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Education Research Compilation & Summaries
(March 5, 2011)
An important K-12 education reform debate is underway in Indiana. There is a distressing trend where easily-manipulated political polls and well-meaning political rhetoric are crowding out evidence-based research in the K-12 education reform decision-making process.
Listed below are a compilation and summaries of pertinent evidence-based K-12 education research. Online links are provided where concerned persons can go to fully analyze a research topic.
Please send an E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a source of K-12 education research to add to this compilation.
We all – from the Governor to legislators to education professionals to everyday parents and other concerned community members – must become "education experts." The future of Indiana depends on all of us working together effectively to improve K-12 education outcomes. One key to ongoing improvement is education reform established on a foundation of evidence-based research.
A. BUSINESS SITE SELECTION RELATIONSHIP TO WORKFORCE EDUCATION
A.1. April 2000, The Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, Business Location Decision-Making and the Cities: Bringing Companies Back: http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/reports/2000/05metropolitanpolicy_cohen/cohen.pdf. In a survey of business leaders, 72% cited workforce suitability as the top criterion in site selection.
B. CHARTER SCHOOLS PERFORMANCE IN INDIANA
B.1. March 2011, Stanford University Center for Research on Education Outcomes, Charter School Performance In Indiana: http://credo.stanford.edu/reports/IN_State_Report_CREDO_%202011.pdf. Charter school students made larger learning gains compared to their traditional public school peers in their first 2 years of enrollment in charter schools. While there are a small number of schools with inferior performance in reading, nearly half the charter schools have significantly more positive learning gains than their traditional public school counterparts. In math, none of the charter schools studied performs worse than the traditional public schools and nearly one quarter out-perform them.
B.2. January 7, 2009, University of Indianapolis Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning, A Comparison of Student Academic Growth between Indiana Charter Schools and Traditional Public Schools: http://cell.uindy.edu/docs/CharterSchoolStudyReport.pdf. Using data available from the Indiana Department of Education, it appears that, on the whole, charter school populations include more minority and low socioeconomic-status children than do traditional public schools in their home districts. Students enrolling in Indiana charter schools during the first year of the charter schools’ operation display a lower level of prior academic achievement (36% passing both the Mathematics and Language Arts portion of Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress [ISTEP]) than do their traditional public school peers (52%). This initial disparity may account for the lower scores found for charter school students when compared to their traditional public school peers in scores on ISTEP. Charter students showed an average 1- to 1.5-point greater increase in the Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress scores when compared to students in traditional public schools. In fact, the charter school students showed a 22% greater increase in Reading, an 18% greater increase in Math, and a 25% greater increase in Language Usage. Although Indiana charter school students have consistently shown lower ISTEP scores than their traditional public school counterparts, when the appropriate comparison groups are used, Indiana charter school students show more academic growth than a control group of students in traditional public schools who were matched for crucial demographic characteristics and initial academic ability. Further, this growth appears to be accomplished at a lower cost per student in the charter schools when compared to school districts matched for free/reduced lunch, percentage of minority students, and annual expenditures per student.
B.3. January 2009, Indiana University School of Education Center for Evaluation & Education Policy, Study of the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Charter Schools in Indiana: http://ceep.indiana.edu/projects/PDF/CharterSchools_SpecialReport_013009.pdf. There is no significant difference in Indiana student performance in charter schools versus traditional public schools in the areas of ISTEP+ test results and percentages of Core 40 Diplomas, Academic Honors Diplomas, and Special Education Certificates.
C. COLLECTIVE BARGAINING EFFECTS ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
C.1. Fall 2008, Indiana University School of Education Center for Evaluation & Education Policy, Arguments and Evidence: The Debate over Collective Bargaining's Role in Public Education: http://www.ceep.indiana.edu/projects/PDF/PB_V6N8_Fall_2008_EPB.pdf. The research on the effects of collective bargaining is limited and ambiguous. However, there is some evidence that collective bargaining may have an indirect effect on student achievement by influencing structural factors like class size, school resources and teacher salaries, and teacher quality.
D. EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
D.1. January/February 2011, Child Development, Volume 82, Number 1, Pages 379–404, Age 26 Cost–Benefit Analysis of the Child-Parent Center Early Education Program: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01563.x/pdf. A cost-benefit analysis of children who attended the Chicago Child Parent Centers found that the preschool part of the program generated $11 of economic benefits over a child's lifetime for every dollar spent initially on it. The analysis found that children enrolled in preschool CPC received net benefits at age 26 totaling $83,000 per participant in 2007 dollars compared with children who did not take part in the program. The CPC resulted in significantly higher rates of attendance at 4-year colleges, employment in higher-skilled jobs, and significantly lower rates of felony arrests and symptoms of depression in young adulthood.
D.2. 2011, Southern Education Foundation, The Promise of Georgia Pre-K: Building Life-Long Education, Current Budget Savings and Long-Term Economic Growth in Hard Times: http://www.sefatl.org/pdf/Georgia%20Pre-K%20Update.pdf. The promise of Georgia Pre‐K is being realized among four‐year‐olds in preschool classes across the state. This unique program is helping Georgia’s children become schoolready and over time is reducing the number of students who are repeating the same grade and dropping out of school. At the same time, Georgia Pre‐K is helping the state reduce tax expenditures in education. If Georgia Pre‐K can continue to grow in quality and enrollment, its offers the real prospect of paying for itself in a couple of decades.
D.3. November 2010, The New Mexico PreK Evaluation: Impacts From the Fourth Year (2008-2009) of New Mexico’s State-Funded PreK Program: http://nieer.org/pdf/NewMexicoRDD1110.pdf. The New Mexico PreK evaluation, from the 2008-2009 school year, finds positive impacts from the state-funded prekindergarten program for young children, consistent with previous findings. With statistically significant increases observed in vocabulary, math, and literacy scores for children participating in New Mexico PreK, the authors find New Mexico PreK is helping prepare young children for later school success. The New Mexico PreK initiative began in 2005 and has expanded rapidly. From the beginning, the National Institute for Early Education Research has been evaluating the program using the regression-discontinuity approach.
D.4. September 2010, How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence From Project STAR: http://content.hks.harvard.edu/journalistsresource/pa/society/education/how-does-your-kindergarten-classroom-affect-your-earnings/. The Harvard Economics Department, using data from Tennessee, found that high-quality early-childhood classes had substantial positive effects on college attendance rates and adult earnings. The cognitive benefits of the programs disappeared as students moved through elementary school, yet the economic benefits persisted into adulthood.
D.5. May 2008, Rutgers University, Longitudinal Effects of the Arkansas Better Chance Program: Findings from Kindergarten and First Grade: http://nieer.org/resources/research/ArkansasLongitudinal.pdf. Statistically significant effects of the Arkansas Better Chance prekindergarten program program were found for our language measure at the end of the kindergarten year, and for measures of math and early literacy at the end of first grade.
D.6. 1974-2006 (various), University of North Carolina FPG Child Development Institute, The Abecedarian Project: http://www.fpg.unc.edu/~abc/#home. The Abecedarian project was a carefully controlled scientific study of the potential benefits of early childhood education for poor children. Four cohorts of individuals, born between 1972 and 1977, were randomly assigned as infants to either the early educational intervention group or the control group. The young adult findings demonstrate that important, long-lasting benefits were associated with the early childhood program.
D.7. Georgia State University, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, The Georgia Early Childhood Study 2001-2004: http://aysps.gsu.edu/publications/2005/EarlyChildhoodReport.pdf. Georgia children made significant gains from the beginning of preschool to the end of first grade compared to national samples of children their age.
D.8. April 2002, Harvard Family Research Project, Family Involvement Network of Educators, Getting Parents "Ready" for Kindergarten: The Role of Early Childhood Education: http://www.hfrp.org/publications-resources/browse-our-publications/getting-parents-ready-for-kindergarten-the-role-of-early-childhood-education. When families are involved in their children's early childhood education, children may experience greater success once they enter elementary school (Miedel & Reynolds, 1999). We define educational involvement of families as activities that parents conduct at home and in early childhood settings to directly or indirectly support their children's learning. These activities can be conducted individually or through parent peer networks. This research brief presents preliminary evidence that family involvement in young children's education may contribute not only to a smooth transition to elementary school for children, but also for parents, by helping to prepare them for later involvement in their children's learning.
D.9. October 2001, Effects of Five State Prekindergarten Programs on Early Learning: http://nieer.org/pdf/MultiState1007.pdf. The study finds that children attending state-funded pre-K programs in the five states (Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia) gained significantly regardless of ethnic background or economic circumstances.
D.10. November 28, 2000, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The National Head Start/Public School Early Childhood Transition Demonstration Study: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/hs/ch_trans/index.html. In 1990, the U. S. Congress authorized The National Head Start/Public School Early Childhood Transition Demonstration Study project designed to enhance the early public school transitions of former Head Start children and their families. Former Head Start children, like many other children living in poverty, were at risk for poor school achievement. This new program was launched to test the value of extending comprehensive, Head Start-like supports "upward" through the first four years of elementary school. The project period was 9/28/91-9/29/99. These former Head Start children, on average, showed good academic progress in the first four years of public school, with their largest gains in the first two years.
D.11. August 1999, University of Wisconsin-Madison Waisman Center, The Chicago Longitudinal Study: A Study of Children in the Chicago Public Schools: http://www.waisman.wisc.edu/cls/. The Chicago Longitudinal Study is a federally-funded investigation of the effects of an early and extensive childhood intervention in central-city Chicago called the Child-Parent Center (CPC) Program. The study began in 1986 to investigate the effects of government-funded kindergarten programs for 1,539 children in the Chicago Public Schools. Besides investigating the short- and long-term effects of early childhood intervention, the study traces the scholastic and social development of participating children and the contributions of family and school practices to children's behavior. The CPC program provides educational and family support services to children from preschool to third grade. It is funded by Title I and has operated in the Chicago Public Schools since 1967. Participation in the CPC program has been found to be significantly associated with higher levels of school achievement into adolescence, with higher levels of consumer skills, with enhanced parent involvement in children’s education, and with lower rates of grade retention and special education, lower rates of early school dropout, and with lower rates of delinquent behavior.
E. EARNINGS AND EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP TO EDUCATION ATTAINMENT
E.1. June 2010, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018: http://cew.georgetown.edu/jobs2018/. By 2018, the United States will need 22 million new workers with college degrees - but will fall short of that number by at least 3 million postsecondary degrees. Between 2008 and 2018, new jobs in Indiana requiring postsecondary education and training will grow by 79,000 while jobs for high school graduates and dropouts will grow by 16,000. By 2018, 55 percent of jobs in Indiana will require some post-secondary training beyond high school.
E.2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Unemployment rates and earnings for full-time wage and salary workers aged 25 and over, by educational attainment, 2009: http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2010/summer/oochart.pdf. With increased education, median earnings rise and average rates of unemployment fall.
E.3. September 2008, Impresa Inc. for CEOs for Cities, The City Dividends: How Cities Gain by Making Small Improvements in Metropolitan Performance: http://www.ceosforcities.org/pagefiles/City_Dividends_FINAL_NewLook.pdf. Mayors and other civic leaders have grown to understand that improving their city’s educational attainment, reducing vehicle miles traveled and reducing poverty are important to regional success and economic prosperity. And while these strategies contribute to the general good, the payback from investments in these areas often seems distant and uncertain. However, a close examination of actual urban performance across the nation reveals that stronger metro areas reap real, tangible and calculable economic benefits. Increasing the four-year college attainment rate in each of the nation’s 51 largest metropolitan areas by one percentage point would be associated with a $124 billion increase in aggregate annual personal income.
F. MAYORAL CONTROL OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS
F.1. October 1, 2010 (slide presentation), Indiana University School of Education Center for Evaluation & Education Policy, K-12 Educational Governance: contact Terry Spradlin (Associate Director for Education Policy, email@example.com, 812-855-4438) to request a copy of this slide presentation. A survey published in the Review of Educational Research concludes that there is not yet substantive evidence to support the claim that mayoral control (placing school boards under mayoral control with an appointed school board) produces effective governance or greater academic achievement.
G. OFFENDER RELATIONSHIP TO EDUCATION ATTAINMENT
G.1. Indiana Department of Correction, Snap Shot Adult Education IDOC School Year 2008-2009: http://www.in.gov/idoc/2319.htm. The level of education is a factor in our prison population.
G.2. Indiana Department of Correction, The Impact of Education and Employment on Recidivism: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/Impact_of_Education_and_Employment_on_Recidivism.pdf. As the level of education increases, the likelihood of recidivating decreases. As employment increases, the likelihood of recidivating decreases.
H. PARENT AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT FOR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
H.1. September 2010, ASCD, Five Hallmarks of Good Homework: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept10/vol68/num01/Five-Hallmarks-of-Good-Homework.aspx. Applicable research is reviewed about what constitutes meaningful homework.
H.2. 2006, Johns Hopkins University Center on School, Family, and Community Partnership, National Network of Partnership Schools, Moving Forward: Ideas for Research on School, Family, and Community Partnerships: http://www.csos.jhu.edu/p2000/pdf/Literature%20Review%20-%20Epstein%20and%20Sheldon%2006.pdf. Principles are identified that help educators, parents, and community partners work better together to support student success.
H.3. March 2002, Michigan Department of Education, What Research Says About Parent Involvement In Children’s Education In Relation to Academic Achievement: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/Final_Parent_Involvement_Fact_Sheet_14732_7.pdf. There is a positive relationship between parent involvement in children's education and academic achievement.
H.4. 2000, Judy Caragher, Putting Homework in its Place and Getting Kids to Do Their Own Homework: http://school.discoveryeducation.com/parents/teacherlink/articles/homework1_1.html and http://school.discoveryeducation.com/parents/teacherlink/articles/homework2_1.html. Homework Tips are presented that help make homework a useful learning activity.
H.5. October 1996, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, The Uses of Time for Teaching and Learning: http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/SER/UsesofTime/index.html. The importance of school, homework, and activities that build student skills and feelings of success must be reinforced by families and concerned community members with learning activities that are coordinated with classwork.
H.6. June 26, 1996, Chicago Public Schools Policy Manual Section 601.2, Homework Policy: http://policy.cps.k12.il.us/documents/601.2.pdf. The Chicago Public Schools mandates that homework be regularly assigned to students. Homework should be a sequence of well-planned, meaningful assignments for completion during out-of-class time.
H.7. National PTA, Homework Help: http://www.pta.org/2039.htm. The National PTA believes that assisting homework and test preparation is one of the most important responsibilities parents have in their children's education, and offers a list of resources.
I. PERFORMANCE BASED TEACHER COMPENSATION / MERIT PAY
I.1. October 5, 2010 (slide presentation), Indiana University School of Education Center for Evaluation & Education Policy, Education Leadership & Development: contact Terry Spradlin (Associate Director for Education Policy, firstname.lastname@example.org, 812-855-4438) to request a copy of this slide presentation. Evaluation of current performance based programs has shown no solid evidence of a link between performance pay and student achievement.
I.2. September 21, 2010, Vanderbilt University Peabody College National Center on Performance Incentives, Teacher Pay For Performance: Experimental Evidence from the Project on Incentives in Teaching: http://www.performanceincentives.org/data/files/pages/POINT%20REPORT_9.21.10.pdf. The Project on Incentives in Teaching was a three-year study conducted in the Metropolitan Nashville School System from 2006-07 through 2008-09, in which middle school mathematics teachers voluntarily participated in a controlled experiment to assess the effect of financial rewards for teachers whose students showed unusually large gains on standardized tests. The experiment was intended to test the notion that rewarding teachers for improved scores would cause scores to rise. By and large, results did not confirm this hypothesis. While the general trend in middle school mathematics performance was upward over the period of the project, students of teachers randomly assigned to the treatment group (eligible for bonuses) did not outperform students whose teachers were assigned to the control group (not eligible for bonuses).
J. PRINCIPALS LEADERSHIP TRAINING
J.1. October 5, 2010 (slide presentation), Indiana University School of Education Center for Evaluation & Education Policy, Education Leadership & Development: contact Terry Spradlin (Associate Director for Education Policy, email@example.com, 812-855-4438) to request a copy of this slide presentation. Improvements in principal leadership are a particularly cost-effective way toimprove teaching and learning. Principal leadership is second only to teaching among school related influences on student achievement. Principals need access to student achievement data, including student engagement, growth of students and teachers, and policy implementation.
K. SCHOOL CHOICE
K.1. October 1, 2010 (slide presentation), Indiana University School of Education Center for Evaluation & Education Policy, K-12 Educational Governance: contact Terry Spradlin (Associate Director for Education Policy, firstname.lastname@example.org, 812-855-4438) to request a copy of this slide presentation. Greater competition in public education is a potential vehicle for overall educational improvement by giving parents more options and hence spurring reform. Competition could also lead to segregation, selection bias, and class stratification. In addition, students without the means to transfer or relocate could be trapped in schools without the resources to improve.
L. SCHOOL DISTRICT CONSOLIDATION / SCHOOL SIZE
L.1. Summer 2010, Indiana University School of Education Center for Evaluation & Education Policy, Revisiting School District Consolidation Issues: http://ceep.indiana.edu/projects/PDF/PB_V8N3_Summer_2010_EPB.pdf. The analysis of school reorganization as proposed by Indiana State Senate Bill 521, proposed in the 2009 legislative session, indicated that school district size alone does not determine academic achievement or economic efficiency.
M. TEACHER EVALUATION
M.1. October 5, 2010 (slide presentation), Indiana University School of Education Center for Evaluation & Education Policy, Education Leadership & Development: contact Terry Spradlin (Associate Director for Education Policy, email@example.com, 812-855-4438) to request a copy of this slide presentation. Teacher evaluation scores, when a rigorous evaluation system is used, is a better predictor of student performance than teacher experience. More objective methods of teacher evaluation may reduce the pressure on principals and increase the likelihood that they will fire ineffective teachers. Student growth models and the increasing availability of data now allow student achievement to be a factor in teacher evaluation. However, the validity of using standardized test results that measure student achievement has not been proved as a measurement of teacher quality.
N. TEACHER QUALITY
N.1. October 5, 2010 (slide presentation), Indiana University School of Education Center for Evaluation & Education Policy, Education Leadership & Development: contact Terry Spradlin (Associate Director for Education Policy, firstname.lastname@example.org, 812-855-4438) to request a copy of this slide presentation. Teaching is ranked first among school-related influences on student achievement. Research demonstrates that some teachers contribute more to student growth than others, but it is not clear which teacher attributes are most important in producing growth. Goe’s (2007) synthesis of teacher quality data indicated four areas which appear to contribute to growth: teacher qualifications, characteristics, practices, and effectiveness. Qualifications matter only to a limited extent, with a high level of content-specific pedagogical knowledge producing better results in math and science. Professional development should be sustained, focused on instruction, and aligned with curriculum. Collaborative decision making at the school level positively impacts student achievement. Teachers with high expectations for their students may positively impact student achievement. Teachers should align instruction and frequent assessment and feedback on student learning. Interactive and hands-on teaching are positively correlated with student achievement. Students prefer differentiated instruction such as group projects and discussion/debate over teacher lecture and writing projects. Unobserved variables may be contributing more to student growth than teacher effectiveness. Classroom performance during the first two years of teaching – rather than certification status – appears to be a more reliable indicator of future effectiveness. Schools in Indiana struggle to employ a full cadre of teachers who are qualified to instruct the subjects they are teaching.
N.2. October 1, 2010 (slide presentation), Indiana University School of Education Center for Evaluation & Education Policy, K-12 Educational Governance: contact Terry Spradlin (Associate Director for Education Policy, email@example.com, 812-855-4438) to request a copy of this slide presentation. Most significant variables that contribute to high student achievement include: smaller class sizes, effective professional development, highly qualified teachers, and a handful of socioeconomic factors – primarily family income. These relationships are complex and have a point of diminishing returns (e.g. class size).
O. THIRD GRADE BEST PRACTICES
O.1. January 31, 2011, Watchdog Indiana, Third Grade Best Practices Inventory Report: http://www.finplaneducation.net/third_grade_inventory.htm. This Report is an analysis of the data provided by the Results Leaders who responded to a Best Practices Survey Questionnaire. The Results Leaders are the principals of those Indiana traditional and charter public schools who got the best results on the Spring 2010 third grade ISTEP+ tests.
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