It remains a critical challenge to ensure all children—regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, and/or ability—have access to a high-quality education. We are at a pivotal time where communities and schools are navigating issues of equity, poverty, and opportunity gaps against a backdrop of shifting education policy. With access to exceptional data and a multi-disciplinary team of researchers and research partners, we are able to provide unique insight into these important issues.
Using achievement data from fall and spring of grades K-8 for 840,000 students in 8,800 public schools, this study provides novel evidence on how achievement and growth differ between rural and nonrural schools. Rural students start kindergarten slightly ahead of nonrural students but fall behind by middle school. The divergence is driven by larger summer losses for rural students. In both rural and nonrural schools, Black–White achievement gaps widen during the school year.
How does schooling affect inequality in students’ academic skills? This study uses seasonal comparisons to examine the possibilities that schooling exacerbates, reduces, or reproduces overall skill inequality in math, reading, language use, and science with recent national data on US public school students spanning numerous grade levels from the NWEA MAP Growth assessment. Results suggest that schooling has a compensatory effect on inequality in reading, language, and science skills but not math skills. Theoretical implications of findings are discussed.
By: Dennis Condron, Douglas Downery, Megan Kuhfeld
Black and poor students are suspended from U.S. schools at higher rates than White and nonpoor students. While the existence of these disparities has been clear, the causes have not. By comparing the punishments given to Black and White (or poor and nonpoor) students who fight one another, the study addresses a challenge that has kept prior studies from identifying discrimination in student discipline. It finds that Black and poor students are punished more harshly than the students with whom they fight.
By: Nathan Barrett, Andrew McEachin, Jonathan Mills, Jon Valant
The MAP Reading Fluency theory of action shows the hypothesized mechanisms of change and intermediate goals leading to the overarching goal of helping all students read fluently with comprehension.
By: Mary Ann Simpson
Products: MAP Reading Fluency
To what extent did COVID-19 disruptions affect student achievement in 2020-2021, and which students have been most affected? New NWEA research aims to provide insight to inform leaders working to support recovery: using data from 5.5 million students in grades 3-8 who took MAP Growth assessments in reading and math, this brief examines how gains across the 2020-21 school year and student achievement in spring 2021 compare to pre-pandemic trends.
The purpose of this technical appendix is to share more detailed results and to describe more fully the sample and methods used in the research included in the brief, Learning during COVID-19: Reading and math achievement in the 2020-21 school year.
Two research questions were investigated in this brief:
1. How do gains across the 2020-21 school year compare to pre-pandemic trends?
2. How does student achievement in spring of 2021 compare to pre-pandemic levels?
This study investigated test-taking engagement on a large-scale state summative assessment. Overall, results of this study indicate that disengagement has a material impact on individual state summative test scores, though its impact on score aggregations may be relatively minor.
By: Steven Wise, Jonghwan (Jay) Lee, Sukkeun Im