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WWC Presentation at LDA Conference


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"Linking Research to the Classroom: Making Connections for Students with Learning Disabilities" Presentation Given at LDA Annual Conference - February, 2013

"Linking Research to the Classroom: Making Connections for Students with Learning Disabilities" Presentation Given at LDA Annual Conference - February, 2013

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  • 1. Linking Research to the Classroom: Making Connections for Students with Learning Disabilities Joshua Furgeson, Ph.D. Mathematica Policy ResearchDeputy Principal Investigator, What Works Clearinghouse Students with Learning Disabilities topic area
  • 2. The What Works Clearinghouse What is it? 2
  • 3. The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC)  Initiative of the U.S. Department of Educations Institute of Education Sciences (IES)  Evaluates educational interventions— programs, products, practices, or policies aimed at improving student outcomes  Issues reports that help educators make choices using “scientifically-based” research – No Child Left Behind – Education Sciences Reform Act  ALL REPORTS ARE FREE 3
  • 4. The WWC mission  Central and trusted source of scientific evidence for what works in education – Develops and implements standards for reviewing and synthesizing education research (rigorous) – Assesses the research evidence on the effectiveness of interventions (transparent and replicable) – Publishes research summaries for teachers, administrators, and policymakers (user-friendly) 4
  • 5. The What Works ClearinghouseIdentifying Effective Interventions 5
  • 6. Identifying effective interventions  Too much information – Hundreds of interventions – Tens of thousands of empirical studies  Research background needed to identify compelling research – Complicated research methods and statistical analyses – Results can conflict  IES created the WWC to help educators identify the interventions that actually work 6
  • 7. Outcomes can be deceiving 7
  • 8. What would have happened without the program? 8
  • 9. WWC review process identifies quality research  Comprehensive literature search to identify all relevant studies that examine the intervention  Trained screener examines each study and checks that the study has a strong causal design  Two certified reviewers determine whether the study meets WWC evidence standards set by expert panel  Summarize all studies that meet standards in one report  Internal quality review (senior WWC staff) and external IES peer review (outside expert) 9
  • 10. The What Works Clearinghouse Website 10
  • 11. Use the WWC website to:  Identify effective educational interventions  Evaluate current programs, policies and practices  Inform professional development  Recommend effective programs, practices and policies to colleagues and school leaders  Organize meetings with colleagues 11
  • 12. 12
  • 13. The What Works ClearinghouseWhat publications are available? 13
  • 14. Intervention Reports  An intervention report is a summary of findings of the most reliable research on a given curriculum, program, practice, or policy in education  Process – Prioritize interventions for review – Conduct a comprehensive literature search – Review each study against WWC standards – Only summarize the findings from the well-designed studiesIntervention: a curriculum, program, practice, or policy designed to improve student outcomes 14
  • 15. Example: Read Naturally® by Students with LD 171 studies and articles identified 43 studies of effectiveness 1 study met standards One report 15
  • 16. WWC website: Read Naturally® report 16
  • 17. The bottom line: Summarizing the evidence Rating of effectiveness Magnitude of effect (improvement index) Extent of evidence … or lack of evidence! 17
  • 18. Current topic areas Adolescent Literacy Autism Beginning Reading Character Education Children Classified as Having an Emotional Disturbance Dropout Prevention Early Childhood Education Early Childhood Education for Children with Disabilities Elementary School Math English Language Learners High School Math Middle School Math Science Students with Intellectual Disabilities Students with Learning Disabilities 18
  • 19. Practice Guides  A practice guide is a set of recommendations for educators to address challenges in their classrooms and schools  Process – Expert panel develops recommendations – Conduct a comprehensive literature search – Review each study against WWC standards – Summarize the review  The level of research evidence supporting each recommendation is provided – Minimal, moderate, or strong 19
  • 20. Example: RtI Reading Guide Recommendation #3 Recommendation: “Provide intensive, systematic instruction on up to three foundational reading skills in small groups to students who score below the benchmark on universal screening.” Level of Evidence: Strong Guidance on How to Implement Recommendation: “Implement this program three to five times a week, for approximately 20 to 40 minutes.” Roadblock: Aligning the tier 2 intervention program with the core program. Suggested Approach: Alignment is not as critical as ensuring that instruction is systematic and explicit and focuses on the priority reading components. 20
  • 21. Practice Guide TopicsSchool Improvement: Literacy:•Turning Around Low Performing Schools •Response to Intervention: Reading•Dropout Prevention •Improving Adolescent Literacy•Reducing Behavior Problems inElementary Schools •Effective Literacy Instruction for ELL Students•Organizing Instruction and Study •Reading Comprehension •Writing Science and Math: •Response to Intervention: Math •Mathematical Problem Solving •Encouraging Girls in Math and Science •Teaching Fractions 21
  • 22. Quick Reviews & Single Study Reviews  A quick review is a timely and objective assessment of recent research that is reported in a major national news source – Identify recent research with media mentions – Provide quick summary and rating in less than two weeks  A single study review is an objective assessment of an individual research study – Review the study against WWC standards – Summarize the evidence 22
  • 23. Available on the WWC website  Total of 211 intervention reports  26 intervention reports under the youth and children with disabilities topic areas (Students with Learning Disabilities, Early Childhood Education for Children with Disabilities, Children Classified as Having an Emotional Disturbance)  16 practice guides  76 quick reviews  22 single study reviews 23
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