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.
Researchers interviewed parents whose children participated in a three-week structured kindergarten transition program designed to promote parental involvement in school, reduce students’ chronic absenteeism, and increase children’s readiness for kindergarten. Interviewees expressed that participating in the program yielded benefits for themselves and their children, and proposed various ways that adjusting the program could better meet the needs of all stakeholders. Parent suggestions were synthesized into multiple implications for practice and substantiated by current relevant literature.
By: Christopher Merideth, Beth Cavanaugh, Sue Romas, Nicole Ralston, Eva Arias, Beth Tarasawa, Jacqueline Waggoner
Schools as refractors: Change in variance in children’s cognitive skills change while in school versus out
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, Megan Kuhfeld, Douglas Downery
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
There has been increasing concern about the presence of disengaged test taking in international assessment programs and its implications for the validity of inferences made regarding a country’s level of educational attainment. In this paper, the author discusses six important insights yielded by 20 years of research on this and implications for assessment programs.
By: Steven Wise
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.
The more frequent collection of response time data is leading to an increased need for an understanding of how such data can be included in measurement models. Models for response time have been advanced, but relatively limited large-scale empirical investigations have been conducted. We take advantage of a large data set from the adaptive NWEA MAP Growth Reading Assessment to shed light on emergent features of response time behavior.