The Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk (CRESPAR) was established in 1994 and continued until 2004.

CRESPAR was a collaboration between Johns Hopkins University and Howard University. CRESPAR’s mission was to conduct research, development, evaluation, and dissemination of replicable strategies designed to transform schooling for students who were placed at risk due to inadequate institutional responses to such factors as poverty, ethnic minority status, and non-English-speaking home background.

Related Books

Title I

Compensatory Education at the Crossroads
A Volume in the Sociocultural, Political, and Historical Studies in Education Series
G.D. Borman, S.C. Stringfield, & R.E. Slavin (Eds.)
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 2001

This volume presents the most recent research on Title I federal compensatory education programs, documents the program’s history, and points to the potential for its future, building on 35 years of research, development, and practical experience. The research and analysis it provides fills a void for systematic information that can help inform Title I education policies and practices. This is essential reading for educational researchers and students working in the areas of social stratification and equity-minded policies, programs, and practices, and will serve well as a text for graduate courses on these topics in education, as well as in public policy, sociology, and psychology. Educational policymakers and administrators at the federal, state, and local levels will find it an important resource in crafting policies and programs for students placed at risk.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Title I Schoolwide Programs

Evidence from the Field
Readings on Equal Education, Volume 17
C. Teddlie (Series Ed.), D.L. Taylor & E.A. Kemper (Eds.)
Publisher: AMS Press, Inc., 2000

This volume builds on a theme established in previous numbers of the series—the exploration of federal, state, and local efforts to ensure equal educational opportunities for all students in America. The 10 articles provide an examination of the strengths and weaknesses of schoolwide programs in advance of congressional reconsideration of Title I legislation and present the history, implementation, and impact of Title I schoolwide programs. Many of the contributors describe research they have conducted in schools and districts across a number of states. Together, the studies in this volume offer a broad perspective for understanding Title I’s results, permit comparisons among differing communities, and challenge both critics and supporters of Title I by inviting them to view this often-controversial program from a variety of perspectives.

Finding One’s Place

Teaching Styles and Peer Relations in Diverse Classrooms
S.B. Plank
Teachers College Press, 2000

In this seminal new work, the author expertly navigates us through the wake of one school district’s attempt to desegregate its schools according to socioeconomic status. Drawing from his rich study of 10 fourth-grade classrooms, Plank uncovers the ways that teachers’ leadership styles, tasks, and reward structures affect students’ peer relations. The synthesis of qualitative and quantitative data is especially creative, as are the practical implications presented here for administrators and teachers who want to encourage participation and well-being among students in heterogeneous classrooms. This book is crucial reading for anyone who cares about the inherent difficulties and rewards of achieving school reform and social justice.

Schooling Students Placed at Risk

Research, Policy, and Practice in the Education of Poor and Minority Adolescents
M.G. Sanders (Ed.)
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 2000

This book examines historical approaches and current research and practice related to the education of adolescents placed at risk of school failure as a result of social and economic conditions. One major goal is to expand the intellectual exchange among researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and concerned citizens on factors influencing the achievement of poor and minority youth, specifically students in middle and high schools. Another is to encourage increased dialogue about policies and practices that can make a difference in educational opportunities and outcomes for these students. A premise that runs through each chapter is that school success is possible for poor and minority adolescents if adequate support from the school, family, and community is available.

School, Family, and Community Partnerships

Preparing Educators and Improving Schools
J.L. Epstein
Westview Press (Perseus Books), 2001

How can teachers and administrators be prepared to create partnerships with families and communities? Nationwide, rhetoric in favor of parent involvement is high, but the quality of most programs is still low. Programs are uncoordinated, involving few families after the early grades, or conducted only by the rare teacher, principal, or district leader who has had some training or experience in reaching out to families. Part of the problem is that most teacher education, administrative training, and other education of school professionals omit topics of school, family, and community partnerships. Instead, educators are prepared in limited ways to “deal with parents” when problems occur. The growing field of school, family, and community partnerships offers an alternative approach—theoretical perspectives and results from research and development that should be shared with educators.

Educating At-Risk Students

One Hundred First Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education
S. Stringfield & D. Land (Eds.)
National Society for the Study of Education, 2002
[Distributed by The University of Chicago Press]

Researchers from three national centers focus on development to improve educational opportunities for students who, through no fault of their own, are at risk of failure. While research has not eradicated poverty and discrimination, it has brought insight into school failure and produced interventions that improve the chances of at-risk students. The collection examines the conditions of risk, details promising strategies for improving schools, looks beyond traditional practices for educating at-risk students, and suggests ways districts and states can take advantage of research.

School, Family, and Community Partnerships

Your Handbook for Action (second edition)
J.L. Epstein, M.G. Sanders, B.S. Simon, K.C. Salinas, N.R. Jansorn, & F.L. Van Voorhis
Corwin Press, 2002

The first edition of this handbook has been a bestseller for years. This new second edition offers even more tools and strategies that are being used by leaders in schools, districts, and state departments of education across the country to create partnership programs that support school improvement goals. You’ll find new examples of successful partnership activities linked to school goals for students, new planning and evaluation tools, and new guidelines and materials for conducting effective training workshops on partnerships.

Comprehensive Reform for Urban High Schools

A Talent Development Approach
N. Legters, R. Balfanz, W. Jordan, & J. McPartland
Teachers College Press, 2002

This book tells the story of what happened in failing, urban schools when the Talent Development Model of school reform was implemented—what worked and what didn’t. The text details organizational, curricular, and instructional strategies for changing large, nonselective high schools into personalized, relevant, and effective places of learning.

Building Effective After-School Programs

O.S. Fashola
Corwin Press, Inc., 2002

Here is an overview of after-school programs, with emphasis on those that are promising and/or effective. The book also reviews the research on programs that have been, or are being, used to increase academic achievement after regular school hours, as well as others that focus on enrichment and recreational activities. The book concludes with evidence and suggestions for making programs successful.

Extending Educational Reform

From One School to Many
A. Datnow, L. Hubbard, & H. Mehan
RoutledgeFalmer, 2002

Reform programs that have proved to be a success in one school, when adopted by other schools, are often unsuccessful. This book looks at why it is that change does not occur on a large-scale basis. The authors show how the theory can be applied in practice to get around issues that are preventing change and improvement.

Effective Programs for Latino Students

R.E. Slavin & M. Calderón (Eds.)
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 2001

This book presents the current state of the art with respect to research on effective instructional programs for Latino students in elementary and secondary grades. So far, none of the many books on the situation of Latino students in U.S. schools has reviewed research on the outcomes of programs designed to enhance the academic achievement of these students. The chapters represent a broad range of methodologies, from experimental to correlational to descriptive, and the solutions they propose are extremely diverse.

Each examines, in its own way, programs and practices that are showing success. Together, they present a rich array of research-based effective programs that are practical, widely available, and likely to make a profound difference. This is a book filled with statistics, description, and reviews of research—but even more, it is filled with optimism about what schools for Latino students can be and what these students will achieve. It is a highly relevant and useful resource for educators, policymakers, and researchers who want to use research to inform the decisions they make about how to help Latino students succeed in elementary and secondary schools, and beyond.

Success for All

Research and Reform in Elementary Education
R.E. Slavin & N.A. Madden (Eds.)
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 2001

This is the first edited volume presenting research on Success for All in the U.S. and in five other countries for which the program has been adapted. This book presents a description of Success for All, an overall summary of all achievement studies, reviews of research, original presentations of new research, and discussions of the impacts and the implications of this research and dissemination for educational policy and practice in many arenas.

World Class Schools

International Perspectives on School Effectiveness
D. Reynolds, B. Creemers, C. Teddlie, S. Stringfield, & G. Schaffer (Eds.)
RoutledgeFalmer, 2002

In this book, the authors have conducted extensive research and describe what makes a successful school and how this varies in different countries. The book follows the progress of a cohort of 7-year-old children through their schools over a two-year period. It covers schools in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, the U.K., Norway, the Netherlands, and Ireland.

One Million Children

Success for All
R.E. Slavin & N.A. Madden
Corwin Press, 2002

This book describes the Success for All and Roots & Wings programs in detail, presents the extensive research evaluating them, and discusses the implications of this research for policy and practice. These comprehensive restructuring programs for elementary schools are designed to make the idea that “all children can learn” a practical, daily organizing principal for schools, especially those serving many children placed at risk.


Fours and Fives Go to School
C.A. Seefeldt & B.A. Wasik
Prentice Hall, 2001/2002

The only text available that specifically addresses the kindergarten year, this book enables students to become highly skilled and effective teachers with four- and five-year-old children, their families, and the community. The goal of this comprehensive guide is to provide readers with the knowledge of how four- and five-year-olds behave and to offer information about materials and activities that can be used in their professional careers, thus providing a solid foundation on which to develop teaching skills.

R&D Reports

Technical Reports

Report 01 – The Talent Development High School: Essential Components

Authors: Velma LaPoint, Will Jordan, James M. McPartland, Donna Penn Town

Abstract: This report presents the essential components of the Talent Development High School, which is a comprehensive model of changes in high school organization, curriculum, and instruction based upon research on student motivation and teacher commitment. Part I describes the components of the model, which emphasizes (1) a college preparatory core curriculum based on high standards, and (2) a learning environment that incorporates four sources of student motivation: relevance of schoolwork, a caring and supportive human environment, opportunities for academic success, and help with personal problems. Part II describes the research base from which the model was derived.
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Report 02 – The Talent Development High School Early Evidence of Impact on School Climate, Attendance, and Student Promotion

Authors: James M. McPartland, Nettie Legters, Will Jordan, Edward L. McDill

Abstract: The first Talent Development High School was established in September 1995 at Patterson High School in Baltimore, Maryland. The model at Patterson, which features career-focused academies for the upper grades, a ninth grade academy with teams of teachers and students, and other key Talent Development components, was designed and developed by the school’s faculty and administration with the participation of Johns Hopkins’ CRESPAR staff as partners. Priorities set for the first year included improvements in school climate, student attendance, and student promotion rates. Early evidence after the first seven months of the 1995–96 school year indicates that, compared to previous years, there is dramatic improvement in overall school climate (student behavior and faculty collegial support), in student attendance, and in expected student promotion rates, especially from ninth grade to tenth grade.
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Report 03 – The Talent Development Middle School Essential Components

Authors: Serge Madhere, Douglas J. Mac Iver

Abstract: The Talent Development approach to helping greater numbers of students succeed in middle school is based on a belief that all students can learn challenging material if the right types of support are given. The approach draws upon insights from recent research on alternatives to tracking, on the components of effective middle schools, and on clear theories of how to foster the positive relationships and supportive conditions that are so important to middle school adolescents, especially those adolescents placed at risk. This report presents the essential components of the Talent Development framework and describes their initial implementation in Evans Junior High School in Washington, DC and in Central East Middle School in Philadelphia.
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Report 04 – The Talent Development Middle School Creating a Motivational Climate Conducive to Talent Development in Middle Schools: Implementation and Effects of Student Team Reading

Author(s): Douglas J. Mac Iver, Stephen B. Plank

Abstract: Central East Middle School in Philadelphia and CRESPAR are working together to implement a Talent Development Middle School model of schooling. Part of this effort includes use of the Student Team Reading (STR) program, which changes both the instructional processes and curriculum in Reading, English, and Language Arts (RELA) to create a motivational climate that is conducive to learning and personal development. Teachers at Central East Middle School in Philadelphia were trained in STR in the summer of 1995 and received curricular materials and technical support throughout the first semester of the 1995–1996 school year. Implementation and outcome data were collected in February 1996 at Central East Middle School and a matched comparison school.
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Report 05 – Patterns of Urban Student Mobility and Local School Reform: Technical Report

Author: David Kerbow

Abstract: Recent school reform efforts that center on promoting greater local school autonomy implicitly assume that students will attend a specific school consistently enough that the school can “make a difference” in their achievement. In the unstable urban context, however, even improving schools lose their accomplishments as students transfer, and mobile students forfeit the benefit of continuity of school services. Thus, not only does mobility impact individual students who are changing schools, it has deep (though often hidden) consequences for the schools these students attend and for the systemic changes intended by local school reform.
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Report 06 – Scaling Up Lessons Learned in the Dissemination of Success For All

Authors: Robert E. Slavin, Nancy A. Madden

Abstract: Success for All, a comprehensive schoolwide reform program for elementary schools serving many children placed at risk of school failure, was first piloted in one Baltimore elementary school in the 1987–88 school year. In 1988–89 it was expanded to five schools in Baltimore and one in Philadelphia. Currently, Success for All is being implemented in approximately 450 schools in 120 districts in 31 states throughout the United States.
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Report 07 – School-Family-Community Partnerships and the Academic Achievement of African American, Urban Adolescents

Author: Mavis G. Sanders

Abstract: Drawing upon Epstein’s theory of overlapping spheres of influence, this study explores the effects of teacher, family, and church support on the school-related attitudes, behaviors, and academic achievement of African American, urban adolescents. To achieve this objective, 826 students in an urban school district in the southeastern United States completed a questionnaire measuring: (1) student perceptions of teacher support; (2) student perceptions of parental support; (3) church involvement; (4) school behavior; (5) academic self-concept; (6) achievement ideology; and (7) academic achievement. Interviews were conducted with a subset of the research population (40 students) to enhance and aid in the interpretation of the questionnaire data.
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Report 08 – Asian American Students At Risk A Literature Review

Author: Sau-Fong Siu

Abstract: High academic achievement is closely linked in the public’s mind with Asian American students, but many Asian American ethnic subgroups and individuals remain at risk. The main purpose of this literature review is to assess the state-of-the-art in research on Asian American students in the public school system who are at risk of academic failure. The risk factors examined are the language backgrounds and abilities, history of schooling, timing and reasons for coming to the United States, emotional trauma and vulnerability, ethnic group affiliation and identity, motivation, and sense of self-efficacy. Interventions are examined that are designed exclusively for Asian American students or include Asian American participants.
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Report 09 – Reducing Talent Loss The Impact of Information, Guidance, and Actions on Postsecondary Enrollment

Authors: Stephen B. Plank, Will J. Jordan

Abstract: This study uses nationally representative data to show that information about postsecondary educational institutions (PEIs), guidance, and essential preparatory actions taken by secondary students influence whether an individual will attend a PEI within two years of high school graduation and, if so, what type of PEI he or she will attend. Multinomial logistic regression is used to model PEI enrollment as a function of critical explanatory variables, controlling on an array of background and contextual characteristics including socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and gender. The conceptual framework is embedded in research on talent loss, which can be described as the occurrence of promising students not reaching their full educational potential.
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Report 10 – Effects of Bilingual Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition on Students Transitioning from Spanish to English Reading

Authors: Margarita Calderon, Rachel Lararowitz, Gary Ivory, Robert E. Slavin

Abstract: Every child has the capacity to succeed in school and in life. Yet far too many children, especially those from poor and minority families, are placed at risk by school practices that are based on a sorting paradigm in which some students receive high-expectations instruction while the rest are relegated to lower quality education and lower quality futures. The sorting perspective must be replaced by a “talent development” model that asserts that all children are capable of succeeding in a rich and demanding curriculum with appropriate assistance and support.
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Report 11 – Effective Programs for Latino Students in Elementary and Middle Schools

Authors: Olatokunbo S. Fashola, Robert E. Slavin, Margarity Calderon, Richard Duran

Abstract: This report identifies programs that have proven to be effective and programs that show potential for improving academic achievement among Latino youth in the elementary and middle grades. This report identifies programs that have proven to be effective and programs that show potential for improving academic achievement among Latino youth in the elementary and middle grades. This report targets not only programs specifically designed for this population, but also programs that have worked with other children and that have been disseminated with Latino children. In addition to a large ERIC search, National Diffusion Network validated programs and Title VII Academic Excellence Award programs were contacted for their evidence of effectiveness. Criteria for inclusion included evidence of effectiveness, replicability, and evaluation or application with Latino students.
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Report 12 – Detracking in a Racially Mixed Urban High School

Author: Robert Cooper

Abstract: There is a growing tension between excellence and equity in public education. This report brings together both qualitative and quantitative data to document the efforts of a large urban high school to improve the schooling experience of its students. The qualitative portion of this analysis comes from interviews with educators, administrators, and parents. The quantitative portion presents the results of a survey of 744 students in the ninth grade English/history core detracking experiment during the 1994–1995 and 1995–1996 academic years. The data suggest that the level of implementation of the core, from a student perspective, affects achievement, engagement, and enjoyment in the core.
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Report 13 – Building Effective School-Family-Community Partnerships in a Large Urban School District

Author: Mavis G. Sanders

Abstract: Since 1987, schools in Baltimore have been working with the Fund for Educational Excellence and the education research center at Johns Hopkins University to develop comprehensive programs of school-family-community partnerships. To better understand how these schools are building and improving their partnership programs, administrators, teachers, and parents serving on Action Teams for School-Family-Community Partnerships at six schools were interviewed. This report focuses on how Action Teams for School-Family-Community Partnerships in the schools that were visited use Epstein’s framework of six types of involvement to develop more effective school-family-community connections.
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Report 14 – Volunteer Tutoring Programs A Review of Research on Achievement Outcomes

Author: Barbara A. Wasik

Abstract: The America Reads Challenge makes a national commitment to the goal that every child will read independently and well by the end of third grade. The primary means of achieving this goal is to place one million volunteers in schools to tutor children in reading. However, we know very little about the effectiveness of using volunteer tutors in our schools. This report reviews 16 volunteer tutoring programs. Only two of these programs had an evaluation comparing equivalent treatment and comparison groups to determine the effectiveness of the program. Five of the programs had no evaluations at all.
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Report 15 – Working Together to Become Proficient Readers Early Impact of the Talent Development Middle School’s Student Team Literature

Authors: Douglas J. Mac Iver, Stephen B. Plank, Robert Balfanz

Abstract: The Talent Development Middle School’s Student Team Literature (STL) program includes: (1) curricular materials designed to assist students study great literature; (2) recommended instructional practices, peer assistance processes, and assessments; and (3) staff development, mentoring, and advising to support the curricular and instructional reforms. Data on students‘ prior reading achievement, achievement after the first year of implementation, and on the frequency of peer assistance were collected in 21 STL classes and in 25 comparison classes in a closely matched control school. HLM analyses that control for prior reading achievement reveal that students in STL classes display significantly better reading comprehension after the first year of implementation (effect size = .51).
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Report 16 – Success For All Exploring the Technical, Normative, Political, and Socio-Cultural Dimensions of Scaling Up

Authors: Robert Cooper, Robert E. Slavin, Nancy A. Madden

Abstract: This report explores the technical, normative, political, and socio-cultural dimensions of the scaling up process of Success for All, one of the nation’s most successful and extensively researched whole-school change models. This research suggests that fundamental change in schools occurs and is sustained when the technical, normative, political, and sociocultural dimensions of schooling are given thoughtful and serious consideration throughout the implementation process. Schools implementing SFA which report success in improving educational outcomes for their students explicitly demonstrate a willingness and ability to confront the challenges that are inherent in the change process. Exploring school change from multiple conceptual lenses deepens our understanding of the structures, strategies, practices, and relationships associated with fundamental change in schools.
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Report 17 – MathWings Early Indicators of Effectiveness

Authors: Nancy A. Madden, Robert E. Slavin, Kathleen Simons

Abstract: Three evaluations have examined the impact of MathWings. One, involving four rural Maryland schools, found substantially greater gains on the mathematics sections of the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program for MathWings students than for the rest of the state. The four pilot schools, which were much more impoverished than the state as a whole, started far below state averages but ended up above the state average. The second study, in San Antonio, Texas, also found substantial gains on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills math scale in grades 3–5 from the year before the program began to the end of the first implementation year. The third study found substantial gains on the CTBS mathematics concepts and applications scale for grades 4–5 (but not 3) in a Palm Beach County, Florida school.
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Report 18 – Parental Involvement in Students’ Education During Middle School and High School

Authors: Sophia Catsambis, Janet E. Garland

Abstract: This project analyzes data from the parent component of the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 to investigate changes in family educational involvement between students’ eighth and twelfth grades. Findings show that the patterns of parental involvement in adolescents’ education change between the two grades. During high school, parents become less involved with monitoring students’ individual behaviors and more concerned with their learning opportunities at school. By students’ eighth grade, nearly all parents had postsecondary expectations, but few had taken specific actions to secure funds for college. During adolescents’ senior year in high school, most parents report frequent discussions with them concerning post-secondary schools. At that time, parents also report that they have some knowledge about financial aid.
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Report 19 – Success for All/Exito Para Todos Effects on the Reading Achievement of Students Acquiring English

Authors: Robert E. Slavin, Nancy A. Madden

Abstract: The effects of Success for All on the achievement of English language learners are not entirely consistent, but in general they are substantially positive. In all schools implementing Éxito Para Todos, effect sizes for first graders on Spanish assessments were very positive. The Houston study showed that this effect was more pronounced when schools were implementing most of the program’s elements. The Philadelphia evaluation showed that even after transitioning to English-only instruction, Éxito Para Todos third graders performed better on English assessments than control students who were primarily taught in English. For students in sheltered English instruction, effect sizes for all comparisons were also positive, especially for Cambodian students in Philadelphia and Mexican American students in California.
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Report 20 – Implementing a Highly Specified Curricular, Instructional, and Organizational School Design in a High-Poverty, Urban Elementary School — Three Year Results

Authors: Barbara McHugh, Sam Stringfield

Abstract: In Talent Development Middle Schools, students needing extra help in mathematics participate in the Computer- and Team-Assisted Mathematics Acceleration (CATAMA) course. CATAMA is an innovative combination of computer-assisted instruction and structured cooperative learning that students receive in addition to their regular math course for about ten weeks of the school year. This report presents two studies of CATAMA. The first compares growth in math achievement for 96 seventh graders, 48 of whom participated in CATAMA for ten weeks and 48 of whom were students of similar prior achievement who attended a comparison school where CATAMA is not offered. The second study reports data from interviews with CATAMA participants and observations of the program in action. Growth in mathematics procedures achievement was about one-half a standard deviation higher for CATAMA participants than for students in the comparison sample.
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Report 21 – The Talent Development Middle School An Elective Replacement Approach to Providing Extra Help in Math — The CATAMA Program (Computer and Team-Assisted Mathematics Acceleration)

Authors: Douglas J. Mac Iver, Robert Balfanz, and Stephen B. Plank

Abstract: In Talent Development Middle Schools, students needing extra help in mathematics participate in the Computer- and Team-Assisted Mathematics Acceleration (CATAMA) course. CATAMA is an innovative combination of computer-assisted instruction and structured cooperative learning that students receive in addition to their regular math course for about ten weeks of the school year. This report presents two studies of CATAMA. The first compares growth in math achievement for 96 seventh graders, 48 of whom participated in CATAMA for ten weeks and 48 of whom were students of similar prior achievement who attended a comparison school where CATAMA is not offered. The second study reports data from interviews with CATAMA participants and observations of the program in action. Growth in mathematics procedures achievement was about one-half a standard deviation higher for CATAMA participants than for students in the comparison sample.
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Report 22 – School-Family-Community PARTNERSHIPS IN MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOLS – From Theory to Practice

Authors: Mavis G. Sanders, Joyce L. Epstein

Abstract: To better understand how some secondary schools are working to encourage continued family and community involvement as children progress from elementary to middle and high school, twenty-two educators, parents, and students at two middle schools and two high schools were interviewed. The four schools are members of the National Network of Partnership Schools, which brings together and provides technical assistance to schools, districts, and states committed to developing comprehensive and permanent programs of school-family-community partnership. This report is organized in five sections. The first section discusses social networks, social capital, and a theory of overlapping spheres of influence to elucidate the conceptual foundation for school-family-community partnerships. The second section outlines and discusses essential elements of a comprehensive program of school-family-community partnerships.
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Report 23 – Sources of Talent Loss Among High-Achieving Poor Students

Authors: Will J. Jordan, Stephen B. Plank

Abstract: Many graduates who have the academic ability to continue their schooling beyond high school do not enroll in higher education. This phenomenon has been referred to as talent loss. The challenges involved in financing higher education partially contribute to talent loss and its pervasiveness among poor students, but they fall short of providing a complete explanation. This study explicates other possible sources of talent loss. The authors use dual methodologies to examine critical sources of talent loss among students who perform well academically, but are placed at risk of academic failure because they are also from low SES families.
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Report 24 – Review of Extended-Day and After-School Programs and Their Effectiveness

Authors: Olatokunbo S. Fashola

Abstract: This report identifies and reviews thirty-four programs that have been used as after school programs by schools and/or communities, including extended day programs and some supplemental school programs that have potential for after-school usage. Five categories of programs are reviewed: • language arts after-school programs, • study skills programs, • academic programs in other curriculum areas, • tutoring programs for reading, and • community-based programs.
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Report 25 – Teacher’s Appraisals of Talent Development Middle School Training, Materials, and Student Progress

Author: Elizabeth Useem

Abstract: The Talent Development Middle School model is a comprehensive school-change design aimed at raising the academic proficiency of all children in schools where large proportions of children are at risk of failure. Thirty-one teachers in two Philadelphia public middle schools where the model has been piloted evaluated the implementation of training and curricular components of the model in six focus groups covering major subject areas (math, science, and Reading and English Language Arts [RELA]). Respondents were asked to appraise the helpfulness of the professional development training and materials in supporting their own teaching proficiency and the achievement level of their students, as well as obstacles they faced, their prediction of future use in the school, their evaluation of their students’ capacity to meet the standards of the curriculum, and their sense of whether they made a difference.
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Report 26 – Exploring the Dynamics of Resilience in an Elementary Middle School

Authors: Saundra Murray Nettles, Frances P. Robinson

Abstract: This report describes a framework for exploring the processes of resilience in students at Stanton Elementary School, an urban public school in Washington, D.C.
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Report 27 – Expanding Knowledge of Parental Involvement in Secondary Education – Effects on High School Academic Success

]Author: Sophia Catsambis

Abstract: This report analyzes data from the parent and student components of the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 to investigate family educational involvement in secondary education. It examines whether parental involvement influences the educational achievements of high school seniors.
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Report 28 – Socio-Cultural and Within-School Factors That Affect the Quality of Implementation of School-Wide Programs

Author: Robert Cooper

Abstract: The Success for All school restructuring program is currently being implemented in more than 1,100 elementary schools nationwide, primarily in urban locations.
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Report 29 – How Students Invest Their Time Out of School Effects on School Engagement, Perceptions of Life Chances, and Achievement

Authors: Will J. Jordan, Saundra Murray Nettles

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to examine the degree to which various kinds of out-of-school activities that adolescents get involved in influence their school engagement, achievement, and perceptions of their life chances.
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Report 30 – Disseminating Success for All Lessons for Policy and Practice

Authors: Robert E. Slavin, Nancy A. Madden

Abstract: Success for All, a comprehensive schoolwide reform program for elementary schools serving many children placed at risk of school failure, was first piloted in one Baltimore elementary school in the 1987–88 school year.
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Report 31 – Small Learning Communities Meet School-to-Work – Whole-School Restructuring for Urban Comprehensive High Schools

Author: Nettie E. Legters

Abstract: This report describes specific reform practices schools are implementing to realize the vision set forth in NASSP’s Breaking Ranks, which calls for changes in curriculum, instruction, assessment, school organization, professional development, community partnerships, and leadership in American high schools.
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Report 32 – Family Partnerships with High Schools The Parents’ Perspective

Authors: Mavis G. Sanders, Joyce L. Epstein, Lori Connors-Tadros

Abstract: This study analyzes survey data from 423 parents at six high schools in Maryland—two rural, two urban, and two suburban.
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Report 33 – Grade Retention Prevalence, Timing, and Effects

Author: Nancy L. Karweit

Abstract: The present study investigates the correlates and consequences of grade repetition on student academic progress and social and emotional development using the first-grade cohort data from Prospects.
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Report 34 – Preparing Educators for School-Family-Community Partnerships Results of a National Survey of Colleges and Universities

Authors: Joyce L. Epstein, Mavis G. Sanders, Laurel A. Clark

Abstract: A survey of deans and chairs of education in 161 schools, colleges, and departments of education (SCDE) in the United States reveals a dramatic gap between leaders’ strong beliefs about the importance for educators to conduct effective partnerships, and reports of low preparedness of graduates to work effectively with students’ families and communities.
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Report 35 – How Schools Choose Externally Developed Reform Designs

Author: Amanda Datnow

Abstract: Urban districts around the United States are attempting systemic change by offering schools a “menu” of externally developed school reform designs. Yet, how do faculties who are relatively unfamiliar with the designs choose among them?
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Report 36 – Roots & Wings Effects of Whole-School Reform on Student Achievement

Authors: Robert E. Slavin, Nancy A. Madden

Abstract: In recent years, there has been a remarkable transformation in the movement to reform America’s public schools. A rapidly growing type of reform is the widespread dissemination of replicable whole-school reform models with specific components, materials, professional development, and staffing patterns.
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Report 37 – Teacher Collaboration in a Restructuring Urban High School

Author: Nettie E. Legters

Abstract: The emphasis on collaboration in schools is part of a broader movement to institute team-based, cooperative work structures in many organizations throughout the private and public sectors.
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Report 38 – The Child First Authority After-School Program A Descriptive Evaluation

Author: Olatokunbo S. Fashola

Abstract: The Child First Authority (CFA) is a Baltimore communitywide after-school program that seeks to improve the quality of life in low socioeconomic status communities.
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Report 39 – Math Wings Effects on Student Mathematics Performance

Authors: Nancy A. Madden, Robert E. Slavin, Kathleen Simons

Abstract: Constructivist approaches to mathematics instruction based on the standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) have been widely advocated and are expanding in use.
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Report 40 – Core Knowledge Curriculum Three-Year Analysis of Implementation and Effects in Five Schools

Authors: Barbara McHugh, Sam Stringfield

Abstract: This report presents data from the first multi-site, multi-district, multi-year study of the effects of the Core Knowledge curriculum on students’ achievement rates. As such, it begins the process of filling an information void on one of the largest of the national school reform movements.
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Report 41 – Success for All/Roots & Wings Summary of Research on Achievement Outcomes

Authors: Robert E. Slavin, Nancy A. Madden

Abstract: The purpose of this review is to describe the current state of research on the achievement outcomes of Success for All, a program built around the idea that every child can and must succeed in the early grades, no matter what this takes.
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Report 42 – The Role of Cultural Factors in School-Relevant Cognitive Functioning Synthesis of Findings on Cultural Contexts, Cultural Orientations, and Individual Differences

Authors: A. Wade Boykin, Caryn T. Bailey

Abstract: For many African American children from low-income backgrounds, cognitive performance can be enhanced in contexts thematically characterized by aspects of Afro-cultural ethos. This report presents and describes the results of six experimental studies (two studies on each) on three cultural themes of primary interest, namely movement, communalism, and verve.
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Report 43 – The Role of Cultural Factors in School-Relevant Cognitive Functioning Description of Home Environment Factors, Cultural Orientations, and Learning Preferences

Authors: A. Wade Boykin, Caryn T. Bailey

Abstract: This report examines certain home cultural factors, cultural orientations, and learning preferences of African American school children from low-income backgrounds in order to document the relationship of prior cultural socialization experiences to enhanced cognitive, performance, and motivational outcomes.
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Report 44 – Classroom Cultural Ecology The Dynamics of Classroom Life in Schools Serving Low-Income African-American Children

Authors: Constance M. Ellison, A. Wade Boykin, Donna Penn Towns, Almeta Stokes

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to gain descriptive insights into the routines, practices, perceptions, and interactions that constitute the everyday ecology of classrooms serving African American children from low-income backgrounds.
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Report 45 – An “Inside” Look at Success for All A Qualitative Study of Implementation and Teaching and Learning

Authors: Amanda Datnow, Marisa Castellano

Abstract: This is the final report of a two-year qualitative study of three elementary schools implementing the Success for All program. Success for All (SFA) is a research-based reform model that organizes resources to focus on prevention and early intervention to ensure that students succeed in reading throughout the elementary grades.
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Report 46 – Lessons for Scaling Up Evaluations of the Talent Development Middle School’s Student Team Literature Program

Authors: Stephen B. Plank, Estelle Young

Abstract: Comprehensive school reform efforts are an increasingly visible part of the educational landscape. Policymakers, educators, and researchers are eager to assess the effectiveness of these models, especially regarding their utility in the most troubled settings.
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Report 47 – A Two-Way Bilingual Program Promise, Practice, and Precautions

Authors: Margarita Calderon, Argelia Calderon

Abstract: In spite of political pressure, bilingualism is emerging as a strategy for improving the academic achievement of all students. Two-way bilingual or dual-language programs integrate language-minority and language-majority students for instruction in two languages—the native language of the language minority students and English.
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Report 48 – Four Models of School Improvement Successes and Challenges in Reforming Low-Performing, High-Poverty Title I Schools

Authors: Geoffrey D. Borman, Laura Rachuba, Amanda Datnow, Marty Alberg, Martha MacIver, Sam Stringfield, Steve Ross

Abstract: In this comprehensive report, the authors examine four distinct processes for reforming nine low-performing Title I schools in challenging high-poverty contexts.
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Report 49 – National Evaluation of Core Knowledge Sequence Implementation Final Report

Authors: Sam Stringfield, Amanda Datnow, Geoffrey Borman, Laura Rachuba

Abstract: This is the final report of a three-year evaluation of Core Knowledge Sequence implementation in 12 schools nationwide. The Core Knowledge Sequence, a whole-school curricular reform model, provides a planned progression of specific topics to teach in language arts, history, geography, math, science, and the fine arts for Grades K-6 (Core Knowledge Foundation, 1995, 1998).
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Report 50 – Core Knowledge Curriculum Five-Year Analysis of Implementation and Effects in Five Maryland Schools

Authors: Martha Abele MacIver, Sam Stringfield, Barbara McHugh

Abstract: This is the final report from a five-year, matched-control study of five Maryland schools that began implementation of the Core Knowledge Sequence in the fall of 1994. This report provides both longitudinal implementation and outcome data.
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Report 51 – Effects of Success for All on TAAS Reading A Texas Statewide Evaluation

Authors: Eric A. Hurley, Anne Chamberlain, Robert E. Slavin, Nancy A. Madden

Abstract: This report presents analyses of data from the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) reading measures. It sought to evaluate the program’s outcomes in all of the 111 Texas schools that began the program from 1994-1997.
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Report 52 – Academic Success Among Poor and Minority Students An Analysis of Competing Models of School Effects

Authors: Geoffrey D. Borman, Laura T. Rachuba

Abstract: Based on national data from the Prospects study, we identified the individual characteristics that distinguished academically successful, or resilient, elementary school students from minority and low-socioeconomic-status (SES) backgrounds from their less successful, or nonresilient, counterparts.
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Report 53 – The Long-Term Effects and Cost-Effectiveness of Success for All

Authors: Geoffrey D. Borman, Gina M. Hewes

Abstract: A few renowned early interventions have compelling evidence of enduring achievement effects for at-risk children: Perry Preschool; the Abecedarian Project; and the Tennessee class-size experiment.
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Report 54 – Neighborhood and School Influences on the Family Life and Mathematics Performance of Eighth-Grade Students

Authors: Sophia Catsambis, Andrew Beveridge

Abstract: In this report, we explore ways by which neighborhoods and schools can influence the mathematics achievement of eighth grade students. We use data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS:88) and combine it with U.S. Census data at the level of students’ residential zip codes.
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Report 55 – The Public School Superintendency in the 21st Century The Quest to Define Effective Leadership

Author: Janet Y. Thomas

Abstract: This study examines research on public school leadership effectiveness, focusing specifically on the superintendent. The author begins with a discussion of the historical mission to define leadership effectiveness, followed by a review of existing research on effective school districts and superintendents. The author also analyzes how superintendent effectiveness is defined and measured, and concludes that this is one of the major shortcomings in the knowledge base. The report then details the obstacles that superintendents face in effectively managing a school system including instability, the politicization of the profession, and superintendent and school board relations. Finally, the author discusses implications for further research and offers suggestions for expanding the research base.
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Report 56 – LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS UNDER REVIEW Their Role and Effectiveness in Relation to Students’ Academic Achievement

Author: Deborah Land

Abstract: This report provides a review of literature published in the past two decades on the role and effectiveness of school boards. Though school boards are but one component of school district leadership—the superintendent and other district administrators and staff constituting the other main components—school boards are the focus of this review because they have a distinct role and have been understudied.
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Report 57 – PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT IN THE NATIONAL NETWORK OF PARTNERSHIP SCHOOLS A Comparison of Elementary, Middle, and High Schools

Authors: Mavis G. Sanders, Beth S. Simon

Abstract: Based on survey data collected from 375 elementary, middle, and high schools in the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS), this report identifies differences and similarities in the development and quality of schools’ programs of school, family, and community partnership. Middle schools in the sample were similar to elementary schools in their implementation of practices to involve families and communities. Differences related to school level were primarily found between high schools and other school levels. These differences primarily centered on reported obstacles to partnerships, and key aspects of program implementation. The significance and implications of the study’s findings are discussed.
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Report 58 – TRANSITIONAL PROGRAMS FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS Contextual Factors and Effective Programming

Author: Diane August

Abstract: In this report, transitional programs refer to instructional programs for students who have been schooled in their native language and are now in “transitional” classrooms where literacy instruction takes place in English. Transition usually occurs during the elementary years but may occur in middle and high school for older students recently arrived in U.S. schools who are entering English-only literacy programs in the U.S. With regard to the development of literacy and transition from a first language to a second language, the paper focuses on school-age children who are acquiring English as a second language, where English is the societal language.
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Authors: Geoffrey D. Borman, Gina M. Hewes, Laura T. Overman, Shelly Brown

Abstract: In this meta-analysis, we review the research on the achievement effects of the nationally disseminated and externally developed school improvement programs known as “whole-school” or “comprehensive” reforms. In addition to reviewing the overall achievement effects of comprehensive school reform (CSR), we study the specific effects of 29 of the most widely implemented models. We also assess how various CSR components, contextual factors, and methodological factors associated with the studies mediate the effects of CSR. We conclude that CSR is still an evolving field and that there are limitations on the overall quantity and quality of the research base. The overall effects of CSR, though, appear promising and the combined quantity, quality, and statistical significance of evidence from three of the models, in particular, set them apart from the rest.
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Report 60 – CULTURAL ISSUES RELATED TO HIGH SCHOOL REFORM Deciphering the Case of Black Males

Authors: Will J. Jordan, Robert Cooper

Abstract: An infusion of federal funding and philanthropic support for high schools has sparked an unprecedented number of educational reforms. Still, few initiatives confront the unique conditions facing Black males. Despite efforts to reform ineffective schools and foster academic achievement for all students, a lingering gap exists between affluent and poor, as well as White and Black, subgroups. This report explores the complexities of these issues. We examine the negative effects of intractable social barriers, such as poverty and ineffective schooling. We suggest that current trends reflect responsible approaches to reform, but the potential role of Black teachers has not been fully explored.
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Authors: Diane August & Associates

Abstract: The purpose of this report is to summarize research on the role of English oral proficiency in acquiring English literacy, describe the issues that English-language learners (ELLs) encounter because of their developing English oral proficiency, and report on best practices in supporting English language development in the context of literacy instruction for these students. Of primary interest in this report is the vast majority of ELLs who are not learning disabled but require time to become English proficient. Further, this report focuses on school-aged children. To a large extent, the studies cited here are drawn from research conducted with children who are learning English as a second language where English is the societal language.
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Report 62 – THE BALTIMORE CURRICULUM PROJECT Final Report of the Four-Year Evaluation Study

Authors: Martha Abele Mac Iver, Elizabeth Kemper, Sam Stringfield

Abstract: This study reports the results of a four-year multimethod evaluation of the implementation of the Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) in six Baltimore City schools. BCP used a combination of the Direct Instruction (DI) program and Core Knowledge as its reform curriculum. Each of the six schools was demographically matched with a similar, within-district school so that it would have a reasonable control against which it could be compared. Two cohorts of students in the BCP and the control schools were followed through the course of the evaluation—students who were in either kindergarten or grade two during the 1996–97 school year (primarily in third and fifth grades, respectively, during 1999–2000). Interviews with principals and DI coordinators and focus groups with teachers were conducted each of the four years of the study to gauge BCP-school staff perceptions of the ongoing innovation.
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Report 63 – TRENDS IN TWO-WAY IMMERSION EDUCATION A Review of the Research

Authors: Elizabeth R. Howard, Julie Sugarman, Donna Christian

Abstract: Two-way immersion (TWI) is an instructional approach that integrates native English speakers and native speakers of another language (usually Spanish) and provides instruction to both groups of students in both languages. While the model has been in existence in the United States for almost 40 years, the most dramatic growth has been seen over the past 15 years. Not surprisingly, the recent growth of two-way immersion education has prompted increasing interest in various aspects of such programs, such as design and implementation, student outcomes, instructional strategies, cross-cultural issues, and the attitudes and experiences of students, parents, and teachers involved. Along with the increase in number of TWI programs, the research base on this educational approach is growing steadily. The purpose of this report is to summarize the research that has been conducted to date, synthesize the key findings across studies, and point to areas of need for future research.
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Report 64 – FROM NATIONAL MOVEMENT TO LOCAL ACTION The Status of Standards-Based Science Instruction in Middle School Classrooms

Authors: Christopher B. Swanson, Stephen B. Plank, Gina M. Hewes

Abstract: This study contributes to the growing body of research on classroom instruction by exploring the possibility of measuring a specific instructional strategy using statistical methods based on item response theory (IRT). We seek to measure teachers’ instructional practices using the same rigorous statistical techniques that are now applied to most large-scale assessments of student achievement. We focus specifically on teachers’ use of pedagogical techniques consistent with those espoused by the national standards-based reform movement in science. We use data for a nationally representative sample of public school eighth graders and their teachers from the 1996 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
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Report 65 – BRINGING THE DISTRICT BACK IN The Role of the Central Office in Improving Instruction and Student Achievement

Authors: Martha Abele Mac Iver, Elizabeth Farley

Abstract: Criticizing school district bureaucracies has become a growth industry over the past couple of decades. In the face of all this anti-district and anti–central office rhetoric, it is important to recognize the growing number of scholars who are emphasizing the importance of the district in school reform efforts and the research base that examines the role of the central office. Building on previous reviews of school district leadership, this review adds a new focus on the role of school district central offices in improving instruction and raising student achievement. We examine the functional tasks of the central office and the internal dynamics of relations between the central office and district schools (with their principals, teachers, and students). The review concludes with a heuristic model of how the central office influences classroom instruction and student achievement in district schools.
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Authors: Robert E. Slavin and Alan Cheung

Abstract: This report reviews experimental studies of reading programs for English language learners, focusing both on comparisons of bilingual and English-only programs and on specific, replicable models that have been evaluated with English language learners. The review method is best-evidence synthesis, which uses a systematic literature search, quantification of outcomes as effect sizes, and extensive discussion of individual studies that meet inclusion standards. The review concludes that while the number of high-quality studies is small, existing evidence favors bilingual approaches, especially paired bilingual strategies that teach reading in the native language and English at the same time. Whether taught in their native language or English, English language learners have been found to benefit from instruction in comprehensive reform programs using systematic phonics, one-to-one or small group tutoring programs, cooperative learning programs, and programs emphasizing extensive reading.
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Authors: Jeffrey C. Wayman, Sam Stringfield, and Mary Yakimowski

Abstract: The No Child Left Behind legislation has drawn increased attention to student data. Data are most useful in educational decision-making when the purpose extends beyond vertical accountability and toward school- and classroom-level decision-making that enhances the experience and achievement of students. This necessarily involves getting practical data analyses into the hands of teachers and administrators. Recent technological advances in data warehousing and presentation have resulted in tools that can, in theory, facilitate educator use of student data. However, the use of these tools is not yet widespread. In this report, the authors consider issues surrounding the use of student data and data based decision-making, describing the state of the field and possible future directions, present reviews of a range of commercially available software for analyzing student data, and provide and maintain a website that will contain ongoing updates of software reviews.
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Authors: A. Wade Boykin, Sean T. Coleman, Amy J. Lilja, Kenneth M. Tyler

Abstract: The achievement gap between low-income African American students and their White counterparts remains substantial. To address this, researchers have begun to examine the impact of culture on cognitive performance among African American students (Lee, 2001; Foster, Lewis, & Onafowora, 2003). The findings from this work suggest that when aspects of students’ home culture are incorporated into academic learning contexts, strong academic performance and motivation result. This report presents the results of two experimental studies incorporating the cultural theme of communalism. For both studies, a general literature review is provided, along with statistical analyses and results specific to the procedures and measures used in each.

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Report 69 – CATCHING UP Impact of the Talent Development Ninth Grade Instructional Interventions in Reading and Mathematics in High-Poverty High Schools

Authors: Robert Balfanz, Nettie Legters, and Will Jordan

Abstract: Every child has the capacity to succeed in school and in life. Yet far too many children fail to meet their potential. Many students, especially those from poor and minority families, are placed at risk by school practices that sort some students into high-quality programs and other students into low-quality education. CRESPAR believes that schools must replace the “sorting paradigm” with a “talent development” model that sets high expectations for all students, and ensures that all students receive a rich and demanding curriculum with appropriate assistance and support.
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Report 70 – LOCATING THE DROPOUT CRISIS Which High Schools Produce the Nation’s Dropouts? Where Are They Located? Who Attends Them?

Authors: Robert Balfanz and Nettie Legters

Abstract: Fifty years after Brown vs. the Board of Education, the image of public high schools providing all youth with equal opportunity to receive a high-quality education remains inspiring and compelling. Current reality, however, offers a much more troubled picture. Throughout much of the nation, half or more of high school students do not graduate, let alone leave high school prepared to fully participate in civic life. It is no coincidence that these locales are gripped by high rates of unemployment, crime, ill health, and chronic despair. For many in these and other areas, the only real and lasting pipeline out of poverty in modern America, a solid high school education followed by postsecondary schooling or training, is cracked and broken.
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Author: Susan G. Lasky

Abstract: School reform efforts over the last two decades have become increasingly more complex and systemic. Yet, studies that have as their primary purpose identifying and understanding the function of linkages in school reform processes are virtually nonexistent in the school effects and school improvement literature. This report proposes a model that emphasizes the study of linkages between levels in the policy system. It also focuses on where individual, collective, and material capacity across the educational policy system can be developed to support linkages and the flow of resources and communication across them. The report includes an extensive review of the American reform literature since A Nation at Risk was published, using a conceptual framework to identify linkages, and areas where capacity can be developed to support sustained reform at the school level. The report closes with implications and directions for future research.
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