AERA 2016

Banner graphic for AERA

Education Northwest’s work across several research areas including support for English language learners, college and career readiness, and school improvement will be highlighted at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), April 8–12 in Washington, DC. This year’s event theme: “Public scholarship to engage diverse democracies.

Education Northwest researchers and evaluators will share their findings in these sessions:

Education, Wages, and the Labor Market

Friday, April 8, 2:15 to 3:45 p.m, Convention Center, Level Two, Exhibit Hall D Section A

During this roundtable session, Education Northwest's Havala Hanson presents Alaskans' Pathways From High School to Postsecondary Education and Employment. This study follows 40,000 Alaskan students in their first six years after high school. It describes relationships among academic performance in high school, college attendance and vocational training, employment, wages, and incarceration. The study highlights differences across key groups of students in the state, including men and women, Alaska Native and White students, and rural and urban students. The study finds that academic and personal background characteristics explained differences in choices students made directly after high school. Additionally, postsecondary educational attainment and work experience were strong predictors of early-career wages. The findings provide evidence to inform policy and practice related to academic readiness and closing the gap in postsecondary enrollment rates and wages, particularly between Alaska Native and white students.

Presenters: Namrata Tognatta, Alexandria Valerio, Maria Laura Sanchez Puerta, and Sebastian Monroy Taborda, The World Bank Group; Chungseo Kang and Sungwoo Hong, University at Buffalo – SUNY; Havala Hanson, Education Northwest

Understanding the Pathways From High School to College: Factors and Outcomes

Friday, April 8, 4:05 to 5:35 p.m., Convention Center, Level Two, Exhibit Hall D Section D

During this roundtable session, Education Northwest’s Brandi Holten-Bakshi and Jeffrey Davis of the Nassau Boards of Cooperative Educational Services present Indicators of College Enrollment and Persistence: Analyzing the College-Going Pipeline. College-readiness indicators for “on-track" and “highly qualified" students were analyzed for school districts in Nassau County, NY using logistic regression to determine if there is a relationship with the desired outcome of college enrollment and persistence into a second year. These indicators were then used to create reports along the “education pipeline" to tell a story about college-going students’ progression from 9th grade through the second year of college. Results are included in this study.

Presenters: Darren A. Bryant, Hong Kong Institute of Education; Brandi Holten-Bakshi, Education Northwest; Jeffrey Davis, Nassau Boards of Coorperative Educational Services; Takako Nomi, St. Louis University; and Martha Abele Mac Iver and Douglas J. Mac Iver, Johns Hopkins University

State and Regional Educational Research Associations: Distinguished Paper Session 2

Saturday, April 9, 4:05 to 5:35 p.m., Marriott Marquis, Level Four, Monument

During this invited speaker session, Education Northwest's Malkeet Singh serves as a discussant along with Leslie R. Zenk of the University of North Carolina – Charlotte.

School Turnaround and Reform SIG: Examining Supports for School Turnaround

Saturday, April 9, 6:15–7:45 p.m., Convention Center, Level One, Room 158A

Education Northwest's Caitlin Scott will be participating in this business meeting and co-presenting The Missing Link: How States Work with Districts to Support School Turnaround. Recent federal initiatives have called on states to improve the nation’s lowest performing schools. States’ efforts to turnaround these low performing schools have met with mixed success. Districts may be the missing link between federal and state desires to improve schools and actual, tangible changes that improve learning for students. This descriptive, mixed methods study uses survey data from turnaround leaders in all 50 states and in-depth interviews with eight intentionally selected state leaders to launch a discussion about how states support district turnaround efforts.

Presenters: Caitlin Scott, Education Northwest; Lenay Dunn, WestEd

Innovative Approaches and Strategies to Program Evaluation in Schools

Monday, April 11, 2:45 to 4:15 p.m., Convention Center, Level Two, Exhibit Hall D

During this poster session, Education Northwest’s Caitlin Scott presents Giving Back: What Happens When Teachers in a Graduate Program Share Their Learning With Colleagues. Research suggests teacher professional development is effective when it is hands-on, ongoing, and tailored to classrooms. In this time of tight budgets and intense focus on teacher effectiveness, how can districts provide this type of training? This study examines an innovative approach to professional development in which teachers in a grant-funded graduate program “give back" to their schools by providing professional development activities to pass on their learning to colleagues on-site. Through surveys and interviews, researchers found that teacher leaders in the graduate literacy program conveyed their learning to colleagues through a variety of activities, which colleagues found useful. Furthermore, colleagues reporting nine or more hours of professional development found the activities more useful than those participating in fewer hours.

Presenters: Joette Stefl-Mabry, University at Albany – SUNY; Michael S. Radlick, Institute for Research on Learning Technology Visions; Caitlin Scott, Education Northwest; Jeffrey A. Grigg, Johns Hopkins University; Aleata Hubbard, WestEd; Binbin Zheng, Michigan State University

The Many Faces of Accountability in Schools

Monday, April 11, 2:45 to 4:15 p.m., Convention Center, Level Two, Exhibit Hall D

In this poster session, Education Northwest’s Brandi Holten-Bakshi presents Building a Multiple Regression Model to Set Student Learning Objective Targets. The 2012 Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plan in New York State (NYS) requires educators to develop Student Learning Objectives (SLO) for high school teachers. Nassau BOCES developed formulas using multiple regression based on historical NYSED student data and demographics to predict student outcomes for all high school students in the data warehouse who took a course that ended in 2013 NYS Regent that had baseline scores. The formulas created were then used to predict individual student results for the 2014 NYSED assessments. This paper discusses the history of SLOs in NYS, in-district considerations for developing SLOs, regression model methodology, and an evaluation of the model comparing actual 2014 student results to predicted 2014 student results.

Presenters:Brandi Holten-Bakshi , Education Northwest; Elaine B. Zseller, Nassau Boards of Coorperative Educational Services; Reino Makkonen, WestEd; Sonia Enid Maldonado, City College of New York - CUNY; Duncan D. Chaplin, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.; Mwarumba Mwavita, Laura L.B. Barnes, and Laura L.B. Barnes, Oklahoma State University; Curt M. Adams, University of Oklahoma; Jennifer Leigh Whitson, The George Washington University; Anna Montana Cirell, Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, Kathryn Patricia Chapman, and Alice Hays, Arizona State University; Jessica Holloway-Libell, Kansas State University; Xian Wu, University of Kentucky

Studies of Rural Students’ College Enrollment and Persistence in Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Indiana

Monday, April 11, 2:45 to 4:15 p.m., Convention Center, Level One, Room 146 B

Across the nation, students from rural schools have lower college enrollment and persistence rates than students from nonrural schools. But college enrollment rates are rising faster among students from rural schools than among their peers in nonrural schools. Given this changing landscape, it is important to examine patterns in and seek ways to improve on the college outcomes of rural students. All three studies in this symposium address college-going and persistence patterns in their states, but each takes a slightly different lens that helps add to the knowledge base. During this symposium, Education Northwest's Ashley Pierson presents Comparing Postsecondary Enrollment and Persistence Among Rural and Nonrural Students in Oregon.

Presenters: Caitlin Howley, ICF International; Ashley Pierson, Education Northwest; and Elisabeth Davis, American Institutes for Research

Connecting Research and Practice: REL Partnerships to Improve Data Use in Education

Tuesday, April 12, 8:15 to 9:45 a.m., Convention Center, Level One, Room 101

In this poster session, 10 Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) will highlight how they help strengthen public education in the United States through research and technical assistance projects that focus on data systems, data use, and data analysis. REL researchers will present the challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned from their collaborations with school districts, state departments of education, and others as they provide support for a more evidence-reliant education system.

During this poster session, Education Northwest's Havala Hanson, Vicki Nishioka, and Ashley Pierson present Leveraging Research Alliances to Increase Evidence-Based Policy Decision Making for Educational Equity.

Presenters: Patricia J. Kannapel, CNA; Stephen J. Meyer, RMC Research Corporation; Katarzyna A. Razynska, ICF International; Julie R. Kochanek, Monica Bhatt and Jackie W. Burniske, American Institutes for Research; Jacqueline Zweig and Julie Riordan, Education Development Center, Inc.; Havala Hanson, Vicki Nishioka, and Ashley Pierson, Education Northwest; Phillip Herman, McREL International; John Hughes, Florida Department of Education; Sharon Koon, Florida State University; and Rebeca Cerna, WestEd

Beyond the Homogeneous English Learner Classification: New Progress Analyses Using New, Multiple English Learner Subgroups

Tuesday, April 12, 10:35 a.m. to 12:05 p.m., Convention Center, Level One, Room 147 A

Widespread concern about how to successfully educate the growing English population has led to calls for new ways to examine English learner progress beyond that of a single K–12 homogenous group. This symposium presents four empirical studies that respond to this call for new analyses to identify and understand the differing needs of subgroups of current and former ELs. This symposium provides both useful data and exemplary analyses that researchers, states, and districts can replicate within their own contexts as an aid to more effectively focusing resources and targeting practices to promote English learner success.

During this symposium, Education Northwest's Jason Greenberg Motamedi presents Time to Reclassification: How Long Does It Take Washington English Learners to Develop English Proficiency?

Presenters: Eric Haas, Min Huang, Loan Tran, and Niufeng Zhu, WestEd; Jason Greenberg Motamedi, Education Northwest; Barbara R. Foorman, Florida State University; Anabel Espinosa, University of Miami; Carla Jackson and Yi Chien Wu, National Central University

Evaluation of Programs to Enhance College and Career Readiness

Tuesday, April 12, 2:15 to 3:45 p.m., Convention Center, Level Three, Ballroom B

During this roundtable session, Education Northwest's Malkeet Singh presents Improving Graduation Outcomes: A Quasi-Experimental Study. A quasi-experimental study of a statewide college readiness initiative in Hawai’i that encourages students to take more rigorous coursework in high school and work towards earning a high school diploma was conducted. The initiative was designed and implemented through the Gaining Early Awareness Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP). While randomized controlled trials still remain the “gold standard" for identifying the causal impact of educational programs on student outcomes, the option to conduct them is often very slim. Propensity score weighting was used to analyze a rich longitudinal statewide data. Propensity score weighting, combined with covariate adjustment in the outcome analysis, was effective in removing overt selection bias. Overall, the study suggests the program could improve a participant’s likelihood of graduation by twofold.

Presenters: Scott Neal Wilson, Sharon Gail Dean, Leslie Ann Williams, and Sharon Ann Wilbur, University of Oklahoma; Olcay Yavuz, Southern Connecticut State University; Malkeet Singh, Education Northwest; Tanee Hudgens, National Institute for Excellence in Teaching; Marisa A. Cannata, Christopher Redding, and Tuan Nguyen, Vanderbilt University

Rethinking High-Stakes Assessments: College Readiness, State Comprehensive Assessments, and Educator Evaluation in the United States and Abroad

Tuesday, April 12, 2:15 to 3:45 p.m., Convention Center, Level Three, Ballroom B

During this roundtable session, Education Northwest's Michelle Hodara and Ashley Pierson present College Readiness in the Last Frontier: Measuring Alaska Students' Progress Toward New State Standards. Alaska recently revised K–12 English and math standards with the goal of increasing students’ college and career readiness. The state is also undergoing a cross-sector process to define college readiness. Using student-level data on first-time students who enrolled from fall 2008 to spring 2012 in the University of Alaska (UA) system, this study provides information on the degree to which UA students are considered ready for college coursework based on their exam performance. It also explores the use of high school grades, attendance, and behavior incidents to assess college readiness. This work is intended to help Alaska begin to track high school students’ progress toward college readiness using indicators that measure dimensions of readiness beyond academic proficiency.

Presenters: Mirko Krüger, University of Duisburg-Essen; Michelle Hodara and Ashley Pierson, Education Northwest; Mary A. Mitchell, Salem Public Schools; Elise Trumbull, Independent Consultant; and Adam Lekwa, Linda Reddy, and Christopher M. Dudek, Rutgers University