Consortium for Policy Research in Education
The Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) is a community of researchers from renowned research institutions and organizations committed to advancing educational policy and practice through evidence-based research.
PublicationRecruiting and Retaining Teachers: Keys to Improving the Philadelphia Public Schools(2001-05-01) Watson, SusanIn 1996 the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) at the University of Pennsylvania and its partner, Research for Action (RFA) were charged by the Children Achieving Challenge with the evaluation of Children Achieving. Between the 1995-1996 and 2000-2001 school years, CPRE and RFA researchers interviewed hundreds of teachers, principals, parents, students, District officials, and civic leaders; sat in on meetings where the plan was designed, debated, and revised; observed its implementation in classrooms and schools; conducted two system-wide surveys of teachers; and carried out independent analyses of the District’s test results and other indicators of system performance. An outline of the research methods used by CPRE and RFA is included in this report. PublicationGraduating From High School: New Standards in the States(1989-04-01) University of Pennsylvania
This brief examines attempts by states to improve public education by increasing high school course requirements in 1989. According to a report published by the Center for Policy Research in Education, these attempts have had mixed results. As a result of the reforms, low-and middle-achieving students are taking more courses in science and math, but there are serious questions about the quality of the courses themselves. This issue of CPRE Policy Briefs is based on the report which was written with assistance from Paula White and Janice Patterson.
PublicationInfrastructure Redesign and Instructional Reform in Mathematics: Formal Structure and Teacher Leadership(2013-12-01) Hopkins, Megan; Spillane, James P; Jakopovic, Paula; Heaton, Ruth MDesigning infrastructures to support instruction remains a challenge in educational reform. This article reports on a study of one school system's efforts to redesign its infrastructure for mathematics instruction by promoting teacher leadership. Using social network and interview data from 12 elementary schools, we explore how the district's infrastructure redesign efforts were internally coherent with and built upon existing infrastructure components. We then explore relations between infrastructure and school practice as captured in the instructional advice- and information-seeking interactions among school staff, finding that teacher leaders emerged as central actors and brokers of advice and information about mathematics within and between schools. Further, changes in school advice and information networks were associated with shifts in teachers' beliefs about and practices in mathematics toward inquiry-oriented approaches consistent with district curriculum. We argue that the district's redesign efforts to support teacher leadership coupled district curriculum and school and classroom practice in mathematics. PublicationDashboard Lights: Monitoring Implementation of District Instructional Reform Strategies(2004-12-01) Supovitz, Jonathan A; Weathers, John MIn this report, the authors describe the system implemented in Duval County Public Schools (Florida) to monitor the district’s instructional reform efforts and the influences of the system on teachers and school and district leaders. The system, called the Standards Implementation Snapshot System, was implemented by John Fryer, Superintendent of Duval Public Schools, in 2002. The snapshot system seeks to take a "snapshot" at a point in time of the depth of implementation of the district’s standards-based reform initiatives. This report is the story of the development and influence of the snapshot system. PublicationPartnering With School Districts to Improve Mathematics Instruction(2016-03-03) Supovitz, Jonathan A PublicationWhat Large-Scale, Survey Research Tells Us About Teacher Effects on Student Achievement: Insights From the Prospectus Study of Elementary Schools(2002-11-01) Rowan, Brian; Correnti, Richard; Miller, Robert JThis report is about conceptual and methodological issues that arise when educational researchers use data from large-scale, survey research studies to investigate teacher effects on student achievement. In the report, we illustrate these issues by reporting on a series of analyses we conducted using data from Prospects: The Congressionally Mandated Study of Educational Opportunity. This large-scale, survey research effort gathered a rich store of data on instructional processes and student achievement in a large sample of U.S. elementary schools during the early 1990s as part of the federal government's evaluation of the Title I program. We use data from Prospects to estimate the "overall" size of teacher effects on student achievement and to test some specific hypotheses about why such effects occur. On the basis of these analyses, we draw some substantive conclusions about the magnitude and sources of teacher effects on student achievement and suggest some ways that survey-based research on teaching can be improved. PublicationThe Limits and Contradictions of Systemic Reform: The Philadelphia Story(2002-11-01) Corcoran, Thomas B.; Christman, Jolley BruceIn Philadelphia, the Annenberg Challenge was known as Children Achieving and was a districtwide systemic reform initiative designed and led by a small core group of District officials and external partners. This report examines the Children Achieving Challenge and the strategies the designers employed to improve teaching and learning in the public schools. Among the conditions associated with the Annenberg Challenge were requirements that two matching dollars be raised for each one received from the Annenberg Foundation and that an independent management structure be created to provide program, fiscal, and evaluation oversight of the grant. In Philadelphia, a business organization, Greater Philadelphia First, assumed these responsibilities, and with them, the challenge of working with the School District to build and sustain civic support for the improvement of the public schools. PublicationIn Search of Leading Indicators in Education(2012-07-10) Supovitz, Jonathan A; Foley, Ellen; Mishook, JacobData have long been considered a key factor in organizational decision-making (Simon, 1955; Lindblom & Cohen, 1979). Data offer perspective, guidance, and insights that inform policy and practice (Newell & Simon, 1972; Kennedy, 1984). Recently, education policymakers have invested in the use of data for organizational improvement in states and districts with such initiatives as Race to The Top (United States Department of Education, 2010) and the development of statewide longitudinal data systems (Institute for Education Sciences, 2010). These and other initiatives focus attention on how data can be used to foster learning and improvement. In other fields, including economics and business, much work has been done to identify leading indicators that predict organizational outcomes. In this paper, we conceptualize how leading indicators might be used in education, using examples from a small sample of school districts with reputations as strong users of data. We define leading indicators as systematically collected data on an activity or condition that is related to a subsequent and valued outcome, as well as the processes surrounding the investigation of those data and the associated responses. Identifying leading indicators often prompts improvements in a district’s system of supports. To develop this concept, we describe four examples of how districts identified and used key indicators to anticipate learning problems and improve student outcomes. We also describe the infrastructure and other supports that districts need to sustain this ambitious form of data use. We conclude by discussing how leading indicators can bring about more intelligent use of data in education. PublicationThe Varieties of Knowledge and Skill-Based Pay Design: A Comparison of Seven New Pay Systems for K-12 Teachers(2002-10-01) Milanowski, AnthonyA number of lines of research (e.g., National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, 1996; Slavin & Fashola, 1998; Wright, Horn, & Sanders, 1997; Bembry, Jordan, Gomez, Anderson, & Mendro, 1998; Ferguson & Ladd, 1996) have identified teacher instructional capacity as a key variable in the success of educational reforms in improving student achievement. Since 2000, the Consortium for Policy Research in Education has been studying a new form of teacher compensation that may have the potential to support improvements in the capacity of teachers to deliver instruction that would enable all children to achieve to high academic standards, as well as to respond to the growing public concern that there be some link between teacher salaries and teacher performance. This innovation -- knowledge and skill-based pay -- rewards teachers with base pay increases and/or bonuses for acquiring and demonstrating specific knowledge and skills needed to meet educational goals, such as improving student achievement. The application of this pay concept to K-12 education has been suggested by Conley and Odden (1995), Mohrman, Morhman, and Odden (1996), and Odden and Kelley (1997). This report examines a study of seven knowledge and skill-based pay systems for teachers that have been developed by U.S. schools or districts. PublicationThe Linking Study: An Experiment to Strengthen Teachers' Engagement With Data on Teaching and Learning(2013-04-01) Supovitz, Jonathan AIn this AERA 2013 paper, Dr. Jonathan Supovitz investigates what it means for teachers to fruitfully use data to enhance the teaching and learning process. Informed by research on the challenges teachers face to use data meaningfully, and clues from the rich literature on formative assessment, this paper reports on the design and effects of an intervention designed to help teachers connect data on their teaching with data on the learning of their students for the purpose of informing subsequent instruction which leads to better student outcomes. The hypothesis of this study, therefore, is that while examining data may be useful, the real value of data use is to examine the connection between data points – in this case the instructional choices that teachers make and the learning outcomes of students. Thus, ‘data use’ in this study means encouraging and facilitating teachers’ analytical experiences of linking data on teaching to data on the learning of their students.