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|The Impact of Achieve3000 on Elementary Literacy Outcomes: Randomized Control Trial Evidence, 2013-14 to 2014-15
In 2013-14, the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) launched Achieve3000 as a randomized controlled trial in 16 elementary schools. Achieve3000 is an early literacy program that differentiates non-fiction reading passages based on individual students’ Lexile scores. Two-year results show that Achieve3000 did not have a significant impact on student outcomes. However, both intent-to-treat and treatment-on-treated estimates show that in 2015, the second year of implementation, students in the treatment group outperformed their control-group counterparts by 0.13 standard deviation units (SD) on the year-end Achieve3000 LevelSet Lexile test. This effect size is consistent with mean empirical effect sizes reported by Lipsey et al. (2012). Yet in neither the pooled nor annual results did Achieve3000 significantly impact student performance on additional Lexile outcomes (EOG or DIBELS ORF). Both implementation and impact results for Achieve3000 suggest that the ability of this particular technology-based literacy solution to improve student performance beyond that of a control group fell short of vendor-defined and empirical expectations.
|Effective Teaching Practices
This paper reports the overall findings of research on effective teaching practices in Wake County Public Schools (WCPSS). It is a cross-case analysis of five earlier studies (Biology, Algebra I, U.S. History, middle school Algebra I, and English I). Despite subject implementation differences, four common themes were found: high academic expectations for all students, thoughtful management of time and materials, learning-centered classrooms, and proactive planning.
|Effective Teaching Practices in English I (Summary)
This study analyzed the instructional practices of the most effective English I teachers identified by a multiple regression model. Using both quantitative and qualitative analysis of test data, surveys, observations, and focus-group interviews, the study found that the goal of the most effective teachers was effective communication skills for all students. These teachers focused on building capacity in students by addressing transition into high school and success across all curricular areas. Their classrooms were well-managed and activity-based, using at least the middle level thinking skills of application and analysis. Most effective teachers used Marzano research-based strategies, particularly reinforcing effort and providing recognition, non-linguistic representation, and cooperative learning. These results can be used to motivate teacher and school improvement efforts.
|Comprehensive List of WCPSS Programs 2008-09
WCPSS needed a consistent system for creating an inventory of programs to build capacity to evaluate all program efforts. For this inventory, "program" was defined as any planned and sustained educational effort designed to improve learning outcomes or school/classroom conditions. Overall, 29 centrally coordinated and 187 school-based programs were identified. Supports targeting academic achievement were more common than those for behavior or climate. Centrally-coordinated academic interventions at the elementary level impacted a greater number of students in literacy than in mathematics; these counts were more evenly distributed at both the middle and high school level. School-based programs tend to address literacy and mathematics at similar levels.