ESE Research Update, May 2013- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

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ESE Research Update, May 2013

Research from ESE

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Reflecting on Success: A Synthesis of Effective Practices of Title I Commendation Schools Receiving Dissemination Grants. Evidence-Based Education Research & Evaluation prepared this report to share practices in 26 Massachusetts Title I Commendation Schools participating in one of two grant programs. The authors found that each of the 26 schools implemented practices in the following four strategies: effective school leadership, structures for collaboration that resulted in shared responsibility for their students, using data to inform instructional practice, and personalized instruction for students. The report concluded with four case studies highlighting successful Title I Commendation Schools: Tucker Elementary in Milton, Morningside Community School in Pittsfield, Snug Harbor in Quincy, and the H. H. Galligan School in Taunton.

Legislative Reports from ESE

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Early and Adolescent Literacy (January 2013)

Other Sources

  • The Complex Role of an Effective Principal is a Rennie Center issue brief that summarizes research on effective school leadership and connects this research to the School-level Administrator Rubric of the Massachusetts Model for Educator Evaluation. Research is not conclusive on how teachers should allocate their time between administrative/operations activities and instructional-related activities to effectively lead schools. However, a broad base of research findings suggests that delegating leadership responsibilities to other school leaders in a distributed leadership team is an effective approach to resolve the complex demands facing principals. The Rennie Center finds that the ESE educator evaluation system's School-level Administrator Rubric standards align with the empirical research base on effective strategies for principals.

  • Research Meets Policy: Opportunity to Learn Science?, also from the Rennie Center, is a brief that summarizes results from two reports on student access to STE (science and technology/engineering) subjects across the Commonwealth and makes recommendations on how to expand access to science courses for all students. The studies found that high and low performing districts varied considerably in the opportunities they provided to their students in STE education. For example, high performing districts had more teachers specializing in science and more science funding, materials, and real-world experiences for students than low-performing schools. As next steps, the brief recommends greater financial investments in STE staff and classrooms and establishing partnerships with community leaders to develop science learning.

  • Getting Closer to the Finish Line: The College Enrollment and Completion Experiences of Graduates of the Boston Public Schools is a detailed report prepared by the Center for Labor Market Studies for The Boston Foundation. It focuses on the college enrollment and completion rates of Boston Public Schools graduates and the potential impact of a college completion initiative called Success Boston, funded by The Boston Foundation. The authors found that BPS graduates are enrolling in, persisting in, and completing college at increasing rates in recent years. However, considerable gaps in college enrollment and persistence by gender and race/ethnicity continue to exist.

  • Hands-On Achievement: Why Massachusetts Vocational Technical Schools Have Low Dropout Rates, a white paper released by the Pioneer Institute, explores the low dropout rates in Massachusetts' career/vocational technical education (CVTE) schools relative to high schools across the state. It presents short case studies of four CVTE schools: Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School, Nashoba Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School, Shawsheen Valley Technical High School, and Worcester Technical High School. The case studies highlight strategies that may contribute to the low dropout rate in these schools, such as integrating academic and career/technical courses, offering attractive non-traditional classes such as pre-engineering and robotics, and emphasizing the importance of attendance throughout high school. The authors recommend that Massachusetts should open more CVTE schools, give them more autonomy and increased funding, and implement an awareness campaign to spread knowledge about the schools.

New Additions to the ESE Library

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

  • Murnane, Richard and Willett, John B. (2010) Methods Matter: Improving Critical Inference in Educational and Social Science Research.

Last Updated: May 16, 2013

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