Washington State Institute for Public Policy
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Updated Inventory of Evidence- and Research-Based Practices: Washington's K‑12 Learning Assistance Program
September 2014
Washington State provides funding to school districts to help underachieving students through the Learning Assistance Program (LAP). The 2013 Washington State Legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to prepare an inventory of evidence-based and research-based effective practices, activities, and programs for use by school districts in LAP and to update the inventory each two years thereafter.

This report describes the updated inventory of evidence-based and research-based practices for use in LAP.
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Initial Inventory of Evidence- and Research-Based Practices: Washington's K–12 Learning Assistance Program
July 2014
Washington State provides funding to school districts to help underachieving students through the Learning Assistance Program (LAP). The 2013 Washington State Legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to prepare an inventory of evidence-based and research-based effective practices, activities, and programs for use by school districts in LAP and to update the inventory each two years thereafter.

This report describes the initial inventory of evidence-based and research-based practices for use in LAP.
Related:
Full-Day Kindergarten: A Review of the Evidence and Benefit-Cost Analysis
January 2014
WSIPP updated its 2007 analysis of the research evidence regarding full-day kindergarten. Over half of Washington’s public school kindergarteners attend full-day programs, and the state is expanding funding for this option. In this report, we analyze average impacts on student outcomes from full-day kindergarten across the United States and elsewhere. We also examine whether benefits are likely to exceed costs.

To investigate, we conducted a systematic review of research by collecting all studies we could find on the topic. We screened for scientific rigor and only analyzed studies with strong research methods. We identified ten credible evaluations of full-day kindergarten’s cause-and-effect relationship with student test score outcomes. The studies estimate the relative impact of full-day in comparison with half-day programs.

Improvement in standardized test scores was the only outcome measured in the studies that we reviewed. Other outcomes of interest such as social and emotional learning and high school graduation have not been examined consistently in the research literature.
Download: Final Report
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Innovative Schools in Washington: What Lessons Can Be Learned?
July 2013
The 2011 Washington State Legislature passed two laws concerning innovative schools. The first recognized public schools that are “bold, creative, and innovative.” A second law sought to expand the number of innovative schools by allowing flexibility in state statutes and rules. At present, there are 34 designated schools and innovation “zones.”

For this study, we statistically analyzed school performance; conducted systematic literature reviews; and visited most designated schools. We learned that the designated innovative schools are extremely varied in their missions, student populations, strategies, and outcomes.
Educational Outcomes of Foster Youth--Updated Benchmarks
June 2013
This report outlines four outcome measures for tracking the educational progress of students in foster care. Previous research conducted by the Institute has shown disparities in the educational outcomes of foster youth, including a higher dropout rate, lower scores on statewide standardized assessments, and lower high school graduation rates. Improvements in state educational data have resulted in the ability to track student progress since 2005. We can now look at historical trends for many of these outcomes to determine how results have changed over time. This report provides detailed definitions and results on four long-term measures related to the educational status of youth in foster care. These measures include the following:
  • School retention: Nine out of ten (90%) foster youth re-enroll in the following school year (compared to 94% of non-foster youth).
  • Behind grade level: 6% of foster youth and non-foster youth are behind their expected grade level.
  • Adjusted cohort graduation rate: The longitudinal (four-year) graduation rate for youth in long-term foster care was between 35 and 55% (the rate for non-foster youth was between 70 and 75%).
  • Annual graduation rate: Measured on an annual basis, the graduation rate for foster youth was 48% compared to 72% for non-foster students.
Download: Full Report
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K-12 Class Size Reductions and Student Outcomes: A Review of the Evidence and Benefit-Cost Analysis
January 2013
The Washington State Legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (Institute) to develop “a repository of research and evaluations of the cost-benefits of various K–12 educational programs and services.”

In this report, we analyze a significant policy question for the legislature: do the benefits of reducing the number of students in K-12 classrooms outweigh the costs?
Download: Full Report
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Educational Outcomes of Foster Youth--Benchmarks
December 2012
The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Children’s Administration (CA) asked the Institute to develop outcome measures to establish how the educational prospects of foster students have changed over time. This report includes detailed definitions and results on four long-term measures related to the educational status of youth in foster care. These measures include:
  • School retention: Nine out of ten foster youth re-enroll in the following school year.
  • Behind grade level: 8% of foster youth are behind their expected grade level.
  • Adjusted cohort graduation rate: Over a four-year period, the longitudinal graduation rate for youth in long-term foster care was between 45 and 55%.
  • Annual graduation rate: Measured on an annual basis, the graduation rate for foster youth was 47%.
For each measure, results for foster youth were compared to other students in Washington State. These measures will also be updated in the future to assess improvements.
Download: Full Report
Related:
Educational Advocates for Foster Youth in Washington State: Program Impacts and Outcomes
November 2012
Educational Advocates work with schools, social workers, foster families and students to help youth in foster care succeed in school. Advocates were initially available to assist foster students in King County. In 2006, the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) started a statewide Educational Advocacy program for foster youth in need of educational assistance.

The 2011 Washington State Legislature directed the Institute to “examine the child welfare and educational characteristics and outcomes for foster youth who are served by educational advocates.” This report includes the results of the evaluation
Download: Full Report
Related:
K-12 Education Spending and Student Outcomes: A Review of the Evidence
October 2012
The Washington State Institute for Public Policy updated its findings on a key public policy question for the Washington State legislature: does spending more money on the K–12 school system lead to better student outcomes? To investigate, we conducted a systematic review of research by analyzing all scientifically rigorous studies we could find on the topic.
Download: Full Report
Related:
How Does Washington State's Learning Assistance Program Impact Student Outcomes? Final Report
August 2012
Washington State provides supplemental funding to school districts through the Learning Assistance Program (LAP) to help students at-risk of not meeting state learning standards. The state Quality Education Council (QEC) makes recommendations to the legislature regarding basic education, including LAP. The QEC requested that the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (Institute) study the impact of LAP-funded remediation strategies on student achievement.

The Institute published a preliminary report in December 2011, finding that the state’s K–12 data system does not reliably identify which students receive LAP-funded services. In response, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) modified district reporting requirements to ensure that LAP students will be identified in state data from 2011-12 and beyond.

This final Institute report describes how LAP is implemented in Washington State, and presents results from a school-level analysis of the association between LAP and student outcomes.
Download: Full Report
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110 FIFTH AVENUE SE, SUITE 214
P O BOX 40999
OLYMPIA, WA 98504
 
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institute@wsipp.wa.gov