AGI Projects on Instructional Quality
The "High School Value Added" project is a collaboration with the Massachusetts State Department of Education. Using data from the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test for 8th and 10th graders, the AGI is identifying high schools that produce the greatest two-year learning gains for each of several subgroups in reading and English language arts.
The “Instructional Leadership” projects build upon the value added work. For example, the June 2009 annual AGI conference featured sixteen high schools, including eight from Massachusetts, making exemplary progress at raising student achievement. A 200-page conference report distills the presentations and draws implications for instructional leaders. The report was featured in a front page story in the New York Times on September 27, 2010 and has received attention through a number of other news outlets. It is available in hard copy and can also be downloaded from the AGI web site. Communication from school officials from around the U.S. indicates that they are finding it helpful.
The AGI will now conduct case studies in selected schools identified through the value added project. Schools where students with disabilities made large gains are a special focus.
States and districts around the nation are seeking multiple measures of teaching effectiveness for both accountability and school improvement purposes. The AGI is working with the Tripod Project for School Improvement and a number of partners to construct teacher quality measures from student survey responses. These measures will be used in research on predictors of student learning gains. A recent report from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation shows that Tripod Project measures of teaching effectiveness help predict student learning gains. The report from the Gates foundation can be downloaded from the Gates Foundation web site. This work was also reported on in the December 11, 2010 issue of the New York Times. The Tripod surveys have attracted a great deal of attention from education policy makers as one way of helping to fulfill this need. To support the field in this work, the AGI is compiling research summaries and conducting statistical analyses on the various issues that the Tripod survey assessments address. AGI reports from this work will be posted on the AGI web site for public use.
In 2008, the AGI published its first research report based on the June 2008 Annual Research-to-Practice conference "GETTING IT DONE:
Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps in Whole School Systems:
Recent Advances in Research and Practice".
In 2009, the AGI published its second research report based on the June 2009 Annual Research-to-Practice conference "Why Teachers Improve (and How):
High School Supervision and Professional Community Toward Excellence with Equity"