SRI Authors Sarah Nixon Gerard, Denise Tunzi, Faith A. Scheibe Abstract State leaders have many opportunities to address the critical issue of family homelessness by supporting collaboration among diverse stakeholders; creating a culture of data sharing that facilitates discussion and action; and enacting policies across departments, agencies, and programs to support FCEH. State-level coordination should enhance and […]
Education & learning publications
Through the lens of the Apple and ConnectED Initiative, this report asks the questions, what does a promising start look like when you add technology to education and what types of support can enable conditions for success?
Technology, such as iPad™ devices for students and teachers, has the potential to energize classrooms and bring substantially new types of learning opportunities to children of all ages. These changes are not an automatic result of adding technology to education, and they often take place over a long period of time. This report asks the questions, what does a promising start look like and what types of support can enable conditions for success?
We ask these questions through the lens of the Apple and ConnectED Initiative, which has been the focus of a rigorous 6-year research study. Launched in 2014, the Apple and ConnectED Initiative has supported 114 participating schools across the country with an iPad for every student. Schools received a host of programmatic supports including extensive professional learning opportunities for teachers and leaders, technology infrastructure upgrades, and process management.
The initiative and this research are explicitly situated in a diversity of traditionally under-resourced communities, with schools ranging from pre-K to secondary and from the inner city to rural migrant communities to Native American villages. This report focuses on the first year of iPad use across these schools to describe the initial changes that might be expected to appear when sufficient support is in place to lower common barriers to its adoption.
The report describes early implementation in three successive stages:
Access: Many of the ConnectED schools saw daily iPad use across multiple subjects, even early in implementation. This level of use was facilitated by strategic and technical preparation prior to the introduction of the iPad devices, coupled with initial strategies for their instructional application. Daily widespread use demonstrated how universal technology access has the potential to “level the playing field” and broaden students’ horizons.
Integration: In classrooms where iPad use had become the norm, the learning environments looked different from those in typical classroom settings. In particular, iPad classrooms leveraged immediate access to rich information, offered new opportunities for expression, used technology to increase student engagement, and benefited from more organized and efficient workflows.
Innovation: In addition to more active and engaging learning environments, technology is often seen as holding promise to facilitate meaningful changes to students’ opportunities for learning. This study uses a framework for “deeper learning” to describe emerging opportunities for teamwork, critical thinking, and other skills that prepare students for success beyond the classroom. Teacher surveys and a review of lesson plans reveal some initial steps toward deeper learning for a broad range of teachers, particularly in the dimensions of personalization and communication/creation that were most directly enabled by the affordances of the new iPad devices. More advanced opportunities require careful and creative lesson planning, and were most likely to be seen in the classrooms of teachers who held deeper learning as an explicit goal.
College-Based Transition Services’ Impact on Self-Determination for Youth with Intellectual Disabilities
Most youth in transition services with labels of intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) have poorer employment outcomes than their peers with other or without disabilities. One alternative approach to address this challenge provides youth with IDD access to transition services in the context of a college or university campus. College-based transition services (CBTS) provide students with IDD during their final two to three years of secondary education access to college courses, internships, and employment. A quasi-experimental design evaluation of one college-based transition services model, Think College Transition, found that, after controlling for student baseline scores, the college-based transition services had a significant effect on students’ scores of self-determination at post-test. Implications for further refining the model are discussed.
Beginning teachers enter a profession that places particularly challenging demands on novice practitioners. The New Teacher Center’s (NTC) induction model provides intensive, instructionally focused coaching to teachers during their first two years in the classroom, in-depth training for induction mentors, a suite of tools to guide coaching cycles, and capacity-building for district leaders to sustain induction mentoring programs after NTC’s direct involvement in the district ends.
With funding from a U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation (i3) scale-up grant, NTC tested strategies for scaling its validated induction model to 301 schools in five school districts serving high proportions of students of color and students from low-income households. NTC adapted its model to support district adoption at scale, including an option for deploying part-time, school-based mentors, reduced requirements for mentor training, and online training and video-sharing tools.
SRI’s evaluation of the implementation and impact of NTC’s i3 scale-up grant employed a cluster-randomized controlled trial design with schools as the unit of randomization. All first-year teachers in randomized schools were included in the study. Treatment teachers received induction supports from NTC-trained mentors, while control teachers received the supports provided by their districts under business-as-usual conditions.
The evaluation examined fidelity of implementation to the model as designed, the contrast between the induction supports in the treatment and control conditions, and impacts on three key outcomes: 1) teachers’ classroom practice as measured by the Danielson Framework for Teaching, 2) student achievement on state standardized assessments in mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA) in grades 4 through 8, and 3) teacher retention within district.
NTC’s induction model was not implemented with adequate fidelity in any of the five sites according to thresholds set by NTC, and the mentoring received by NTC treatment teachers was not substantially different in key respects from the mentoring received by control teachers. There were no statistically significant impacts of the model as implemented on overall teacher practice, student achievement, or teacher retention.
Exploratory findings suggest conditions under which NTC might see a greater impact. There was a positive correlation between students’ mathematics achievement and mentoring that met NTC’s fidelity thresholds for frequency and duration, as well as between mathematics achievement and mentoring that met NTC’s expectations for instructional focus. NTC induction supports also had a positive impact on student ELA achievement in schools with higher proportions of historically underserved students.
These findings indicate the importance of ensuring high-quality implementation of a program. Under the i3 scale-up grant, NTC attempted to adapt its model for scaling, but the partner districts failed to fully implement key components and mediators as intended. There is evidence that the model has promise when fully implemented, particularly in schools with higher proportions of historically underserved students, but without further research this evidence is simply suggestive.
We articulate a framework for using computational modeling to coherently integrate the design of science and engineering curricular experiences. We describe how this framework informs the design of the Water Runoff Challenge (WRC), a multi-week curriculum unit and modeling environment that integrates Earth science, engineering, and computational modeling for upper elementary and lower middle school students. In the WRC, students develop conceptual and computational models of surface water runoff, then use simulations incorporating their models to develop, test, and optimize solutions to the runoff problem. We conducted a classroom pilot study where we collected students’ learning artifacts and data logged from their use of the computational environment. We illustrate opportunities students had to integrate science, engineering, and computational thinking during the unit in a pair of contrasting vignettes.
SRI and TERC, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, conducted case studies of teachers participating in the Zearn Math Curriculum Study Professional Development (CS PD) to learn whether and how teachers’ participation in CS PD led to pedagogical content knowledge growth.
Strategies for Success in Community Partnerships: Case Studies of Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media
As part of the 2015–2020 Ready To Learn Initiative, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Public Broadcasting Service devised a new model of community partnerships called Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media.
Using Data to Support Children and Families: The North Dakota Early Childhood Integrated Data System Strategic Plan
SRI developed this strategic plan for North Dakota to help guide the state’s partners in building community support and engagement for their early childhood integrated data system (ECIDS).
1:1 programs bring initial excitement and, later, deeper learning opportunities. But sustaining and funding over time is a challenge. This paper shares insights on sustaining 1:1 technology programs in economically challenged K–12 settings, based on a large research study of an iPad program.
This report synthesizes findings of the Model Demonstration Coordination Center (MDCC), funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs from 2005 to 2015. MDCC worked with 34 model demonstration and technology implementation grantees to identify characteristics of an effective implementation and intervention refinement process—one that moves a practice or tool from early testing to full implementation, sustained implementation, and wider adoption. Working with these 34 grantees provided MDCC with a valuable opportunity to examine experiences across a diverse set of interventions, settings, and populations as a basis for identifying strategies grantees have used to produce high-quality implementation and sustainment of interventions.
This REL Appalachia blog summarizes a recent IES report, examining Algebra I course taking pathways and outcomes based on students’ performance on Virginia’s grade 5 statewide math test, which showed significant equity gaps. The blog further encourages systematic data analysis related to course taking access and student success and includes practical advice on accomplishing this, including ideas on specific data points to pull and use.
Using Arkansas’ Administrative Data to Inform Suspension & Expulsion Prevention Policy Implementation
Young children are suspended and expelled from early childhood education programs at high rates. Evidence indicates that this form of exclusion can have negative implications for children’s development and later school success (Adamu & Hogan, 2015; U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 2016). In response, the 2014 reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant requires states to develop policies to prevent the use of exclusionary practices in early childhood programs. As state administrators seek to implement policies that reduce suspension and expulsion, many are interested in learning how to better prepare the workforce to address the behavioral challenges that lead to suspension and expulsion (Conners et al., 2018). The administrators at the Arkansas Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education (AR DCCECE), which administers the state Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to support the care of more than 3,500 children birth to age 5 each year, have implemented a set of policies and initiatives intended to support young children’s social-emotional (SE) development, reduce the use of exclusionary practices in their Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) funded programs, and promote overall child care program quality. These initiatives aim to reduce the use of exclusionary practices while giving teachers and providers the necessary tools for creating environments and interactional approaches that support positive social-emotional development.
This report summarizes the existing administrative data infrastructure and recommendations for the Arkansas Suspension and Expulsion Work Group with the next steps to support better use of administrative data. Its purpose is to inform the implementation of Arkansas’ expulsion prevention policy and the use of supports that enable providers to meet the needs of children with challenging behaviors. The recommendations in this report are based on our work with the Arkansas Suspension and Expulsion Work Group led by AR DCCECE.
Study of the Engage New England Initiative Cross-Site Learning Brief 3: Improving Instructional Systems
This brief examines the efforts of schools participating in the Barr Foundation’s Engage New England Initiative to improve the instructional systems for students who are off track to graduate high school.
The ECIDS toolkit has seven components (e.g. Purpose and Vision, Planning and Management, Stakeholder Engagement, etc.) and is useful as a self-assessment tool and roadmap for improving ECIDS. ECDataWorks and partner states propose developing an ECIDS data analytic self-assessment tool for states that focuses on the process of translating ECIDS data to information to action. This process typically involves the design, development, and implementation of analytic tools. Designing, developing, and implementing analytic tools is challenging for several reasons
Students on the path toward dropping out of high school often exhibit signals that they are at risk well before they stop engaging in school. As school closures due to COVID-19 separate students from structured routines and educational supports, the number of disengaged students may continue to grow. Educators should be aware of and look for signs of disengagement and act to maximize engagement and supports for at-risk students during COVID-19 closures.