卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Types of Evidence

What contributes to effective school transformation initiatives?

Schools in the United States are continuously pressured to perform or improve performance, leading to a variety of methodologies intended to increase student achievement. But not all methodologies are equally effective. A recent study by Henry & Harbatkin examines the effectiveness of one such effort, the ESSA-aligned North Carolina Transformation (NCT) initiative, started in 2015. The initiative provided school transformation support services and instructional coaching to 75 schools in the bottom 5 percent of state proficiency testing over the course of two academic years. The majority of these schools were in rural locations (72), while six were located in cities or towns, and were a mixture of elementary (38), middle (28), and high schools (12). These schools, compared to non-treatment schools, were noted to have higher minority and low-income student populations, higher percentages of new teachers, and higher per student expenditures. Comparing student performance, through end-of-year and end-of-course assessments, Henry & Harbatkin...

10 02 2021
What strategies help teachers get along with students?

Amicable student-teacher relationships (STRs) contribute to students’ cognitive, social, and emotional development. In order to facilitate positive STRs, it is important to understand effective practices from past rigorous studies. A recent meta-analysis, published in Review of Educational Research, aims to identify the most effective and the most common practice elements for school- and class-wide STR programs. This meta-analysis reviews randomized controlled trials or quasi-experimental designs within the PreK-12 realm. After applying inclusion criteria, researchers from the University of Minnesota identified 21 studies and 13 unique STR programs. STR was measured by a teacher-reported 28-item scale that assessed their interpersonal relationships with students. On average, the combined weighted effect size shows that the included programs had a modest effect size on overall STR (ES=+0.26). The authors also highlighted two universal programs that demonstrate the largest effect sizes: Establish-Maintain-Restore(ES=+0.64) and BRIDGE (ES=+0.65). Apart from program-based analysis, the authors also explored the effectiveness of different practice types. Understandably, preventative...

27 01 2021
Is course acceleration a good-for-all policy?

Is exposing students to course acceleration the best way to help their skills acquisition? Recently RAND Corporation’s Andrew McEachin and his colleagues investigated the impact of enrolling in advanced math courses on students’ achievement and heterogeneity across schools. Hundreds of California middle schools use 7th-grade test scores to place students into 8th-grade algebra, but placement thresholds vary across schools. This study used such a scenario to estimate causal effects via a regression discontinuity (RD) design using 7th-grade algebra scores from the California Standards Test (CST) across 510 schools. Results suggest that: Enrolling in 8th-grade algebra increased students’ math scores by 0.05 SD and ELA by 0.34 SD on the 10th grade California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) tests. Further, the likelihood of students’ enrollment in advanced math in 9th and 11th grade rose by 30% and 16% when compared to their non-accelerated peers, with underserved students gaining the most from placement into early...

27 01 2021
Does early childhood education influence future school selection?

A recent study published in Educational Researcher explored the long-term impacts of an early childhood educational (ECE) intervention. Watt and colleagues utilized data from the Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP), which implemented an intervention from 2004 – 2006, along with student enrollment information from the 2016-2017 school year. The initial CSRP intervention focused on addressing behavioral concerns in students and included increased professional development opportunities for teachers and increased access to mental health professionals for teachers and families. This intervention took place in 35 classrooms with 602 students and utilized a cluster-randomized control trial to explore the effectiveness of the CSRP intervention. Watt and colleagues were able to obtain 2016-2017 enrollment information on 461 of those 602 students. For the current study, the researchers were interested in analyzing the impact that the CSRP intervention had on future school selection.  They discovered that: Students from the treatment groups were 11.84 percent less likely (p < .001) to enroll in...

27 01 2021
Do school turnaround reforms improve student outcomes?

Recent controversy has surrounded the effectiveness of school turnaround efforts--programs designed to significantly reform schools or districts through changes to organization, staffing, and governance--to address student outcomes.  A recent meta-analysis by Redding & Nguyen seeks to shed light on the issue by examining the association between different forms of school turnaround and attendance, standardized test scores, and graduation rates. They highlight four school turnaround mechanisms—transformation and turnaround (including comprehensive instructional reform or teacher and principal effectiveness reforms), changes in human capital (through replacing the principal or teachers), changes in governance or management of low-performing schools (such as through state takeover of schools or school districts, closures of schools, or transitioning schools to charter status), and high-stakes accountability policies. Thirty-five of 13,800 studies screened were eligible for the analysis, showing that: There is evidence of positive association between school turnaround, transformation, and school restart and improvements in student attendance, math and ELA test scores, and graduation....

27 01 2021
Long-term effects of a socio-emotional learning program

INSIGHTS into Children’s Temperament is a comprehensive school-based intervention with the aim of improving social-emotional skills and behaviors of students. This program involves teachers, parents, and children through sessions dedicated to each of these targets. In-class activities with students focus on empathy and problem-solving skills using puppets that exemplify temperament typologies. A recent article published in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness reported the long-term results of a group of students who participated in a two-year randomized controlled trial. Twenty-two elementary schools in New York City serving low SES students participated in the study. Students were in grades K-1 and more than 50% received free- or reduced-price lunch. Across a two-year study, the intervention was delivered for 10 weeks in kindergarten and for other 10 weeks in first grade. McCormick and colleagues focused on the follow-up outcomes of the group of students who received the intervention for two years. The authors accessed students’...

13 01 2021
Effects of an SEL and literacy development program

Harvard University’s Stephanie Jones and colleagues examined 2-year experimental impacts of a school-based intervention in social-emotional learning and literacy development, called the 4Rs, on children’s social-emotional, behavioral, and academic functioning. The 4Rs program, an intervention unique in its integration of literacy practices and social-emotional skill-building, has two components: literacy-based curriculum delivery in social-emotional learning and teacher training. Subjects were from 18 public New York City inner-city elementary schools (n= 9 treatment schools and 9 Control schools; treatment students =630 students, control students =554 students). The treatment group received both components of the intervention from 3rd to 5th grade. Results suggested that: Children in the intervention schools showed improvements in several non-cognitive domains: self-reports of hostile attributional bias, aggressive interpersonal negotiation strategies, depression, teacher reports of attention skills, and aggressive and socially competent behavior.While there were no main effects of the intervention on teacher reports of children’s academic skills, those who were at...

13 01 2021
Students’ emotional regulation also matters to homework completion and math achievement

Homework completion and achievement can be affected by how students handle their emotions. An article recently published in Contemporary Educational Psychology examined the reciprocal effects of emotional regulation, homework completion, and math achievement on each other using a longitudinal design. The study was conducted in four public schools in China, from which 1,480 8th graders participated. These schools were regular schools in contrast to key schools which select high-achieving students. When the study began, 69.4% of participating students did math homework four days or more in a week and, on average, spent 34.5 minutes on that per day. Students completed a questionnaire about homework emotion regulation, including emotion management and cognitive reappraisal and were assessed for their homework completion and math achievement first at the beginning of November and again seven and a half months later. Standardized tests guided by national math curriculum standards in China were used to access...

13 01 2021
Are computer-supported literacy interventions effective for young children?

Computer-assisted learning (CAL) is gaining popularity due to its promise of cost-effectiveness, individualized approach, and enhanced engagement. However, before incorporating CAL in traditional classrooms, it is important to understand the effectiveness of CAL. Recent research, published in Educational Research Review, presents a meta-analysis on computer-supported early literacy interventions in preschool and kindergarten settings to provide some insights into the overall effect and determinants of CAL. Including only randomized trials and quasi-experimental designs, Ludo Verhoeven and his colleagues selected 59 qualified and rigorous studies, which involved a total of 6,786 preschool and kindergarten students. The outcomes of interest were children’s phonological awareness and reading-related skills in alphabetic languages. Statistical analysis showed that Computer-supported early literacy interventions, on average, had small but positive and statistically important effects on learning outcomes (ES = +0.28). This effect size was smaller than those found in previous meta-analyses that investigated teacher-supported early literacy interventions, which lends evidence to...

13 01 2021