Recent Research on Data

New website on using data effectively

A new website called Data First has been developed by the Center for Public Education as an interactive, step-by-step guide to using data to help schools in their decision-making. While it can be used by all educators, it was specifically designed for use by school boards.  The Center for Public Education received a grant from… Tell Me More »

Pros and cons of merit pay for teachers: A point-counterpoint look at the issue from one of the leading practitioners of performance-based compensation

One working model for merit pay or performance-based compensation for teachers is the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) launched by the Milken Family Foundation in 1999. A trademark of TAP is that it ties educators’ salaries and bonuses to instructional performance and growth in student achievement. Other features of the model include ongoing professional development as… Tell Me More »

How to address obstacles to data use for instructional decision-making in your school or district

Many educators feel they have good gut instincts about students’ instructional needs, but reviewing data from student performance on state assessments always holds surprises. There are always students who did far better or far worse than expected,  providing a reality check that gut instincts can take you just so far. By now, many educators have… Tell Me More »

Educational aspirations of Mexican-American students

Mexican American students may have lowered educational aspirations compared to other students because of concerns about the barriers to furthering their education, says a recent study in The Career Development Quarterly. Many Mexican-American students recognize the importance of getting an education, yet only 57% graduate from high school and 11% from college, the researchers write…. Tell Me More »

Strategies to protect gay, lesbian students

School anti-harassment policies that include sexual orientation were not viewed as increasing feelings of safety for gay lesbian students, according to a recent article in the Journal of LGBT Youth. Students viewed other school safety strategies as having a more protective effect against harassment, notably the practice of teachers stopping others from making negative comments… Tell Me More »

Data helps reveal the pros and cons of tracking in high school

School leaders cannot be fully informed about the effects of tracking in high school without the right data, says a recent study in American Secondary Education. If high school educators want to know what effects tracking has on their students, they should devote their school’s data capabilities to this purpose, researchers say. Which data is… Tell Me More »

Making research matter

Rigorous studies of education programs are essential to build confidence in educational research and to improve schools, writes Robert E. Slavin. In the Dewitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Distinguished Lecture of 2002, Slavin describes “the need to establish the highest possible standard of evidence, on par with the standards in other fields, to demonstrate what educational research can accomplish.” Slavin reports that while the U.S. Department… Tell Me More »

What we know about the effects of school choice

While there has been a tremendous expansion of school-choice programs, Dan D. Goldhaber, The Urban Institute, and Eric R. Eide, RAND Corporation, contend that the empirical evidence on the academic effects of choice programs is mixed and incomplete. In their study of existing research, they use the term choice to refer to any policy that enables students to attend schools other than… Tell Me More »