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Research Partners - Goal 1

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Top 10 by 20 Goals for Research Projects

Intro | Goal 1 | Goal 2 | Goal 3 | Goal 4


 

Goal 1: All Missouri students will graduate college and career ready.

 

Background

Two objectives fall under Goal 1. Objective 1 involves increasing the percentage of students scoring at or above (a) proficiency on the National Assessment of Educational Progress in each test administration, (b) proficiency on state assessments in all subgroups, and (c) the mean of the top 10 states on college and career ready assessments (e.g., ACT, SAT, COMPASS, ASVAB, TSA). Objective 2 is to ensure that, by 2020, all students will qualify for entrance into post-secondary education and training.

Multiple strategies have been identified for meeting Objective 1: providing schools with access to curriculum resources (e.g., model curricula, professional development), supporting continuous improvement, and disseminating effective instructional practices. For Objective 2, one strategy is defined: aligning policies and support with the demands of college and careers. Moreover, each strategy dictates a number of action items, as defined in the 10 by 20 visioning document.

Research Needs

The research needs to support the action items for Goal 1 are identified below, grouped by topic. Because many of these needs cut across the specific objectives and strategies, the list is not linked explicitly to the Objective, Strategy and Action numbers provided in the visioning plan.

 

 
RESEARCH TOPIC
 
ASSIGNED TO
ANTICIPATED
COMPLETION
DATE

Topic 1: Defining “College and Career Readiness”

 

a) [LIT] How are the terms college readiness and career readiness defined and operationalized in the education literature? How do college readiness and career readiness overlap? How do they not overlap? To what extent do we need different definitions of college readiness and career readiness for different kinds of post-secondary experiences and different kinds of careers? What are the basic competencies that research suggests students must have to be prepared for college or the workforce?

a. There are broad definitions provided by such organizations as the National Governors Association already, but can we identify a working, operational definition that is useful for Missouri schools?

Available
 

Topic 2: Identifying “On Track” Indicators for Students

 

a) [LIT] What indicators does the education literature suggest are most useful for predicting whether a student is on track to reach educational attainment markers, such as high school graduation?

University of
Missouri
May 2012

b) [BP] What strategies are other states (or districts) implementing to identify students in need of targeted interventions?

a. For example, the Consortium for Chicago School Research identified two factors (accumulating sufficient credits for promotion to 10th grade and receiving no more than one F in a core course) as straightforward, useful predictors of on-time graduation (1). A variety of districts and states are developing “early warning” systems for targeting interventions at students. Evaluation of these systems is ongoing (2).

Available
 

c) [MO DATA] Using MOSIS, can a simple set of indicators or a regression model be developed to identify students as on-track or off-track to reach educational attainment markers?

Available
 

Topic 3: Identifying Policy-Amenable Factors that Contribute to College and Career Readiness

   

a) [LIT/MO DATA] How do school organizational factors, such as length of school day, use of year-round calendar, or extended learning opportunities, correlate with student MAP performance or other readiness measures? Are there impacts of school resources such as guidance counselors, media specialists, or planning time for teachers?

University of
Missouri

May 2012

b) [LIT/MO DATA] How do student course-taking patterns in high school predict college success, including remediation and persistence, once selection bias (i.e., some kinds of students are more likely to choose more difficult courses) is taken into account?

Available
 

c) [LIT/MO DATA] How important are non-core subjects, including the arts and physical education, to college and career readiness? Are there empirical linkages between quantity or quality of instruction in non-core areas and later outcomes, such as reduced need for college remediation, greater college persistence, or higher wages?

Available
 

d) [MO DATA] Are alternatives to traditional high school diploma effective substitutes for traditional schooling? In particular, what is the impact of the Missouri Option Program? Are its graduates as successful as traditional graduates with similar characteristics? How do they compare in terms of post-schooling employment and wages? How do Missouri Option students compare to high school graduates, GED recipients, and dropouts?

Available
 

e) [MO DATA] What are outcomes for students taking advantage of Missouri’s dual credit policy (which allows some classes to count for both high school and college credit)? What fraction needs remediation in dual credit areas in college? How does the link between dual credit and outcomes vary by characteristics of the school, teacher, or student?

Available
 

f) [MO DATA] What are outcomes for high school students participating in career education programs under Perkins IV? Conditioning on field of employment, do wages differ between participants and non-participants? Are outcomes different for students who reach “concentrator” status relative to students who are only “participants” or who do not participate, where outcomes include post-secondary attendance, degree attainment, and workforce outcomes? (Note that DESE has the capacity to sweep student records against National Student Clearinghouse records to gather data on post-secondary outcomes beyond those in Missouri public higher education.)

Available
 

Topic 4: Measurement and Establishing Predictive Validity of Measures

 

a) [MO DATA] How does meeting “proficiency” on the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) tests correlate with concurrent outcomes (i.e., on other assessments) and predict future outcomes, such as educational attainment and post-graduation wages? Do the four categories of below basic, basic, proficient and advanced appropriately differentiate students with respect to concurrent or future outcomes? Are there more “appropriate” cut scores for defining these categories?

Available
 

b) [MO DATA] How do teacher-assigned grades in core subjects correlate with performance on MAP tests? Do the two measures correlate more highly in some kinds of schools or for some kinds of students?

Available
 

c) [MO DATA] How do end-of-course (EOC) assessments in Algebra I, English II, and other subjects align to college-readiness assessments such as the ACT and SAT, once selection is taken into account? How do EOC scores predict ACT/SAT scores? (Note that DESE now has the capacity to link ACT scores to MOSIS.)

University of
Missouri

Jan 2012

d) [MO DATA] Is “proficiency” on high school EOC assessments an accurate indicator of college readiness in core subjects? How does proficiency predict post-secondary performance indicators, such as need for remediation, freshman grades, persistence into the second year?

Available
 

e) [MO DATA] What are the implications of high school EOC proficiency for career readiness? How does EOC proficiency predict scores on vocational assessments (e.g., ASVAB) or wages after graduation?

Available
 

f) [LIT] What technical skills assessments are other states using to assess career readiness? How reliable and valid are those assessments? Do they predict future outcomes?

University of
Missouri
Jan 2012

g) [BP] What strategies are others using to combat “teaching to the test” and other obstacles to maintaining the integrity and validity of the state’s assessment system.

Available
 

Topic 5: Linking School Offerings to Areas of Future Employment Needs

 

a) [BP] What processes do other states use to target career tech/career education resources to predicted future work shortages?

Available
 

b) [MO DATA] What are in-demand jobs in Missouri? How many students are in the post-secondary pipeline (by program and degree) for meeting those demands? What skills do they need? What are the wage levels and wage growth profiles for those jobs? What is the capacity for K-12 career education for filling the pipeline? (This would be an excellent place for combining data from DESE, DHE, and DED.)

Available
 

Topic 6: Data Systems and Data Usage

 

a) [LIT] What does the education literature say about what states or districts can do to promote data use at the school or classroom level?

Available
 

b) [LIT] What key areas of data analysis do schools need to promote school effectiveness?

Available
 

c) [QUAL] What other data elements might be important for Missouri to include in its statewide data gathering? How does it compare to other states in the kinds of student outcome data collected (e.g., K-3 assessments, numbers of untested subjects)?

Available
 

d) [SURVEY/QUAL] What do districts’ and schools’ use of MOSIS and other DESE-provided data for decision-making look like? To what degree are districts supplementing state data with data instruments that they create or purchase (e.g., Acuity)?

Available
 

e) [QUAL] What kinds of models for measuring student growth are other states using? What are states learning about what works well and what doesn’t? How do Missouri’s models compare?

a. These questions are especially salient in the context of the Student Growth Pilot, which DESE is currently conducting. The pilot is likely to generate additional research questions.

Available
 

f) [BP] How do other states go about the technical process of defining “teacher of record” for value-added and growth model calculations, an especially important issue with team-teaching, students changing classes, and so forth?

Available
 

Topic 7: Professional Development

 

a) [LIT] How is effective professional development for educators structured? What does the education research literature say about effective vs. ineffective PD?

eMints National Center - University of Missouri
May 2012

b) [BP] How do other states administer PD? Are there states whose PD programs are especially effective? What are the characteristics of those PD systems?

University of
Missouri
Dec 2011

c) [MO DATA/SURVEY/QUAL] How do districts vary in their implementation and oversight of professional development? Can this variation be linked to student achievement or other district outcomes?

Available
 

d) [LIT] What does the literature say about PD for new teachers and school leaders? What factors are associated with effective mentoring or coaching programs?

Available
 

e) [SURVEY/MO DATA] How do Missouri’s districts approach mentoring, coaching, and other professional development for new educators? What role do the Regional Professional Development Centers (RPDCs) play? Can differences in PD approaches for new educators be linked to differential outcomes, such as performance or turnover, for those educators?

Available
 

Topic 8: Model Curricula and Classroom Instruction

 

a) [LIT/BP] What curriculum programs are currently in use in other states or districts that rigorous research has shown to be effective at improving student learning?

a. In core and non-core subjects

b. Across grade levels

Available
 

b) [SURVEY/MO DATA] What curriculum programs are Missouri districts currently implementing? What are they experiencing with these implementations with respect to fidelity, professional development needs, and student success? Can these curriculum programs be linked empirically to differences in student achievement?

Available
 

c) [LIT/BP] What are best practices around classroom instruction? What is the research base on effective instructional practices? How do they vary by subject or grade level?

Available
 

d) [SURVEY/MO DATA/QUAL] What are the instructional practices of the highest-performing Missouri teachers? What differentiates effective instruction in Missouri classrooms at the elementary, middle, and high school levels? To what extent can practices be identified that can be translated to other school or district contexts?

a. There is a special need for the collection of classroom process data, particularly from high-performing schools.

Available
 

Topic 9: Continuous Support and Technical Assistance

 

a) [BP] What are other states doing in terms of creating systems to promote continuous improvement? How do other states provide technical assistance to districts? What are best practices in these areas? How do states’ integrate their data systems with their continuous improvement processes?

Available
 

b) [SURVEY] What kinds of technical assistance do schools and district in Missouri need? What needs are being met, i.e., through RPDC channels? What needs are not being met? How do districts’ technical assistance needs connect with the state’s data system?

Available
 

Topic 10: MSIP/Accountability Implementation

   

a) [QUAL/MO DATA] How can we evaluate the effectiveness of the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP)? How will we know if MSIP 5 is effective? What criteria should we use to evaluate how it is working. Can we apply measures to those criteria?

Available
 

b) [LIT/BP] What are other states learning about how you provide statewide incentives for school improvement? What are the features of the nation’s best state accountability programs? What do successful states do to hold schools accountable for student learning without stifling creativity and innovation?

Available
 

c) [QUAL/MO DATA] What standards or indicators should be included the MSIP scoring guide, and where should the cut scores be to provide districts, schools, and parents with meaningful information about performance? How can we use existing data on student outcomes to justify cut points, for example, with respect to the capacity to predict future outcomes?

Available
 

d) [QUAL/MO DATA] How do Missouri’s different regions differ with respect to their performance along resource, process and outcome dimensions? What are the regional challenges to meeting accountability program expectations?

Available

1. Hartman, J., Wilkins, C., Gregory, L., Gould, L. F., and D’Souza, S. (2011). Applying an on track indicator for high school graduation: adapting the Consortium on Chicago School Research indicator for five Texas districts. (Issues & Answers Report, REL 2011–No. 100). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest.
2. Brief by the Southeast Regional Education Laboratory.

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