Evaluating the relationship between student attendance and achievement in urban elementary and middle schools: An instrumental variables approach. American Educational Research Journal, 47(2), 434–465.
Gottfried, M. A. (2014). Chronic absenteeism and its effects on students’ academic and socio-emotional outcomes. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR), 19(2), 53–75.
Gottfried, M. A. (2015). Chronic absenteeism in the classroom context: Effects on achievement. Urban Education,54(1), 3–34.
Gottfried, M. A. & Hutt, E.L. (Eds.). (2019). Absent from school: Understanding and addressing student absenteeism.Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
Harris, Kamala. (2016). In School + On Track 2016.Sacramento, CA: Office of the Attorney General, State of California Department of Justice.
Henderson, T., Hill, C., & Norton, K. (2014). The connection between missing school and health: A review of chronic absenteeism and student health in Oregon.Portland, OR: Upstream Public Health.
Hernandez, D. (2011). Double jeopardy: How third-grade reading skills and poverty influence high school graduation.Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Hess, F. M., & McShane, M. Q. (2018), Bush-Obama school reform: Lessons learned.Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
Johnson, G. M. (2005). Student alienation, academic achievement, and WebCT use. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 8(2), 179–189.
Kearney, C. A. (2016). Managing school absenteeism at multiple tiers: An evidence-based and practical guide for professionals. New York City, NY: Oxford University Press.
Kearney, C. A., & Graczyk, P. (2014). A response to intervention model to promote school attendance and decrease school absenteeism. Child & Youth Care Forum,43(1), 1–25.
Lawrence, E. M., Rogers, R. G., & Zajacova, A. (2016). Educational attainment and mortality in the United States: Effects of degrees, years of schooling, and certification. Population Research and Policy Review, 35(4), 501–525.
London, R, A., Sanchez, M., & Castrechini, S. (2016). The dynamics of chronic absence and student achievement. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 24(112), 1–27.
Losen, D. J., & Whitaker, A. (2018). 11 million days lost: Race, discipline, and safety at U.S. public schools. A joint report by the Center for Civil Rights Remedies of UCLA’s Civil Rights Project and the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.
Mac Iver, M. A., & Messel, M. (2012). Predicting high school outcomes in the Baltimore city public schools.The Senior Urban Education Research Fellowship Series. Volume VII. Washington, DC: Council of the Great City Schools.
NAEP Data Explorer, 2015 and 2017 mathematics and reading assessments. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/
NAEP Data Explorer, 2015 and 2017 reading and mathematics scale scores of 4th, 8th, and 12th graders and percentage absent from school, by selected characteristics and number of days absent in the last month. Table 227.50. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/datastory/chronicabsenteeism.html#one
National Forum on Education Statistics. (2009). Every school day counts: The forum guide to collecting and using attendance data (NFES 2009–804). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.
Nowicki,J. M. (2018). K–12 Education: Discipline disparities for Black students,boys, and students with disabilities. Report to Congressional Requesters. GAO-18-258. Washington, DC: Government Accountability Office.
Olsen, L. S. (2014). Why September matters: Improving student attendance.Policy brief. Baltimore, MD: Baltimore Education Research Consortium.
Office for Civil Rights. (2016). 2013–2014 civil rights data collection: A first look.
Railsback J. (2004). Increasing student attendance: Strategies from research and practice.Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. Portland, OR.
Ready, D. D. (2010). Socioeconomic disadvantage, school attendance, and early cognitive development: The differential effects of school exposure. Sociology of Education 83(4): 271–286.
Robertson, A. A., & Walker, C. S. (2018). Predictors of justice system involvement: Maltreatment and education. Child Abuse & Neglect, 76, 408–415.
Robinson, C. D., Lee, M. G., Dearing, E., & Rogers, T. (2018). Reducing student absenteeism in the early grades by targeting parental beliefs. American Educational Research Journal, 55(6), 1163–1192.
Rogers, T., & Feller, A. (2018). Reducing student absences at scale by targeting parents’ misbeliefs. Nature Human Behaviour, 2(5), 335.
Romero, M., & Lee, Y. (2007). A national portrait of chronic absenteeism in the early grades.New York, NY: National Center for Children in Poverty, the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
Rumberger, R. W. (2015). Student mobility: Causes, consequences, and solutions. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center, University of Colorado.
Snell L., Smith, G. A., Koteskey, T., Joffe, M., & Bui, T. (2018). A 2018 evaluation of LAUSD’s fiscal outlook: Revisiting the findings of the 2015 Independent Financial Review Panel.Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles Unified School District.
Telfair, J., & Shelton, T. L. (2012). Educational attainment as a social determinant of health. North Carolina Medical Journal, 73(5), 358–365.
Tourangeau, K., Nord, C., Lê, T., Sorongon, A. G., & Najarian, M. (2009). Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K): Combined User's Manual for the ECLS-K Eighth-Grade and K-8 Full Sample Data Files and Electronic Codebooks. NCES 2009-004. National Center for Education Statistics.
U.S. Department of Education. (2008). A uniform, comparable graduation rate: How the final regulations for Title I hold schools, districts, and states accountable for improving graduation rates. Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/reg/proposal/uniform-grad-rate.html
U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 2013–2014 Civil Rights Data Collection. A First Look; Key Data Highlights on Equity and Opportunity Gaps in Our Nation’s Public Schools.Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/2013-14-first-look.pdf
U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 2015–2016 Civil Rights Data Collection. Chronic absenteeism in the nation’s schools: A hidden educational crisis. Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/datastory/chronicabsenteeism.html#one
Utah Education Policy Center [UEPC]. (2012). Research brief: Chronic absenteeism.Retrieved from https://www.schools.utah.gov/file/31291767-087c-4edb-8042-87f272507c1d
One of the most critical issues facing K-12 education is the impact that poverty has on school performance. This study first examines school performance using traditional metrics for school poverty levels (percent of student body that qualify for free and reduced lunch: FRL) and school performance (school achievement based on the aggregate test scores of its student body). The results support prior research documenting the negative relationship between the level of poverty in a school and student achievement (the higher the poverty the lower the achievement). However, when replacing the student achievement metric with a student growth metric, the relationship is significantly different.
Alexander, K. L., Entwisle, D. R., & Olson, L. S. (2001). Schools, achievement, and inequality: A seasonal perspective. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 23, 171–191.
This study examines the detrimental impact of principal turnover, including lower teacher retention and lower student achievement. Particularly hard hit are high poverty schools, which often lose principals at a higher rate as they transition to lower poverty, higher student achievement schools.
Beteille, T., Kalogrides, D., & Loeb, S. (2012). Stepping stones: Principal career paths and school outcomes. Social Science Research, 41(4), 904-919.
This report provides a practical “management guide,” for an evidence-based key indicator data decision system for school districts and schools.
Celio, M. B., & Harvey, J. (2005). Buried Treasure: Developing A Management Guide From Mountains of School Data. Center on Reinventing Public Education.
Solid evidence supports claims that motivational programs can increase the quality and quantity of performance from 20 to 40 percent. Motivation can solve three types of performance problems: 1) people are refusing to change; and/or 2) allowing themselves to be distracted and not persist at a key task; and/or 3) treating a novel task as familiar, making mistakes but not investing mental effort and taking responsibility because of overconfidence. Everyone is motivated to do or value whatever they believe will make us effective or successful. The challenge is to find ways to support the great variety of different individual and cultural beliefs held by different people about success and what makes them effective at work. However, there are universal demotivators and positive strategies that tend to motivate everyone, despite our different beliefs and values. After describing a number of general strategies for fostering individual motivation, the article focuses on the unique motivational issues faced by teams and how to overcome them.
Clark, R. E. (2003). Fostering the work motivation of individuals and teams. Performance Improvement, 42(3), 21–29.
The purpose of this overview is to provide information about the role of formal teacher evaluation, the research that examines the practice, and its impact on student outcomes.
Cleaver, S., Detrich, R. & States, J. (2018). Overview of Teacher Formal Evaluation. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.https://www.winginstitute.org/teacher-evaluation-formal.
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.
Gershenson, S. (2018). Grade Inflation in High Schools (2005–2016).
The author summarizes four new strands in agency theory that help him think about incentives in real organizations. The author concludes by suggesting two avenues for further progress in agency theory: better integration with organizational economics, and cross-pollination with other fields that study organizations.
Gibbons, R. (1998). Incentives in organizations. Journal of economic perspectives, 12(4), 115-132.
This study examines whether the results of standardized tests are distorted when rewards and sanctions are attached to them.
Greene, J., Winters, M., & Forster, G. (2004). Testing high-stakes tests: Can we believe the results of accountability tests?. The Teachers College Record, 106(6), 1124-1144.
This paper describe a few promising assessment technologies tat allow us to capture more direct, repeated, and contextually based measures of student learning, and propose an improvement-oriented approach to teaching and learning.
Greenwood, C. R., & Maheady, L. (1997). Measurable change in student performance: Forgotten standard in teacher preparation?. Teacher Education and Special Education, 20(3), 265-275.
This report is the first chapter of the 2018 Brown Center Report on American Education. This section explore trends in math, reading, and civics performance from the late 1990s through the most recent year in which results are available (2017 in math and reading, 2014 in civics). It show trends in nationwide performance and in test score gaps by race (white-black), ethnicity (white-Hispanic), and family income (based on eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch [FRL]). In doing so, this report examine test score trajectories from the beginning to the end of the No Child Left Behind era (NCLB). The 2017 results, in particular, reflect a boundary in the timeline of education policy, demarcating the end of NCLB and the beginning of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Hansen, M., Levesque, E., Valant, J., & Quintero, D. (2018). The 2018 Brown Center Report on American Education: How Well are American Students Learning. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution.
The purpose of this study is to compare different statistical and methodological approaches to standard setting and determining cut scores using R- CBM and performance on high-stakes tests
Hintze, J. M., & Silberglitt, B. (2005). A longitudinal examination of the diagnostic accuracy and predictive validity of R-CBM and high-stakes testing. School Psychology Review, 34(3), 372.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is a national assessment of what America's students know in mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, and U.S. history.
National Center for Education Statistics
Wenglinsky, H. (2002). How schools matter: The link between teacher classroom practices and student academic performance. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 10(12).
The organization promotes well-informed decision making by preparing, maintaining and disseminating systematic reviews in education, crime and justice, social welfare and international development.
The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) is an assessment of the reading comprehension of students in their fourth year of schooling. This report compares the performance of U.S. students with their peers around the world and also examines how the reading literacy of U.S. fourth-grade students has changed since the first administration of PIRLS in 2001. Results are presented by student background characteristics (sex and race/ethnicity) and by contextual factors that may be associated with reading proficiency (school characteristics, instructional practices and teacher preparation, and the home environment for reading).