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Accountability
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Progress of Education Reform: Hispanic Achievement PDF - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform summarizes several recent studies and analyses that shed new light on the dimensions, causes, and social and economic consequences of Hispanic underachievement. (Suzanne Weiss, The Progress of Education Reform, vol. 5, no. 3, Education Commission of the States, August 2004)...

How Well Are American Students Learning? - This report reviews the latest data on student learning in the U.S., examines whether nations with happier students see higher scores on math tests than nations in which students are not quite as happy and looks at how states have responded to NCLB. (Tom Loveless, The Brookings Institution, October 2006) ...

The Nation's Report Card: NAEP 2009--Year in Review - This report shows all reports for the 2009 NAEP mathematics, reading, science and High School Transcript Study reports. It is a compilation of executive summaries from the reports, and includes results for the nation and participating states and districts for NAEP 2009. (National Center for Education Statistics, September 2011)...

Globally Challenged: Are U.S. Students Ready to Compete? The Latest on Each State's International Standing in Math and Reading - The researchers ranked the U.S. 32nd out of the 65 nations participating in the PISA exam for math proficiency and 17th out of 65 nations for reading proficiency. Knowing where the U.S. ranks internationally gives us a benchmark to know how well we are preparing our students to remain competitive and the ability of the U.S. to “remain the economic and technological leader of the global marketplace.” (Harvard's Program on Education Policy and Governance, August 2011)...

State Test Score Trends through 2008-09, Part 2: Slow and Uneven Progress in Narrowing Gaps - After eight years of implementing the No Child Left Behind Act and other school reforms, how much progress have states, school districts and schools made in lifting achievement for students from all backgrounds and closing achievement gaps? The authors of this study felt four main conclusions emerged from this study: (1) Achievement gaps are large and persistent; (2) every major student group has made gains in math and reading tests but gaps have not always narrowed; (3) gaps on student tests have often narrowed since 2002. Gap trends vary based on student group and indicator of achievement examined; (4) at the current rates of progress it would take many years to close most gaps. (Center on Education Policy, December 2010) ...

The Nation's Report Card: Grade 12 Reading and Mathematics 2009, National and Pilot State Results - Nationally representative samples of 12th-graders from 1,670 public and private schools in the 11 states which participated in the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress. Approximately 52,000 students were assessed in reading and 49,000 were assessed in mathemathics. Average mathematics scores were higher in 2009 than in 2005. While the overall reading score was also higher in 2009 than in 2005, reading scores did not change significantly for Black, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native students or for female students. (National Center for Education Statistics, 2010)...

The Nation's Report Card: Trial Urban District Assessment Reading 2009 - Results from the 2009 NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) make it possible to compare the performance of students in urban districts to public school students in the nation and large cities with populations of 250,000 or more. Changes in students' performance over time can also be seen for those districts that participated in earlier assessments. (National Center for Education Statistics, May 2010)...

Gauging the Gaps: A Deeper Look at Student Achievement - Using state-level NAEP data, this brief illustrates the pitfalls in one-dimensional appraisals of achievement gaps. Analyzing the gaps from four perspectives is essential to gain a comprehensive, accurate picture of equity. (Anna Rowan, Daria Hall and Kati Haycock, The Education Trust, January 2010)...

The Nation's Report Card: Mathematics 2009--Trial Urban District Assessment - Results from the 2009 NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment make it possible to compare the performance of students in urban districts to public school students in the nation and large cities (i.e. cities with populations of 250,000 or more). Changes in students' performance over time can also be seen for those districts that participated in earlier assessments. (National Center for Education Statistics, 2009)...

Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto NAEP Scales: 2005-2007 - Presents mapping results using the 2005 and 2007 NAEP assessments in mathematics and reading for 4th and 8th grades. The mapping procedure offers an approximate way to assess the relative rigor of the states' adequate yearly progress (AYP) standards established under NCLB. (National Center for Education Statistics, October 2009)...

ACT Profile Report--National: Graduating Class 2009 - This report provides information about the performance of graduating seniors who took the ACT as sophomores, juniors or seniors. The report focuses on performance, access, course selection, course rigor and college readiness. ACT encourages educators to focus on trends (3,5,10 years), not year-to-year changes. Such changes can represent normal, even expected, fluctuations. On the other hand, trend lines offer more insight into what is happening in a school, district or state. Further, ACT encourages educators to measure student performance in the context of college readiness measures--a measure that is much more meaningful and understandable than an average composite score for a group of students. (ACT, August 2009)...

2009 College-Bound Seniors--Total Group Profile Report - More than 1.5 million students in the class of 2009 took the SAT. Of those, 40% were minority students. In 1999 only 29.2% were minority students, reflecting the steady growth of minority participation rates. Hispanic students represent the largest minority group taking the test and now account for 13.5% of all test takers. The number of Hispanic testers over 10 years has more than doubled. Females comprised 53.5% of the 2009 test-takers. More than one-third of the test-takers reported their parents' highest level of education as high school or less. (The College Board, August 2009)...

Lost Opportunity: A 50 State Report on the Opportunity to Learn in America--National Summary Report - Analysis of state-collected education data reveals that 84% of states fail to provide students access to a moderately proficient public education system. The study analyzed student performance data reported by state departments of education to determine both the quality of and access to instruction provided across the United States. The results clearly show minority and low-income students have only half the opportunity to learn in our public schools as their White non-Latino peers. (Schott Foundation for Public Education, May 2009)...

The Family: America's Smallest School - This report outlines the family and home conditions affecting children's cognitive development and school achievement, and how gaps beginning early persist throughout life. Critical factors examined include child care quality, parental involvement in schools, parent/pupil ratio, family finances, literacy development, student absences and physical home environments. (Educational Testing Service, September 2007) ...

Mapping 2005 State Proficiency Standards onto the NAEP Scales - This report uses the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) as a common yardstick for comparing state reading and math proficiency standard, and for comparing these state standards with national performance benchmarks. Key findings: states vary widely in the NAEP-equivalents of their proficiency standards; most state proficiency standards fall within the NAEP Basic level; and a state's proficiency standard is not necessarily tied to student performance on NAEP. (The National Center for Education Statistics, June 2007) ...

Improving Early Reading Skills for Children in Poverty - Almost 70% of low-income 4th grade students cannot read at a basic level, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The authors of this report find that classroom and school characteristics had a larger effect on student’s long-term reading abilities than the method of instruction or the child’s background. (FPG Child Development Institute, June 2007)...

12th-Grade Reading and Mathematics 2005 - This report presents information about the types of courses 2005 high school graduates took during high school, how many credits they earned, and the grades they received. Information on the relationships between high school records and performance in mathematics and science on the NAEP is also included. Transcripts were collected from about 640 public schools and 80 private schools for the 2005 High School Transcript Study. These transcripts constituted a nationally representative sample of 26,000 high school graduates, representing approximately 2.7 million 2005 high school graduates. The 2005 results are compared to the results of earlier transcript studies, and differences among graduates by race/ethnicity, gender, and parent education are examined. Because the study is restricted to high school graduates, it contains no information about dropouts, who may differ from graduates. (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007)...

Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) Results in Mathematics and Reading - The results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress TUDA makes it possible to compare the performance of students in participating urban school districts to that of public school students in the nation, in large central cities and to each other. Reports are available in mathematics and reading. Depending on when each district began participating in TUDA, results are available for comparison to 2002, 2003 and 2005. (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007)...

Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) - In 2005, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) conducted the first Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) in science to examine the performance of 4th and 8th graders in 10 large urban districts. These urban districts serve student populations that are more diverse than the nation's public schools overall. (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2006) ...

Impacts of a Summer Learning Program - A growing body of evidence indicates that the test scores of low-income children drop significantly relative to their higher-income counterparts during the summer months. This study evaluates the effectiveness of the Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL) program – a summer program designed to improve academic skills, parental involvement, academic self-perceptions, and social behaviors among low- income children and families. The study found that children in the BELL treatment group gained about a month’s worth of reading skills more than their counterparts in the comparison group during the summer. The study also found evidence of positive impacts on the degree to which parents encouraged their children to read. No impacts were found on academic-self perceptions or social behaviors. (Duncan Chaplin and Jeffrey Capizzano, The Urban Institute, August 2006) ...

Comparing Private Schools and Public Schools Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling - This study compares mean 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading and mathematics scores of public and private schools in 4th and 8th grades, statistically controlling for individual student characteristics. In 4th and 8th grades, using unadjusted mean scores, students in private schools scored significantly higher than students in public schools for both reading and mathematics. But when school means were adjusted, the average for public schools was significantly higher than the average for private schools for 4th grade mathematics and not significantly different for reading. At 8th grade, the average for private schools was significantly higher than the average for public schools in reading but not significantly different for mathematics. Comparisons were also carried out between the following types of sectarian schools: Catholic, Lutheran and Conservative Christian. Also available is an executive summary. (Henry Braun, Frank Jenkins and Wendy Grigg, National Center for Education Statistics, July 2006) ...

The Truth About Boys and Girls - This report argues that recent reports and articles declaring a crisis in the educational gains for boys are incorrect and that "[t]he real story is not bad news about boys doing worse; it’s good news about girls doing better." (Sara Mead, Education Sector, June 2006) ...

Where immigrant students succeed – A comparative review of performance and engagement in PISA 2003 - Successful integration of immigrant populations is essential for ensuring social cohesion in immigrant receiving nations. This report analyses evidence from Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) 2003 on outcomes of schooling including how well immigrant students perform in key school subjects at the age of 15, as well as how they assess themselves as learners and what their general attitudes are towards school. Two groups of immigrant students are analyzed: first-generation students who were born outside the country of assessment and whose parents were also born in a different country; and second-generation students who themselves were born in the country of assessment but whose parents were born in a different country. The analyses include 17 countries with significant immigrant student populations. (Petra Stanat and Gayle Christensen, Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, 2006) ...

Variations in the Relationship Between Nonschool Factors and Student Achievement on International Tests - This report describes differences in nonschool factors that are related to student achievement. The report investigates six nonschool factors: (1) highest level of education attained by either of the students’ parents, (2) the highest occupational status of either of the students’ parents, (3) the number of books that students have access to in the home, (4) whether students speak the native language of the country at home, (5) students’ immigrant status and (6) students’ family structure. (Gillian Hampden-Thompson and Jamie S. Johnston, National Center for Education Statistics, April 2006)...

Student Achievement in Private Schools: Results from NAEP 2000–2005 - This is the first report to focus on private school students’ performance on NAEP assessments. It provides results in reading, mathematics, science and writing in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2005. Specifically, it focuses on the three private school types that combined enroll the greatest proportion of private school students – Catholic, Lutheran and Conservative Christian – as well as private schools overall. It also compares the performance of students in these schools to that of public school students to provide additional perspective. (Marianne Perie, Alan Vanneman and Arnold Goldstein, National Center for Education Statistics, December 2005)...

Beating the Odds V: A City-by-City Analysis of Student Performance and Achievement Gap on State Assessments - The fifth in a series, this report provides the results on reading and math assessments in the 2003-04 academic year for students in the 65-member urban districts of the Council of the Great City Schools. It provides student demographic and staffing data for every district; compares district data and results with those of their respective state overall; and disaggregates scores by race, income, English proficiency and disability. The results indicate that, while the districts reported on are still scoring as a group below state and national averages in math and reading, they are both raising student-performance levels in these subject areas and narrowing achievement gaps. (Michael Casserly, Council of the Great City Schools, March 2005)...

NAEP 2004 Trends in Academic Progress Three Decades of Student Performance in Reading and Mathematics - This report provides trend data on student performance in reading and mathematics since 1971, with results disaggregated by gender, race/ethnicity and parents’ highest level of education. The report finds reading and mathematics improvement for 9- and 13-year-olds, but little or no improvement in the scores of 17-year-olds. Also available are results in brief. (Marianne Perie, Rebecca Moran, Anthony D. Lutkus and William Tirre, National Center for Education Statistics, July 2005)...

Permission to Forget PDF - Readers of this thought-provoking excerpt from Permission to Forget and Nine Other Root Causes of America's Frustration with Education will see that the root causes of today's frustrations with education are interrelated and firmly entrenched within America's system of schooling. These root causes can be addressed, however, and Jenkins provides tangible suggestions for doing so. Made available with author's permission.(Lee Jenkins, American Society for Quality, 2005)...

Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2003 Summary: U.S. Performance in Reading Literacy and Science Literacy - This summary contains results from PISA tests of 15-year olds residing in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. The U.S. average score in reading literacy was not measurably different from the OECD average in 2000 or 2003, nor was there any measurable change in the U.S. reading literacy score from 2000 to 2003. Commissioner remarks are available as well as a link to the full report. (National Center for Education Statistics, December 2004)...

What Works to Improve Student Achievement - This research summary presents the basis for empirically documented classroom practices such as clear academic focus, certain teaching strategies and specific supports for teaching and learning, as well as the research underpinnings of schoolwide approaches linked to achievement, including the holistic approach to school reform, a school’s capacity for change and a focus on learning. The author notes that other factors, notably community support, parental involvement and school leadership, have likewise been found in research to foster student achievement. (Susan Trimble, National Middle School Association, 2003)...

Beating the Odds IV: A City-by-City Analysis of Student Performance and Achievement Gap on State Assessments - The fourth in a series, this report provides the results on reading and math assessments in the 2002-03 academic year for students in the 61-member urban districts of the Council of the Great City Schools. It provides student demographic and staffing data for every district, compares district data and results with those of their respective state overall, and disaggregates scores by race, income, English proficiency and disability. The results indicate that, while the districts reported on are still scoring as a group below state and national averages in math and reading, they are both raising student performance levels in these subject areas and narrowing achievement gaps. An executive summary and summary tables are also available, as well as profiles for all 61-member cities. (Michael Casserly, data collection by Sharon Lewis, Janice Ceperich and Jack Jepson, Council of the Great City Schools, March 2004)...

How Well Are American Students Learning? - The Brown Center on Education Policy has released its 2002 report on American education. The report is divided into three independent sections: math, high school culture and charter schools. One troubling finding is the suggestion that students’ computation skills have stagnated or even declined in recent years. The report examines this assertion as well as certain aspects of high school culture and test scores of charter schools in 10 states. (Tom Loveless, Brookings Institution, September 2002)...

NAEP State Profiles - A new feature on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Web site makes it easier to access state NAEP data. The "State Profiles" page provides a direct route to each participating state's NAEP data, including graphical displays. (National Center for Education Statistics, 2002)...

Addressing Racial Disparities in High-Achieving Suburban Schools - This report addresses racial and ethnic achievement differences in high-performing suburban school districts. Based on the findings, the author suggests four recommendations for schools, communities, and state and federal policymakers: (1) assume no motivational differences, (2) address specific skill deficits, (3) supply ample encouragement routinely, and (4) provide access to resources and learning experiences. (Ronald F. Ferguson, NCREL, December 2002)...

How Well Are American Students Learning? - This report investigates the gap in achievement between the United States and other nations in mathematics and reading. It includes a survey of foreign exchange students that indicates that the culture of American high schools gives less priority to academic excellence than do other countries. (Tom Loveless, Brown Center On Education Policy, September 2001)...

High Student Achievement: How Six School Districts Changed into High-Performance Systems - In recent years, a wealth of research on improving student achievement has been conducted, analyzed and published for consideration by education leaders. Most of that research, however, has focused on schools and classrooms, with little data presented on effective school districts. This new publication from Educational Research Service (ERS) reports on a study conducted to identify those elements critical to a high-achieving school district, and to learn how districts must organize themselves so that high standards for all students are expected in all of their schools. Based on onsite visits and other data collection efforts, the authors profile six school districts that posted impressive gains in student achievement. The report is available for $36 from ERS. (ERS, 2001)...

How Well Are Students Learning?: Focus on Math Achievement - The Brookings Institution's Brown Center on Education Policy found that student achievement in this country has risen "by only a snail's pace" since the 1970s. Reading gains have been "exceedingly small," although math achievement among 9- and 13-year-olds has risen significantly. And students from the middle grades on up continue to underperform. The report examines the direction of public school achievement, the significance of change, the policies and practices influencing the direction of student achievement and whether the public is getting the complete story on student learning. Math achievement gets a close look, as do "exemplary" schools, which the center notes are not always what they seem. (Brown Center on Education Policy, 2000)...

Answers in the Tool Box: Academic Intensity, Attendance Patterns and Bachelor’s Degree Attainment - According to this study, the biggest factor in determining whether young people earn a bachelor’s degree is participation in a strong academic curriculum in high school. The completion of a solid academic core was more strongly correlated with a bachelor’s degree than high school test scores, gradepoint averages or class rank. Moreover, an intensive academic curriculum in high school had the strongest positive effect for black and Hispanic students. (Clifford Adelman, U.S. Department of Education, OERI, June 1999)...


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