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Dec 30 -- The Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S. Department of Education (ED), invites comments to OMB by January 31, 2022 regarding its proposal to collect data from states, school districts, and school principals regarding implementation of ESEA Title I/II-A Program Initiatives.
 
When the primary federal law governing K–12 schooling was updated in 2015 as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), it shifted many decisions to states and districts. However, through two of its core programs (Title I and Title II-A), ESSA retained federal requirements for states to set challenging content standards, assess student performance, identify and support low-performing schools, and promote the development of the educator workforce. How states and districts respond to the combination of flexibility and requirements and how policies are enacted in schools and classrooms will determine whether ESSA stimulates educational improvement as intended, which is particularly important in the wake of educational disruptions wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. This package requests clearance for state, district, and principal survey instruments and the collection of these data.
 
Promoting equal access to high-quality schooling is a central goal of federal education policy. The Title I and Title II-A programs authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by ESSA further this goal by providing funds meant to help schools and districts better serve low-income students and improve teacher and principal quality. Together, these programs account for over 70 percent of ESEA funding for 2020. Under Title I, ESSA offers states and districts considerable autonomy while requiring them to adopt challenging academic content standards, aligned assessments, and accountability systems that set goals and identify and support low-performing schools. Under Title II-A, ESSA provides funding for a broad array of permissible activities to improve the effectiveness of educators and achieve an equitable distribution of effective educators.

The purpose of the study of the Implementation of Title I/II-A Program Initiatives is to describe the implementation of policies and practices related to Titles I and II-A of ESEA at multiple points in time. How states, districts, and schools implement ESEA in four areas—state content standards, assessments, accountability and turning around low-performing schools, and improving educator effectiveness—is key to understanding what policies and practices are being implemented and whether they are consistent with accomplishing the Title I and Title II-A program goals of improving educational outcomes and increasing educational equity.

The 2022 data collection follows the study’s two prior data collections in 2014 and 2018, during different phases of ESEA implementation. The first data collection, in 2014, occurred during the iteration of ESEA prior to ESSA. The second data collection, in 2018, occurred when states and districts were still transitioning to fully implementing ESSA. Examining implementation four years later in 2022 will provide a look at state and district policies and related district and school practices that are more established several years after ESSA’s passage, as well as implementation at all three levels in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.  
 
The data will be collected by Westat and its partner, Mathematica. The purpose of the 2022 data collection is to provide information on the core policies and practices related to Title I and Title II-A being implemented at the state, district, and school levels; and the resources and supports that states and districts provide to schools and teachers. The research questions for the data collection are as follows:

What materials and resources are states and districts providing to support the implementation of content standards? Did districts prioritize among the state content standards in response to the coronavirus pandemic?

How did states, districts, and schools use assessment results for the 2021-22 school year? To what extent and how do states, districts, and schools help educators and families understand student learning needs? Do principals find assessment results useful for instruction and to identify students needing support?

What measures from 2020-21 did states, districts, and schools use to assess school and student needs for support, and how have states modified their school performance systems since 2018? Have states modified their accountability plans under ESSA since 2018, and if so, how? How are states identifying and supporting lowest-performing schools? How are schools supporting students’ needs in the wake of the pandemic? Do stakeholders have access to state per pupil school-level expenditure data and how are states, districts, and schools using the data?

To what degree and in what areas are states, districts, and schools supporting teacher effectiveness in the 2021–22 school year? What strategies are states and districts using to recruit, hire, and retain effective teachers?  How are states, districts, and schools using professional development and other strategies to help teachers support educational equity and improve teacher effectiveness? How are teacher evaluation results used in districts? Are states assessing the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs, and if so, how? Do states and districts find equitable access to effective teachers for low-income and minority students?

Data from state, district, and principal surveys will be collected to address the research questions since there is no uniform source of current, detailed information on these topics for all states and a nationally representative sample of district and schools.  
  
State Sample -- all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
School District Sample -- We will draw a district sample of 1,150 out of 17,125 school districts and charter local education agencies nationally. The study will statistically compare Title I/II initiatives implementation by district level of poverty, district urbanicity, and size of districts based on student enrollment. In addition, the district sample design will incorporate whether districts have schools identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) under Title I of ESSA. A major component of the study focuses on CSI schools. Districts are encouraged by federal policy to focus on these lowest-performing schools to bring about improvements.
School Sample -- We will draw a sample of 1,725 schools nested within the sample of 1,150 districts. (The universe of schools is 92,386 schools.) The school sample will consist of 690 CSI schools and 1,035 non-CSI schools. As CSI schools are a small portion of the school frame (5,608 schools), this is a considerable oversampling of CSI schools. This will allow for high-precision comparisons of CSI and non-CSI schools, which is a priority subgroup comparison for the study.  
 
The state, district, and principal survey data will be analyzed descriptively and summarized into two reports. One report will focus on  state content standards, assessments, and accountability and support for low-performing schools (including CSI schools). The second report will focus on teacher effectiveness.

Extensive descriptive analyses will be conducted using the survey data. We anticipate that straightforward descriptive statistics (e.g., means, frequencies, and percentages) and simple statistical tests (e.g., tests for differences of means and proportions) will typically be used to answer the research questions. The study is descriptive and not designed to estimate the impact of federal policies on state and local actions.
 
The reports are expected to be published in 2023 and 2024 and will be available on the IES website. Each report will be 15 pages, with a set of technical appendices and compendium of data tables. The reports will be written for an audience of policy makers and practitioners. The reports will follow the January 2020 IES Style and Report guidance and meet all 508 compliance requirements.  
 
Implementation of Title I/II-A Program Initiatives -- IES webpage: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/projects/evaluation/other_titleI.asp
IES submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202108-1850-010 Click IC List for survey instruments, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this website.
FR notice inviting comments to OMB: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/12/30/2021-28342/agency-information-collection-activities-submission-to-the-office-of-management-and-budget-for
  
For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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