卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Educational Administration and Leadership

Addressing students’ needs to avoid assignment to special education

Research shows that students of color and students from low socioeconomic backgrounds are disproportionately represented among those receiving special education services. Although special education is meant to provide students with individualized support, qualifying for special education services may negatively impact student outcomes. For example, teachers and parents may hold students in special education to low academic and behavioral standards. Further, students may perceive a stigma associated with receiving special education services. Thus, it is important to provide students with the proper support to decrease the likelihood that they will be incorrectly assigned to special education. Hingstman and colleagues conducted a systematic review of programs that tested whether they decreased the number of elementary school students assigned to special education. The review included 12 studies evaluating nine programs: four targeted academic and behavioral skills, three focused on academics, and two focused on behavior. The authors found that programs that included following...

23 09 2022
The effectiveness of teacher specialization in elementary school

Hwang and Kisida looked to develop a causal model using quasi-experimental methods to assess the effectiveness of subject-area specialization for teachers in elementary school. The authors compared the effectiveness of a teacher in a year when the teacher had a specialization role to a year when the teacher did not have a specialization role. This limited the study to those teachers who were both specialists (teach 1 or 2 subjects out of 4 major subjects) and generalists (teach 3 or 4 subjects) within the timeframe of the study (12% of all math teachers and 36.7% of all reading teachers fit this description). However, given the relatively large sample from the Indiana Department of Education, containing 15,895 math teachers and 17,102 reading teachers, the authors were able to use this model to estimate effects related to teacher specialization. The findings were shown below. A teacher’s effectiveness was lower when teaching math...

12 08 2022
Sensibly distribute resources: Prior-year statewide achievement test data is sufficient

Universal screening for identifying students at risk for future reading problems is important, but inaccurate and costly approaches are not worth investing in. Paly and colleagues recently conducted a retrospective research project to analyze four approaches to reading risk screening in terms of their accuracy and costs, including: prior-year state test (STAAR Reading) aimswebPlus: a web-based assessment suite which designed for screening and progress monitoring in reading and math for PreK-12 students multiple-gate model: prior-year STAAR was used in the first screening and aimswebPlus was administered as additional screening for a subgroup of students, who scored below a cut-point on first universal screen multivariate model: prior-year STAAR and aimswebPlus tests results were combined in multivariate analyses Using data from Grades 4-8 students (n = 19,417) in a mid-size urban district in Texas, the researchers examined classification accuracy and the cost-effectiveness relation of the four approaches.  The results suggest that aimswebPlus...

12 08 2022
The effectiveness of teacher evaluation training programs

A recent study by Kraft and Christian seeks to understand the relationship between the teacher evaluation system and teachers’ performance by examining the effects of sending administrators to teacher evaluation training programs in the Boston Public Schools (BPS). This study also focused on teachers’ perceptions of the new teacher evaluation system BPS implemented.   During the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years, this study tracked 4805 teachers in BPS. There were 355 evaluators from 123 schools. 52% of evaluators were people of color, and most were female. The study sent out independent teacher surveys and independent evaluator surveys to understand teachers’ and evaluators’ opinions about the new evaluation system using questions answered through Likert scales. Anonymous annual BPS climate surveys to ask about teachers’ work environment were also distributed.   The results suggested that the majority of teachers felt the evaluations on their performance were fair; however, many teachers were less...

30 07 2022
Learning English as a foreign language during early childhood: A burden or a boost?

In modern China, and also around the world, there is a wave of educational policies mandating an early start on learning English as a foreign language (EFL) in order to better prepare children for the globalized world. What makes China different in this wave is that, while the government encourages an earlier start on EFL, it also sets a ban on public elementary schools going too early in order to “protect” children’s development of their native language and prohibits English being taught before third grade. The general public think otherwise, however, which has created an unprecedented passion in society to have children starting EFL very early on at private institutions:   'Earlier is better’. Chinese parents believe early exposure to English will help children learn the language better, and want their children to master the language before hitting the critical period;Instrumental motivation. Competence in English is considered to be a vital...

14 06 2022
Professional development, coaching, and school leaders: Two randomized studies

Benjamin K. Master and colleagues recently conducted a randomized controlled trial to assess the effects of the Executive Development Program (EDP) and other aligned coaching on developing school leaders. In the study, two randomized controlled trials (RCT) were used to individually test the effects of the EDP program alone and the effects of coaching. The EDP intervention began in June 2016 where the schools and principals in the participating districts were divided into two groups — offered EDP immediately (treatment group) and EDP in 28-31 months (control group). The coaching intervention began in Nov 2016 where the schools and principals were randomly assigned to either receive the offer of coaching (treatment) or no coaching (control). A total of 779 schools from 139 school districts across three states agreed to participate in either or both RCTs. The studies explored several questions.  Of the 301 principals offered the EDP, 66% (N=200) fully...

14 06 2022
Do home visits help? Impacts of home visits in the District of Columbia Public Schools

Parent engagement plays an important role in student outcomes. Prior research shows that higher parent engagement is associated with better student outcomes such as higher attendance rates. Recent years have witnessed a growing number of programs intended to improve parent engagement. Yet, there is little evidence on the effectiveness of these programs. A recent study by the Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic examined the impacts of home visits conducted by trained teachers on the outcomes of students in grades 1-5 (N = 3,996) in the District of Columbia Public Schools. Teachers and families could choose to participate or not in the home visits. Teachers received a 2-3 hour training, at which time they could begin home visits with families. Home visits took place either over the summer or during the school year. The visits typically last for 30 minutes, during which teachers and parents discuss parents’ expectations for their child’s education...

02 05 2022
Investigating strategies to increase teachers’ adherence to evidence-based social-emotional behaviour practices: A meta-analysis of the single-case literature

A recent study published in the Journal of School Psychology examined the use of implementation strategies to promote teachers’ adherence to evidence-based practices (EBP) targeting student social, emotional and behavioral (SEB) outcomes. After evaluating 28 articles and 122 effect sizes with a total of 15 unique implementation strategies, results indicated that, on average, implementation strategies were associated with improved adherence to SEB EBPs (g = 2.32, tau = 0.77) with moderate to large effect sizes. This is an important finding given the established link between fidelity and student outcomes. Implementation strategies targeting individual-level determinants (i.e., adherence) were most often delivered during the active implementation stage and most frequently involved the use of performance-based feedback. Moderator analysis indicated that larger effects were associated with implementation strategies that used a greater number of unique behavior change techniques (BCTs) (p < .001). BCTs included strategies such as directed practice, positive reinforcement, and adapting...

01 04 2022
Online tutoring? You get what you pay for

In-person and high-dosage tutoring is gaining popularity among practitioners as an evidence-based approach to accelerate learning in the post-pandemic education system. Facing the challenge of insufficient funding and lack of local tutors to provide in-person tutoring, some practitioners regard online tutoring as an alternative outlet. However, there is limited research to establish the effectiveness of online tutoring programs. To investigate this topic of increasing interest, Dr. Kraft and his colleagues conducted a pilot study and found answers align with conventional wisdom. This pilot study recruited 230 volunteer college student tutors from 47 highly selective universities to deliver one-to-one online tutoring using Zoom. All tutors participated in a three-hour training session before the intervention and weekly peer-mentoring sessions during the intervention. The 560 participants were 6th-8th grade students from Chicago. Almost all of them come from low-income households. The study randomly assigned students to treatment condition or control condition within each...

01 04 2022