AERA 2017

AERA logo

Education Northwest’s work across several research areas, including support for English language learners, college and career readiness, school improvement and equity in public education, will be highlighted at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Thursday, April 27 – Monday, May 1 in San Antonio, Texas. This year’s event theme: “Knowledge to Action: Achieving the Promise of Equal Educational Opportunity.”

Read our short news article: Education Northwest Researchers to Focus on Equity at AERA Annual Meeting.

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

Roundtable Session 4: Advanced Academic Preparation and College Enrollment: Tutoring, Dual Credits and Placement

Thursday, April 27, 2:15 to 3:45 p.m., Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Ballroom Level, Hemisfair Ballroom 3

Earning College Credits in High School: Equitable Options, Participation and Outcomes for Oregon Students

This study describes the characteristics of high school students who enroll in dual credit at Oregon community colleges, focusing on equity gaps in participation and the relationship between students’ participation in dual credit and high school graduation, postsecondary enrollment and postsecondary persistence. Using statewide longitudinal data, the study analyzes dual-credit participation rates by race/ethnicity, gender and math and reading achievement on state tests and examines differences in outcomes for dual-credit participants and nonparticipants. Key findings include that dual-credit participants are more likely to be female, white, score highly on state tests and not be eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

Education Northwest presenter: Ashley Pierson
Education Northwest coauthor: Michelle Hodara
Session handout

Large-Scale Assessments in International Settings: Methods and Practices

Friday, April 28, 8:15 to 10:15 a.m., Grand Hyatt San Antonio, Fourth Floor, Texas Ballroom Salon E

Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian Students' Reading Achievement in Hawaii

One proposed regulation in the Every Student Succeed Act (ESSA) is for states to analyze the performance of student subgroups separately in order to show how states are leveling the playing field over time to ensure educational equity. This study provides an analysis of the English language arts (ELA) Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) used in Hawaii. Using a multilevel framework that takes into account numerous predictors and the clustering of students within schools, we show a statistically significant achievement gap between Native Hawaiian and white students, Pacific Islander and white students and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students.

Education Northwest presenter: Malkeet Singh

Special Interest Group to the Every Student Succeeds Act: New Lessons in School Turnaround

Friday, April 28, 10:35 a.m. to 12:05 p.m., Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Meeting Room Level, Room 217 B

What's Next for Low-Performing Schools? State Plans Related to the Every Student Succeeds Act

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has ushered in a new era of flexibility for state policies and practices related to low-performing schools. Will states make changes? What aspects of change will need additional support? This descriptive, mixed methods study uses survey data from turnaround leaders in all 50 states and an extant document review of state school-improvement policies prior to ESSA. The study found that state leaders are planning changes in policies and practices for low-performing schools in response to ESSA. Furthermore, state leaders believed their states needed additional assistance with several aspects of ESSA implementation.

Education Northwest presenter: Caitlin Scott
Education Northwest coauthor: Steve Fleischman
Report / Slides

Washington State: Investigating Outcomes and Experiences of Bilingual and English Learner Students and Programs

Friday, April 28, 4:05 to 6:05 p.m., Grand Hyatt San Antonio, Fourth Floor, Republic B

Advanced Course Enrollment and Performance Among English Learners in Washington State

This study seeks to reveal and understand disparities in advanced course-taking in Washington state high schools among current, recently reclassified and former English learners (ELs) compared to never–English learners. This study used descriptive summaries and regression analysis to elucidate patterns in advanced course-taking in high school among four groups in Washington state: current English learners, monitored English learners (reclassified as English proficient within the previous two school years), former English learners (reclassified as English proficient three or more years ago), and never–English learners. The findings may help decision-makers develop policies or strategies that increase ELs’ enrollment and performance in advanced courses.

Education Northwest presenter: Havala Hanson

Not Just About the Bachelor's: Access Pathways for Community College and Graduate School

Saturday, April 29, 10:35 a.m. to 12:05 p.m., Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Meeting Room Level, Room 205

Improving Community College-to-Four-Year College Transfer: A Policy Analysis and Student Perspective

Community colleges are the first point of access to higher education for millions of students looking for an affordable path to a bachelor’s degree. Yet, credit loss when students transfer from community college to a four-year institution is a major barrier to degree attainment. This study investigates the challenge of community college credit mobility in 10 states and advances a new policy framework for understanding different approaches to ensure that students’ credits transfer and apply to their major. It also identifies key reasons why community college students lose credit even under the most comprehensive policies and presents recommendations for preventing credit loss.

Education Northwest presenter: Mary Martinez-Wenzl
Education Northwest coauthors: Michelle Hodara, David Stevens and Christopher Mazzeo

Consortium of State and Regional Educational Research Associations: Distinguished Paper Session 3

Saturday, April 29, 2:45 to 4:15 p.m., San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, Third Floor, Conference Room 14

Hawaii Educational Research Association. Stepping Up to College Success in Hawai'i

Education Northwest presenter: Malkeet Singh
Education Northwest coauthor: Michelle Hodara

Achieving the Promise of Equal Educational Opportunity for Subgroups of English Learners in Washington State

Sunday, April 30, 10:35 a.m. to 12:05 p.m., Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Meeting Room Level, Room 221 D

Chair: Christopher Mazzeo, Education Northwest

English Learners' Time to Reclassification: How Much Do Student Characteristics Matter?

How long does it typically take English learners to develop English language proficiency? And how does this time vary by student characteristics such as English proficiency at entry to kindergarten, gender and home language? This study seeks to understand how long it takes ELs in seven Washington school districts to reclassify as former ELs. We used discrete-time survival analysis to estimate the time it takes and the likelihood of reclassification in their first eight years of school for subgroups of students compared to other subgroups. The average time to reclassification is important because English proficiency is linked to academic success, and it provides educators with a measure of expected progress.

Education Northwest presenter: Malkeet Singh
Education Northwest coauthor: Jason Greenberg Motamedi

Are English Learners Over- or Underrepresented in Special Education? It's Complicated

English learners and students with disabilities need specific supports to help them succeed in school. However, the supports may not be the same, and enrollment in an inappropriate program may have negative consequences on student learning. This study compared the percentage of current and former EL students who were in special education to the percentage of students who were never ELs in Washington state in 2012–13 with results disaggregated by gender, home language, race/ethnicity and EL categories. Failing to disaggregate EL data can conceal disproportionate representation for certain groups, such as the dramatic overrepresentation of Native American ELs in special education compared to never-ELs.

Education Northwest presenter: Caitlin Scott
Education Northwest coauthor: Jason Greenberg Motamedi, Jacob Williams

Opportunities to Soar: Advanced Course Enrollment and Performance of Students From Different Language Backgrounds

This study clarifies disparities in enrollment and performance in advanced courses among Spanish-speaking students, students who speak only English and students who speak other languages. The Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction provided data, including demographic, assessment and course enrollment records for more than a million students enrolled in Washington state high schools between 2009–10 and 2012–13. We calculated percentages and means and conducted regression analysis. The study found that Spanish-speaking students earn lower grades in advanced courses than non–Spanish-speaking students, but these differences disappear when students have the same GPA and test scores in the prior year and attend the same school. The findings can inform local and state policy discussions on improving education outcomes for Spanish-speaking students and suggest areas for future research.

Education Northwest presenter: Havala Hanson

Getting It Right: A Better Start for Immigrant Students With Non-English Names

Getting a student’s name right is the first step in welcoming him or her to school. Staff members who work with student-level data also know the importance of accurately and consistently recording a student’s name in order to track student data over time and to match files across data sets. We created a set of naming conventions guides to serve as a reference for accurately entering students’ names in school, district and state databases. The guides provide a general overview of the naming practices in 11 languages.

Education Northwest presenter: Jason Greenberg Motamedi

Credit Where Credit Is Due: Interpreting Newcomers' Foreign Transcripts

Clear and consistent transcript evaluations are critical for newcomers at the secondary level who have limited time to master English and demonstrate proficiency in the academic subjects required for a high school diploma. This project examined the intake process for newcomer EL students at the secondary level, focusing on how schools and districts interpret foreign transcripts. The project culminated in a set of guidelines and resources for schools and districts to inform foreign transcript evaluation policies and processes. The tools and resources developed through this project provide district and school staff with information to facilitate consistent decisions about prior schooling data.

Education Northwest presenter: Mary Martinez-Wenzl
Education Northwest coauthor: Manuel Vazquez

How Well Can We Predict Which English Learners Are Most at Risk of Dropping Out?

This study examined how graduation and dropout rates vary for five groups of students, classified by their English learner status, at the start of Grade 9 and also compared the accuracy of early warning indicators for each group. The study drew on five years of data for the 9,595 students (28 percent were current or former EL) who began Grade 9 in 2008–09 in six districts in Washington state. Graduation and dropout rates varied substantially across subgroups, and the project’s early warning indicators were unable to accurately identify many future dropouts across the six districts and were especially poor for newcomers.

Education Northwest presenter: Christopher Mazzeo

Roundtable Session 26: Achieving the Promise for Indigenous Peoples: Research and Praxis II

Sunday, April 30, 4:05 to 5:35 p.m., Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Ballroom Level, Hemisfair Ballroom 3

The Attendance Gap: A Case Study in Hawaii

Counts, such as absences and discipline referrals, are ubiquitous in educational outcomes. However, a majority of the educational research studies have not employed the proper statistical methods for analyzing them. This study employed a statistical model for analyzing the 2014–15 absence data of elementary students in Hawaii’s public schools and examined the relationship between student-level characteristics and absences. It mainly focused on the absences of Pacific Islander students who are often overlooked since they are usually grouped together with Asian students for reporting purposes. We discuss the findings’ implications for educators and policymakers.

Education Northwest presenter: Malkeet Singh

Using Research-Practice Partnerships to Improve Student Success in College and Career: Three District and State Partnerships Share Challenges and Successes

Monday, May 1, 8:15 to 9:45 a.m., Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, River Level, Room 7B

Partnering to Map Trajectories Into Postsecondary Education and Careers: A Research-Practice Partnership and State Policy Research Alliance in the Northwest

RPP 3 works to build the capacity of educators and stakeholders to make effective use of data and rigorous research evidence to inform their decisions. Similar to other research-practice partnerships, the RPP 3 approach has tenets that include ensuring mutualism, addressing real-world and relevant problems, building capacity of individuals and organizations and widening the circle of beneficiaries within and across the region and nationally. This paper describes how our partnership with a state policy research alliance in the Northwest illustrates these four partnership tenets in practice. Alliance members and others cite the study as a promising example of how the alliance and RPP 3 produce evidence that is highly relevant to policy and practice.

Education Northwest presenter: Havala Hanson
Education Northwest coauthors: Ashley Pierson and Christopher Mazzeo

Roundtable Session 31: Teacher Development Across Content Areas: Utilizing Knowledge to Improve Teaching and Learning

Monday, May 1, 12:25 to 1:55 p.m., Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Ballroom Level, Hemisfair Ballroom 1

Making the Most of Professional Development: How Teacher-Led Professional Development Influences Teaching Practices

Research suggests teacher professional development (PD) is effective when it is hands on, ongoing, tailored to classrooms and integrated into school improvement plans. In this time of tight budgets and intense focus on teacher effectiveness, how can districts provide this type of training? This evaluation examined an approach to PD in which teachers in a grant-funded graduate program provide PD to colleagues. Through surveys and interviews, the study found that teacher leaders conveyed their learning to colleagues through a variety of activities that colleagues found influenced their teaching. Furthermore, when teachers participated in more PD, and when this PD was integrated into the overall school improvement plan, participants were more likely to report that it was influential.

Education Northwest presenter: Caitlin Scott
Education Northwest coauthors: Elizabeth Gandhi and Lisa Dillman
Report / Slides