卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Secondary School Education

The effects of early college opportunities on English learners

A recent study in the American Educational Research Journal examined a developing program started in 2017 that offers Early College (EC) opportunities in high schools serving large English learner (EL) populations in California. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of an EC program on high school graduation and subsequent college enrollment for EL students. Data for this study were collected from seven cohorts of high school students (N = 15,090) in a large, urban school district in California. As EC was rolled out in the district in three of the high schools first, the researchers compared the post-EC outcomes of treated and control groups (i.e., the three high schools that started EC first vs. other high schools in the district who had not yet started EC). This study expands current knowledge of EC effects on historically underserved student populations such as ELs. Findings from this study showed that although...

19 05 2022
An intervention for high school chemistry and physics

Designed by a group of Finnish and American interdisciplinary researchers, the Crafting Engaging Science Environment (CESE) intervention aims to increase both students’ interest and performance in secondary-level science subjects. The intervention, containing 3 lessons each in Chemistry and Physics, constructs its lessons using Project-Based Learning (PBL). By challenging students in the lessons, the intervention seeks to elevate students’ engagement and pursuit of meaningfulness. Lessons center on “real-world phenomena” to enhance students’ ability to plan and investigate by themselves. Schneider et al. conducted research with 61 schools, 119 teachers, and 4,238 students in California and Michigan, looking into the possible effects of CESE. Participating teachers and students were evenly divided into two groups–one followed the instructions of the CESE intervention while the other continued with business as usual. A 2-level Hierarchical Linear Model was used to evaluate the intervention effects between the groups among different races and ethnicity while adding on...

02 05 2022
Are only-children always better in academic performance?

In the aftermath of the one-child policy in China (1979-2016) having been implemented over 30 years, some researchers found that only-children performed better academically. While most of these studies focused on only-children in urban China, Shi and colleagues conducted a study to investigate the sibling effect on rural children’s academic outcomes. Conversely to an urban area, families in rural China tend to have more children than their urban counterparts. Moreover, along with the national one-child policy, the “One-Son-Two-Kids” rule allowed rural couples to have a second child if the first one was a girl, due to cultural preference to have a son in the family. Families with one child only, therefore, were not common in rural areas. The study was conducted in 2018. After a recruiting process, 156 grade 9 only-children from 102 classes were identified. For each only-child, one peer with sibling(s) was randomly selected from the same class....

25 03 2022
Effectiveness of a PD program in a repeated randomized study

A study published in Evaluation Review evaluated the effect of a teacher professional development program on student math achievement in two experiments. The evaluation was conducted through repeated randomized control trials on two consecutive cohorts of teachers. Since replication is rare in education, the authors wanted to evaluate the relevance of program implementation on its effectiveness. Two cohorts of 730 teachers and their 13,000 sixth grade students participated in the study in 2008 and 2010. In both cohorts, teachers were randomly assigned to the intervention or to the control group for three years of program implementation. The PD program, named PON M@t.abel+, was promoted by the Italian Ministry of Education to train math teachers in using strategies close to the students’ everyday life and learning by doing. Training was provided to groups of teachers (15-20 each group) by a tutor using both in-person and online sessions. The training covered different...

25 03 2022
Parent engagement in science education: the more the merrier?

Parents are the first teachers of their children. The success of school education needs parental engagement. However, there is a cost to everything. What are the costs of encouraging more parental involvement in children’s science education? Robinson and her colleagues used a randomized field experiment to examine the effects of a text-messaging intervention in science education and identified opportunity costs of shifting parental effort from other subjects to science. The study took place in England. Grades 7-11 students from 5 secondary schools were randomly assigned to the treatment condition (n = 1,729) or the control condition (n = 1,754). Pre-treatment covariates showed no statistically significant differences between conditions. Through a pre-existing texting platform, parents of students in the treatment condition received around two text messages per week nudging them to ask students specific questions tied to their science curriculum. All else equal, parents in the control condition did not receive...

25 02 2022
Effectiveness of BARR for students

A recent randomized evaluation conducted by Borman and colleagues investigated the effects of Building Assets, Reducing Risks (BARR) on student experience and academic outcomes. BARR is a model developed to address barriers to student success and consists of different strategies to build and improve relationships between staff, staff and students, and between students. Teachers and administrators in schools receive initial training and on-going coaching through observations and feedback on implementation. The study involved about 3,000 ninth graders from 11 American schools randomly assigned to receive the intervention over one year or to continue with their regular practice. Student academic achievement was measured through a standardized test, the Northwest Evaluation Association’s (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). Student experience was evaluated only at posttest. Results showed significant positive effects for mathematics achievement (ES = +0.11) but no significant results in reading (ES = +0.06). The authors concluded that BARR is a...

25 02 2022
Short-term and long-term effects of the School Improvement Grants initiative

School Improvement Grants (SIGs) were grants for state education agencies to address underperformance in public schools in the US. The SIG program required schools to adopt a reform model by choosing among four alternatives: the transformation model required reforms in the school instructional and evaluation system and changing the leadership; the turnaround model required the same transformations plus replacing 50% of the staff; the restart model required closing the school and opening it under the leadership of an education management organization; and the closure model required closing the school. Among these models, most of the SIG schools chose the transformation model, some schools the turnaround model, and a few schools the restart model. A recent study evaluated the effects of SIGs on student academic achievement and graduation rates, focusing on schools that adopted the transformation and turnaround models. A total of 99 schools and 35,200 students in grades 3 and...

11 02 2022
School improvement meta-analysis

In a recent meta-analysis, Schueler and colleagues investigated the effects of school improvement initiatives spanning four major categories: turnaround, labeling, charter conversion, and closure. The search covered the years 2000-2019, effectively capturing the school improvement landscape from No Child Left Behind up until the COVID-19 pandemic school closures. Following a literature search and inclusion review, 67 studies were utilized in the analysis as the authors sought to determine the general effects of school improvement initiatives on low-performing K-12 student achievement along with specific effects associated with features of these initiatives. The general impacts of school initiatives were shown below. For effects on high-stakes achievement test scores: a significant positive effect was found (ES = + 0.06) on math achievement and an insignificant effect on English achievement. For effects on low-stakes achievement test scores: a significant positive effect was found in both STEM (ES = +0.07) and the humanities (ES =...

11 02 2022
Adolescent behaviors and outcomes in early adulthood

A recent meta-analysis and narrative synthesis on the longitudinal association between psychosocial factors during adolescence and future participation in education and employment as a young adult was conducted by Tayfur and colleagues. The meta-analysis investigated the association between adolescent (age of 11 to 19) behavioral problems, peer problems, and prosocial skills with participation in education and employment between the ages of 18 to 25 at outcome. Analysis included 14 studies and used odds ratiosa as effect size to explore the associations. Five studies investigated self-reported behavioral problems—defined as rule-breaking, aggressiveness, and other disruptive or delinquent behavior—and its association with being defined as “not in education, employment or training” (NEET). The results demonstrated that behavioral problems in adolescence increased the risk of being NEET in young adulthood (OR = 1.48). Four studies investigated the association between peer problems—including bullying, violence, and other forms of peer aggression—and NEET. A significant small association...

11 02 2022