The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) has released six new reports this week that review the research on education programs, curriculums, and strategies. These reports are now available at whatworks.ed.gov:
Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies is a peer-tutoring program for use in elementary school classrooms to improve student proficiency in reading. The program is meant to supplement students’ existing reading curriculum and uses peer-mediated instruction to provide tutoring in three reading strategies. The WWC reviewed 4 studies that investigated the effects of Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies on English language learners. One study meets WWC evidence standards and includes 99 English language learners from 3rd to 6th grade in Texas. Based on this study, the WWC found Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies to have potentially positive effects for reading achievement for English language learners. Read the full report now at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/reports/english_lang/pals/index.asp.
The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program is a residential education and training program designed for youth ages 16 to 18 who have dropped out of or been expelled from high school. During the 22-week residential period, participants are offered GED preparation classes and other program services intended to promote positive youth development. The WWC reviewed 14 studies that investigated the effects of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program. One study meets WWC evidence standards. This study included 1,196 youth in 10 states. Based on this study, the WWC found the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program to have potentially positive effects on completing school for at-risk youth. Read the full report now at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/reports/dropout/ngyc/index.asp.
Service and Conservation Corps engages young adults in full-time community service, job training, and educational activities. The program serves youth typically between the ages of 17 and 26 who have dropped out of school, been involved with the criminal justice system, or face other barriers to success. The WWC reviewed 23 studies that investigated the effects of Service and Conservation Corps. One study meets WWC evidence standards with reservations. This study included 626 at-risk youths primarily between ages 17–26 who participated in community service projects in California, Florida, New York, and Washington State. Based on this study, the WWC found Service and Conservation Corps to have no discernible effects on completing school for at-risk youth. Read the full report now at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/reports/dropout/youth_corps/index.asp.
These reviews give timely guidance about whether education research in the news meets WWC standards. See how the WWC rated the research design used in the following studies:
· Addressing Summer Reading Setback Among Economically Disadvantaged Elementary Students—This study examined whether providing summer reading books to economically disadvantaged first- and second-grade students for three consecutive summers improved reading achievement. The study analyzed data on about 1,300 students from 17 high-poverty elementary schools in two large districts in Florida. It compared reading scores of students randomly assigned to receive summer reading books with those of students who did not receive them.
· Toward Reduced Poverty Across Generations: Early Findings From New York City’s Conditional Cash Transfer Program—This study examined whether offering low-income families cash rewards for engaging in activities related to children’s education, family preventive health care, and parental employment improves family and child outcomes. This quick review focuses specifically on the effects of the Opportunity NYC-Family Rewards program on children’s core educational outcomes. The study covered the first two years of this ongoing project and followed more than 9,000 K–12th-graders. The study measured the effect of the Family Rewards program by comparing educational outcomes of students whose families were randomly assigned to participate in the program with students whose families were not given the opportunity to participate.
· An Evaluation of the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) in Chicago—This study examined whether the Chicago Teacher Advancement Program, which provides financial incentives for teachers, leads to improved student achievement and teacher retention. The study analyzed data on more than 67,000 students in grades 4 through 8 and on more than 8,000 teachers in about 260 elementary schools in the Chicago Public Schools system.
Quick reviews assess whether a study’s design meets WWC evidence standards. The WWC does not vouch for study findings or confirm their correctness.
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What Works Clearinghouse
A central and trusted source of scientific evidence of what works in education.
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) was established in 2002 by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to provide educators, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a central and trusted source of scientific evidence of what works in education.
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