Welcome to the latest issue of Insights newsletter | April 2017
The Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) contributes new, evidence-based knowledge to inform important decisions of education policy and practice. 

For more information, please visit: CPRE.org

Award Spotlight
Michael W. Kirst Receives Prestigious James A. Kelly Award

From the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards 
Michael Kirst (Stanford University), President of the California State Board of Education, Stanford Professor Emeritus, and CPRE Senior Researcher, received the National Board's James A. Kelly Award for Advancing Accomplished Teaching on April 7, 2017, in Arlington, VA. 

The Kelly Award, named after James A. Kelly, Founding President and CEO of the National Board, recognizes and honors individuals who have contributed to the advancement of accomplished teaching.  Since its inception in 1999, the James A. Kelly Award has honored individuals who embody the following traits, reflecting the legacy of James A. Kelly:
  • A deep-seated belief in the inherent right of all children to a quality education;
  • A professional life dedicated to improving education for teachers and their students;
  • A passionate commitment to improving teaching and learning in America;
  • Unwavering dedication to the professional integrity and competence of teachers;
  • Visionary and boundless energy, eternal optimism, and expert leadership;
  • An innate capacity to inspire collaboration and mobilize support that enabled unparalleled achievements in the history of American education reform; and
  • A clear vision coupled with steadfast commitment and fierce determination which has led to historic milestones in American education and meaningful impact on teaching and learning.
Past recipients of this award include President Bill Clinton, the Honorable Richard Riley, the Honorable Arlen Specter; the Honorable James B. Hunt, Jr. the Honorable Roy Barnes, the Honorable Ted Strickland, Barbara Kelley, Edward Rust, Jr., Linda Darling-Hammond, and Ron Thorpe.
CPRE Knowledge Hub
2017 National Association for State Board Members' meeting in Washington, D.C.

The CPRE Knowledge Hub partnered with the National Association for State Boards of Education at its Spring meeting in Washington D.C. March 19-21 to interview state board members about their policy work. Drew University Professor and Senior CPRE Researcher Pat McGuinn conducted a set of Policy Matters video conversations with NASBE members about their state ESSA plans. CPRE Co-Director Jonathan Supovitz spoke with other policymakers about the successes and challenges in policy in their states under the new Trump administration.

Stay Tuned: Interviews from this meeting will be available in an upcoming Policy Matters segment. 

Featured Projects
New! ECDataWorks  website

ECDataWorks (CPRE, University of Pennsylvania) launched its new website at www.ecdataworks.org. ECDataWorks provides innovative opportunities for collaborating states to improve the delivery and use of their early childhood data among state policymakers and practitioners.  

The ECDataWorks project team works directly with state professionals in a collaborative, outcomes-driven manner to conceptualize and develop tools to facilitate the organization, delivery, and strategic use of existing early childhood data. 

This multi-year project is supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and conducted by the University of Pennsylvania's   Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE)   in collaboration with leading experts in the field.
Featured Articles
Breaking Up Isn't Hard to Do:
Exploring the Dissolution of Teachers' & School Leaders' Work-Related Ties 

Senior CPRE Researcher  James P. Spillane (Northwestern University) and  Matthew Shirrell (George Washington University) examined the extent of connectedness amongst school staff, and its implications, in  "Breaking Up Isn't Hard to Do: Exploring the Dissolution of Teachers' & School Leaders' Work-Related Ties."

This study uses social network analysis of four years of survey data from 14 elementary schools in one suburban U.S. district. The authors employed social network models that predict the likelihood of the breakup of a tie between school staff in three types of networks: close colleague networks, instructional advice networks in mathematics, and instructional advice networks in language arts.

Spillane and Shirrell's analysis shows that instability is consistent across close colleague as well as instructional advice and information networks for mathematics and language arts. The study further shows that these ties are not just temporarily lost, but generally remain dissolved, at least for the 3-year timeframe of the study. The work  makes important contributions to the area of dissolution of work ties in schools and school systems.

Keep your eye on the metaphor: the framing of the Common Core on Twitter

Education Policy Analysis Archives | March 2017
In a special issue of Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA) on Contemporary Approaches to the Study of Education Policy & Discourse, CPRE Co-Director Jonathan Supovitz (University of Pennsylvania) and PennGSE's Elisabeth Reinkordt examine the use of issue framing as a powerful way for advocates to appeal to the value systems of constituency groups to garner support. The article is entitled, " Keep your eye on the metaphor: the framing of the Common Core on Twitter."

Using a conceptual framework that focused on radial frames, metaphors, and lexical markers, the authors examined the linguistic choices that Common Core opponents used on Twitter to activate five central metaphors that reinforced the overall frame of the standards as a threat to children and appealed to the value systems of a diverse set of constituencies. This approach, the authors argue, helps to explain the transpartisan partnership that formed in opposition to the Common Core. 
In Practice- Influential CPRE Research in the News
James Spillane, Cynthia Coburn, &  Heather Hill Research Among AERA's 'Most Read' Research Articles of 2016

The American Educational Research Association published the most popular journal articles of 2016. The ranking is based on the number of times an article was accessed online. In addition to providing a list of the top 20 articles, AERA also announced the top 10 articles accessed for six of its AERA peer-reviewed journals. 

" Research; Practice Partnerships in Education: Outcomes, Dynamics, and Open Questions ," by CPRE Researcher Cynthia Coburn (Northwestern University) and William R. Penuel of University of Colorado-Boulder's School of Education, was the fifth most-read study of the year in the journal Educational Researcher.

The article " Alignment and Accountability in Policy Design and Implementation: The Common Core State Standards and Implementation Research," by CPRE Researchers Cynthia Coburn (Northwestern University), James Spillane (Northwestern University), and Heather Hill (Harvard University), was the ninth most-read research article of the year in Educational Researcher. 
The 74 Interview: Kirabo Jackson on the Importance of School Spending, 'Soft Skills' and Teacher Quality
In this interview with The 74 Million, CPRE Research Specialist  Kirabo Jackson (Northwestern University) discusses his work on the  importance of school spending  and why students seem to benefit from increased resources. He also talks about what drew him to education research, what test scores  do not measure , how providing teachers with curriculum resources can improve student achievement, and what research he's working on presently.
Co-Director Jonathan Supovitz (University of Pennsylvania) joined Julie Rose of BYU Radio to explain the findings of the  #commoncore Project. The project maps how influence works on social media during debates over hot topics like the Common Core State Standards.

Listen to this interview on how researchers uncovered methods used by savvy Twitter users to hijack the Common Core discussion by flooding feeds to influence public discourse  (49:28), here
Study Finds Common Instruction Materials in Common-Core States 

Education Week | March 2017

Despite the public controversy about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), a majority of states are using the same standards. In the article, Study Finds Common Instruction Materials in Common-Core States , researchers find benefits to allowing teachers and states the ability to share information or resources. The article looks to the report ( Un)Commonly Connected: A Social Network Analysis of State Standards Resources for English/Language Arts , published by the American Educational Research by CPRE researcher Emily Hodge (Montclair State University), as she investigates the secondary English/language arts resources provided by 51 state educational agencies (SEAs). As states continue to implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), SEAs are providing professional development and curricular resources to help districts and teachers understand CCSS. 
Changing Malaysian education from the outside in? 

Blog | International Education News

CPRE Senior Researcher  Thomas Hatch writes of his
Fall 2016  visit to Kuala Lumpur and how he was struck by the stark differences between education in Malaysia and its neighboring country Singapore

Generally regarded as one of the highest performing education systems in the world, Singapore has demonstrated considerable economic development since spitting apart from Malaysia in the late 1950s.

In Changing Malaysian education from the outside in? Hatch reflects on the Malaysia' s efforts to provide educational alternatives "outside" government schools as a means to "innovate" and develop alternative educational opportunities

In This Issue

Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) brings together education experts from renowned research institutions to contribute new knowledge that informs PK-20 education policy and practice. Our work is peer-reviewed and open-access.  

CPRE Institutions: 

Featured Publications  
Policy Brief
Evidence for Early Literacy Intervention: 
The Impacts of Reading Recovery 

A new policy brief summaries the CPRE/CRESP evaluation of Reading Recovery, one of the largest and most rigorous studies of an educational intervention ever conducted. Researchers Henry May (University of Delaware), Philip Sirinides (CPRE, University of Pennsylvania), Abigail Gray (CPRE, University of Pennsylvania)Heather Goldsworthy (Temple University) found treatment effects that are among the largest observed from an instructional program. The study offers strong evidence of the impact of Reading Recovery on the reading skill of struggling 1st graders. In addition, it demonstrates the feasibility of effectively scaling up the intervention. 
The study also revealed that some schools' Reading Recovery programs are more effective than others, and that differences in teachers' instruction and in schools' embrace of the program may contribute to variation in school-level impacts. 
Download the Policy Brief: Evidence for Early Literacy Intervention: The impacts of Reading Recovery, here. The complete final report from the i3 evaluation of Reading Recovery is available for download at www.cpre.org/readingrecovery.
Policy Brief
An Inquiry into Pennsylvania's Early Childhood Quality Rating and Improvement System (STARS)

High-quality care in the earliest years of life has been shown to relate to positive developmental outcomes for children, including improved early academic skills, social-emotional competencies, and cognitive functioning.

CPRE Senior Researcher Philip Sirinides (University of Pennsylvania), John Fantuzzo (PennGSE), Whitney LeBoeuf (Penn Child Research Center)Katie Barghaus (PennGSE), and CPRE Research Specialist Ryan Fink (University of Pennsylvania) gathered findings in a new Policy Brief: An Inquiry into Pennsylvania's Early Childhood Quality Rating and Improvement System ( Keystone STARS) 

Keystone STARS quality ratings were observed to be significantly and positively associated with child outcomes. The study supports the position that higher ratings represent a meaningful transition into higher quality. Improvements were not evident in the transition across all levels. The findings provide support for making system revisions to more clearly distinguish levels from one another. 
The notion that there is an opportunity to refocus Keystone STARS is one that has been gaining traction nationwide as quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS) seek to identify the few and the powerful standards, while rethinking or eliminating everything else. Likewise, QRIS research has called for focusing on indicators with demonstrable links to children's' learning that will define quality in ways that matter most for improving child outcomes.