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Tag: Instructional research

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Published Document Title Authors Pages Abstract
October 2017 Academically Gifted Co-Teaching in the Wake County Public School System: Implementation, Perceptions and Achievement Lenard, Matthew
Townsend, Megan

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Following the recommendations of a 2013 instructional audit, the Academically or Intellectually Gifted department implemented a co-teaching instructional strategy in 41 volunteer schools starting in the 2014-15 school year. Implementation data and discussions with central office staff suggest that while implementation fidelity was relatively strong in the first year, it declined in 2015-16. Still, the first year of implementation offered evidence to guide any future co-teaching implementation. First, the “one teach, one assist” method of co-teaching was most frequently observed, suggesting that co-teachers may have defaulted to one of the less optimal instructional strategies under the model. Second, AIG teachers and co-teachers perceived the initiative similarly but differed on a few particularly meaningful survey items pertaining to the perceptions and role of the specialist. Third, AIG students and non-AIG students in co-taught classrooms were similarly engaged. Finally, students in co-taught classrooms significantly outperformed their non-co-taught peers in science, but not in math or reading.

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May 2013 Formative Assessment with Technology 2011-12: Second Year of Implementation Bulgakov-Cooke, Dina
Talbot, Troy

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The second year (2011-12) of the Formative Assessment with Technology Project in three WCPSS schools was studied to determine the fidelity of implementation of the formative assessment practices and the project's impact on student achievement. Classroom observations and surveys of teachers and students showed that implementation was moderate, and it varied widely across teachers. Certain targeted practices were reported or observed much more often than others. High turnover in the teachers participating in the project likely contributed to the uneven implementation. High school staff had the highest level of implementation of training concepts as well as the highest use of the electronic response tools for assessment. Full implementation and impact on state achievement test scores was expected to take two years to be evident. Since only nine teachers participated and had data for two years, impact could not be reliably assessed. This pilot training model would be too expensive to roll out district-wide in WCPSS. More cost effective models may be used to encourage appropriate use of formative assessment.

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May 2013 High Five PLT Survey Results, 2007-08 to 2012-13 Jackl, Andrew

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WCPSS PLT survey responses have been positive over time, remaining at high levels for the past six school years. Analyses of High Five PLT Survey data from 2007-08 to 2012-13 show: The percentage of positive agreement to each of the High Five PLT Survey themes increased between 4 and 11 percentage points since baseline data was first collected in the 2007-08 school year. When the survey data were disaggregated by the six PLT themes, only "collaborative culture/team processes" showed a decline (two percentage points). When the survey items are examined individually, the percentage of respondents marking that they "strongly agree" almost universally decreased from 2011-12, while the percentage marking "agree" showed a corresponding increase. Administering the High Five PLT Survey at less frequent intervals is recommended, as well as standardized PLT training for all new staff.

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March 2013 Limited English Proficient Students: Exit Rates for 2008-09 Cohort Baenen, Nancy

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Exit rates from Limited English Proficiency (LEP) for students who enter the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) as LEP students vary by when students enter WCPSS (based on students entering in kindergarten, grade 6 or 7, or grade 9). Based on our 2008-09 cohorts, students entering in grades 6 or 7 were most likely to exit LEP status after four years (54%), followed by those entering in kindergarten (39%), and finally those entering in grade 9 (27%). Exit rates vary based on performance on the LEP placement test. Students scoring higher on the test initially have a much better chance of exiting LEP within four years, indicating better English proficiency upon entry to WCPSS leads to a better chance of exiting LEP faster. Students with low initial placement test scores take longer to exit the program if they enter WCPSS at the higher grade levels. Further research will examine the effects of a variety of support services on the exit rates of LEP students in the cohort.

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January 2013 2011-12 District Improvement Initiatives Evaluation Bulgakov-Cooke, Dina

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Seven District Improvement initiatives were implemented in 2011-12 in WCPSS. All were well designed and coordinated, with common goal setting processes and use of common monitoring tools. All initiatives either met or partially met 2011-12 goals. Some were more successful in showing student outcomes, with the most positive initiatives being elementary mathematics and adolescent literacy. These results should be used to influence future decisions about continuation or strengthening of these efforts. New components that were well received and implemented by those trained (but which did not have achievement results as yet) should also be considered for future funding.

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July 2012 High Five PLT Survey Results, 2007-12 Jackl, Andrew

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Summary - WCPSS PLT survey responses have been positive over time, reaching a high plateau for the last three years. Analyses of High Five PLT Survey data from 2007-12 show: In 2011-12, high percentages (87.2%) of WCPSS teachers responding to the High Five PLT Survey provided positive responses to the items. Responses have been positive from 2007-08 to 2011-12, with small increases over time. Overall, WCPSS has shown an improvement in its PLT Performance Index of 5.7 percentage points over five years. The elementary, middle, and high schools have shown gains of 4.2, 7.5, and 9.1 percentage points, respectively. The implementation of dedicated time for PLT work (Wake Wednesdays) correlated to slight increases in PLT indices at the elementary and middle school levels; only the elementary level saw a slight decline when dedicated time was no longer provided.

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April 2012 Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) Professional Learning Teams (PLTs): 2010-11 to 2011-12 School-Based Policy Study Jackl, Andrew
Lougée, Aimee

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Professional Learning Teams were first introduced in WCPSS in 2003. Implementation checks, first done in 2007-08, showed most teachers (81.5%) reported involvement in PLT work. These high percentages improved slowly over time, with 87% positive responses to items by fall of 2011. In terms of impact, 81% of teachers indicated students learned more because of their PLT work. Student retention rates, classroom grades, state test performance, and graduation rates have all improved over time. Regression analyses indicated those schools who utilized PLTs the most had greater decreases in student retention rates than those with lower implementation. Similar analyses for student growth on test results just missed statistical significance. While it is difficult to separate out the impact of PLT work from other initiatives, these analyses suggest PLTs have contributed to improvements in WCPSS outcomes despite tough economic times and increasing challenges for teachers.

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December 2011 WCPSS District Improvement Implementation 2010-11 Baenen, Nancy
Bulgakov-Cooke, Dina

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Instructional strategies aimed at improving achievement of low performing student subgroups in need of support were selected by the District Improvement Advisory Committee, so that WCPSS could exit District Improvement status. Impact of each initiative, which often included teacher training and coaching is examined in this implementation report. Recommendations are made including setting strategic goals and systematically monitoring implementation; targeting schools or teachers with high numbers of AYP groups of students in need of support; being intentional in coaching efforts and structuring coaching models based on the SIOP® experience; building ownership and commitment at the school level; and coordinating new and existing efforts to optimize effectiveness.

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August 2011 Evaluation of WCPSS Central Services Professional Learning Teams (PLTs): Spring 2011 Jackl, Andrew

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) Board policy indicates that central staff are to support school implementation of Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) and to participate in PLTs at the central level. Central Services supported PLT work in the schools in a variety of ways. The percentage of principals who saw this support as adequate dropped from 85% to 70% between spring 2010 and 2011. Within Central Services, 86% of survey respondents reported participating in at least one PLT. Of those responding to the Spring 2011 PLT survey, responses remained overwhelming positive about implementation and effectiveness. However, without exception, the strength of agreement decreased, with the percentage of respondents who "strongly agreed" dropping between 2010 and 2011.

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June 2011 Comprehensive Assessment Systems: Purposes and Implementation Talbot, Troy

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Comprehensive Assessment Systems: Purposes and Implementation

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April 2011 Assessing the Value of the Arts: Looking Beyond Traditional Achievement Measures Baenen, Nancy
Brasfield, Jon

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Courses in the arts develop skills specific to the discipline. Research also suggests that the arts contribute to enhanced attentiveness, engagement in school, communication skills, and critical and divergent thinking. Other studies point out benefits for at-risk students in reducing negative outcomes such as dropout and crime rates. Studies report a correlational relationship between arts education and reading achievement, but a causal link has not been established. Thus, there is evidence of benefits of the arts that can support students' success in school, but more high quality causal studies are needed.

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April 2011 WCPSS 2010-11 High Five Professional Learning Teams (PLT) Survey Results: Implementation Over Time Jackl, Andrew

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) continues to implement Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) as a research-based method of improving teacher effectiveness and increasing student achievement. Over each of the last four years, a survey of educators was conducted in WCPSS and the other four High Five districts. As in previous years, this year's data showed strong support among teachers for the PLT model; between 73% and 91% of respondents indicating that they "strongly agree" or "agree" with the statements pertaining to the six PLT themes. Viewed longitudinally, positive responses for each theme have increased between four and eight percentage points since 2007-08. When 2010-11 results were compared with 2009-10, the results were less dramatic, with smaller changes in the percentage of positive responses.

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January 2011 ABCs and AYP Results, WCPSS: 2009-10 Haynie, Glenda

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In 2009-10, 92% of WCPSS schools met Expected or High Growth as measured by the North Carolina ABCs program, a 3.5 percentage point increase from 2008-09. Fifty-four percent of the schools made High Growth and 38% made Expected Growth. All subgroups saw their percentages of students meeting growth increase to above 55% in 2009-10; with the "All Students" group above 60% (the state's definition of High Growth for a school). Slightly more than 90% of WCPSS schools were in the recognition categories Honor Schools of Excellence (5.8%), Schools of Excellence (3.2%), Schools of Distinction (40.6%), or Schools of Progress (40.6%). Yet there was a substantial decrease in the number of schools making AYP (38.4%) compared to 2008-09 (62.8%). The decrease in 2009-10 can partly be explained by the one-year effect of retests that benefitted schools in 2008-09, and the invalidation of tests for high school occupational course of study students by the U.S. Department of Education. There were a much greater proportion of schools that met High Growth among the schools that met AYP (71.7%) than among those that did not meet AYP (43.2%).

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December 2010 Foundations of Algebra: 2009-10 Paeplow, Colleen

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This report examined the implementation of Foundations of Algebra, a course designed to provide high school students with low mathematics performance an extra opportunity to review and study foundational mathematics concepts prior to enrolling in Introductory Mathematics and subsequently Algebra I. In the fall of 2009, 877 high school students participated in Foundations of Algebra while another 774 students were enrolled directly into Introductory Mathematics in the spring of 2010. 1,600 students enrolled in Introductory Mathematics in 2008-09 were used as a comparison group. Eighty-two percent of Foundations of Algebra students were Level I or II; however, less than two-thirds of students (63%) scored Level I or low Level II--the program's criteria. Twenty-seven percent of students enrolled directly into Introductory Mathematics met the recommended criteria of high Level II scores. A higher percentage of students who participated in Foundations of Algebra enrolled in Algebra I and Algebra I Part I than did comparison students.

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November 2010 WCPSS Professional Learning Teams (PLTs): 2009-10 School-Based Policy Implementation Study Baenen, Nancy

122 View Abstract

As a result of Board Policy 3610, PLTs were implemented across WCPSS in a consistent fashion in 2009-10. Data show that implementation improved and teachers spent more time engaged in collaborative work. School staff cited numerous benefits for teachers and students. Regression analyses showed a reasonably strong correlation between high levels of PLT implementation and students' academic achievement, attendance, and their overall level of satisfaction with their schools. Essential characteristics of PLTs were illustrated in case studies of high-performing PLTs' in the district. While collaborative cultures have been well-established, most teams could benefit from additional training on ways to use data, and on ways to evaluate the success of their efforts. Communications with school communities could also be more consistent across schools.

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September 2010 WCPSS District Improvement: 2009-10 Implementation Status Bulgakov-Cooke, Dina

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In 2009-10 Wake County Public Schools System (WCPSS) exited District Improvement in reading and remained in level one for mathematics. All District Improvement efforts gained momentum. The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP®) continued as the primary focus to meet the needs of limited English proficient (LEP) students in elementary and middle schools. The high school component was modified and addressed both literacy and mathematics. The number of trained SIOP® teachers considerably increased (from 588 in 2008-09 to 956 in 2009-10), follow-up coaching to support application of training reached more teachers, training implementation and buy-in strengthened. All SIOP® training, coaching, and implementation objectives for in 2009-10 were met or partially met. The number and use of SIOP® modified focus lessons increased substantially, but awareness could still be improved.

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June 2010 Effective Teaching Practices Haynie, Glenda

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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.

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June 2010 End-of-Grade (EOG) Multiple-Choice Test Results, 2008-09 McMillen, Brad

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In 2008-09, results from End-of-Grade (EOG) reading and mathematics tests in WCPSS continued to demonstrate an upward trend across grade levels and student subgroups. Disaggregation of results by ethnicity, income level, disability status, and English proficiency status showed that achievement gaps between historically underperforming subgroups and their peers are still significant but are closing. Results of the new EOG science test in grades 5 and 8 showed that proficiency rates in science are below those for reading and mathematics. The effect of retesting for students who fail to score proficient on the first administration of EOG tests indicated that retesting improved proficiency rates by 4-9 percentage points, and that some groups of students benefited more than others from retesting.

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June 2010 Middle School Mathematics: 2006-07 to 2008-09 Paeplow, Colleen

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In 2006-07, seven Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) middle schools piloted Algebraic Thinking as an alternate approach to teaching middle school mathematics. Algebraic Thinking was developed to help students in grade 6 reach higher mathematics courses by combining the regular and advanced middle school mathematics courses into one heterogeneously grouped class and differentiating instruction. Of the 1,493 grade 6 students enrolled in one of the five pilot schools, 1,087 were still enrolled in Algebraic Thinking in 2008-09 and were therefore included in the study. A comparison cohort of 1,078 grade 6 students enrolled from 2006-07 to 2008-09 was selected from five matched schools. While both cohorts of students improved academically, overall findings suggest that participation in Algebraic Thinking did not have a greater positive impact on students' mathematics achievement as measured by EOG proficiency or growth. However, a significantly higher percentage of Algebra I students at the Algebraic Thinking schools met their Algebra I growth target.

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May 2010 End-of-Course Multiple-Choice Test Results, 2008-09 McMillen, Brad

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End-of-Course (EOC) tests are given statewide in 10 courses typically taken in high school. Results for 2008-09 (and prior years, where available) are reported in terms of both average scale scores and the percentage of students scoring proficient. After the recent introduction of new EOC tests with higher standards, scores in WCPSS have begun to move back upward after an initial decline. Significant gaps in achievement are still evident, and proficiency rates have not fully recovered to the levels seen prior to these new tests. However, historically-underperforming subgroups have made significant gains, and have begun to close those gaps. Further acceleration of those gains will be important for ensuring that all students are prepared for their post-secondary futures.

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May 2010 WCPSS 2009-10 High Five PLT Survey Results: Professional Learning Team (PLT) Implementation Over Time Jackl, Andrew

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) continues to implement Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) as a research-based method of improving teacher effectiveness and increasing student achievement. High Five PLT Survey results from 2007-08 through 2009-10 showed a strong level of support for the PLT oncept. The 2009-10 results revealed 73% to 92% of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed with all statements pertaining to each of the six core PLT themes. Generally, teachers responded more positively to the survey items in 2009-10 than in previous years. The percentage of teachers meeting weekly for over an hour increased greatly over prior years after implementation of the Board policy on PLTs. In short, survey results suggest strong implementation, with slow but measureable progress towards full functioning of all components of the model.

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January 2010 Test Scores and the Standard Error of Measurement Holdzkom, David
McMillen, Brad
Sumner, Brian

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Test Scores and the Standard Error of Measurement

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December 2009 Effective Teaching Practices in English I (Summary) Bowen, Kim
Haynie, Glenda
Merritt, Sherri

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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.

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June 2009 Algebra I Performance in Year-Long versus Semester-Long Courses Holdzkom, David

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This study examined differences in student achievement between 9th grade students who took Algebra I in a twopart, year-long sequence and those who took a one-semester Algebra I course. Results indicated higher proficiency rates and higher growth results for students in the year-long sequence, especially for students who scored below Achievement Level IV on their 8th Grade Mathematics EOG test. Schools are urged to use these results to make data-based scheduling decisions for 9th grade Algebra I students.

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June 2009 PLC Survey Results by Years of Experience Baenen, Nancy

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On the High Five PLC Survey, most teachers, regardless of years of experience, viewed PLCs as having a positive impact on their work environment and student learning. Beginning teachers tended to have the highest percentage of agreement. The percentage of teachers agreeing that PLCs were having the desired impact increased between 2007-08 and 2008-09 for both beginning teachers and those with more experience. Thus, trends were in the desired direction.

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May 2009 Professional Learning Community (PLC) Implementation: WCPSS 2008-09 High Five PLC Survey Results Jackl, Andrew

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) continues to implement Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) as a research-based method of increasing student achievement and improving teaching effectiveness. Teachers were surveyed in 2007-08 and again in 2008-09 to obtain data about the status of PLC implementation efforts within the district. The 2008-09 results showed a strong level of support for the PLC concept (71% to 89% of the survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed with statements pertaining to each of the six core PLC themes). In most instances, teachers responded more positively to the survey items in 2008-09 than they did the year before. In short, survey results suggest that the district is making progress towards its goal of full PLC implementation.

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January 2009 Best Practices to Promote High School Graduation Baenen, Nancy

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Significant attention and resources have been focused on reforming high schools to enhance graduation rates. The research literature supports the following practices: For struggling students, accurate identification and intensive instructional, monitoring, and counseling support For 9th graders, transition activities, personalization, and academic support strategies For teachers, intensive training to help them provide effective instruction and support, particularly for students showing signs of risk.

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January 2009 Overview of Practices to Promote High School Graduation Baenen, Nancy

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Significant attention and resources have been focused on reforming high schools to enhance graduation rates. The research literature supports the following practices: For struggling students, accurate identification and intensive instructional, monitoring, and counseling support For 9th graders, transition activities, personalization, and academic support strategies For teachers, intensive training to help them provide effective instruction and support, particularly for students showing signs of risk.

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October 2008 Helping High-Performing Students Achieve at Higher Levels: A Review of the Literature Yaman, Kimberly

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Helping High-Performing Students Achieve at Higher Levels: A Review of the Literature

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May 2008 WCPSS Professional Learning Communities: 2007-08 Implementation Status Reichstetter, Rosemary

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Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are in the implementation stages throughout the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS). Results from the 2007-08 High Five PLC Survey of teachers throughout the school system, as well as observations and focus group interviews in selected schools, show that strong support continues for PLC implementation overall, (66% to 87% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with statements about each PLC element). Results suggest PLC concepts and work efforts are well underway and are growing in implementation. Challenges cited include finding time for PLC team work and remediation of student skills, increasing the understanding of all staff of PLC concepts, and increasing teachers' skills in developing and using quality formative assessments.

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February 2008 Helping Improve Achievement for Students with Multiple Academic Risk Factors Baenen, Nancy

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See abstracts document

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January 2008 Facts for Families No.1 What Research Suggests to Help Your Student Achieve Baenen, Nancy

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See abstracts document

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October 2007 Project IRIS: Intensive Reading Intervention Study, A Three-Year Follow-Up Baenen, Nancy
Rhea, Anisa

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In 2002-03, the Intensive Reading Intervention Study (IRIS) was implemented in six Wake County Public School System elementary schools. The intervention was designed to help 1st-grade students experiencing reading difficulty meet grade-level standards and show sufficient progress to maintain that status in future years. An initial study examined the effects on students' 1st-grade reading skills. This follow-up study investigates students' reading skills through grade 4. Results generally show strong reading outcomes for students in both experimental and control groups, with no statistically significant differences in terms of percent proficient in reading and average reading performance. A more favorable and statistically significant average reading residual was found for 3rd-grade experimental group students compared to their counterparts. Students in both groups were placed in special education, provided remedial support, or retained in grade at about the same rates between grades 1 and 4.

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August 2007 WCPSS Students with Multiple Academic Risks: Achievement Patterns and School Experiences Baenen, Nancy
Ives, Sarah
Paeplow, Colleen
Reichstetter, Rosemary

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This study focused on effective practices for students with multiple academic risk factors (students with disabilities, students eligible for free or reduced price lunch, and/or students with limited English proficiency). Achievement performance patterns over several years differ between students making stronger and weaker achievement growth on End-of-Grade tests. Sixteen case studies of 5th and 8th graders revealed that students with positive achievement patterns were more likely to show signs of resilience in their personal characteristics, school experiences, and/or home support than were students with negative achievement patterns. Teachers of both groups used some methods recommended in national research (such as small-group work, structure, and collaboration). A specific focus on language development was not mentioned. Homework was a common problem.

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June 2007 Effective Practices for Elementary School Students with Multiple Needs Baenen, Nancy

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Document summarizes a larger study about elementary school-level practices that can make a difference in promoting the achievement growth of multiple-risk students: high expectations, positive attitudes about being able to meet students' needs with the resources available, supportive administrative leadership that allocates resources effectively, professional training, formal and information collaboration to help students, and more frequent use of teacher-led instruction.

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June 2007 Effective Practices for Middle School Students with Multiple Needs Baenen, Nancy

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School-level practices can make a difference in promoting the achievement growth of multiple-risk students. At the middle school level, effective school staffs were more likely to; focus more on how to address student needs and less on barriers to addressing needs; have more informal administrator visits in classrooms; have more positive attitudes and training in working with at-risk groups, and more frequently use resources such as assessment data, extra adults in classrooms, technology, and instructional pacing guides.

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April 2007 Professional Learning Community (PLC) Implementation WCPSS 2006-07 Baseline Survey Results Baenen, Nancy
Reichstetter, Rosemary

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Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are being developed in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) to promote continuous improvement and student success. Baseline results from a 2006-07 survey show strong support for PLC concepts/expectations among school staff (at least 88% rated themes as medium or high priority), with lower implementation levels (60-73%) per theme. Sustained implementation of PLCs was reported by 24-30% of staff for each theme. Results suggest training in PLC concepts and strategies should be well received in WCPSS, and that increased implementation is clearly possible.

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October 2006 Defining a Professional Learning Community: A Literature Review Reichstetter, Rosemary

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Summarizing a nonexhaustive review of the literature, the following definition is suggested for a professional learning community: A professional learning community is made up of team members who regularly collaborate toward continued improvement in meeting learner needs through a shared curricular-focused vision. Facilitating this effort are: supportive leadership and structural conditions, collective challenging, questioning, and reflecting on team-designed lessons and instructional practices/experiences, and team decisions on essential learning outcomes and intervention/enrichment activities based on results of common formative student assessments.

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October 2006 Effective Practices for At-Risk Elementary and Middle School Students Baenen, Nancy
Gilewicz, Ed
Ives, Sarah
Lynn, Amy
Warren, Tom
Yaman, Kimberly

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The students who have the most difficulty reaching accountability standards in Wake County Public Schools are those with more than one of the following characteristics: recipients of free or reduced-price lunch, students with disabilities, and/or students with limited English proficiency. The Evaluation and Research Department identified elementary and middle schools that differed in their effectiveness in promoting achievement growth for these students. Quantitative and qualitative analyses suggest differences in both attitudes and practices. The more effective schools had higher expectations for these students, and greater confidence in their ability to meet students' needs. Evidence suggested more effective administrative leadership/support, training, and utilization of resources. Higher-growth middle schools utilized assessments to inform instruction more frequently, and higher-growth elementary schools had more structured collaboration around student needs. Further research is planned.

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July 2006 High School Redesign 2004-05 Reichstetter, Rosemary

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) strengthened the rigor, relevance, and relationships within its high schools in 2004-05; a primary strategy was the adoption on a block schedule. This progress report found an increase in more rigorous academic opportunities. Higher numbers of enrollees engaged in advanced courses and generally stable or higher academic success was achieved with End-of-Course exams, grade point averages, and credits earned. Greater relevance in coursework was evident and a wider variety of instructional practices. Staff promoted stronger student-staff relationships by emphasizing personalization. The majority of students and teachers reported fewer discipline concerns in classes, and students felt connected with their schools. Dropout and suspension rates did not decline.

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May 2006 Predictive Assessment of Reading (PAR) and Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) K-2 Literacy Program 2004-05 Paeplow, Colleen

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This evaluation examined 1,524 students in grade 1 at 13 Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) schools that participated in the Predictive Assessment of Reading (PAR) study in 2004-05. It also examined their participation in the Accelerated Learning Program K-2 Literacy Program during 2004-05. Both literacy initiatives focused on identifying students in need of additional assistance and providing support to those students. Student success was measured by the PAR assessment and WCPSS instructional book levels. The PAR assessment was used to determine the benefit of PAR only and PAR plus ALP K-2, the correlation of the two instruments, and whether PAR and ALP K-2 identified the same students as at-risk. Although the experimental and control groups saw similar results overall, students who participated in the ALP K-2 program saw greater gains among the experimental group. While PAR participants showed substantial improvement on the PAR assessment, ALP K-2 participants showed similar gains on book level with or without full PAR support. There was a significant positive relationship between students' performance on the PAR assessment and book level and a substantial overlap in the students identified as at-risk of failure by both programs.

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April 2006 Effective Biology Teaching: A Value-Added Instructional Improvement Analysis Model Haynie, Glenda

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This research study developed a value-added instructional improvement analysis model. North Carolina state testing results were used in regression and residual analyses of student achievement. This analysis allowed for identification of the "most effective" and "least effective" biology teachers in Wake County Public Schools (WCPSS). The study found that the "most effective" biology teachers were focused on the delivery of biology instruction; resisted distractions from their classroom efforts; maximized student use of class time; studied and planned with other teachers using the North Carolina Biology Standard Course of Study; focused all student time on the Standard Course of Study goals; carefully planned teacher controlled student activities; and used data to guide their instructional practice.

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December 2005 Advanced Placement (AP) Course-Taking, Exam Participation, and Exam Results, 2004-05 Dulaney, Chuck
McMillen, Brad

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The first section of this bulletin summarizes Advanced Placement (AP) course participation and AP exam data for the Wake County Public School System for the 2004-05 school year. Overall, the percentage of high school students who took at least one AP course increased from 14.1% in 2003-04 to 15.7% in 2004-05. About 59% of students who took an AP course took the corresponding AP exam for that course, and about 78% of those exam scores were 3 or higher, which is the College Board's threshold for mastery. The second section reports on a more in-depth study of AP results for students from the 2003-04 school year that looks at the relationship between 8th-grade achievement and success in AP courses.

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December 2005 End-of-Grade Multiple-Choice Test Results, 2004-05 McMillen, Brad

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The percentage of reading and mathematics tests taken by Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) students in grades 3-8 that resulted in Level III or IV scores fell slightly in 2004-05 to 90.8% from 91.1% in 2003-04. The percentage of students scoring in Level III or IV was slightly higher in mathematics (91.4%) than in reading (90.4%). The percentage of students scoring in Level III or IV in reading showed slight increases at all grade levels except grade 4, while percentages in mathematics rose slightly in grades 6 and 7 and fell in grades 3, 4, and 5. Female students out performed male students in both subjects. Disaggregation by race/ethnicity, income level, and disability status showed either no change or a small increase in the percentage of reading scores at Level III or IV and no change or a small decline in mathematics for most groups.

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October 2005 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Results: 2004-05 Dulaney, Chuck
Haynie, Glenda

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) met 66 out of 73 (90.4%) measurabledistrict targets in the third year of federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) accountability standards. The 2004-05 school year was the first year that the Annual Measurable Objectivesincreased. In grades 3-8, the objectives were 76.7% proficiency in reading, up from 68.9%, and 81.0% in math, up from 74.6%. In 10th grade, the Annual Measurable Objectives were given new starting points based on past student performance on English I, 10th-grade Writing, and Algebra I tests, which were approved as the high school primary tests. In spite of the new and increased targets, 63% of all WCPSS schools made AYP in 2004-05 (83 out of 132). Twenty-seven schools missed only one or two targets. Students with disabilities and recipients of free or reduced-price meals (economically disadvantaged) were the two subgroups that most often failed to meet AYP targets.

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August 2005 ABC Outcomes for WCPSS for 2004-05 Dulaney, Chuck

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ABC Outcomes for WCPSS for 2004-05

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May 2005 Student Outcomes After Reassignment for School Socioeconomic Diversity: Year Two Follow-Up Baenen, Nancy

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This study examined whether reassignment, specifically when used to maintain socioeconomic diversity in WCPSS elementary schools, affects the academic outcomes of students over a two-year period. Results indicate that (1) only a small number of students in the year studied were reassigned only for diversity (with more reassigned for growth or other reasons). (2) Three-fourths of the students slated for reassignment did not attend the schools to which they had been assigned, instead choosing other options available to WCPSS students, such as magnet schools and special programs; and (3) reassigned students who did attend the schools to which they had been reassigned attained reasonable achievement in the two years following reassignment. Achievement results were mixed, with no clear advantage for either group. Only 37 students remained in their reassigned school by the end of year 2, so small sample sizes limit the generalizability of the results.

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April 2005 Improving Teacher Quality: Progress in Meeting NCLB (Title II-A) Requirements, 2003-04 Speas, Carol

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Overall, WCPSS is on track in meeting NCLB's Title II, Part A requirements for teacher quality and quality of professional development (PD). In 2003-04, all WCPSS teachers met the "highly qualified" standard. All lateral-entry teachers, as well as 89% of Title I-funded paraprofessionals, met new mandates. Further, 85% of Title II, Part A-funded PD activities were more intensive than a single day, up from 20% in 2002-03. District-wide, 75% of core area teachers completed at least one PD activity; 72% participated in "high quality" PD (comparable to a similar-sized NC district). Recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers, as well as documenting the provision of high quality training to increasing percentages of teachers, will continue to be challenging.

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March 2005 East Wake High School Evening Program Reichstetter, Rosemary

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The East Wake High School Evening Program study focused on whether the program was meeting its original intent and was cost/beneficial. The focus changed from serving only dropouts or students likely to drop out or not graduate who participated in the extended day program to serving any student needing course grade recovery. Most attempted courses were completed with credits earned, and grade promotions of enrollees increased. However, some classes were small, which increased the cost per student. Few dropouts enrolled in 2003-04, and overall enrollment was lower than previously.

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February 2005 Block Scheduling Evaluation Baenen, Nancy
Reichstetter, Rosemary

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In 2003-04, 11 Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) high schools moved from a traditional student schedule of six full-year courses to a block schedule of four courses each semester (4x4). Implementation went fairly smoothly, with 90% of teachers trained prior to the change. Academic course opportunities and course enrollment numbers increased substantially (by 24% and 46% respectively) compared to 2002-03, key desired outcomes. Academic success was marked by increases in credits earned, grade promotion rates, and twelfth grade graduation rates as desired. Maintenance of prior status was desired for other outcomes this first year. End-of-course performance and grade point averages of 3.0 or higher actually increased slightly, while Advanced Placement (AP) scores of 3 and greater decreased slightly. Student attendance and suspension rates remained the same. Generally, most of those surveyed and interviewed expressed satisfaction with the change. Exploring modified schedule options for some courses as well as continued professional development are recommended.

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January 2005 WCPSS K-5 Assessment Results 2003-04 Baenen, Nancy
Lindblad, Mark
Yaman, Kimberly

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WCPSS uses K-5 assessments in literacy and mathematics to monitor student status in their learning, to guide instruction, and to assess whether students and schools are showing typical performance for their grade level. The percentage of students showing grade-level performance is generally between 77% and 87% on the reading and mathematics assessments. Percentages tend to be somewhat lower than those seen on the EOG tests. Increases in the percentage of students reaching grade-level standards in literacy and math at K-2 could help WCPSS reach Goal 2008 at grades 3 and up. WCPSS writing portfolios show more students scoring "at grade level" at K-2 (81%) than at grade 3-5 (62%). At grade 4, 57% of WCPSS students were considered at grade level based on local writing portfolios compared to 47.7% on the state assessment. Writing still appears to be the area where the most improvement is needed to reach state and local standards.

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December 2004 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Results: 2003-04 Dulaney, Chuck
Haynie, Glenda

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Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Results: 2003-04

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November 2004 Advanced Placement Exam Results, 2002-03 Regan, Roger

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Students at 15 Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) high schools took 5,468 Advanced Placement (AP) exams offered by the College Board in 2002-03. The percentage of all juniors and seniors in the district who took at least one AP exam rose from 19.7% in 2001-02 to 20.4% in 2002-03. However, the percentage of exams earning a score of 3 or higher (the score typically needed to qualify for college course credit) decreased by 1.1 percentage points to 79.4% in 2002-03. WCPSS' overall success rate was substantially higher than that of North Carolina (58.0%), the U.S. South (56.7%), and the nation as a whole (61.5%). As in previous years, disparities in participation and performance by high school, gender, and race were observed.

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October 2004 WCPSS Outcomes Summary for 2003-04, With an Emphasis on Achievement Gap Status Baenen, Nancy
Dulaney, Chuck
Yaman, Kimberly

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) has seen positive changes in patterns of achievement and dropout rates over the past several years overall and by subgroup. The most positive one-year subgroup changes related to dropout rates for Black students and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for minority, low-income, and limited English proficient (LEP) students. However, many achievement gaps remain, and the system continues to work towards optimal achievement for all students and closing achievement gaps.

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June 2004 Input on 2005-06 School Calendar Survey Baenen, Nancy

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) Board of Education, in considering the best start date for the school calendar, questioned how important certain factors in the calendar are for high schools. If factors assumed to be important were not in fact important, a later start date would be considered. In the spring of 2004, input on the 2005-06 school calendar was secured from high school students, parents, and professional staff. In addition to rating the importance of various scheduling factors, respondents were asked to look at three specific calendars. The most popular specific option for all three groups was the calendar with the earliest start date beginning August 9, 2005, and ending May 24, 2006. About half of the parents (51%), 42% of the staff, and 34% of the students picked one of the other two options. The second-favored option overall was a start date of August 24, 2005, with a start date of September 6, 2005 selected least often. Factors most often cited in support of the August 9 start date included vacation schedules, exam completion before winter break, and the number of instructional days before Advanced Placement (AP) exams.

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April 2004 From Complacency to Excellence Through School District Reform: A Case Study of the WCPSS Banks, Karen

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WCPSS has made some notable positive changes in achievement, graduation, and other outcomes over the last few years. This document summarizes trends over time in outcomes and district efforts which likely contributed.

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December 2003 A Study of the 1995 WCPSS 9TH - Grade Students with Disabilities Cohort Haynie, Glenda

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In a study of 5,226 first-time 1995 9th-grade students, 12% of the students were students with disabilities (SWD). Academic performance indicators for the SWD group were far below the overall cohort indicators. Difficulties for students with disabilities could be observed beginning in ninth grade. The average GPA of SWD students at the end of ninth grade was 1.79(a D+ average) compared to an average GPA of 2.58 (a C+ average) for the overall cohort. Just 57% of the SWD cohort graduated (defined as completion of 12th grade with a diploma or certificate) compared to 77% of the overall cohort. Of the graduating SWD students, only 36% took the SAT with an average total score of 949, while 76% of the overall cohort took the SAT with an average total score of 1065. Black SWD students were less likely to graduate than White SWD students (45% compared to 66%). Behaviorally/Emotionally Disabled (BED) Black female students were least likely to graduate (13%). The 43% of SWD students who dropped out had a ninth grade average GPA of 0.82 (below a D average).

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August 2003 WCPSS Graduates as UNC Freshmen: Acceptance and Performance Trends Baenen, Nancy
Overbay, Amy

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This report summarizes information provided by the University of North Carolina (UNC) on the WCPSS graduates enrolled in UNC institutions between 1990 and 2001. Statistics from the UNC Office of General Administration show that during that period, a higher percentage of WCPSS graduates applied to and enrolled in UNC institutions, compared to NC graduates overall. Between 1991 and 2002, WCPSS graduates were also more successful in their first year of college, earning higher average GPAs than other UNC freshmen. Further, a higher percentage of WCPSS graduates took advanced courses, and a lower percentage required remedial courses. These data suggest that WCPSS graduates receive a strong preparation for college work, perhaps stronger than their counterparts from other districts, and that this preparation has improved over the past decade.

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May 2003 High School Support to Meet Graduation Requirements 2001-02 Baenen, Nancy

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Overall, 2,422 high school students who were at risk of not graduating received some instructional assistance in 2001-02. However, the number of students who might struggle with one or more graduation requirements was high (7,810), and many were not identified as receiving instructional support beyond their regular classes. Compared to state ABC standards, those who received support showed high growth between spring 2001 and 2002. A two-year follow-up of students who had not passed the Minimum Competency requirement in spring 2000 reveals close to 60% of those still in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) were able to meet this requirement by spring 2002. However, the percentage able to attain grade level scores between spring 2001 and 2002 was similar (23-28%) regardless of whether they received instructional assistance.

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April 2003 Advanced Placement Exam Results 2001-2002 Regan, Roger

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Students at 15 Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) high schools took approximately 4,878 Advanced Placement exams offered by the College Board in 2001-02. With 20% of all juniors and seniors in the district taking at least one AP exam, the percent attaining a score of 3 or higher on a 5-point scale (the score typically needed to qualify for college course credit) reached a 10-year high of 80.5%, up 3.3 percentage points from the previous year. WCPSS' overall success rate was higher than that of comparable large school districts, and 17 percentage points higher than the rate for the nation as a whole. On the five most frequently taken AP exams, the percent of scores that were 3 or higher rose an average of 8.6 points.

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February 2003 Class-Size Reduction Program 2001-02 Speas, Carol

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In 2001-02, 23 schools were provided with 40 teacher positions through the Class Size Reduction (CSR) Program. Achievement results for students in reduced class sizes were compared to those of similar students in other CSR schools who did not choose the same grade for the project (keeping school and student demographics similar). At grades 1 and 2, WCPSS K-2 Literacy and Mathematics Assessments were compared pre (spring 2001) and post (spring 2002). These analyses yielded mixed results: (a) an increase in the percentage of students meeting the reading-book-level standards was greater for students in the reduced-size classes at grade 2 but not at grade 1, and (b) an increase in the percentage of students meeting the mathematics standards was greater for students in the reduced-size classes at grade 1 but not at grade 2. As in the previous year at grade 3, the NC End-of-Grade fall pretest and spring post-test data indicate that, controlling for differences in pre-test scores and free and reduced-price lunch status of students, there were no significant differences in reading and mathematics achievement between students in reduced-size classes and those in regular-sized classes. As in previous years, WCPSS generally did not reach a class size of 18, the goal of the enabling legislation, and it was again recommended that schools receiving two CSR teacher positions should place two teachers at the same grade level to reduce class sizes at a single grade.

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February 2003 NovaNET Student Outcomes 2001-2002 Baenen, Nancy
Harlow, Kristin2

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In the 2001-02 school year, NovaNET students earned significantly higher GPAs and fewer F's than before participating in NovaNET. NovaNET students did not show significantly greater gains than students in a comparison group that had similar demographic and academic characteristics; however, analyses revealed that the two groups varied somewhat in terms of prior suspensions, so results should be interpreted with caution. Some schools had much greater participation and student success than others. Strategies used by successful NovaNET programs include individualizing coursework; supplemental counseling and behavior modification; selecting the most appropriate students; requiring students to sign a contract promising to complete the course; and giving offline assignments to supplement NovaNET. Extending successful school practices to all schools could increase overall program impact.

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June 2002 Advanced Placement Exam Results 2000-2001 Kaase, Kristopher
Paeplow, Colleen

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The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to high school students. Many colleges and universities provide course credit to students who earn a high score on the end-of-year exams. Almost 60% of United States high schools offer AP course work, and more than 800,000 high school students participated in AP programs during the 2000-2001 school year (College Board, 2001). All 15 comprehensive high schools in the WCPSS offer AP courses. Enrollment in Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) AP courses was approximately 6,900 in 2000-01. Many students took more than one AP course. A total of 4,320 AP examinations were taken by 2,223 WCPSS students at the end of the school year. This report examines AP exam results for the WCPSS with comparisons to other large school systems, the state of North Carolina, the South, and the United States.

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May 2002 Class-Size Reduction Program Evaluation, 2000-2001 Speas, Carol

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This report examines the impact of the second year of the federal Class-Size Reduction (CSR) program in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) on student achievement.

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May 2002 Gaps in Academic Achievement: WCPSS Status 2001-02 Baenen, Nancy
Banks, Karen
Dulaney, Chuck
Yaman, Kimberly

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This report examines students' academic success in WCPSS based on outcomes such as achievement test scores, dropout rates, and course enrollments. Gaps have been evident in the achievement of students with different backgrounds and characteristics for decades. These gaps in achievement are one of the biggest challenges facing educators across the country. In some areas, the gaps in student outcomes in WCPSS have narrowed over time.

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January 2002 Summer Academy in the Wake County Public Schools: An Evaluation of the 2001 Program Holdzkom, David

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Summer Academy in the Wake County Public Schools: An Evaluation of the 2001 Program

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February 2000 Impact of Instructional Assistance 1998-99: Accountability Report Baenen, Nancy

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WCPSS has had efforts in place to support low achieving students for many years. However, about 20% of WCPSS students do not score high enough to be considered "on grade level" on the End-Of-Grade (EOG) tests given across North Carolina in grades 3-8. WCPSS and the community have adopted the goal that 95% of our students will score on grade level in grades 3 and 8 by 2003. Staff recognized that the 95% achievement goal could not be accomplished unless we tried new ways to help low achieving students and provided additional resources to schools. For the 1998-99 school year, previously funded efforts such as special education, Title I, English as a Second Language, and Student Support Teams continued, but approximately $5 million in additional funds (some grant and some local) were also allocated to schools to support low achieving students. This report focuses on whether the additional funds made a difference in the progress of low achieving students and what techniques seemed to make the most positive difference for students.

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