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ERIC Number: ED573545
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Pages: 65
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Educator Outcomes Associated with Implementation of Mississippi's K-3 Early Literacy Professional Development Initiative. REL 2017-270
Folsom, Jessica Sidler; Smith, Kevin G.; Burk, Kymyona; Oakley, Nathan
Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast
Substantial research points to the importance of developing strong early literacy skills. However, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, between 2007 and 2013, no more than 55 percent of Mississippi grade 4 students were reading at or above the proficiency level that demonstrates solid academic performance for the grade assessed. This was of serious concern to educators and policymakers in Mississippi. Thus, in April 2013, Mississippi's Literacy-Based Promotion Act was signed into law with the goal of having every student read at or above grade level by the end of grade 3. In response to the act, in January of 2014 the Mississippi Department of Education began providing early literacy professional development to all K-3 educators using the Language Essentials for Teaching Reading and Spelling program. Participants received the professional development content across eight modules split into two phases. Each phase included six weeks of online coursework and three days of face-to-face workshops. Typically, educators completed one phase per academic year. Content ranged from learning the foundations of language and reading to teaching comprehension strategies and writing instruction. At the same time as the professional development, the department provided state literacy coaches to target schools (those most in need based on the percentage of students in the lowest two achievement levels on the statewide literacy assessment). The state literacy coaches spent an average of two to three days per week in each school they served. In response to a request from the Mississippi Department of Education, the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southeast developed two tools to support the department: the Teacher Knowledge of Early Literacy Skills (TKELS) survey and the Coach's Classroom Observation Tool (CCOT). The Mississippi Department of Education invited all educators of students in kindergarten to grade 3 to complete the TKELS survey at four times between spring 2014 and fall 2015: spring 2014, fall 2014, spring 2015, and fall 2015. State literacy coaches observed classroom instruction in the target schools using the CCOT four times between winter 2014 and spring 2015: winter 2014, spring 2014, fall 2014, and spring 2015. The study team used the results to investigate changes in teacher knowledge and in ratings of quality of early literacy skills instruction, student engagement in early literacy instruction, and teaching competencies as well as the relationship between changes and educators' progress in the Language Essentials for Teaching Reading and Spelling professional development program. This study presents the results of a systematic investigation of change in educators' knowledge and classroom practices--the targeted areas for change associated with the professional development program that the Mississippi Department of Education used. The four main findings of the study were: (1) Between spring 2014 and fall 2015 average teacher knowledge of early literacy skills increased from 49.56 on the Teacher Knowledge of Early Literacy Skills survey to 52.28 (measured in T-score points, a standardized score with an average of 50 and standard deviation of 10)--equivalent to answering at least one more item out of 31 correctly. This corresponded to an increase from the 48th percentile to the 59th; (2) The increase in teacher knowledge of early literacy skills was associated with progress in the professional development program. Educators who had completed the program scored an average of 2.90 points higher than did educators who had not started it. At the end of the study, educators who had not started the program were in the 54th percentile on the Teacher Knowledge of Early Literacy Skills survey, whereas educators who had completed it were in the 65th percentile; (3) Between winter 2014 and spring 2015 in target schools the average ratings of quality of early literacy skills instruction, student engagement during early literacy skills instruction, and teaching competencies increased. The average rating of quality of instruction increased from the 31st percentile to the 58th percentile, the average rating of student engagement increased from the 37th percentile to the 53rd percentile, and the average rating of teaching competencies increased from the 30th percentile to the 44th percentile; and (4) The increases in the average ratings of quality of instruction, student engagement, and teaching competencies in target schools were associated with progress in the professional development program. Teachers who had completed the program were rated 0.30 point higher in quality of instruction, 0.22 point higher in student engagement, and 0.41 point higher in teaching competencies than did teachers who had not started it. At the end of the study, teachers who had not started the program were rated in the 42nd percentile for quality of instruction, the 39th percentile for student engagement, and the 38th percentile for teaching competencies, whereas teachers who had completed the program were rated in the 59th percentile for quality of instruction, the 53rd percentile for student engagement, and the 54th percentile for teaching competencies. The findings suggest that during the period when the Language Essentials for Teaching Reading and Spelling professional development program was implemented, teacher knowledge of early literacy skills, the quality of early literacy skills instruction, student engagement during early literacy skills instruction, and teaching competencies improved among educators who participated in the program over and above any increases found among educators generally. The findings suggest that progress in the program was associated with improvements in teacher knowledge, quality of instruction, student engagement, and teacher competencies. The following are appended: (1) Data and methods; (2) Teacher Knowledge of Early Literacy Skills survey; (3) Coach's Classroom Observation Tool; and (4) Supplemental tables of teacher knowledge scores and instructional practices ratings.
Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast. Available from: Institute of Education Sciences. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20208. Tel: 800-872-5327; Web site: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Kindergarten; Grade 1; Elementary Education; Grade 2; Grade 3; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast (ED); Florida State University, Florida Center for Reading Research; National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (ED)
Identifiers - Location: Mississippi
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: EDIES12C0011