Bibliography: Common Core State Standards (page 105 of 130)

This annotated bibliography is reformatted and customized by the Center for Positive Practices.  Some of the authors featured on this page include Rachel Porter, Ross Wiener, Rebekah Rieke, Martha Ely Cantrell, Jacob Mishook, Chantal Francois, Nickey Owen Johnson, Dennis J. DeBay, Kea Anderson, and Barbara Means.

US Department of Education (2013). Race to the Top. Ohio Report. Year 2: School Year 2011-2012. [State-Specific Summary Report]. This State-specific summary report serves as an assessment of Ohio's Year 2 Race to the Top implementation, highlighting successes and accomplishments, identifying challenges, and providing lessons learned from implementation from approximately September 2011 through September 2012. During Year 2, Ohio built on its Year 1 successes. In its transition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the State created a high school and IHE committee to align college and career standards with colleges' and universities' entrance requirements. To improve educator data access and allow the State to track students once they exit the kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12) system, the State worked with an external vendor to assign statewide student identifiers (SSIDs) to all high school seniors and freshmen attending State public IHEs (institutions of higher education). The State also created structures to ensure that participating local educational agencies (LEAs) receive frequent Race to the Top updates. During Year 2 Ohio faced some difficulty aligning ODE (Ohio Department of Education) and OBR (Ohio Board of Regents) efforts, as well as developing comprehensive contractor oversight processes. In addition, the State grappled with how to provide support to non-traditional persistently lowest-achieving (PLA) schools, namely community and virtual schools. Ohio continues to focus on ways to ensure sustainability of its Race to the Top reforms and high levels of LEA engagement. During Year 3, Ohio plans to assess and revise its structures to ensure quality implementation of all of its projects. As part of this work, Ohio developed an expanded statewide engagement strategy for educators and other stakeholders such as the general public and policymakers. In addition, Ohio plans to reevaluate its curriculum and assessment resources, as well as how LEA professional development plans are submitted, reviewed, and approved. Finally, in Year 3, participating LEAs will pilot or implement the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) and the Ohio Principal Evaluation System (OPES) to support full implementation of both systems no later than SY 2013-2014. A glossary is included. (Contains 18 footnotes.) [For "Race to the Top. Ohio Report. Year 1: School Year 2010-2011. [State-Specific Summary Report]," see ED529325.]   [More]  Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Standards, Accountability, Achievement Gap

Yanisko, Emily Joy (2013). Novice Middle-School Mathematics Teachers Learning to Promote Student Sense Making through Productive Discussion, ProQuest LLC. While mathematics education researchers have long characterized student performance marked by mathematical explanations, arguments, and justifications as evidence of mathematical reasoning and understanding (e.g. Schoenfeld, 1992), current education policy has begun to move in a similar direction, emphasizing sense making and mathematical communication as features of mathematics education (Common Core State Standards Initiative, 2010). However, designing and implementing instruction with these features is challenging (e.g. Lampert, 1990). Furthermore, classroom and instructional norms norms must be carefully developed for this discursive-heavy instruction to be equitable (e.g. Boaler & Staples, 2008). If mathematical discussions are to be a feature of the mathematics classroom, then teachers must learn to learn from their own teaching to enact practices that promote discussion (Hiebert, Morris & Glass, 2003). This study is a qualitative investigation of how three novice middle-school mathematics teachers learned to promote in-class student discussion, with a focus on the features of and strategies for instruction to which they attended, as well as their negotiation of challenges that arose during practice. Supported by a mentor, these teachers participated in a reflective teaching cycle that included a continuing teacher seminar, planning sessions, classroom observations, and reflection sessions over the course of 5 months. Through case studies, these teachers' instructional planning, practice and reflection were analyzed. Each case offers a perspective addressing how a teacher approached promoting student sense making through discussion, the challenges faced, and how those challenges were negotiated. Cross-case analysis yielded five findings. First, the teachers found that building relationships with their students encouraged student participation in discussion. Second, the teachers were able to leverage accountability in the design and implementation of their lessons. Third, school context either supported or impeded the teachers' ability to engage students in discussion. The fourth finding illuminated the ways in which the organizational practice of tracking students impacted teacher perceptions and eventual decision-making. The final finding clarified the effect of mentoring support on teacher efficacy and self-efficacy. These findings have implications for mathematics teacher education, as well as induction mentoring programs. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:…   [More]  Descriptors: Mathematics, Mathematics Teachers, Mathematics Instruction, Academic Achievement

Mishook, Jacob (2013). Building Capacity for College Readiness Indicator Systems, Voices in Urban Education. Over the last decade, a growing consensus has developed that for our nation's students to succeed in twenty-first-century economic and civic life, high school graduation is no longer sufficient. Labor-market analyses have shown that high-wage positions increasingly require postsecondary education and training, and students must now graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college and career. In response to these changes in the economy and labor force, policies are being adopted across the country, including the Common Core State Standards and accompanying assessments. These standards, to be implemented in 2014 in most states, codify the new skills required for students to be proficient in mathematics and English language arts. The codification of these broad college and career aspirations into policy opens up the possibility of a new era of equity, in which all students, including those who have historically been poorly served by the public education system, have the same access to and preparation for higher education that affluent families take for granted. At the same time, the new requirements present a colossal challenge to school systems. Not only must they get better at identifying which students are struggling, they must figure out how to use that information to support those students. Three years ago, the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University (AISR) joined two other university-based partners–the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University (Gardner Center) and the University of Chicago Consortium for Chicago School Research (CCSR)–and five urban sites, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to address these challenges. The goal of the College Readiness Indicator Systems (CRIS) initiative was to develop a model for systems that would not only generate data for districts on whether each student was on track for college readiness, but would also tie those data to supports and interventions that would help keep students on track. The contributions to this issue of "Voices in Urban Education" reflect the lessons of three years of work on the CRIS project. Collectively, they frame the current understanding of college readiness and show how college readiness indicator systems are being infused into the day-to-day work and culture of the CRIS sites.   [More]  Descriptors: College Readiness, Capacity Building, Educational Indicators, Systems Development

US Department of Education (2013). Race to the Top. Rhode Island Report. Year 2: School Year 2011-2012. [State-Specific Summary Report]. This State-specific summary report serves as an assessment of Rhode Island's Year 2 Race to the Top implementation, highlighting successes and accomplishments, identifying challenges, and providing lessons learned from implementation from approximately September 2011 through September 2012. In Year 2, Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) and local educational agencies (LEAs) created curricular resources to assist educators in transitioning to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), including 10 model curricula in core subjects. RIDE exceeded its goal of training 4,100 educators on CCSS; 5,800 educators attended Study of the Standards sessions during the first two years of Race to the Top implementation. Additionally, the State developed four modules to train educators in formative assessment practices and piloted these modules in six schools in SY 2011-2012. Although RIDE exceeded its CCSS training goals, it is unclear whether all LEAs will be ready to fully implement the CCSS by SY 2013-2014, particularly those LEAs that did not participate in the State's curricular development work. RIDE made revisions to the educator evaluation system to increase the weight of the Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) component, a change that will require RIDE to provide additional support to ensure that educators and LEAs implement SLOs rigorously and consistently. According to the State's Race to the Top plan, in Year 3 Rhode Island will continue to support LEAs and improve its Race to the Top program oversight and monitoring through EdStat and the CLO process. LEAs will take critical steps toward implementing the CCSS by developing CCSS-aligned units of study for use in classrooms. In addition, LEAs will fully implement new educator evaluation systems that use student growth data, differentiate educators into performance levels, and suggest professional growth supports for educators. The State will also take steps toward rewarding effective educators by developing and piloting new compensation structures. Additionally, it will place more educators certified through alternative routes in schools and will continue its efforts to transform persistently lowest-achieving (PLA) schools through interventions and support. A glossary is included. (Contains 5 footnotes.) [For "Race to the Top. Rhode Island Report. Year 1: School Year 2010-2011. [State-Specific Summary Report]," see ED529328.]   [More]  Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Standards, Accountability, Achievement Gap

Johnson, Nickey Owen (2013). Kindergarten Students Solving Mathematical Word Problems, ProQuest LLC. The purpose of this study was to explore problem solving with kindergarten students. This line of inquiry is highly significant given that Common Core State Standards emphasize deep, conceptual understanding in mathematics as well as problem solving in kindergarten. However, there is little research on problem solving with kindergarten students. This study is one of a few to explore problem solving with kindergarten students. This study explored problem solving with kindergarten children using pencil paper. The study also presents a preliminary scale for assessing students' representation and problem solving. It explored the relationships between students' levels of conservation, representation and problem solving. The data confirmed previous findings that stated kindergarten students can solve a wide variety of problems, including multiplication and division problems and that most students represent number in writing at or below their level of conservation. New findings from this data also suggest that there are levels of representation and problem solving through which students progress. However, problem solving is not a lockstep process through which students progress, rather, it is a complex individual process that combines factors related to the student, the problem and the problem context. This new way of conceptualizing problem solving has several implications that change the way problem solving is frequently taught. Approaching problem solving as a complex interwoven process between these three factors changes the focus to each individual student's construction of logico-mathematical knowledge rather than the transfer of social knowledge from teacher to student. The data suggests that including a conference, like the one used in this study, between all students and the teacher is a crucial part of building the knowledge (mental structures) for all types of students. The instructional method of solving a wide variety of authentic and relevant mathematical word problems using pencil and paper utilized in this study is a viable means of improving students' problem solving proficiency. This study also presents the idea that assessing problem solving is possible using a scale. The preliminary scales created by this study are presented with the invitation that further study will be undertaken to confirm them. The hope is that future studies will continue to document the highly complex and sophisticated nature of problem solving skills that kindergarten students demonstrate when allowed to solve problems using their own strategies. Scales and taxonomies can be used to document these natural processes in the current climate of accountability. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:…   [More]  Descriptors: Kindergarten, Word Problems (Mathematics), Problem Solving, Mathematical Concepts

Means, Barbara; Anderson, Kea (2013). Expanding Evidence Approaches for Learning in a Digital World, Office of Educational Technology, US Department of Education. This report describes how big data and an evidence framework can align across five contexts of educational improvement. It explains that before working with big data, there is an important prerequisite: the proposed innovation should align with deeper learning objectives and should incorporate sound learning sciences principles. New curriculum standards, such as the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, emphasize deeper learning objectives. Unless these are substantively addressed at the core of a learning resource, it is unlikely the resource will meet these important objectives. Likewise, a proposed innovation is more likely to succeed if it is grounded in fundamental principles of how people learn. Once these prerequisites are met, the evidence framework describes five opportunities for utilizing big data, each in a different educational context: (1) During development of an innovative learning resource, educational data mining and learning analytics can uncover patterns of learner behavior that can be used to guide improvement. (2) As learners use a digital resource, adaptive learning systems can personalize learning by using big data with new evidence models. (3) As institutions try to support struggling students, big data and new data analysis techniques can help guide intervention. (4) As educational systems assess student achievement, big data and new evidence models can shift measurements to focus more on what is really important and to provide more timely information to educators and students. (5) As educators choose and adapt learning resources from the vast array now offered on the Internet, big data and new evidence models can inform their choices. The ideas presented in this report have implications for learning technology developers, consumers, education researchers, policymakers, and research funders. The Technical Working Group of researchers and policymakers who provided input and guidance for this evidence framework also developed a set of recommendations for putting the framework into action. The resulting 14 recommendations for capitalizing on new approaches to evidence as digital resources are provided. The report also includes cautionary notes about the ethical issues that must be tackled in handling student data.   [More]  Descriptors: Educational Technology, Technology Uses in Education, Educational Resources, Individualized Instruction

Cantrell, Martha Ely (2013). TCAP Scores and per Pupil Expenditures: Statewide Changes before and after Tennessee's First to the Top Act, ProQuest LLC. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between the changes in Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) scores and the changes in Per Pupil Expenditures (PPE) after the enactment of "First to the Top Act of 2010" and the receipt of $501,000,000 in federal Race to the Top (RTTT) grant monies. Half of that money was retained by Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) for education reform initiatives. The other half was awarded to each Local Education Agency (LEA) according to the Title I formula after TDOE approval of individual Scopes of Work. Reform initiatives included transition to Common Core State Standards, changes to standardized testing, teacher evaluation system reflecting teacher effect partly based on student achievement, changes to tenure, and establishment of an Achievement School District for low-performing schools. Fast-paced reforms and increasing accountability for student achievement and gap closure brought a climate of pressure and tension. Secondary data were readily available on the Tennessee Report Card from TDOE's website ( Data from each LEA were collected, organized, and analyzed in the areas of PPE; TCAP scores in math, reading/language arts, and science for 2010, 2011, and 2012; and student population. No significant relationships were found between the changes in PPE and the changes in TCAP scores. Significant differences were found between the math scores for Year 1 and Year 2. No significant differences were found between the reading/language arts scores for Year 1. A significant difference was found between the reading/language arts scores from 2010 to 2012. Significant differences were found for the science scores for both time periods; however, Year 1 science scores fell while 2010 to 2012 science scores rose. Mixed results were found when investigating the relationship between PPE and number of students. This study indicates the importance of careful discussions of "how" school funds are spent, perhaps even more than "how much" money is spent. Implications for further study might include qualitative investigations of the perceptions of stakeholders at all levels about the climate during the fast-paced reforms. Further study of data for Years 3 and 4 of the grant is also recommended. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:…   [More]  Descriptors: Achievement Tests, Scores, Expenditure per Student, State Legislation

Francois, Chantal (2013). Reading in the Crawl Space: A Study of an Urban School's Literacy-Focused Community of Practice, Teachers College Record. Background/Context: The pressure to understand "what works" to advance adolescents' reading development has increased as the Common Core State Standards' call for youth to grapple with a range of complex texts. While we have learned more about promising reading programs and interventions for adolescent students in schools, few programs have had a demonstrable impact on middle and high school students' reading achievement. As a result, categorical reading underperformance among youth persists in schools nationwide (National Center for Education Statistics, 2010), and is worse in urban schools (Neild & Balfanz, 2006). Instead of examining the effects of a reading program in isolation, we may need to turn our attention to understand how those programs are lived and enacted within the contexts of their school cultures. Purpose and Research Questions: This study depicts one urban school's efforts to support its middle and high school students in reading. Two research questions guided this study: 1. What are the current practices designed to provide a sociocultural context conducive to growth in reading skills at Grant Street Secondary School? 2. How do various organizational members (i.e., students and staff) perceive and experience these practices at Grant Street Secondary School? Though a range of factors influenced students' reading at the school, this paper provides an in-depth portrayal of another instructional component — independent reading — that emerged in my analysis as vital to the way students and staff oriented themselves around literacy. Research Design: Because the theoretical frame for this study assumes that literacy is social and situated, my research design reflected an effort to describe interactions related to reading, the domains where reading activity circulated, and perceptions of those interactions. As such, I drew upon three sources of qualitative data: interviews from staff and students, ethnographic observational data, and documents. These three sources of qualitative data enabled me to describe the literacy activities at the school and locate them in the larger school organizational and cultural processes. Conclusions and Recommendations: This study suggests that students may benefit from daily, sustained time for independent reading time that is instructional. This study also suggests that coordinated efforts across school staff may ensure youth's positive interactions with texts. This study also holds implications for school-based research focused on disciplinary literacy. Ultimately, this research reconceptualizes our understanding of effective instructional practices for adolescents, emphasizing a multidimensional approach that highlights the role of reading as a social activity.   [More]  Descriptors: Reading Instruction, Reading Programs, School Culture, Urban Schools

US Department of Education (2013). Race to the Top. New York Report. Year 2: School Year 2011-2012. [State-Specific Summary Report]. This State-specific summary report serves as an assessment of New York's second year of Race to the Top implementation. The report highlights successes and accomplishments, identifies challenges, and provides lessons learned from implementation from approximately September 2011 through September 2012. New York completed its first year of transition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), encouraging educators to implement at least one CCSS-aligned unit each semester. It field tested items that it will use on CCSS-aligned Year 3 assessments and provided curricular documents through the website, including thirteen LEA-developed exemplar curriculum modules. New York struggled to stay on track with timeframes in its approved Race to the Top plan in Year 2. The State made numerous adjustments to timelines and approach to account for delays and other issues, which are described in further detail in this report and in the approved amendment letters posted on the Department's website. By the end of its Year 2 budget period, June 30, 2012, the State reported expenditures totaling 7.59 percent of its Race to the Top grant. The slow pace of spending is reflective of delays in the work, and indicative of the accelerated pace that will be required for New York to complete key grant activities prior to the end of the grant period. In Year 3, all New York local educational agencies (LEAs) will implement new teacher and principal evaluation systems. The State's grades three through eight (3-8) English language arts (ELA) and mathematics assessments will reflect the CCSS. In school year (SY) 2012-2013, the State has asked high school teachers to implement two CCSS units each semester. In SY 2013-2014, the State's Algebra I, Geometry, and English high school Regents exams will reflect the CCSS. In SY 2014-2015, the State's Algebra II high school Regents exam will reflect the CCSS. New York State Education Department (NYSED) and LEAs will continue to develop curricular materials to support effective implementation. NYSED plans to launch the EDP and release 2.0, an upgraded version of the current website. Nine new clinically-rich graduate teacher preparation programs will join the two programs that launched in Year 2. A glossary is included. (Contains 8 footnotes.) [For "Race to the Top. New York Report. Year 1: School Year 2010-2011. [State-Specific Summary Report]," see ED529326.]   [More]  Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Standards, Accountability, Achievement Gap

Lazarus, Sheryl S.; Rieke, Rebekah (2013). Leading the Transition from the Alternate Assessment Based on Modified Achievement Standards to the General Assessment, Journal of Special Education Leadership. Schools are facing many changes in the ways that teaching, learning, and assessment take place. Most states are moving from individual state standards to the new Common Core State Standards, which will be fewer, higher, and more rigorous than most current state standards. As the next generation of assessments used for accountability are rolled out, many students will be transitioned to new assessments. One of the greatest challenges will be for those students with disabilities who are currently participating in an alternate assessment based on modified achievement standards (AA-MAS) who will need to be transitioned to the regular assessment. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) require that all students, including students with disabilities, participate in state assessments. Most students with disabilities participate in the regular test, with or without accommodations; a few students with the most significant cognitive disabilities participate in an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS). In 2007, federal regulations allowed states to offer another option: the AA-MAS. States could count up to 2% of students proficient using the AA-MAS. States were not required to offer an AA-MAS. Students eligible for the AA-MAS were required to have an individualized education program (IEP) and could be from any disability category. The students were required to have access to grade-level content but be considered unlikely to reach grade level proficiency within the time period covered by their IEPs (U.S. Department of Education, 2007). Four years after the implementation of the 2007 AA-MAS regulation, 17 states had developed an assessment they considered to be an AA-MAS (Price, Hodgson, Lazarus, & Thurlow, 2011). Now, federal policies are changing in regard to this assessment option, and some states are phasing it out. This can present a challenge for special education leaders because almost all students who currently participate in this assessment option will need to be transitioned to the regular test, with or without accommodations. This paper provides an overview of six things that can ease the transition: (1) looking at the data; (2) ensuring that students are in the appropriate assessment; (3) using IEPs with measurable goals; (4) ensuring that students have access to grade-level content; (5) considering students' access needs, and (6) providing professional development for teachers.   [More]  Descriptors: Educational Assessment, Student Evaluation, Academic Standards, State Standards

Porter, Rachel (2013). Understanding Common Core Implementation: How Educators Intuit, Interpret, and Begin to Integrate Curriculum Reform, ProQuest LLC. The purpose of this comparative case study was to explore the ways educators at the school-level experience a federally directed curriculum policy change and examine the contextual factors that impacted the way it was initially implemented. Application of an organizational learning (OL) lens was incorporated to help illuminate the ways educators made sense of and began to implement the new Common Core State Standards. This study investigated the experiences and perspectives of teachers in two North Carolina elementary schools, as they initially implemented the new standards. Qualitative data was gathered through teacher surveys, faculty focus groups and interviews with each school principal and the two district Race to the Top coordinators. Analysis of the collected data uncovered common themes between the experiences at each school, as well as varied contextual factors that impacted implementation. Themes included interpretation of the policy, the role of professional collaboration, professional and personal impacts, time and pacing, and alignment to other initiatives. Comparison to organizational learning frameworks revealed numerous links between teacher experiences and elements of OL theory that helped explain the dynamics at hand. Findings from the study suggest several implications for policy and practice. Federal and state level decisions should consider ways to improve coordination and communication between and among the various levels and move to link federal efforts to the ground level in a more meaningful way. For district practitioners charged with enacting and supporting policy implementation, findings suggest a need for better communication and better designs for the management of training and resources. At the school level, principals and coaches, in the role of both supporting implementation and filtering information, must promote straightforward discussion focused on a clear vision and unambiguous expectations. For classroom teachers implementing Common Core, or any other large scale reform, the findings of this research reveal the importance of embracing change while remaining anchored to the goals and purposes of education at its core. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:…   [More]  Descriptors: State Standards, Academic Standards, Program Implementation, Elementary School Teachers

US Department of Education (2013). Race to the Top. Florida Report. Year 2: School Year 2011-2012. [State-Specific Summary Report]. This State-specific summary report serves as an assessment of Florida's Year 2 Race to the Top implementation, highlighting successes and accomplishments, identifying challenges, and providing lessons learned from implementation from approximately September 2011 through September 2012. In Year 2, the State made progress in executing contracts and implementing activities, and almost all projects were on track with the State's amended timelines. In Year 2, Florida implemented the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in kindergarten. Training also began for teachers across all grade levels with approximately 7,500 educators receiving training on implementation of the CCSS. The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) began work on updating the Teacher Standards Instructional Tool and the Student Tutorial to include CCSS materials. The State is also working to develop formative assessments in mathematics and English language arts (ELA) that align to the CCSS. Since Year 1, FDOE has experienced challenges in its efforts to execute a contract for the development of an interim assessment item bank and test platform. In spring 2012, the State was able to partner with a vendor to begin this work, but the timeline for this project has been significantly delayed. This delay creates other challenges because projects throughout the Race to the Top plan are dependent, at least in part, on the rollout of the interim assessment item bank and test platform. In Year 2, Florida successfully executed many contracts and work is now underway on the majority of its projects. The State will build on this foundation in Year 3. In the area of Standards and Assessments, the State will roll out the CCSS in first grade and pilots will continue for the CCSS-aligned formative assessments, as will work on assessments for hard-to-measure subject areas and the Teacher Standards Instructional Tool. Florida's Data Systems work will focus in large part on the single sign-on portal with plans for users to gain access toward the end of Year 3. Implementation of the teacher and principal evaluation systems will continue in Year 3. A glossary is included. (Contains 8 footnotes.) [For "Race to the Top. Florida Report. Year 1: School Year 2010-2011. [State-Specific Summary Report]," see ED529312.]   [More]  Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Standards, Accountability, Achievement Gap

Hanlon, Sean Thomas (2013). The Relationship between Deliberate Practice and Reading Ability, ProQuest LLC. Many students are not prepared to meet the literacy demands of college and career as defined by the Common Core State Standards (2010). Literacy researchers have struggled to define the frequency and type of reading practice necessary to nurture the development of reading ability. The principles of deliberate practice provide a theoretical framework that could describe the type of practice necessary to develop expertise in reading. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between deliberate practice and reading ability. In this study, an educational technology, "Learning Oasis", was used to deliver deliberate practice and monitor change in student reading ability over time. The hypotheses were that participants that engaged in more deliberate practice, as operationalized in this study, would experience more rapid growth and achieve higher levels of reading ability. Participants in this study (N = 1,369) ranged from grades one through twelve and were from a suburban school district in Mississippi. Each participant had at least three measurement occasions separated by at least three months each. The Lexile Framework for Reading was used to estimate participant reading ability during this research. Given the longitudinal nature of the data, a multilevel model was used to explore individual change over time. A negative exponential functional form was determined to best model change in participant reading ability over time. The results showed that, on average, participants that engaged in more deliberate practice (i.e., targeted practice with immediate feedback completed intensely over a long period of time) grew more rapidly and reached a higher ability level than participants that completed less deliberate practice. Implications for educators, educational technology designers, and researchers are discussed along with potential future areas of research. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:…   [More]  Descriptors: Reading Ability, Educational Technology, Hypothesis Testing, Reading Improvement

DeBay, Dennis J. (2013). Mathematical Self-Efficacy and Understanding: Using Geographic Information Systems to Mediate Urban High School Students' Real-World Problem Solving, ProQuest LLC. To explore student mathematical self-efficacy and understanding of graphical data, this dissertation examines students solving real-world problems in their neighborhood, mediated by professional urban planning technologies. As states and schools are working on the alignment of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM), traditional approaches to mathematics education that involves learning specific skills devoid of context will be challenged. For a student to be considered mathematically proficient according to the CCSSM, they must be able to understand mathematical models of real-world data, be proficient problem solvers and use appropriate technologies (tools) to be successful. This has proven to be difficult for all students–specifically for underrepresented students who have fallen behind in many of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. This mixed-method design involved survey and case-study research to collect and examine data over a two-year period. During the first year of this study, pre- and post-surveys using Likert-scale questions to all students in the urban planning project (n = 62). During the two years, ten high school students' mathematical experiences while investigating urban planning projects in their own neighborhoods were explored through interviews, observations, and an examination of artifacts (e.g., presentations and worksheets) in order to develop the case studies. Findings indicate that real-world mathematical tasks that are mediated by professional technologies influence both students' mathematical self-efficacy and understanding. Student self-efficacy was impacted by causing a shift in students beliefs about their own mathematical ability by having students interest increase through solving mathematical tasks that are rooted in meaningful, real-world contexts; students' belief that they can succeed in real-world mathematical tasks; and a shift in students' beliefs regarding the definition of `doing mathematics'. Results in light of mathematical understanding demonstrate that students' increased understanding was influenced by the ability to use multiple representations of data, making connections between the data and the physical site that was studied and the ability to communicate their findings to others. Implications for informal and formal learning, use of GIS in mathematics classrooms, and future research are discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:…   [More]  Descriptors: Geographic Information Systems, STEM Education, Disproportionate Representation, Mixed Methods Research

Wiener, Ross (2013). Teaching to the Core: Integrating Implementation of Common Core and Teacher Effectiveness Policies, Aspen Institute. The purpose of the Common Core State Standards is to prepare students to succeed in college and career pursuits. To that end, the Common Core calls on teachers to focus on deepening students' understanding of what they're learning, enhancing their problem-solving skills, and improving their ability to communicate ideas. At the same time, states are putting in place policies aimed at increasing teachers' effectiveness, the most prominent of which are rigorous evaluations. Together, teacher effectiveness policies and the Common Core have transformative potential to significantly improve outcomes "and" equity. But putting them into place quickly, simultaneously and with integrity is a hugely demanding and complex endeavor. Successfully integrating these work streams into a coherent, unified improvement agenda requires intensive collaboration across teams and offices, sophisticated change management, and continuous cycles of feedback and response. If states do not do this aggressively and swiftly this opportunity to change teaching and improve learning could well be squandered. But this is not what state departments of education were designed to do. They were designed to ensure that school districts spend state and federal money for the purposes intended and to enforce myriad state and federal regulations, dealing with everything from school buses to special education. To carry out this new mission, state education agencies (SEAs) must reinvent themselves: establish a new culture, develop a different set of competencies, and adopt new approaches to their work with school districts. SEA leaders must demonstrate by their actions and words that the initiatives are inextricably linked and also that they call for fundamental changes in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. The purpose of this policy brief and its 10 recommendations is to help state departments succeed in carrying out these responsibilities. The first six recommendations deal with organizational design a functions of state departments. The next four recommend changes in practice. Appended are: (1) Next Steps and Resources for Teaching Frameworks Incorporating Common Core Expectations; and (2) Developments in the Field and Alternative Approaches to Assessments that Measure Common Core Expectations.   [More]  Descriptors: Teacher Effectiveness, State Standards, Teaching Methods, Feedback (Response)

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