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School and Teacher Effects: A Team Effort. Sharon Walpole University of Delaware Michael C. McKenna University of Virginia. So how’d we do last year?. Let’s look at some data from the UGA external evaluator’s report. But WHY?.

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School and teacher effects a team effort l.jpg

School and Teacher Effects:A Team Effort

Sharon Walpole

University of Delaware

Michael C. McKenna

University of Virginia


So how d we do last year l.jpg

So how’d we do last year?

Let’s look at some data from the UGA external evaluator’s report


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But WHY?

Think about your most effective and your least effective kindergarten teacher. They both have the same materials. They have the same professional support system. They both have the same reading block.

What is it that actually differs between the two and might lead to differences in achievement?


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But WHY?

Think about your most effective and your least effective first-grade teacher. They both have the same materials. They have the same professional support system. They both have the same reading block.

What is it that actually differs between the two and might lead to differences in achievement?


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But WHY?

Think about your most effective and your least effective second-grade teacher. They both have the same materials. They have the same professional support system. They both have the same reading block.

What is it that actually differs between the two and might lead to differences in achievement?


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But WHY?

Think about your most effective and your least effective third-grade teacher. They both have the same materials. They have the same professional support system. They both have the same reading block.

What is it that actually differs between the two and might lead to differences in achievement?


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Lessons from School Effectiveness Literature

School

Differences

Portion of variance in achievement explained

Teacher Differences

Individual Differences


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An LC can form judgments about teacher differences. It’s harder to judge differences at the school level because most of us lack the opportunities to make such comparisons.


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Nevertheless, factors at the school level can have strong effects on achievement. The better we understand them, the more we can control them through leadership.


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Differences among teachers have a clear impact on learning. Coaching attempts to reduce some of these differences by guiding teachers toward best practice.


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But what about differences among schools? Coaching attempts to reduce

Can school factors be important as well?


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What are some differences among kids that affect achievement?

What are some differences among teachers that affect achievement?

What are some differences among schools that affect achievement?


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Organize Your Hunches achievement?


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Let’s look at three studies that attempted to identify school effects on reading achievement. What can we can learn from them?


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Beat-the-Odds Study* school effects on reading achievement. What can we can learn from them?

Design Features

Looked at school and teacher factors

Used measures of word readings, fluency, and retellings

14 schools, 11 of which “beat the odds”

2 teachers at each grade, and 4 children per classroom

Relied on interviews, surveys, observations, and scores

School factors positively correlated with growth

Forging links with parents

Using systematic assessment

Fostering communication and collaboration

*Taylor, Pearson, Clark, & Walpole, 2000.


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State-Level Outlier Study* school effects on reading achievement. What can we can learn from them?

Design Features

2 high-achieving, 1 low-achieving from 3 clusters: country, main street, uptown

Used state tests, interviews, and observations

School factors present in the high-achieving schools

Strong leadership and commitment

Teacher knowledge

Time and opportunity for children to read

Commitment of 8-10 years to the change process

*Mosenthal, Lipson, Torncello, Russ, & Mekkelsen, (2004).


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Curriculum Effects Study* school effects on reading achievement. What can we can learn from them?

Design Features

Compared 4 major reform models in first grade

Each used a coach, lots of PD, and regrouping of kids

4 experienced schools in each model

Measures of decoding, comprehension, vocabulary; classroom observations

Comparisons

All of the schools were relatively successful

None of the 4 models proved best

*Tivnan & Hemphill, 2005


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What lessons do these studies teach? school effects on reading achievement. What can we can learn from them?


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Common Characteristics school effects on reading achievement. What can we can learn from them?

  • No one curriculum or intervention model is a magical solution to student achievement problems

  • Intense focus on the school’s goals is associated with success

    • Assessment, communication, collaboration

    • Leadership, vision, knowledge

    • PD plus specific curriculum


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Differences From Us school effects on reading achievement. What can we can learn from them?

  • These schools were successful or experienced already; we are striving to be successful and we are still new to our curricula

  • These schools had different demographics than we do (except for the Curriculum Effects Study)

  • These studies do not include the effects of intensive interventions


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Limits of Generalizability school effects on reading achievement. What can we can learn from them?

  • We can’t tell whether these characteristics are causes or characteristics of success

  • We don’t know whether these factors “transfer” to striving schools


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Now let’s look at a fourth study – one with better lessons for Georgia and Reading First.


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GA REA Study* lessons for Georgia and Reading First.

*Walpole, Kaplan, & Blamey (in preparation).


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So What lessons for Georgia and Reading First.IS Assessment-Based Planning Anyway?

Schools with higher achievement were rated higher on these two characteristics:

The leaders made thoughtful choices to purchase commercial curriculum materials to meet school-level needs.

The leaders of this project designed a comprehensive assessment system that teachers used to differentiate instruction.


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How Did We Find Out? lessons for Georgia and Reading First.

We made a special rating sheet to rate the levels of implementation on all aspects of the project.

We correlated those ratings with student achievement to find the ones that were most powerful.


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How Did We Find Out? lessons for Georgia and Reading First.

Four variables “survived” the correlations

  • Differentiation strategies for word recognition and fluency

  • Strategy and vocabulary instruction during read-alouds

  • Careful choice of instructional materials

  • School-level design of an assessment system linked to instruction


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In our RF work . . . lessons for Georgia and Reading First.

These variables correspond to:

  • Differentiated word recognition strategies for needs-based work

  • Interactive read-alouds of children’s literature (Beck + Duffy)

  • Use (or purchase) of curriculum materials based on their match with emergent achievement data

  • Selection of assessments that are really used to plan needs-based instruction


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How did we find out? lessons for Georgia and Reading First.

These 4 variables were highly correlated with one another; we combined the two leadership variables and the two differentiation variables.

We controlled for LNF at January of kindergarten, we controlled for SES, and assessment-based planning was still correlated with first-grade scores at the school level.


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What Do We Need to Learn? lessons for Georgia and Reading First.

  • We need to see what variables are powerful in GARF

  • We need to add the level of the teacher

    • Identify the characteristics we are targeting

    • Collect meaningful observational data on them to see whether they make a difference

  • We need to use the data we have and get the data we need


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That’s a tall order! lessons for Georgia and Reading First.

(But we think we can

tackle it together.)


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Why? lessons for Georgia and Reading First.

From a design standpoint

We are all trying to collect student data to measure the success of our programs.

  • It does not make sense to measure program effects without measuring treatment fidelity.

  • It does not make sense to measure treatment fidelity without observing the treatment.

  • It does not make sense to document treatment fidelity without trying to improve it.


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Let’s look at the concept of “innovation configuration.” This is a way of finding out how fully we are implementing Reading First.


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Innovation Configuration* configuration.” This is a way of finding out how fully we are implementing Reading First.

*Hall & Hord, 2001


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http://www.nsdc.org/standards/index.cfm configuration.” This is a way of finding out how fully we are implementing Reading First.

Context


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Moving NSDC's Staff Development Standards into Practice: Innovation Configurations

By Shirley Hord, Stephanie Hirsh & Patricia Roy





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Procedure for Making an IC Learning

  • Designer of an innovation describes ideal implementation of various components

  • Those “ideals” are compared with “real” implementation through observation

  • The “reals” are lined up from least like the ideal to most like the ideal

  • Then the IC can be used for observations, and even linked to student achievement!



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Physical Environment Learning

The classroom is neat, clean, and organized so that the teacher can monitor all children and accomplish whole-group and needs-based instruction and so that children can get the materials they need. Wall space is used to display student work and curriculum-related materials that children need to accomplish tasks.


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Curriculum Materials Learning

There is one core reading program in active use. There is physical evidence of coherence in the text-level and word-level skills and strategies targeted in the classroom environment. Texts and manipulatives for whole-group, small-group, and independent practice are organized and available.


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Children’s Literature Learning

There is a large classroom collection of high-quality children’s literature deliberately organized and in active use that includes narratives, information texts, and multicultural texts.


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Instructional Schedule Learning

There is a posted schedule inside and outside the classroom to define an organized plan for using curriculum materials for whole-group and needs-based instruction; teacher and student activities correspond to the schedule


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Assessment System Learning

There is an efficient system for screening, diagnosing specific instructional needs, and progress-monitoring that is visible to the teacher and informs instructional groupings, the content of small-group instruction, and a flexible intervention system. All data are used to make instruction more effective.


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Whole-Group Instruction Learning

Whole-group instruction is used to introduce new concepts and to model strategies. Children have multiple opportunities to participate and respond during instruction.


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Small-Group Instruction Learning

Small-group instruction is used to reinforce, reteach, and review. Each child spends some time in small group each day; and small-group instruction is clearly differentiated. Children have multiple opportunities to participate and respond during instruction.


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Independent Practice Learning

Children work alone, in small groups, or in pairs to practice skills and strategies that have been previously introduced. They read and write during independent practice. They do this with a high level of success because the teacher organizes independent practice so that it is linked to whole-group and small-group instruction.


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Management Learning

The classroom is busy and active, but focused on reading. Classroom talk is positive and academic, including challenging vocabulary. Children know how to interact during whole-class, small-group, and independent work time. Very little time is spent teaching new procedures.


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There’s a Lot We Don’t Know! Learning

  • Is it possible to observe with one form across all grades?

  • How could we collect these observational data reliably and efficiently?

  • Which of these might explain variance in student achievement?


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Procedure for Making an IC Learning

  • Designer of an innovation describes ideal implementation of various components

  • Those “ideals” are compared with “real” implementation through observation

  • The “reals” are lined up from least like the ideal to most like the ideal

  • Then the IC can be used for observations, and even linked to student achievement!


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Professional Support LearningSystem*

Why?

*Joyce & Showers, 2002


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You be the rater! Learning

  • We will give you the IC that we made for the Georgia REA study.

  • Think about your first-grade team last year.

  • Provide us a realistic reflection on where you stood during Year 2.

  • We will use that data to analyze the Year 2 scores and provide you an update at our next meeting!


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References Learning

Hall, G. & Hord, S. (2001). Implementing change: Patterns, principles, and potholes. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Joyce, B., & Showers, B. (2002). Student achievement through staff development. White Plains, NY: Longman.

Mosenthal, J., Lipson, M., Torncello, S., Russ, B., & Mekkelsen, J. (2004). Contexts and practices of six schools successful in obtaining reading achievement. The Elementary School Journal, 104, 343-367.

Taylor, B. M., Pearson, P. D., Clark, K. M., & Walpole, S. (2000). Effective schools and accomplished teachers: Lessons about primary-grade reading instruction in low-income schools. The Elementary School Journal, 101, 121-165.

Tivnan, T., & Hemphill, L. (2005). Comparing four literacy reform models in high-poverty schools: patterns of first-grade achievement. The Elementary School Journal, 105, 419-441.

Walpole, S., Kaplan, D., & Blamey, K. L. (in preparation). The effects of assessment-driven instruction on first-grade reading performance:

Evidence from REA in Georgia.


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