In this article, Todd Grindal, Laura Schifter, Gabriel Schwartz, and Thomas Hehir examine race/ethnicity differences in students’ special education identification and subsequent placement in segregated educational settings. Using individual-level data on the full population of K–12 public school students in three states, the authors find that racial and ethnic disparities in identification persist within income categories and are stronger for those disabilities that are typically identified in a school setting, such as learning disabilities or emotional disabilities, than those more often identified by a health-care provider, such as blindness or deafness. Also, Black and Hispanic students with disabilities were more likely to be placed in a substantially separate setting, compared to white students, regardless of income status. These results suggest that low-income status is insufficient to explain observed inequalities in the rate at which students of color are identified for special education and placed in substantially separate settings. A better understanding of the ways income status and race contribute to students’ interactions with the special education system are critical for building a more equitable and just K–12 education system.
Education & learning publications
In this workshop presented at the 2020 National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) Conference, national early childhood technical assistance providers discuss strategies and tools for states to measure and improve the quality of their preschool special education child outcomes data. The presentation highlights the considerations for equity when certain groups of data are of disproportionately low quality. Presenters also discuss considerations during data disruptions as a result of events like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Algebra I is considered a gateway course for advanced math. Consequently, there has been a trend toward enrolling students in Algebra I earlier in the middle grades in order to increase opportunities for students to take more advanced math courses in high school. The challenge for educators lies in determining which students are ready to take Algebra I in middle school and which students need more time to develop foundational knowledge and skills before taking Algebra I. To inform strategies that address this challenge, educators from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education partnered with Regional Educational Laboratory Central to investigate the specific foundational knowledge and skills that are associated with achievement in Algebra I. This study examined whether student knowledge in five domains of math assessed in grade 7 was associated with Algebra I achievement. The study found that students’ scores in all five of the grade 7 domains were related to Algebra I achievement, but their performance in the expressions, equations, and inequalities domain was most strongly related. The number sense and operations domain was more strongly associated with Algebra I achievement for English learner students than it was for students without this designation. No clear differences in these associations were found between students who were receiving special education services and those who were not.
This paper describes five levers CSU campus-district partnerships used to make clinically oriented reforms to teacher preparation as part of the New Generation of Educators Initiative (NGEI): 1) identifying prioritized skills; 2) selecting or creating a rubric to assess candidate proficiency with prioritized skills; 3) integrating and expanding opportunities to practice prioritized skills; 4) reconceptualizing clinical roles, selection, and support; and, 5) defining and implementing processes to provide feedback on prioritized skills. This paper is one of a four-part series sharing lessons learned from NGEI, a multiyear effort to improve teacher preparation at 11 California State Universities teacher preparation programs (TPPs) in partnership with local public-school districts.
This paper describes four levers that helped university-district partnerships participating in the New Generation of Educators Initiative (NGEI) use data and continuous improvement practices to execute teacher preparation reforms: 1) developing data sources that can inform improvement efforts; 2) delineating clear roles to support continuous improvement; 3) building an infrastructure for efficient data entry and analysis; and 4) establishing a culture of improvement through routines for data review and use. This paper is one of a four-part series sharing lessons learned from NGEI, a multiyear effort to improve teacher preparation at 11 California State Universities teacher preparation programs (TPPs) in partnership with local public-school districts.
Measuring Chinese middle school students’ motivation using the Reduced Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (RIMMS): A validation study in the adaptive learning setting
Valid measures of student motivation can inform the design of learning environments to engage students and maximize learning gains. This study validates a measure of student motivation, the Reduced Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (RIMMS), with a sample of Chinese middle school students using an adaptive learning system in math. Participants were 429 students from 21 provinces in China. Their ages ranged from 14 to 17 years old, and most were in 9th grade. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) validated the RIMMS in this context by demonstrating that RIMMS responses retained the intended four-factor structure: attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction. To illustrate the utility of measuring student motivation, this study identifies factors of motivation that are strongest for specific student subgroups. Students who expected to attend elite high schools rated the adaptive learning system higher on all four RIMMS motivation factors compared to students who did not expect to attend elite high schools. Lower parental education levels were associated with higher ratings on three RIMMS factors. This study contributes to the field’s understanding of student motivation in adaptive learning settings.
SRI Authors: Lynn Newman, Harold Javitz Abstract This study examined the effect of accessing supports available to the general student body and disability-related supports on college perseverance for students with disabilities. This secondary analysis of a nationally representative longitudinal dataset included a sample of approximately 2,330 college students with disabilities who had been identified as […]
This paper describes three levers that helped the funder, the S.D., Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, execute the New Generation of Educators Initiative (NGEI): 1) balancing grant requirements with flexibility and responsive support; 2) customizing technical assistance support to meet partnership needs; and 3) embedding opportunities for cross-networked learning and collaboration. This paper is one of a four-part series sharing lessons learned from NGEI, a multiyear effort to improve teacher preparation at 11 California State Universities teacher preparation programs (TPPs) in partnership with local public-school districts.
This paper describes four levers university teacher preparation programs (TPPs) and districts participating in the New Generation of Educators Initiative (NGEI) used to create strong partnerships: 1) creating and operationalizing a shared vision; 2) identifying key roles; 3) ensuring space and time to collaborate; and, 4) sharing data to identify needs and monitor progress. This paper is one of a four-part series sharing lessons learned from NGEI, a multiyear effort to improve teacher preparation at 11 California State University TPPs in partnership with local public-school districts.
From the static to the dynamic: Teachers’ varying use of digital technology to support conceptual learning in a curricular activity system
Dynamic representational technologies (DRTs), influenced by the seminal work of James Kaput and colleagues, have been in use in mathematics classrooms for decades. In this paper, we analyze 24 classrooms in the United States where teachers support students’ conceptual learning with technologies that support explorations of dynamic connections both within and across mathematical representations. These DRTs, built in alignment with Kaput’s principles, form part of a curricular activity system that embeds a central pedagogical routine. Yet despite the use of common DRTs, lessons, and professional development, classroom teaching practices varied widely. We characterize and analyze levels of technology use, which vary from using the technology as a static resource to taking advantage of dynamism to support students’ emerging explanations of mathematical concepts. There are important implications for further research into classroom use of DRTs and, more broadly, for curriculum developers and teacher educators.
Impact of evening alcohol consumption on nocturnal autonomic and cardiovascular function in adult men and women: A dose–response laboratory investigation
Study Objectives: To investigate the dose-dependent impact of moderate alcohol intake on sleep-related cardiovascular (CV) function, in adult men and women.
Methods: A total of 26 healthy adults (30–60 years; 11 women) underwent 3 nights of laboratory polysomnographic (PSG) recordings in which different doses of alcohol (low: 1 standard drink for women and 2 drinks for men; high: 3 standard drinks for women and 4 drinks for men; placebo: no alcohol) were administered in counterbalanced order before bedtime. These led to bedtime average breath alcohol levels of up to 0.02% for the low doses and around 0.05% for the high doses. Autonomic and CV function were evaluated using electrocardiography, impedance cardiography, and beat-to-beat blood pressure monitoring.
Results: Presleep alcohol ingestion resulted in an overall increase in nocturnal heart rate (HR), suppressed total and high-frequency (vagal) HR variability, reduced baroreflex sensitivity, and increased sympathetic activity, with effects pronounced after high-dose alcohol ingestion (p’s < 0.05); these changes followed different dose- and measure-dependent nocturnal patterns in men and women. Systolic blood pressure showed greater increases during the morning hours of the high-alcohol dose night compared to the low-alcohol dose night and placebo, in women only (p’s < 0.05). Conclusions: Acute evening alcohol consumption, even at moderate doses, has marked dose- and time-dependent effects on sleep CV regulation in adult men and women. Further studies are needed to evaluate the potential CV risk of repeated alcohol-related alterations in nighttime CV restoration in healthy individuals and in those at high risk for CV diseases, considering sex and alcohol dose and time effects.
SRI Authors: Margaret Gillis, Mary Lee Porterfield, Melanie Chong Abstract SRI partnered with the Nevada Department of Education to strengthen and align standards related to learning and development for young children, early childhood program quality and workforce standards for professionals working with young children through Nevada’s Preschool Development Grant Birth-5. This document summarizes work and […]
Advancing Local Early Childhood Systems in Virginia: Next Steps for Local, Regional, and State Stakeholders
Strong local early childhood systems are key to ensuring the healthy development of young children. Over the last decade, Virginia communities have leveraged public and private sector efforts to make substantial progress in coordinating and strengthening local early childhood systems. The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) partnered with researchers from SRI Education (SRI) to examine the progress and challenges of early childhood systems building in Virginia with a focus on communities that are part of VECF’s Smart Beginnings network. This document summarizes the findings from that examination and provides recommendations for how VECF, state government, and local leaders can more equitably and effectively serve children and families.
Promoting science, technology, and engineering self-efficacy and knowledge for all with an autism Inclusion maker program
This paper describes the collaborative development of an inclusive maker program called Inventing, Designing, and Engineering for All Students (IDEAS) and the results of a study on the impact of that program on autistic students and their neurotypical peers. The IDEAS project brought together experts in maker education, autism inclusion, engineering, co-design, and research. Over 2 years, this group adapted and pilot tested a museum-based maker program so that it could be run as an informal club in autism-inclusion middle schools (students ages 10–14) in New York City. in the United States. In the third year, teachers in each school implemented the redesigned program on their own. Researchers conducted a mixed-methods study of the impact of the program on participants. The study used observations and interviews; social interaction analysis, a pre/post survey of science, technology, and engineering self-efficacy and career interest; and a pre/post assessment of understanding of the engineering design process (EDP). Autistic and neurotypical students were in either the treatment condition (if they joined the maker program) or a business-as-usual comparison condition (if they did not join the club). Our analyses of the survey and EDP assessment compared the maker group with the comparison group and showed that participating in the maker program led to improved outcomes in the following constructs: technology and engineering self-efficacy (effect size = 0.80), technology and engineering interest (effect size = 1.73), vicarious experience (effect size = 0.57), science appreciation (effect size = 0.21), and understanding of the engineering design process (effect size = 0.44). The maker program benefited neurotypical students more than autistic students on technology and engineering interest and science appreciation, possibly because autistic students started with a high level of STEM interest. Qualitative analysis demonstrated that all students engaged in the EDP and pursued a wide range of interests, that autistic students who struggled in normal school settings were successful in creating their projects and communicating with peers about those projects, and that teachers reported being better able to see what their autistic students were capable of accomplishing when they were freed from the constraints of typical classroom instruction.
This paper describes an afterschool program that is intended to connect math to realworld applications and to build math identity. The second paper details an afterschool science curriculum involving design-based learning and collaboration between day-school and afterschool education. The third study discusses an afterschool program in which students build robots and enter them in competitions. The studies addressed both academic and affective outcomes.