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Office of Planning and Research to Close Proficiency Gaps

ESE Research Update

To:Superintendents
From:Office of Planning and Research to Close Proficiency Gaps
Date:June 2, 2009

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Research from ESE

Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD DocumentYear Two Report: 2007-2008 Executive Summary: Evaluation of the Expanded Learning Time Initiative Abt Associates, evaluators of the Expanded Learning Time Initiative, report that in the second year schools generally implemented a more seamless schedule for the longer day and increased the adaptation of teaching to longer time periods. Teachers in ELT schools were significantly more positive about the teaching environment than teachers in comparison schools. The evaluators believe additional years will be needed to see significant performance results.
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD DocumentGalileo and Interim Assessment
This ESE policy brief reviews findings from ESE's three-year pilot of the Galileo math assessment system with nine districts from 2005 to 2008. Successful outcomes of the pilot include findings that Galileo is effective at identifying students who need instructional interventions and that teachers increasingly accepted this assessment system. Long-term effectiveness will ultimately depend on district and school level systems of intervention with students to improve teaching and learning.
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD DocumentSpecial Education Placements and Costs in Massachusetts
More than 10,000 students with disabilities, about 1 percent of the total student population, receive specialized educational services in out-of-district programs, accounting for 6 percent of districts' total expenditures. This ESE policy brief examines public and private special education programs and their costs, the impact of the state reimbursement fund for out-of-district placements (also known as "Circuit Breaker" ), and the challenges and opportunities for developing more collaborative and in-district special education programs of high quality.
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD DocumentBriefing of Baseline Characteristics and Change at Homer Street Elementary School
A component of the ongoing evaluation of Commonwealth Pilot Schools by the Donahue Institute, this briefing reports baseline data for the most recent school entering this initiative, the Homer Street Elementary School in Springfield. Last fall, Homer Street School became the fifth school to reopen as a Commonwealth Pilot.

Reports from ESE

Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD DocumentHigh School Dropouts 2007-2008
This newly released report shows that the high school dropout rate in Massachusetts, already among the lowest in the nation, declined from 3.8 percent in 2006-2007 to 3.4 percent in 2007-2008.

Research on Massachusetts education policy

Download PDF DocumentMassachusetts Teaching, Learning and Leading Survey: Creating School Conditions Where Teachers Stay and Students Thrive
In March 2008, 40,000 Massachusetts educators responded to the Teaching, Learning and Leading Survey (TeLLS) sponsored by a broad coalition of stakeholders. The final report finds evidence that teachers' perception of working conditions, particularly instructional leadership and participation in decision-making, influence their decisions about where to work. The authors recommend that the findings and data be used to begin conversations among educators and not to make high-stakes decisions.
Download PDF DocumentListening to Experts: What Massachusetts Teachers Are Saying About Time and Learning and the Expanded Learning Time Initiative
Mass2020, the Massachusetts Teacher Association, and the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts use information from both the TeLLS survey and the evaluation report on the Expanded Learning Time Initiative to demonstrate that teachers value having more time in the school day.
Download PDF DocumentEnglish Learners in Boston Public Schools in the Aftermath of Policy Change: Enrollment and Educational Outcomes AY2003-AY2006
In 2002, Massachusetts voters approved Question 2, a referendum to replace transitional bilingual education with a one-year English immersion program. The Gaston Institute at UMass Boston reports that in the three years following implementation of sheltered English immersion in Boston, identification of students and enrollment in programs for English declined, service options for English Language Learners (ELLs) narrowed, dropout rates of ELLs increased substantially, and the achievement gap between ELLs and other Boston students widened.
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD DocumentHigh School Science Performance Assessments: An Examination of Instruments for Massachusetts
A study by The Education Development Center examines critical components of nine science interim assessments. Findings point to the need for further discussion about hidden costs in development and implementation, support strategies for assessment implementation by teachers, and the gap in performance assessment of "hands-on" science knowledge.
Download PDF DocumentAlternative High School Math Pathways in Massachusetts: Developing an On-Ramp to Minimize College Remediation in Mathematics
Focusing on practical ways to reduce the high need for math remediation in college, this report by the Rennie Center proposes that educators prepare students thoroughly in arithmetic skills by 7th grade and in algebra skills by 12th grade. The Accuplacer test used by Massachusetts state colleges for placements could be an effective interim assessment for high school teachers.
Download PDF DocumentMeeting the Challenge: Promising Practices for Reducing the Dropout Rate in Massachusetts Schools and Districts
The Rennie Center identified 11 Massachusetts high schools in 9 districts that have demonstrated sustained reduction of their dropout rates, and provides case-by-case information about their policies and practices.
Download PDF DocumentHow Eight State Education Agencies in the Northeast and Islands Region Identify and Support Low-Performing Schools and Districts
The Regional Education Laboratory-Northeast and Islands found that states, including Massachusetts, vary widely in how they define low-performing schools and districts, determine academic proficiency, calculate yearly progress, and offer assistance to school and districts. A common factor across all eight was that more schools were newly identified as low-performing in 2007-08 as moved out of that designation.

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