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Some of the materials linked below are available by paid subscription only. In many cases, "fair use" copies may be obtained for nonprofit educational research under the provisions of Title 17 of the U.S. Code. Send an e-mail containing the title and url of the needed item to researchhelp@education-consumers.com for assistance.

Advanced Teacher Certification
Evidence that there is any educationally meaningful advantage to certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is still lacking.  [Cunningham, G. K. & Stone, J. E. (2005). Value-added assessment of teacher quality as an alternative to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards: What recent studies say.  In Robert Lissitz (Ed.). Value added models in education: Theory and applications. Maple Grove, MN: JAM Press.

In the face of growing concerns about the cost of awarding a $7,500/year bonus to teachers certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, a legislatively mandated study by the South Carolina Department of Education found that NBPTS-certified teachers were having little impact on student achievement.  [Michals, L.  (2005, December 21).  Teacher credentials get little credit.  The State (Columbia, SC).]

http://www.caldercenter.org/PDF/1001060_NBPTS_Certified.pdf  [released March 2007]
An NBPTS-sponsored study of learning outcomes for all Florida teachers over a 4 year span.  Found limited evidence favoring NBPTS-certified teachers but concludes that the "efficacy of NBPTS as a tool to improve student learning appears questionable."  [Harris, D. N. & Sass, T. R.  (2007, January 25).  The effects of NBPTS-certified teachers on student achievement.  Working Paper No. 4, Urban Institute, Center for the Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Educational Research.]

http://www.scgovernor.com/uploads/upload/ExecutiveBudget07.pdf [released January 3, 2007]
South Carolina Governor Mark Stanford's budget message cites the lack of supporting evidence and $63.17 million/year projected cost as the basis for discontinuation of bonuses for NBPTS teachers newly certified after June 30, 2007 (see page 99).

[released December 22, 06] A $330,000 study sponsored by NBPTS found no advantage in achievement gains for NBPTS-certified teachers in North Carolina. Press release.  [McColskey, W., Stronge, J. H., et al.  (2006, June).  Teacher Effectiveness, Student Achievement,& National Board Certified Teachers, Williamsburg, VA:  College of William and Mary.]

http://www.nbpts.org/UserFiles/File/SAS_final_report_Sanders.pdf [released May 24, 2006]
A large scale NBPTS-sponsored study commissioned in 2002 but released only after a May 17, 2006 investigative report in Education Week (requires subscription).  Found only average achievement gains associated with NBPTS certification. [Sanders, W. L., Ashton, J. J. & Wright, S.P.  (2005, March 7).  Comparison of the Effects of NBPTS Certified Teachers with Other Teachers on the Rate Of Student Academic Progress.  Arlington, VA: National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.]

[released November 20, 2005]  Study commissioned by South Carolina legislature found achievement gains associated with NBPTS-certification little different than average.  [Fisher, S. & Dickenson, T.  (2005, November 11).  A Study of the Relationship Between the National Board Certification Status of Teachers and Students Achievement, Columbia, SC: Office of Program Evaluation, College of Education, University of South Carolina.] 

A review and critical analysis of 4 studies that examined the link between NBPTS-certification and student achievement gain.  Found that reports of statistically significant gains were misleading.   Concludes that effective teaching is far more accurately identified on the basis of value-added achievement gains alone.  [Cunningham, G. K. & Stone, J. E. (2005). Value-added assessment of teacher quality as an alternative to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards: What recent studies say. In Robert Lissitz (Ed.). Value added models in education: Theory and applications. Maple Grove, MN: JAM Press. ]

http://www.cna.org/documents/CavaluzzoStudy.pdf [released November 2, 2004]
Study of 61 NBPTS-certified teachers in the Miami-Dade school system found a statistically significant 1.25 point score difference favoring the NBPTS group on the FCAT exam.  [Cavalluzzo, L. (2004, November). Is National Board certification an effective signal of teacher quality? CNA Corporation.]

http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v12n46/v12n46.pdf [released September 8, 2004]
Study drawn from a doctoral dissertation. Found that NBPTS-certified teachers were more effective by a statistically significant amount in only 11 of 48 comparisons.  [Vandevoort, L., Amrein-Beardsley, A., and Berliner, D. (2004, September 8). National Board certified teachers and their students achievement. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 12, (46).]

http://www.crpe.org/workingpapers/pdf/NBPTSquality_report.pdf [released April 27, 2004]
Large scale study in North Carolina found very small but statistically significant differences favoring NBPTS-Certified teachers.  [Goldhaber, D. and Anthony, E. (2004, April 27). Can teacher quality be effectively assessed? Urban Institute.]

http://www.education-consumers.com/briefs/May2002.asp [released May 5, 2002]
Found that 16 out of 16 NBPTS-certified teachers in Tennessee produced only average value-added student achievement gains.  A scholarly panel commissioned by the Education Commission of the States and headed by Susan Fuhrman, President of Teachers College, Columbia University reviewed the findings and urged that they be disregarded.  [Stone, J. E. (2002, May 1). The value-added achievement gains of NBPTS-certified teachers in Tennessee: A brief report. College of Education, East Tennessee State University.]

Brain-based Learning
Concludes that the popular notion that student achievement is maximized when teaching is fitted to the child's preferred cognitive modality is false.  [Willingham, D. T. (2005, Summer).  Ask the cognitive scientist.  American Educator]

Class Size
"Overall, the weight of the evidence tilts strongly toward a conclusion that reducing class size, by itself, does not typically affect the instructional activities that occur in classrooms."  Teacher behavior changes are far more important.  [Ehrenberg, R.G., Brewer, D.J., Gamoran, A., & Wilms, J.D. (2001). Class size and student achievement. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 2(1).]

Project STAR Technical Report
The complete report of the widely-cited class size study funded by the Tennessee General Assembly in the 1980s. Contrary to many abbreviated versions of the report, the findings do not make a strong case for reduced class size as a means to school improvement.

Evidence from Project STAR
Article by Project Star's principal investigator concludes that across-the-board class size reductions are an expensive way to make modest improvements in school outcomes.

http://www.coreknowledge.org/CK/about/CommonKnowledge/v18IV_2005/v18IV_2005_Grammar.htm For older students, grammar, usage, and mechanics have to be explicitly taught.  [Shepard, R. D.  (2005). The Naturalist Fallacy and the Demise of Grammar Instruction. Core Knowledge Newsletter, 18(4).]

Effective Schools
Using "old school" practices, KIPP Academies are proving effective with disadvantaged students in urban schools.  [Education Policy Institute.  (2005).  Focus on results, an academic impact analysis of the Knowlege is Power Program (KIPP).  Virginia Beach, VA:  Author]

Fads in Education
Educational innovations frequently prove to be ineffective because they were not designed for the purpose of improving student achievement.  [Stone, J. E. & Clements, A. (1998). Research and innovation: Let the buyer beware. In Robert R. Spillane & Paul Regnier (Eds.). The superintendent of the future. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publishers.]

Head Start
Gains in school readiness were small to nonexistent.  Since 1965, the program has served approximately 20 million children at a cost of $100 billion.  [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (May 2005).  Head start impact study: First year findings. Washington, DC: Author]

Higher Education
Leaders of 23 of 139 public research institutions and public-college systems surveyed this year by the Chronicle will make more than $500,000 . . . .  [Fain, P.  (2005, November 18).  Public-university presidents apt to feel underpaid.  Chronicle of Higher Education, 52(13).]

Science and technological progress are founded on unique aspects of Western culture, not on the multiculturalism that is taught in American educational institutions.  [Stark, R.  (2005, December 2).  How christianity (and capitalism) led to science.  Chronicle of Higher Education, 52(15).]

Public Reporting
Challenges in making usable information on school and student performance available to the public.  [Rich, A. (2000). Code of Silence: Public Reporting of School Performance. Issue Analysis. New South Wales, Australia: Centre for Independent Studies.]

The failure of schools to systematically teach decoding skills is probably the greatest single reason for children not learning to read.  [Rayner, K., Foorman, B.R., Perfetti, E., Pesetsky, D., & Seidenberg, Mark S. (2001). How psychological science informs the teaching of reading. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 2(2).]

How the adoption of whole-language reading instruction in California resulted in a precipitous decline in student reading and achievement.  Bill Honig was the State Superintendent of Public Instruction during the period in which whole-language was adopted.  [Honig, W.  (1995),  Teaching our children to read : The role of skills in a comprehensive reading program.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Corwin Press]

Research Quality
"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."  It gathers and summarizes research but does not endorse particular interventions.  The Education Consumers ClearingHouse endeavors to base its recommendations on WWC findings as they become available. 

Social, behavioral, and educational findings that are seen as undermining support for a particular policy, program, or legislative initiative, or as potentially minimizing the significance of particular problems are subject to subtle publication restrictions.  [Ricciuti, H.  (2005).  When research findings and social norms collide,
a look at the role of public policy in research reporting.  APS Observer, 18(7).]

"Yogi Berra wisdom on educational research," an article in the June 29, 2008 edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel highlighting the ease with which valid research is ignored in favor of approaches more attuned to the philosophies of educators.

Results of Education Reform
In a press release dated October 19, 2005, the Thomas Fordham Foundation observed that the gains in reading scores evidenced on state assessments have not been corroborated by the 2005 National Assessment of Education Progress.   Instead, it appears that the state standards have grown more lax. 

Smaller Schools
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has invested $1 billion in an initiative to reduce school size.  So far, it has been a "learning experience."  [Geballe, B.  (2005, July 12).  Bill Gates' Guinea Pigs.  Seattle Weekly.]

Schooling Costs
When generally accepted accounting principles are used to calculate per-pupil costs, public schools are receiving substantially greater funding than is generally understood.   [Anderson, S. J. & Dutcher, B.  (2005).  Education in Oklahoma: The real costs.  Oklahoma City, OK:  Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.

For 30 years, teachers have been taught that elevated student self-esteem was a primary prerequisite to learning success.   As it turns out, the experts had it backwards:  Success in school and elsewhere brings about higher self-esteem.  Students who are encouraged to work hard and behave themselves are better served than ones taught to merely think well of themselves.  [Roy F. Baumeister, R. F., Campbell, J. D., Krueger, J. I., & Vohs, K. D.  (2003).  Does high self-esteem cause better performance, interpersonal success, happiness, or healthier lifestyles?  Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 4(1).]

Student Effort
Self disciplined effort and the ability to put work before pleasure predicts school success better than IQ.  [Duckworth, A. L. and Seligman, M. E. P.  (2005).  Self-Discipline outdoes IQ in predicting academic performance of adolescents.  Psychological Science, 16(12).]

"Teachers have been expected to be stimulating but not obtrusive, challenging but not demanding of overexertion. They have been told that if their teaching is truly enthusiastic, innovative, and creative, students will learn spontaneously, if not effortlessly."  In truth, "learning takes study, and study takes time and effort."  A student work ethic is essential to educational success.  [Stone, J. E.  (2004 August).  Learning requires more than play.  Education Matters, 10(7).]

Teaching Practices
Constructivism, education's predominant pedagogical model, is questioned for lack of supporting evidence.  Evidence-based teaching practices are reviewed.  [Matthews, W. J.  (2003, Summer).  Constructivism in the classroom:  Epistemology, history, and empirical evidence.  Teacher Education Quarterly, 30(3).]

The American Institutes for Research has undertaken a review of 22 of the most popular comprehensive school reform models.  Direct Instruction (one of the least popular models among teacher-educators) and Success For All were the most strongly supported by evidence of effectiveness.  Direct Instruction's success corroborates the findings of the very large scale Follow Through study reported in 1976.  In contrast, several of the models that incorporate so called "best practice" teaching methodologies were supported by little or no evidence. [Comprehensive School Reform Quality Center (2005, November).  CRSQ Center report on elementary school comprehensive school reform models.   Washington, DC: merican Institutes for Research.]

Teacher Training

The Tennessee Teaching Quality Initiative reveals the apparent inability of Tennessee's teacher-education stakeholders to candidly examine their successes and failures and undertake reform. [Stone, J (August 15, 2007). Memorandum to Education Consumers Foundation Board of Directors.]

The National Academy of Education is calling for radical revisions of how teachers are taught to teach reading.  [Manzo, K. K.  (2006, January 4).  Book tackles teacher ed. for reading.  Education Week, 25(16).]

Teacher training programs have been requiring prospective teachers to adopt "politically correct" views (i.e., dispositions) on matters such as equity, diversity, and social justice.  Now the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education says their standards have been wrongly interpreted.  [Wilson, R. (2005, December 16).  'We don't need that kind of attitude.'  Chronicle of Higher Education, 52(17).]

The long-time editorial page editor of the Richmond Times has written a brief but penetrating analysis of how and why misguided teacher training has undermined public schooling and what can be done about it.  [Holland, R. G.  (2004).  To build a better teacher, the emergence of a competitive education industry.  Westport, CT: Praeger Paperback.]

If you have never experienced a teacher education course, you must see these pictures.  They were taken by a professor walking around the halls on his college campus.  Displays of this type are typical projects for teachers taking certain elementary education courses.  Semester grades are usually based on the appearance of the display and a 30-minute class presentation by the student. 

After 4 years of sifting through the available research, a 766 page study by the American Educational Research Association found little empirical evidence to support claims of effectiveness for widely used teacher training practices.  These findings are consistent with an earlier and heatedly disputed review of the teacher training literature by the Abell Foundation {insert this link:  http://www.abell.org/pubsitems/ed_cert_1101.pdf}.  [Videro, D.  (2005, June 22).  Review panel turns up little evidence to back up teacher ed. practices.  Education Week, 24(41).]

What Teachers Have to Say About Teacher Education
The complaints of teachers in this 1996 survey focus on the same facets of teacher-training that were reflected in "Different Drummers," a 1997 Public Agenda survey of teacher-education professors. "The greatest weakness of the courses offered in teacher education programs, according to survey responses, is that they are so enamored of theory they are of no practical use."

Value-Added Assessment
Nontechnical comparison of Sanders "mixed model" approach to value-added assessment of student achievement data versus simpler alternatives.  [Sanders, W. L.  (2006, October 16).  Comparisons Among Various Educational Assessment Value-Added Models.  Paper presented at The Power of Two--National Value-Added Conference, Columbus, Ohio.

Technical discussion of "growth model" versus "value-added model" versus "projection model" in assessment of student performance vis-à-vis academic standards.  [Wright, S. P., Sanders, W. L., & Rivers, J. C.  (2006).  Measurement of academic growth of individual students toward variable and meaningful academic standards.  In Robert W. Lissitz (Ed.), Longitudinal and Value Added Models of Student Performance (pp. 385-399).  Maple Grove, MN: JAM Press.] 

The inventor of education's most innovative and sophisticated statistical accountability system explains his creation in everyday language (requires free registration).

A brief, balanced, and well documented description and appraisal of value-added assessment.  The Harcourt report recognizes important distinctions about widely varied practices that are marketed as value-added assessment and their uses in teacher performance assessments and school improvement.  [Harcourt Assessment, Inc.  (2004, November).  Value-added assessment systems.  San Antonio, TX: Author.]

Compares several different statistical approaches to value-added modeling of educational test scores.  Demonstrates the benefits of using a more complex, harder-to-explain, multivariate longitudinal approach versus simplistic, easier to explain and easier to compute approach.  [Wright, S. P.  (2004, July 8-10).  Advantages of a Multivariate Longitudinal Approach to Educational Value-Added Assessment Without Imputation.  Paper presented at the 2004 National Evaluation Institute, Colorado Springs, Colorado.]

Dr. William Sanders summarizes his findings about education on the basis of his 22 years of research.  The effectiveness of the individual teacher is the most important factor, especially in math.  Experienced teachers are significantly more effective than novices.  [Sanders, W. L. (2004, June).  A summary of conclusions drawn from longitudinal analysis of student achievement data over the past 22 years.  Paper presented to Governors Education Symposium, Ashville, NC.]

Sanders-model value added assessment explained by the people who created it.  SAS Software website.

The Carnegie Corporation of New York commissioned this thorough technical analysis of value-added assessment used for the purpose of assessing teacher effectiveness.  [Mccaffrey. D. F., Lockwood, J. R., Koretz, D. M., & Hamilton, L. S.  (2004).  Evaluating value-added models for teacher accountability.  Santa Monica, CA: RAND.]

Paper presented by Daniel Fallon of the Carnegie Corporation of New York acknowledging the error of the 1966 Coleman report and  urging the adoption of value-added assessment.  [Fallon, D.  (2004, October 25).  Clarifying how we think about teaching and learning.  Paper presented to the Battelle for Kids National Value-Added Conference, Columbus, Ohio 

Worker Skills
"Skills shortages are having a widespread impact on manufacturers’ abilities to achieve production levels, increase productivity, and meet customer demands."   [Eisen, P., Jasinowski, J.  J., & Kleinert,  R. A.  (2005).  2005 skills gap report  A survey of the American manufacturing workforce.  Washington, DC:  Manufacturing Institute.]




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Progress measured, principals honored (May 12, 2008) – Schools honored by the 2008 ECF Value-Added Achievement Awards for excelling in the basics.

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