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Office of Planning and Research

Research summaries, literature reviews and policy briefs

This section includes links to summaries of research, literature reviews, and policy briefs organized by DESE's goal of supporting success after high school for all students, as well as the five priorities that support this goal. Use the provided links to find summaries of the evidence base on specific topics. Reviewing the documents associated with these links may prevent you from having to review the evidence base on your own.

Included here are links to the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Practice Guides. The WWC Practice Guides are particularly helpful because they present research-based recommendations on specific challenges districts face, such as building foundational math and reading skills. The practice guides, like the other documents included here, are based on reviews of the research. The practice guides also build on the experiences of practitioners and the expert opinions of a panel of nationally recognized experts. In some cases practice guides are accompanied by supplemental resources such as a practice guide summary.

We have also highlighted in bold red any documents that contain information specific to Massachusetts.

Success after high school

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Dropout Prevention
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Online schooling: Who is harmed and who is helped?
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Preventing Dropout in Secondary School
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What we know about Career and Technical Education in high school

Strengthen curriculum, instruction, and assessment

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Assisting Students Struggling with Mathematics: Response to Intervention (RtI) for Elementary and Middle Schools
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Assisting Students Struggling with Reading: Response to Intervention (RtI) and Multi-tier Intervention in the Primary Grades
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Developing Effective Fractions Instruction for Kindergarten Through 8th Grade
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Effective Literacy and English Language Instruction for English Learners in the Elementary Grades
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Effective Programs for Struggling Readers: A Best-Evidence Synthesis
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Encouraging Girls in Math and Science
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Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade
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Improving Adolescent Literacy: Effective Classroom and Intervention Practices
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Improving Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4 Through 8
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Improving Reading Comprehension in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade
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Online schooling: Who is harmed and who is helped?
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Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning
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Summer Learning Loss: What is it and what can we do about it?
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Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School
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Teaching Elementary School Students to be Effective Writers
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Teaching Math to Young Children
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Teaching Secondary Students to Write Effectively
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Teaching Strategies for Improving Algebra Knowledge in Middle and High School Students

Improve educator effectiveness

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The Impact of Induction and Mentoring Programs for Beginning Teachers: A Critical Review of the Research
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The Importance of a Diverse Teaching Force
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Online schooling: Who is harmed and who is helped?
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Teacher Equity Gaps in Massachusetts
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The Theoretical and Empirical Arguments for Diversifying the Teacher Workforce: A Review of the Evidence

Turn around the lowest performing districts and schools

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Massachusetts Implementation Study
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Massachusetts Impact Study
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Massachusetts Research Brief
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Massachusetts Turnaround Practices Field Guide
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Turning around Chronically Low-Performing Schools

Enhance resource allocation and data use

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Class Size and Resource Allocation
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Teacher Equity Gaps in Massachusetts
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Using Student Achievement Data to Support Instructional Decision Making

Support Social-Emotional Learning, Health, and Safety

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2013 CASEL Program Guide: Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs — Preschool and Elementary School Edition
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2015 CASEL Guide: Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs — Middle and High School Edition
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A Meta-Analysis of the Efficacy of Different Types of Parental Involvement Programs for Urban Students
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Cluster-Randomized Trial Demonstrating Impact on Academic Achievement of Elementary Social-Emotional Learning
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Effects of parental involvement on academic achievement: a meta-synthesis
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How the Every Student Succeeds Act Can Support Social and Emotional Learning
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The Impact of Enhancing Students' Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions
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Looking Inside and Across 25 Leading SEL Programs: A Practical Resource for Schools and OST Providers (Elementary School Focus)
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Social and Emotional Learning Interventions under the Every Student Succeeds Act
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Understanding the role of noncognitive skills and school environments in students’ transitions to high school

DESE will continue to update and expand this page to provide districts and schools with greater access to information about evidence-based practices from here in Massachusetts and nationwide. Please contact Kendra Winner with any suggestions or comments at (781) 338-3129 or kwinner@doe.mass.edu.



Last Updated: October 3, 2018
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