All posts by bee2021

Mental Health

Past meta-analyses in mental health interventions failed to use stringent inclusion criteria and diverse moderators, therefore, there is a need to employ more rigorous methods to provide evidence-based and updated results on this topic. This study presents an updated meta-analysis of interventions targeting anxiety or depression using more stringent inclusion criteria (e.g., baseline equivalence, no significant differential attrition) and additional moderators (e.g., sample size and program duration) than previous reviews. This meta-analysis includes 29 studies of 32 programs and 22,420 students (52% female, 79% White). Among these studies, 22 include anxiety outcomes and 24 include depression outcomes. Overall, school-based mental health interventions in grades K-12 are effective at reducing depression and anxiety (ES = 0.24, p=.002). Moderator analysis shows that improved outcomes for studies with anxiety outcomes, cognitive behavioral therapy, interventions delivered by clinicians, and secondary school populations. Selection modeling reveals significant publication and outcome selection bias. This meta-analysis suggests school-based mental health programs should strive to adopt cognitive behavioral therapy and deliver through clinicians at the secondary school level where possible.

Technical Report

Zhang, Q., Wang, J., & Neitzel, A. (2022). School-based mental health interventions targeting depression or anxiety: A meta-analysis of rigorous randomized controlled trials for school-aged children and adolescents. Baltimore, MD: Center for Research and Reform in Education, Johns Hopkins University.

Published Report

Zhang, Q., Wang, J. & Neitzel, A. (2022). School-based Mental Health Interventions Targeting Depression or Anxiety: A Meta-analysis of Rigorous Randomized Controlled Trials for School-aged Children and Adolescents. J Youth Adolescence.

Preventing Special Education Assignment

The number of students assigned to special education has increased in the past decades, in spite of efforts for more inclusion. For students with mild learning or behavioral difficulties, special education assignment might be prevented if appropriate support is provided in general education. In this study, research on programs that could reduce the number of students assigned to special education is reviewed systematically. The review focuses on students in elementary schools.

In total, 12 experimental or quasi-experimental studies of nine programs were reviewed. Programs were categorized based on what they were designed to improve: academic achievement, behavior, or both, and the multi-tiered Response to Intervention (RTI) framework was used to describe the intensity of the programs. It was found that several programs did reduce the number of students assigned to special education, while others did not or yielded mixed results. Three common elements of programs deemed effective were identified: an emphasis on tutoring, professional development and parental involvement. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Published Report:

Mariëtte Hingstman, Amanda J. Neitzel & Robert E. Slavin (2022):
Preventing Special Education Assignment for Students with Learning or Behavioral Difficulties: A Review of Programs, Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR), DOI: 10.1080/10824669.2022.2098131

COVID Learning Loss

COVID-19-related school closures disrupted students’ academic learning on a global scale. With increasing evidence calculating the extent of real COVID learning loss, no research synthesis has attempted to compile findings from different studies. To fill this gap in the literature, our interim findings illustrate that the learning loss is real and significant compared to previous school years, and provide a basis for refining the research on COVID learning loss.

Pre-Print

Storey, N., & Zhang, Q. (2021, September 10). A Meta-analysis
of COVID Learning Loss. : https://edarxiv.org/qekw2/

COVID Learning Loss

COVID-19-related school closures disrupted students’ academic learning on a global scale. With increasing evidence calculating the extent of real COVID learning loss, no research synthesis has attempted to compile findings from different studies. To fill this gap in the literature, our interim findings illustrate that the learning loss is real and significant compared to previous school years, and provide a basis for refining the research on COVID learning loss.

Pre-Print

Storey, N., & Zhang, Q. (2021, September 10). A Meta-analysis of COVID Learning Loss https://edarxiv.org/qekw2/

Special and Remedial Education

This article proposes a strategy to accelerate the learning of struggling learners that uses proven reading and mathematics programs to ensure student success. Based on Response to Intervention (RTI), the proposed policy, Response to Proven Intervention (RTPI), uses proven whole-school or whole-class programs as Tier 1, proven one-to-small group tutoring programs as Tier 2, and proven one-to-one tutoring as Tier 3. The criteria for “proven” are the “strong” and “moderate” evidence levels specified in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This article lists proven reading and mathematics programs for each tier, and explains how evidence of effectiveness within an RTI framework could become central to improving outcomes for struggling learners.

Technical Report

Evidence Based Reform

Evidence-based reform in education refers to policies that enable or encourage the use of programs and practices proven to be effective in rigorous research. This article discusses the increasing role of evidence in educational policy, rapid growth in availability of proven approaches, and development of reviews of research to summarize the evidence. A highlight of evidence-based reform was the 2015 passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which defines strong, moderate, and promising levels of evidence for educational programs and ties certain federal funding to use of proven approaches. To illustrate how coordinated use of proven approaches could substantially improve educational outcomes, the article proposes use of proven programs to populate each of Tiers 1, 2, and 3 in response to intervention (RTI) policies. This article is adapted from an address for the E.L. Thorndike Award for Distinguished Psychological Contributions to Education, August 7, 2018.

Technical Report

Published Report

Slavin, R. E. (2020). How evidence-based reform will transform research and practice in education. Educational Psychologist, 55 (1), 21-31. DOI: 10.1080/00461520.2019.1611432.

Education policies should support the use of programs and practices with strong evidence of effectiveness. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) contains evidence standards and incentives to use programs that meet them. This provides a great opportunity for evidence to play a stronger role in decisions about education programs and practices. However, for evidence-based reform to prevail, three conditions must exist: many practical programs with solid evidence; trusted and user-friendly reviews of research; and more education policies that provide incentives for use of proven programs. The article discusses recent progress in each of these areas and notes difficulties in each. It makes a case that if these difficulties can be effectively addressed, evidence-based reform may begin to make a meaningful difference in education outcomes at the national level.

Technical Report

Published Report

Slavin, R. (2017). Evidence-based reform in education. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 22 (3), 178-184.  

Summer School Meta-Analysis

There has long been interest in using summertime to provide supplemental education to students who need it. But are summer programs effective? This review includes 19 randomized studies on the effects of summer intervention programs on reading and mathematics, based on rigorous quality criteria. In reading, there were two types of summer programs: summer school and summer book reading approaches. In mathematics, there was only summer school. The mean effect of summer school programs on reading achievement were positive (mean ES = +0.23), but there were no positive effects, on average, of summer book reading programs (ES=0.00). In mathematics, positive mean effects were also found for summer programs (ES=+0.17). However, the positive-appearing means for summer schools were not statistically significant in a metaregression, and depended on just two reading and one math study with very large impacts. These successful interventions focused on well-defined objectives with intensive teaching.

Technical Report

Quantitative Synthesis of Success for All

Success for All (SFA) is a comprehensive whole-school approach designed to help high-poverty elementary schools increase the reading success of their students. It is designed to ensure success in grades K-2 and then build on this success in later grades. SFA combines instruction emphasizing phonics and cooperative learning, one-to-small group tutoring for students who need it in the primary grades, frequent assessment and regrouping, parent involvement, distributed leadership, and extensive training and coaching. Over a 33-year period, SFA has been extensively evaluated, mostly by researchers unconnected to the program. This quantitative synthesis reviews the findings of these evaluations. Seventeen U.S. studies meeting rigorous inclusion standards had a mean effect size of +0.24 (p < .05) on independent measures. Effects were largest for low achievers (ES = +0.54, p < .01). Although outcomes vary across studies, mean impacts support the effectiveness of Success for All for the reading success of disadvantaged students.

Technical Report

Published Report

Cheung, A., Xie, C., Zhang, T., Neitzel, A., & Slavin, R. E. (2021). Success for All: A quantitative synthesis of evaluations. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 14 (1), 90-115..

READING / ELEMENTARY

This report systematically reviews research on the achievement outcomes of four types of approaches to improving the reading success of children in the elementary grades:

  • Reading Curricula
  • Instructional Technology
  • Instructional Process Programs
  • Combinations of Curricula and Instructional Process

Technical Report

Published Report

Slavin, R.E., Lake, C., Chambers, B., Cheung, A., & Davis, S. (2009).  Effective reading programs for the elementary grades: A best-evidence synthesis.  Review of Educational Research, 79 (4), 1391-1466.