Testing students and using test information to hold schools (and later teachers) accountable for student achievement has arguably been the primary national strategy for school improvement over the past decade and a half. Thus, the focus of this effort has been very school-centric, even when tests are not used for accountability purposes.
For instance, in a few cases school systems have developed early warning indicators describing how individual students are progressing. Both Chicago (Allensworth, 2013) and Massachusetts (Jung et al., 2012), for example, use administrative data to predict whether students are at-risk of now meeting specified academic outcomes. These existing systems are somewhat limited in terms of the span of a student’s educational experiences they cover and in how they are used.
In Chicago, for instance, researchers use 8th grade test scores, grades, and attendance to predict the likelihood that students will graduate and provide high schools with a list of their incoming students at risk of failure. The system in Massachusetts is similar, though their early warning system covers different grade spans and outcomes. More importantly, these early warning systems are built for use by school systems, not to inform parents directly. So, while there is some evidence that the existence of early warning indicators might facilitate conversations between teachers and parents, they are not designed with parents in mind.
TEACHER RECRUITMENT & SELECTION
A long-standing researcher-practitioner partnership between CEDR and Spokane Public Schools (SPS) has connected data collected during the teacher hiring process in SPS to later teacher outcomes in SPS and other district in Washington
SCHOOL RESOURCES &
CEDR projects have investigated the connections between school resources (e.g., textbook adoption) and students' educational trajectories and outcomes.
CEDR projects have explored the impact of programs like Washington's College Bound Scholarship program and students' postsecondary outcomes.
TEACHER PREPARATION & LICENSURE
CEDR projects including the Teacher Education Learning Collaborative (TELC; www.telc.us), the Improving Student Teaching Initiative (ISTI), and others have investigated the connections between specific teacher preparation experiences and measures collected during teacher licensure and later outcomes for teacher candidates.
SPECIAL EDUCATION &
CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION
CEDR has participated in several projects related to the participation of students with disabilities in career and technical education (CTE) and the extent to which this participation predicts later outcomes
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN EDUCATION SYSTEMS & LABOR MARKET OUTCOMES
CEDR has studied processes and outcomes in the teacher labor market like teacher collective bargaining agreements, teacher quality gaps, and teacher layoffs and their connections to student achievement
TEACHER QUALIFICATIONS & EFFECTIVENESS
CEDR researchers have studied the teacher pension system in Washington and other states and investigated the connections between pensions systems and teachers' career paths and effectiveness.