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Office of Planning and Research to Close Proficiency Gaps

ESE Research Update, August 2010

Research from ESE

  • District Analysis and Review Tool (DART). This interactive tool allows users to compare districts and schools among indicators over time. The indicators align with the six ESE District Standards, which include leadership and governance, curriculum and instruction, assessment and program evaluation, human resources and professional development, student support, and financial and asset management, in addition to student demographics. The DART may be used to support self-evaluation and accountability in whole districts as well as individual schools, as it contains a powerful set of data elements that, taken as a whole, provide an indication of the overall health of a district or school.

Reports from ESE

  • Legislative Reports
    Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
    Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Strategic Plan - April 2010
    Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
    After-School and Out-of-School Time Quality Grants - March 2010

Research on Massachusetts Education Policy

  • Act Out, Get Out? Considering the Impact of School Discipline Practices in Massachusetts. In this policy brief, the Rennie Center describes the purpose of school discipline policies, examines the effects of removing students from school for disciplinary reasons, and proposes several considerations for state policymakers. The policy brief indicates that suspension rates have remained consistent overtime, however, African American, Hispanic, and low-income students are much more likely to be suspended or expelled than other students. Research suggests that the use of disciplinary removal may contribute to the achievement gap and dropping out of school.

  • An Analysis of Massachusetts Minority and White Student Achievement Gaps. This white paper, written by the Pioneer Institute, analyzes the achievement gaps for African American and Hispanic students in 38 Massachusetts districts by looking at English language arts and mathematics achievement on the state assessment. The paper concludes that some school systems are more successful in reducing the achievement gap than other districts serving students with similar backgrounds. Of the 38 districts studied, Taunton, Cambridge, and Chelsea are among the more successful.

  • Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document  In the Aftermath of Question 2: Students with Limited English Proficiency in Massachusetts. In this report, the author identifies how many students in Massachusetts are assessed as Limited English Proficient (LEP), are subject to the Question 2 policy implications, how they fare relative to their English proficient peers, and how Question 2 influenced LEP students' school engagement and academic outcomes. The report found an increase in LEP enrollment over the last decade, persistent gaps in academic performance between LEP and English proficient students, and higher rates of school suspension among LEP students.

  • Download PDF Document  The Massachusetts Teacher Workforce: Status and Challenges. This report, published by the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, explores the demographic characteristics of teachers, current patterns of turnover, the equity of distribution of effective teachers, and the future teacher hiring needs. Among the findings, the author found that teachers are more likely to be over the age of 49, 7 percent left the teaching profession or moved out of the state, and distribution is uneven among academic areas. Some of the policy options for a more equitably distributed, stable, and diverse teaching workforce include restricting eligibility for financial incentives to candidates committed to teaching in hard to teach subjects, engaging the teacher unions to improve working conditions and pay, and increasing awareness of teaching programs in minority communities.

  • Download PDF Document  More Time for Learning: Promising Practices and Lessons Learned. Mass 2020 explores the lessons learned from the Massachusetts Expanded Learning Time Initiative (ELT). Among the lessons learned, the research team found that successful ELT schools are highly focused in their approach to adding significantly more school time, are relentless in their use of data to drive continuous improvement, and strategically add more time for teachers to collaborate to strengthen instruction. Practices that support and strengthen ELT include technical assistance to improve outcomes and performance agreements that clarify expectations and improve accountability.

  • Download PDF Document  Out of the Debate and Into the Schools: Comparing Practices and Strategies in Traditional, Pilot and Charter Schools in the City of Boston; Supporting Evidence. An expansion to the 2009 version of the report, the Boston Foundation investigated why charter school students outperform their peers. The study found that the difference in the amount of time charter school teachers and students spend in school each year - roughly 62 days longer than traditional schools - allows principles to include more professional time for teachers without disrupting their instruction time. Other important structural elements include staffing, governance and leadership, curriculum and instruction, professional development, and budget.



Last Updated: August 26, 2010
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