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CCE produces a variety of research papers, reports, articles, and other publications about our work for the educational community and the public. We have made some of these available online in downloadable PDF files. We share these studies with you in order to promote discussions about how we can create democratic and equitable schools
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A study of Boston schools that are achieving good results with English Language Learners was published by CCE and the Gastón Institute of UMass Boston on November 3, 2011. The findings emphasize the roles of leadership, focus, time spent in class, collaborative cultures, and other factors. Read the findings.
Ready for the Future: The Role of Performance Assessments in Shaping Graduates’ Academic, Professional, and Personal Lives (2010), by Laurie Gagnon, CCE. Based on in-depth interviews with graduates from three Boston Public Schools with well-established performance-based assessment systems, the study analyzes graduates’ preparation for future academic, professional, and personal endeavors. Graduates describe the process of learning from performance assessment, the ways their learning prepared them for future schooling or work, and the areas in which they faced challenges. Overall, despite a few challenge areas, the study schools’ performance assessment systems contributed to graduates’ success in college and in the world of work. Performance assessments helped study participants to discover their own learning styles, to master academic content and skills, and to develop critical thinking, communication, and real world skills.
Including Performance Assessments in Accountability Systems: A Review of Scale-up Efforts (2010), by Rosann Tung, for CCE and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. In order to prepare young people to effectively contribute to and benefit from life in the 21st century, we must develop effective ways to measure whether or not they are learning what they need to know. Toward this end, we feel performance assessments should be further explored. The purpose of this field review is to understand previous efforts at scaling up the use of performance assessments across districts and states. Through systematic description and comparison of seven large-scale initiatives, as well as analogous efforts from teacher certification, medicine, and law, the paper identifies the strengths and vulnerabilities in each initiative. The review concludes with implications for standards and procedures that will support the success of using performance assessments as part of a balanced and rigorous assessment system.
English Learners in Boston Public Schools in the Aftermath of Policy Change: Enrollment and Educational Outcomes, AY2003-AY2006 (2009), by Miren Uriarte, of the Mauricio Gastón Institute; and Rosann Tung, of CCE. This is the first rigorous study to document changed student outcomes for English learners since the 2002 voter approval of a Massachusetts referendum against the continuance of Transitional Bilingual Education as a method of instruction for English language learners, to be replaced by Sheltered English Immersion. Among other findings in the study is a sharp increase in the dropout rate among ELL students. Also available: Executive Summary of this report.
Experiential Education in Boston’s Pilot Schools: A Three-Year Demonstration Project (2008), by Beth M. Miller, of MMRA, Inc.; Rosann Tung, of CCE; and Rolanda Ward, an independent consultant. The Pilot Schools’ Experiential Education Demonstration project (PSEED), from 2005-2008, was intended to deepen and embed high quality experiential education within each school’s academic programs. The work is grounded in the belief that high quality experiential education will significantly enhance student engagement and performance over time. This complex and rich endeavor, its characteristic elements, and its successes and challenges are documented in this report. The following downloads are available in PDF format:
Family and Student Choices in Boston Public Schools, by Monique Ouimette and Rosann Tung. This 2008 CCE study of the student assignment process in Boston finds demand for Pilot school placements far exceeds available spaces. Students who do not get their Pilot choice often leave BPS. In 2007-08, 26% of Boston families requested Pilot schools as their first choice, more than double the 11% of total school enrollment that Pilots can currently seat. Close to a third of the families who were turned down in their Pilot preference chose to leave the Boston public schools.
The Essential Guide to Pilot Schools
Strong Results, High Demand: A Four-Year Study of Boston's Pilot High Schools, by Rosann Tung and Monique Ouimette, November 2007. Download Executive Summary (3.6 MB) or Full Report (4.3 MB). New study finds that Boston Pilot high school students outperformed their non-Pilot peers on every standard measure of engagement and performance over a four year period. The higher level of achievement held true for every racial, economic, and academic group examined.
Promising Results and Lessons from the First Boston District School Converting to Pilot Status, by Rosann Tung and Monique Ouimette, study presented at the American Educational Research Association annual conference in April 2007. Boston Community Leadership Academy (BCLA) is the first traditional Boston Public School (Boston High School) to convert to being a Pilot School since the inception of the Network, gaining autonomy over budget, staffing, schedule, curriculum, and governance in exchange for increased school-level accountability. The purpose of this study is to document the process of the school’s conversion to Pilot status and the subsequent early changes in the school. Also available, a brochure based on this study.
Progress and Promise: A Report on the Boston Pilot Schools, new research by CCE comparing outcomes of Pilot with non-Pilot Boston public schools (2006). This much awaited study documents Pilot School students performing better than the district averages across every indicator of student engagement and performance, at every grade level. Available from CCE or here online: Executive Summary or Full Report [Note that the Full Report is a large, 6MB .pdf file.]
Turning Points Guides: Emanating from the National Turning Points Center at CCE, these guides offer rich descriptions of best practices, as well as a coherent set of teaching and learning tools. Turning Points Guides draw upon the expertise and experiences of Turning Points schools and regional centers, as well as other educational research. They are concise books that offer explanations and specific strategies for faculties, coaches, and school leaders to use as they engage in key practices of teaching and learning and school change. The nine guides include:
Descriptions of each guide, excerpts, and ordering information for the full guides are available here.
The new, revised CCE small schools planning guide is now available from Corwin Press as Creating Small Schools: A Handbook for Raising Equity and Achievement.
Scaling Up Turning
Points Through Autonomous Regional Centers, by Dan French and Leah
Rugen (both CCE), chapter 10 in Expanding the Reach of Education Reform:
Perspectives from Leaders in the Scale-Up of Educational Interventions
(2004), published by Rand Corporation. The authors describe
a move by the Turning Points organization to ensure successful scale-up
of the practices they advocate: the development of a network of regional
centers to guide implementation of its program in diverse parts of the
nation. Although these centers differ in terms of funding sources, institutional
affiliation, and the specific focus of their activities, all have adopted
the Turning Points design as part of their respective missions.
The Challenge of Coaching: Providing Cohesion Among Multiple Reform Agendas (2004). This third in a series of studies on coaching at CCE looks at coaches views on the reform agenda and answers the question, How do coaches balance pushing the reform agenda and meeting the immediate needs of school staff? The term reform agenda has multiple owners and therefore multiple meanings: the district reform agenda, the principals reform agenda, CCEs reform agenda, and the coachs reform agenda . This study also identifies some of the immediate needs which potentially detract from the work of whole school change. It describes coaches strategies for achieving the balance between reform and reality, the challenges faced in achieving this balance, and ways that CCE may address these challenges to develop the coaching and reform models.
Examining the Turning Points Comprehensive Middle School Reform Model: The Role of Local Context and Innovation (2004). This paper looks at the ways schools and model developers adapt their designs based on local context to examine teaching and learning. The study synthesizes four Turning Points Middle School case studies to understand how these schools have achieved success in adapting the Turning Points design. In our cross-analysis, four features emerged as common across each school, though the schools used very different pathways to implement each feature. These features are: (1) Shared leadership to support improvements in instruction and curriculum; (2) Teacher collaboration to support improved teaching and learning; (3) Personalized instruction to help teachers get to know students well; and (4) Use of data to inform decisions.
Parents in an Urban Public High School: A Case Study of Boston Arts Academy
(2004). High parental involvement has been linked to increases in student
achievement and engagement in school. Schools with large populations of
low-income students or students of color often have difficulties in engaging
a majority of parents due to a variety of social and cultural differences
among parents and teachers. Few models of extensive parent involvement
in urban, public high schools have been described. The urban public high
school studied in this paper engages many parents in school-based activities
through multiple events and entry points, a welcoming school environment,
and frequent communication among staff and parents. By focusing on building
a diverse, inclusive culture and encouraging parents to take part in the
school, this high school engages parents with varied prior experiences
and dispositions toward parent involvement. Several key approaches that
other schools may adopt are shared in this case study.
How Pilot Schools Authentically Assess Student Mastery (2004). This study documents how member schools of the Boston Pilot Schools Network use authentic assessments to understand what their students know and can do. Against a backdrop of proliferating state-mandated standardized tests, and federal legislation in the form of No Child Left Behind, Pilot Schools use performance-based tasks in which students ask questions that they have formulated on their own and use habits of mind to reflect on their work and thinking.
That Work: Lessons for Reform from Successful Urban High Schools,
co-authored by the Center for Collaborative Education and Jobs for the
Future, November 2003. Download: Executive
Summary (.pdf, file size 71 K); Full
Report (.pdf, file size 695 K)
How Are Boston Pilot School Students Faring? Student Demographics, Engagement, and Performance, 1998-2003. This is the third annual report looking at Boston Pilot school students. The study finds that Pilots are among the top performing schools in Boston on the MCAS, have among the highest daily student attendance of all BPS schools, graduate a high percentage of their students, and send a high percent of their graduates to college, all while serving a student population that is generally representative of the larger BPS student population.
New Vision of Authentic Assessment to Overcome the Flaws in High Stakes
Testing, by Dan French, Middle School Journal, September.
Cherry Lane High Case Study: Restructuring a Large, Comprehensive High School to Small Schools. Cherry Lane has begun a multi-year effort to convert from a large, comprehensive high school into three small schools with unique identities. This case study of Cherry Lane Highs first year of conversion looks at the background, design year, and early implementation of the multi-year process to becoming three small schools. By highlighting the impact on the school community and the major challenges they face, it is intended to inform the work of other districts and schools. The CCE research team presented this study at the American Educational Research Association annual conference in April 2003 in Chicago.
A Common Intent to Understand: Boston Pilot School Directors Talk about Diversity examines the ways Pilot Schools talk about diversity in their schools and the impact these discussions have on staffing, professional development, pedagogy, curriculum, and students. The CCE researchers presented this study at the annual meeting of the New England Educational Research Organization in April 2003.
Parent Involvement in the Boston Pilot Schools: Lessons from a Unique Urban Network, presented at the annual meeting of the New England Educational Research Organization in April 2002. This is the first study in a series on parent involvement in the Boston Pilot Schools. It documents multiple ways that parents are involved in Pilot Schools.
The Role of External Facilitators in Whole School Reform: Teachers Perceptions of How Coaches Influence School Change, presented at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association in April 2002. This is the second in a series of reports describing the role of coaches in working with schools to promote whole school reform. This report analyzes teacher and administrator perceptions of coaching practices in their schools.
How Boston Pilot Schools Use Freedom Over Budget, Staffing, and Scheduling To Meet Student Needs. This study reports on how schools in the Boston Pilot Schools Network implement their budget, staffing, and scheduling autonomies to create lower class sizes, lower daily teacher loads, multi-year relationships between teachers and students, creative definitions of staff roles, more adults in instruction, longer blocks of instructional time, and more collaborative planning time in comparison to district non-Pilot Schools.
Whole School Reform: A Closer Look at the Role of External Facilitators,
presented at the 14th International Congress for School Effectiveness
and Improvement in January 2001. This paper is the first in a series of
reports describing the role of coaches - external facilitators - in working
with schools to promote whole school reform.
Role of a Third Party Organization in the Boston Pilot Schools Network,
presented at the 14th International Congress for School Effectiveness
and Improvement in January 2001. This paper describes the role of CCE
in supporting a unique urban public school network, the Boston Pilot Schools
Network. It is CCEs
thesis that public schools, particularly those serving high percentages
of low-income students and students of color, have a much greater chance
of educating every student if they are members of a network of like-minded
small schools that receive intensive support from an intermediary organization.
School Reform: How Schools Use the Data-Based Inquiry and Decision-Making
presented at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research
Association in April 2001. In the current culture of school accountability,
schools are looking for ways to understand how to interpret the data that
is provided to them, as well as how to use this process to improve the
quality of instruction offered by their school. This paper describes what
we learned about this process in our work with six schools in our Networks.
The Coach in Context: Building School Capacity Through External Facilitation, presented at the Annual Conference of the New England Educational Research Organization in April 2001. This paper explores some of the complexities that make coaching multifaceted through the presentation of a case study of a coach facilitating middle school math and science reform. This case study identifies some of the challenges coaches face, some strategies coaches use in their daily work, and some implications for the coaching model.
Families and Schools Partner for Student Success, by Meenakshi Khanna, in Middle Matters, April 2008 (Publication of the National Association of Elementary School Principals).
The Belmont Zone of Choice: Community-Driven Action for Change, by Jeremy Nesoff, in Horace, the Journal of the Coalition of Essential Schools, Winter 2007.
Pilot Schools: Progress and Promise in Urban School Reform,
by Dan French, Commentary in Education Week, April 19, 2006.
Our Students, by Evangeline Harris Stefanakis, op-ed in the New
York Times, January 8 2006.
Friction Points in Moving to Smaller School Units,
Commentary by Larry Myatt, in Education Week, April
Cain in the Classroom: The Dramatic Effects of Low Expectations in a School of High Achievers (October 2004), by Robert Frank, presented at the XII Congress of Comparative Education Societies, in Havana, and included as a chapter in Comparative Pedagogy: Selected Topics, ed. Metod Cernetic, Marko Musanovic, and Olga Decman Dobrnjic. The research documents the devastating effects of low expectations in the classroom and considers the implications for the African-American achievement gap.
Stock: A Decade of Education Reform in Massachusetts,
by Larry Myatt and Peggy Kemp, in Phi Delta Kappan, October
Dont Feed the Beast: From Fashion to Rap, Students Criticize Media
for Furthering Negative Youth Images at First-Ever Conference,
by Robert Frank, in the South End News, April 29,
the Middle Grades Gap, by Dan French, in Term
Paper, May 2003.
an Inquiry-Minded District, by
Jay Feldman (CCE), Gail Lucey, Sarah Goodrich, and Dana Frazee (CCE),
article in the focus on Using Data to Improve Student Achievement,
Educational Leadership, February 2003.
After the Rainbow, by
Dan French,op-ed in
the Cambridge Chronicle, January 29, 2003.
Schools Make a Difference,
Letter to the Editor by Dan French, in the Boston Globe,
December 19, 2002.
Schools and CFGs,by
Steven Strull, in Connections: a Journal of the National School
Reform Faculty, Fall 2002.
Misrepresenting the Facts On MCAS Pass Rates?,
by Dan French and Maryellen Brunyak, Letters to the Editor in Education
Week, November 6, 2002.
Teachers as Grantseekers: The Privatization of the Urban Public School Teacher, a study by Regional Turning Points Associate Sara Freedman, done while she was on the Boston College faculty and published in Teachers College Record in February 2000: The growing participation of select groups of urban teachers in private grantgiving programs available to them on district, state, and national levels has critical ideological, structural, and cultural links to the movement to privatize public education...Grantseeking sanctifies and celebrates a hierarchy within teaching that neatly mirrors the power structure within society at large, all under the guise of ensuring more effective teaching to students of color.
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