We created a Research Fellow program to support and uplift the next generation of education researchers as they produce reports on their topics of interest. Our team provides ongoing guidance, drawing upon experience in examining the status of the education system in Massachusetts. So far, we have worked with two graduate-level researcher fellows and are looking forward to working with new fellows in the year to come.
PRESCHOOL ATTENDANCE MATTERS
By Wendy Wei
For years, researchers, policymakers, and practitioners have focused on absenteeism in the older grades, despite research showing that absenteeism during the early years has implications for academic achievement, social-emotional development, and later school attendance. This brief examines patterns of absenteeism for Massachusetts pre-K students and provides recommendations for addressing this challenge.
TEST FAILURE AND SPECIAL EDUCATION PROVISION
By Christopher Cleveland
This brief explores how a student’s 3rd grade MCAS scores predict whether that student will receive special education in 4th grade, and how this relationship changes based on student and school characteristics. It finds that after failing to achieve proficiency on the 3rd grade MCAS, White students are more likely than Black and Hispanic students to receive special education services. It provides recommendations for policymakers and researchers to explore how MCAS results influence the special education identification process.