Education Drivers

Early Indicators

For more than 30 years, America has failed to produce notable improvements in education outcomes. This seemingly intractable problem persists despite a considerable investment in education that is fifth highest among industrial nations. Past attempts at improvement, which focused primarily on accountability, standards, and teacher preparation, were found wanting. Analysis of the data reveals that an important leverage point is boosting the performance of the lowest achieving students. The important question is, how can schools accomplish this? Research suggests a pivotal strategy is early identification of along with targeted services for at-risk students. Ample evidence exists that valid and reliable early indicators are available to guide this effort. Early identification, when used in combination with approaches such as a multitiered system of support, is effective in improving outcomes. Many of these indicators accurately predict test scores, grades, graduation rates, college success, and adult outcomes such as health, earnings, and incarceration rates. Reliable indicators range from inadequate exposure to language in the early years, poor self-control, low attendance, failure to achieve reading competency by fourth grade, poor high school freshman grades, and failing core academic courses.

Publications

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SYNOPSIS
CITATION
Seeking the Magic Metric: Using Evidence to Identify and Track School System Progress

This paper discusses the search for a “magic metric” in education: an index/number that would be generally accepted as the most efficient descriptor of school’s performance in a district.

Celio, M. B. (2013). Seeking the Magic Metric: Using Evidence to Identify and Track School System Quality. In Performance Feedback: Using Data to Improve Educator Performance (Vol. 3, pp. 97-118). Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.

Seeking the Magic Metric: Using Evidence to Identify and Track School System Progress

This paper discusses the search for a “magic metric” in education: an index/number that would be generally accepted as the most efficient descriptor of school’s performance in a district.

Celio, M. B. (2013). Seeking the Magic Metric: Using Evidence to Identify and Track School System Quality. In Performance Feedback: Using Data to Improve Educator Performance (Vol. 3, pp. 97-118). Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.

 

Data Mining

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SYNOPSIS
CITATION
What is the impact of student absence on student performance?
This review examined the impact of student absences on student achievement.
States, J. (2009). What is the impact of student absence on student performance? Retrieved from what-is-impact-of857.

 

Presentations

TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
Seeking the Magic Metric: Using Evidence to Identify and Track School System Progress

This paper discusses the search for a “magic metric” in education: an index/number that would be generally accepted as the most efficient descriptor of school’s performance in a district.

Celio, MB. (2011). Seeking the Magic Metric: Using Evidence to Identify and Track School System Progress [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2011-wing-presentation-mary-beth-celio.

A Systems Approach to Feedback: What You Need to Know and Who Needs
This paper looks at feedback as a powerful systems approach to improving the performance of both student and school faculty.
States, J. (2011). A Systems Approach to Feedback: What You Need to Know and Who Needs [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2011-calaba-presentation-jack-states.
Feedback as Education Reform: What We Know
This paper examines the power of feedback as a strategy for improving student performance. Types of feeback are explored building from student and teacher performance that can be aggregated to create a systems wide feedback tool.
States, J. (2011). Feedback as Education Reform: What We Know [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2011-aba-presentation-jack-states.

 

Student Research

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SYNOPSIS
CITATION
Mental health screening within a tiered model: Investigation of a brief strength-based approach.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a brief rating scale to identify students at-risk for or requiring intensive social-behavioral and mental health interventions.
Romer, N. R. (2010). Mental health screening within a tiered model: Investigation of a brief strength-based approach. [Studen]. Retrieved from student-research-2010.
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SYNOPSIS
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From First Grade Forward: Early Foundations of High School Dropout

In tracking the educational progress of a sample of Baltimore school- children from entrance into first grade in fall 1982 through early spring 1996, the authors examined the children's personal qualities, first-grade experiences, and family circumstances as precursors to high school dropout.

Alexander, K. L., Entwisle, D. R., & Horsey, C. S. (1997). From first grade forward: Early foundations of high school dropout. Sociology of education, 87-107.

The On-track indicator as a predictor of high school graduation.

The first year of high school is a critical transition period for students. Those who succeed in
their first year are more likely to continue to do well in the following years and eventually
graduate.

Allensworth, E. M., & Easton, J. Q. (2005). The on-track indicator as a predictor of high school graduation. Chicago, IL: Consortium on Chicago School Research, University of Chicago.

What matters for staying on-track and graduating in Chicago Public High Schools: A close look at course grades, failures and attendance in the freshman year.

Research on dropping out has shown that the decision to persist in or leave school is affected by multiple contextual factors interacting in a cumulative way over the life course of a student. Often overlooked in this discussion is one most directly related to graduation: student course performance. This report looks at student performance in freshman coursework, how it is related to eventual graduation and how personal and school factors contribute to success of failure in freshman-year courses

Allensworth, E. M., & Easton, J. Q. (2007). What Matters for Staying On-Track and Graduating in Chicago Public Highs Schools: A Close Look at Course Grades, Failures, and Attendance in the Freshman Year. Research Report. Consortium on Chicago School Research.

Preventing student disengagement and keeping students on the graduation path in urban middle-grades schools: Early identification and effective interventions

This study identified four predictative indicators of student performance in 6th grade predicts 60% of the students who will not graduate from high school.

Balfanz, R Preventing student disengagement and keeping students on the graduation path in urban middle-grades schools: Early identification and effective interventions This study identified four predictative indicators of student performance in 6th grade predicts 60% of the students who will not graduate from high school. 1045 Early indicators 897 897 897 51208

Putting Middle Grades Students on the Graduation Path

This brief, drawing on our research and field work, illuminates key policy and practice implications of the middle grades playing a stronger role in achieving our national goal of graduating all students from high school prepared for college or career and civic life.

Balfanz, R., & Herzog, L. (2005). Keeping middle grades students on-track to graduation: Initial analysis and implications. Presentation at the second Regional Middle Grades Symposium, Philadelphia.

Sent home and put off track. Closing the school discipline gap: Equitable remedies for excessive exclusion

This study examined students who were first time 9th graders in the 2000-01 school year and follows them through to high school and post-secondary outcomes. The 9th grade suspension data finds that black students, students who are economically disadvantaged, and special education students are disproportionately suspended, both in the frequency of suspensions and the duration of days lost. Disciplinary incidents were found to be interrelated with other of indicators of student disengagement from school, such as course failures and absenteeism

Balfanz, R., Byrnes, V., & Fox, J. H. (2015). Sent home and Put off track. Closing the school discipline gap: Equitable remedies for excessive exclusion, 17-30.

Predicting early academic failure in high school from prior academic achievement, psychosocial characteristics, and behavior.

This study developed a multi-metod approach to identifying students in middle school that would have academic difficulty in high school.

Casillas, A., Robbins, S., Allen, J., Kuo, Y.-L., Hanson, M. A., & Schmeiser, C. (2012). Predicting early academic failure in high school from prior academic achievement, psychosocial characteristics, and behavior. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(2), 407-420. Retrieved from http://uic.edu.hk/~ylkuo/Kuo JEP 2012.pdf

BURIED TREASURE: Developing a Management Guide From Mountains of School Data

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.

Impact of North Carolina's Early Childhood Programs and Policies on Educational Outcomes in Elementary School

A recent study, attempts to answer this question by examining the effects of two North Carolina early-childhood programs on students’ educational outcomes in elementary school. These findings indicate that North Carolina’s investment in early childhood programs is associated with improved educational outcomes. Importantly, these effects don’t appear to fade during the elementary grades

Dodge, K. A., Bai, Y., Ladd, H. F., & Muschkin, C. G. (2016). Impact of North Carolina's Early Childhood Programs and Policies on Educational Outcomes in Elementary School. Child Development.

Understanding Why Students Drop Out of High School, According to Their Own Reports:

This study examines seven nationally representative studies on school dropout and their findings on why students dropout of school. 

Doll, J. J., Eslami, Z., & Walters, L. (2013). Understanding why students drop out of high school, according to their own reports: Are they pushed or pulled, or do they fall out? A comparative analysis of seven nationally representative studies. Sage Open, 3(4), 2158244013503834.

First Grade and Educational Attainment by Age 22: A New Story

Studies of the persistence of social stratification rely heavily on students’ experience in secondary schools. In this study, outcomes for a randomly selected panel of Baltimore children, followed from age 6 to age 22, demonstrate that first graders’ social contexts and personal resources explain educational attainment levels in early adulthood about as well as do similar resources measured in adolescence.

Entwisle, D. R., Alexander, K. L., & Olson, L. S. (2005). First grade and educational attainment by age 22: a new story 1. American Journal of Sociology, 110(5), 1458-1502.

Developmental lag versus deficit models of reading disability: A longitudinal, individual growth curves analysis

This study examined individual growth curves were used to test whether the development of children with reading disabilities is best characterized by models of developmental lag or developmental deficit.

Francis, D. J., Shaywitz, S. E., Stuebing, K. K., Shaywitz, B. A., & Fletcher, J. M. (1996). Developmental lag versus deficit models of reading disability: A longitudinal, individual growth curves analysis. Journal of Educational psychology, 88(1), 3.

Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children.

This work establishes a scientifically substantiated link between children's early family experience and their later intellectual growth—a link that exists regardless of a child's race.

Hart, B., & Risley, T. R. (1995). Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children. Paul H Brookes Publishing.

The early catastrophe.

2 1/2 years of observing 42 families for an hour each month to learn about what typically went on in homes with 1- and 2-year-old children learning to talk. The data from this study showed that ordinary families differ immensely in the amount of experience with language and interaction they regularly provide their children and that differences in children’s experience are strongly linked to children’s language accomplishments at age 3. The goal of this longitudinal study was to discover what was happening in children’s early experience that could account for the intractable difference in rates of vocabulary growth we saw among 4-year-olds.

Hart, B., & Risley, T. R. (2003). The early catastrophe: The 30 million word gap by age 3. American educator, 27(1), 4-9.

Approaches to Dropout Prevention: Heeding Early Warning Signs with Appropriate Behaviors

This report, produced by the National High School Center at the American Institutes for Research, outlines steps that schools can take to identify at-risk students and provide the necessary support systems and relevant interventions to assist students in obtaining a high school diploma.

Kennelly, L., & Monrad, M. (2007). Approaches to Dropout Prevention: Heeding Early Warning Signs with Appropriate Interventions. American Institutes for Research.

Addressing Student Engagement and Truancy Prevention During the Elementary School Years: A Replication Study of the Check & Connect Model

Students who are at risk of dropping out of school can be identified retrospectively as early as third grade on the basis of attendance patterns, academic performance, and behavior. Check & Connect is a model designed to promote student engagement, support regular attendance, and improve the likelihood of school completion.

Lehr, C. A., Sinclair, M. F., & Christenson, S. L. (2004). Addressing student engagement and truancy prevention during the elementary school years: A replication study of the check & connect model. Journal of education for students placed at risk, 9(3), 279-301.

Exceptional Returns: Economic, Fiscal, and Social Benefits of Investment in Early Childhood Development

This study demonstrates, for the first time, that providing all 20% of the nation’s three- and four-year-old children who live in poverty with a high-quality ECD program would have a substantial payoff for governments and taxpayers in the future.

Lynch, R. G. (2004). Exceptional Returns: Economic, Fiscal, and Social Benefits of Investment in Early Childhood Development. Washington, DC: Economic Policy Institute.

Unfulfilled promise: The dimensions and characteristic’s of Philadelphia’s dropout crisis, 2000-2005

This report addresses three central sets of questions: (1) How many students in grades 6 through 12 drop out of Philadelphia's public schools in a single year? What are the key characteristics of these students, including their age, grade, race/ethnicity, gender, type of school attended, and neighborhood of residence?; (2) What percentage of 9th graders graduates within four years, five years, or six years of starting high school? What has been the trend in these cohort graduation rates over the past 5 years? What are the trends in cohort graduation rates for males and females and for students of different racial/ethnic backgrounds?; and (3) Which student characteristics, knowable or potentially knowable by school personnel and agency staff, can identify students as being at high risk of dropping out of high school?

Neild, R. C., & Balfanz, R. (2006). Unfulfilled Promise: The Dimensions and Characteristics of Philadelphia's Dropout Crisis, 2000-2005. Philadelphia Youth Network.

The path to dropping out: Evidence for intervention

In this research-based book, Roderick examines two critical factors impacting graduation or dropping out. They are school transition to middle school and from there to high school and, secondly, grade retention.

Roderick, M. R. (1993). The path to dropping out: Evidence for intervention. Auburn House.

Bridging the Early Language Gap: A Plan for Scaling Up

This white paper describes a multi-tiered set of interventions pitched at the population, community, and individual levels. This multi-tiered initiative would employ interventions at multiple touchpoints to ensure a broad reach across diverse communities and to offer strategies that are tailored to a child’s development stage.

Suskind, D., Kuhl, P., Leffel, K. R., Landry, S., Cunha, F., & Neckerman, K. M. (2013, September). Bridging the early language gap: a plan for scaling up. In A white paper prepared for the White House meeting on bridging the thirty-million-word gap. Retrieved from http://stagingharris. uchicago. edu/sites/default/files/White% 20Paper% 20Suskind_Leffel_Landry_Cunha (Vol. 209, No. 2030, p. 2020131).

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SYNOPSIS
Attendance Works

Attendance Works is a national and state initiative that promotes awareness of the important role that school attendance plays in achieving academic success starting with school entry.

Center for the Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University

Founded more than 45 years ago at Johns Hopkins University, the Center for Social Organization of Schools (CSOS), now part of the Hopkins’ School of Education, concentrates its considerable research and development resources on improving low-performing schools and the education they offer their students.

The University of Chicago Consortium on School Research

UChicago Consortium was created in 1990 after the passage of the Chicago School Reform Act that decentralized governance of the city's public schools. Researchers at the University of Chicago joined with researchers from the school district and other organizations to form UChicago Consortium with the imperative to study this landmark restructuring and its long-term effects

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