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.
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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. 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. 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. 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. PublicationA Randomized Evaluation of Ohio's Personalized Assessment Reporting System (PARS)(2007-12-01) May, Henry; Robinson, Marian AIn the 2006–07 school year, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) launched a pilot of its Personalized Assessment Reporting System (PARS) for the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGT). The PARS program included several new OGT test score reports for teachers, administrators, students, and parents along with two new websites for educators and students. The new PARS test score reports and associated websites are designed to provide teachers, administrators, students and parents with more detailed information about student performance as well as numerous suggestions and resources for improving performance. One of the primary goals of PARS is to increase student motivation to pass the OGT and graduate high school. ODE hopes that by providing clear and detailed information to each student about his or her performance relative to the state standards, along with resources for improving performance and planning for the future, PARS may lead to improvements in student attitudes and behaviors that are fundamental to success in high school and beyond. Research suggests that grades or scores in the absence of constructive feedback can have a detrimental effect on student achievement (Butler 1987; 1988). The PARS reports are designed to provide this kind of detailed constructive feedback. Furthermore, by providing clear and detailed information to teachers and administrators about student performance, along with tools for making sense of the data and resources for improving and targeting instruction, PARS has the potential to inform numerous aspects of instruction. This research report presents program evaluation findings from the first-year pilot of PARS. The primary goals for the evaluation were to (a) document the implementation of the program and (b) provide scientifically based evidence of potential impacts on instruction and student learning. The evaluation involved a district random assignment design and a mixed-methods approach to measuring program implementation and impacts. A total of 100 high schools in 60 school districts participated in this research, with 51 schools in 30 districts randomly assigned to participate in the PARS pilot during the 2006–07 school year. A subsample of 5 schools agreed to site visits during which researchers conducted interviews with teachers and students to learn more about PARS. PublicationThe Mathematics and Science Teacher Shortage: Fact and Myth(2009-03-01) Ingersoll, Richard; Perda, DavidContemporary educational thought holds that one of the pivotal causes of inadequate school performance is the inability of schools to adequately staff classrooms with qualified teachers, especially in fields such as mathematics and science. Shortages of teachers, it is commonly believed, are at the root of these staffing problems, and these shortfalls are, in turn, primarily due to recent increases in teacher retirements and student enrollments. The objective of this study is to empirically reexamine the issue of mathematics and science teacher shortages and to evaluate the extent to which there is a supply-side deficit—a shortage—of new teachers in these particular fields. The data utilized in this investigation are from three sources—the Schools and Staffing Survey and its supplement, the Teacher Follow-Up Survey; the Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System; and the Baccalaureate and Beyond Survey, all conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics. The data show that there are indeed widespread school staffing problems—that is, many schools experience difficulties filling their classrooms with qualified candidates, especially in the fields of math and science. But, contrary to conventional wisdom, the data also show that these school staffing problems are not solely, or even primarily, due to shortages in the sense that too few new mathematics and science teachers are produced each year. The data document that the new supply of mathematics and science teachers is more than sufficient to cover the losses of teachers due to retirement. For instance, in 2000 there were over two and half teachers in the new supply of math teachers for every one math teacher who retired that year. However, when preretirement teacher turnover is factored in, there is a much tighter balance between the new supply of mathematics and science teachers and losses. The data also shows that turnover varies greatly between different types of schools and these differences are tied to the characteristics and conditions of those schools. While it is true that teacher retirements are increasing, the overall volume of turnover accounted for by retirement is relatively minor when compared with that resulting from other causes, such as teacher job dissatisfaction and teachers seeking to pursue better jobs or other careers. PublicationLearning About Assessment: An Evaluation of a Ten-State Effort to Build Assessment Capacity in High Schools(2009-02-01) Weinbaum, Elliot HIn 2006, the State of Delaware and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) partnered with the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) to conduct an evaluation of a ten-state initiative that sought to enhance assessment practices at the high school level. This effort aimed to help states, districts, and schools build familiarity with instruction that uses assessment as part of the learning process, a practice known as assessment for learning. This report focuses primarily on the third goal of this project, the creation and function of teacher learning teams focused on assessment for learning. PublicationAmerica's Choice Comprehensive School Reform Design: First-Year Implementation Evaluation Summary(2000-02-01) Corcoran, Thomas B.; Hoppe, Margaret; Luhm, Theresa; Supovitz, Jonathan AIn the fall of 1998, the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) contracted with the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) to conduct the evaluation of the America’s Choice School Design. This is a summary of CPRE’s first report of a three-year evaluation of the design. The evaluation of America’s Choice seeks to answer four basic questions: Are schools successfully implementing the America’s Choice program design? What environmental characteristics are facilitating or impeding implementation? How effective is America Choice’s implementation strategy? And what are the impacts of the program on teachers and students? As America’s Choice is still in the early stages of implementation, most evaluation efforts are directed toward the questions about the implementation of the program and the conditions surrounding its implementation. In subsequent years, CPRE increasingly will emphasize its evaluation of the impacts of the program on students. This report describes the first year of the implementation of America’s Choice. Following this introduction, section two provides a description of America’s Choice and the theory behind the America’s Choice school design. Section two concludes with a set of reasonable expectations for the progress of America’s Choice in its first year. Section three describes CPRE’s findings concerning the implementation of America’s Choice, including many of the specific design components. Section four analyzes the role of the school district in the implementation of America’s Choice. The report concludes with a summary of the findings of the first year’s evaluation. PublicationDefining, Developing, and Using Curriculum Indicators(2001-12-01) Porter, Andrew C; Smithson, John LWe begin with a brief review of the lessons learned in the Reform Up Close study, a Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) project funded by the National Science Foundation, then discuss the central issues involved in defining and measuring curriculum indicators, while noting how our approach has developed over the past 10 years (1992-2002). This is followed by a discussion about using curriculum indicators in school improvement, program evaluation, and informing policy decisions.