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Office of Planning and Research

ESE Research Update, April 2012

Research from ESE

  • Evaluation of the Massachusetts Extended Learning Time (ELT) Initiative: Five-Year Final Report. Abt conducted an evaluation of the on-going ELT initiative, a program through which participating schools extend their school day or year by at least 300 hours annually, to improve student outcomes in core academic areas, broaden enrichment opportunities, and improve instruction by adding more planning and professional development time for teachers. The findings of the five-year report are based on data collected from interviews with participating schools' leadership, faculty, and students, along with classroom observations and student performance and support indicators. Overall, all of the funded schools continued efforts to create a school day that incorporated the major elements of the ELT initiative: increased core academic time, enrichment opportunities, and opportunity for teachers to engage in collaborative planning and professional development. Schools varied considerably in their respective efforts to implement the core components.

Research on Massachusetts Education Policy

  • Regulating Virtual Schools: A New Policy Challenge. Students enrolled in virtual schools work from home and participate in courses using a blend of hands-on books and projects plus online assignments using their computers, communicating with teachers via electronic mail, online discussion boards, web conferencing, telephone, Skype, and text. In 2010 the first Massachusetts Virtual Academy (MVA) opened in Greenfield, enrolling 300 Massachusetts students. This white paper from the Pioneer Institute discusses the effects of existing state regulations on the Greenfield MVA, and the possible effects of currently pending state legislation that would mandate the establishment of ten new MVA sites, and set new regulations for enrollment and instruction.

  • Boston Teacher Residency: Teacher Effectiveness Initiatives. Founded in 2003 as a joint initiative of the Boston Public Schools (BPS) and the Boston Plan for Excellence (BPE), the BTR program has helped the district to significantly improve its recruitment, preparation, and retention of new teachers. After meeting all of its initial goals, in 2011 BTR turned to examine the impact of its teachers on student outcomes in the classroom, which yielded mixed findings: although BTR graduates are likely to stay longer in teaching positions in the district, and to improve more with experience than non-BTR peers, the students of BTR graduates initially had smaller MCAS gains than those taught by non-BTR peers with the same amount of teaching experience.

  • Learning from Consistently High Performing and Improving Schools for English Language Learners in Boston Public Schools. Commissioned by Boston Public Schools and jointly conducted by the Center for Collaborative Education and The Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy, this study follows up and extends findings published in 2009, providing a comprehensive analysis of student-, program-, and school-level data from SY2006 to SY2009 to describe the trends in enrollment and educational outcomes for Boston's ELL students in those years.

  • Quality Performance Assessment: Harnessing the Power of Teacher and Student Learning. Undertaken by the Center for Collaborative Education with support from the Nellie Mae Foundation, this report presents three exemplary case studies in a) quality data analysis, b) quality task design, and c) quality aligned instruction at Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School, Fenway High School (Boston), and Pentucket Regional School District, respectively.

  • Labor-Management Community Collaboration in Springfield Public Schools. Undertaken by the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy, this study describes the cooperative approach to school reform taken in 2008 by teachers and district leadership in Springfield public schools. The authors identify important strategies stakeholders used to build an effective and supportive cooperative network able to collectively improve achieve desired improvements in student outcomes.

New Additions to the ESE Library

Located outside Carrie Conaway's office on the 5th floor

  • ETS. (2012). State Pre-K Assessment Policies: Issues and Status.



Last Updated: July 23, 2012
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