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ESE Research Update, October 2013

Legislative Reports from ESE

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Report to the Legislature: An Act Relative to Medical Emergency Response Plans for Schools (August 2013)
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Report on the Status of the Public Education Financing System in Massachusetts (July 2013)
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Report to the Legislature: Implementation and Fiscal Impact of Innovation Schools (June 2013)
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Report to the Legislature: Literacy and Early Literacy Programs (May 2013)
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The Report to the Legislature: Annual Report on Students with Disabilities 2011-2012 (May 2013)
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Report for the Legislature: Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Partnership Programs for Students with Disabilities (May 2013)
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Report to the Legislature: MCAS Support Program - Fiscal Year 2013 (May 2013)
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Report to the Legislature: MCAS Support Program - Fiscal Year 2011 Addendum (May 2013)
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Report to the Legislature on After-School and Out-of-School Time Quality Enhancement Grants (May 2013)
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Kindergarten Expansion Grants (May 2013)

Other Sources

  • Understanding Boston Charter Schools and the Road to College Readiness: The Effects on College Preparation, Attendance and Choice is a report funded by The Boston Foundation and NewSchools Venture Fund that assesses the impacts of Boston's charter high schools on students' college readiness and attendance outcomes. The research design uses the randomized enrollment lotteries at over-subscribed charter schools in Boston to provide reliable measures of the average causal effect of charter attendance on charter students. Researchers found that charter attendance roughly doubles the likelihood that a student takes an AP exam and increases the number of students who pass AP Calculus. Attendance at charter schools boosts SAT scores, especially in math and increases the pass rate on the grade 10 MCAS exam, with especially large effects on the likelihood of qualifying for an Adams Scholarship. Charter school enrollment also shifted students' attendance rates from two-year to four-year colleges, with gains most pronounced at four-year Massachusetts public institutions.

  • The 2013 Massachusetts STEM Dashboard is a Donahue Institute report that compiles a set of education and economic measures in Massachusetts from 2008 to 2012 in a series of 155 charts and tables. The report is a first draft of a new STEM Data Dashboard under development in accordance with several statewide STEM goals and initiatives. In addition to other indicators, the report presents a wide array of education data such as MCAS scores in STEM subjects, math SAT scores, student interest in STEM-related fields, and the number of STEM-related bachelor's degrees awarded at higher education institutions in the state.

  • Two-Way Bilingual Education in Boston Public Schools: Required Features, Guidelines and Recommendations is a report by the Gaston Institute (UMass Boston) that was written to inform the expansion of two-way bilingual (TWB) programs in BPS. The report presents case studies of two existing TWB schools in Boston, the Rafael Hernández K-8 school and the Joseph J. Hurley K-8 school, to establish a baseline of practices that are required to run effective and equitable two-way bilingual programs. Data on instructional practices were collected through interviews with school staff. Instructional practices that converged with empirical findings or empirically based recommendations in literature were selected and highlighted as best practices. Researchers compiled a list of five required features for new TWB schools in Boston, ranging from recommendations on the development of high quality curricula to the minimum length of time students should stay in TWB classrooms (five years).

  • Ed Reform at Twenty: What's Worked, What's Changed, and What's Next is a Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center brief that summarizes the state education funding trend since the passage of the education reform law of 1993. While education funding in the Commonwealth doubled from FY 1993 to FY 2002, Chapter 70 funding was cut by $600 million since FY 2002. State-level income cuts, rising healthcare costs, and the economic recession beginning in late 2007 were in part the reasons for this decline in funding. The author concludes with a call for a re-examination of the state's foundation budget formula.

  • What Do Boston Parents Want? An Exploration of School Preferences Expressed by Boston Parents is a report by the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government that assesses what parents of BPS students value most in schools, controlling for neighborhood demand. Researchers used multivariate regressions to measure the correlation between parents' preferences for schools and a number of school and neighborhood characteristics. They found that math MCAS scores play a dominant role in determining parental preference for elementary and high schools, but not for middle schools. Schools with below average cleanliness attract fewer parents at all grades, but schools with better conditions attract more sixth grade parents. The popularity of schools is also connected to the racial makeup of their local neighborhoods. Schools close to Asian and white populations were typically more popular than others. Researchers found that kindergartens surrounded by more educated adults are more popular.

  • Closing the Gap for English Language Learners is a Rennie Center issue brief that summarizes recent federal and state policy developments in the areas of standards, assessments, educator preparation and professional development that focus on English Language Learners (ELLs). Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) released draft policies on accommodations for ELLs in mathematics and ELA, Massachusetts recently joined the World Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) consortium and developed a new assessment for ELLs called ACCESS. In the area of educator preparation and PD, Massachusetts is implementing Rethinking Equity and Teaching for English Language Learners (RETELL), an initiative aimed at ensuring that every core academic teacher completes SEI training. The brief recommendations that future developments in assessments and PD should be attentive to the special needs of ELLs.

New Additions to the ESE Library

  • Raudenbush, Stephen and Anthony Bryk, Yuk Fai Cheong, Richard Congdon, and Mathilda du Toit. (2011) HLM7: Hierachical Linear and Nonlinear Modeling
  • Brimley, Vern Jr., Deborah Verstegen and Rulon Garfield. (2011) Financing Education in a Climate of Change, 11th edition
  • Darling-Hammond, Linda. (2010)The Flat World and Education: How America's Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future
  • Kirp, David and Donald Jensen. (1986) School Days, Rule Days: The Legalization and Regulation of Education
  • Miller, Jane E. (2005) The Chicago Guide to Writing about Multivariate Analysis
  • Moldow, Erika. (2007) After-School Program Activities and Academic Achievement
  • Mueller, Van D. and Mary P. McKeown, eds. (1986) The Fiscal, Legal, and Political Aspects of State Reform of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • National Academy of Engineering & National Research Council. (2006) Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy
  • Singer, Judith D. and John B. Willett. (2003) Applied Longitudinal Data Analysis: Modeling Change and Event Occurrence

Last Updated: October 30, 2013
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