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. Public Schools of North Carolina . . State Board of Education . . Department Of Public Instruction .

PROJECTS

SUGGESTED RESEARCH PROJECTS

Assessment Topics

  • Benchmark Assessments
    • Many LEAs use Benchmark Assessments (such as Classcape) to predict how well students are progressing towards proficiency on the EOG/EOC assessments. What states are using a statewide benchmarking system? (GA?) What does it look like? How is it being used? Is it an online assessment?

Curriculum/Program/Instruction Topics

  • Dual Language/Immersion Programs
    • Effectiveness of Dual Language Immersion programs in elementary schools.
  • Teaching Second Languages
    • What are best practices in terms of teaching 2nd languages in NC Public Schools? How does NC compare to other States? Are there other options we may want to consider?
  • Response to Instruction
    • RTI uses data and information to provide 3 levels of differentiated instruction to students. What are some best practices for providing instruction? How is this done logistically?

Funding and/or Financial Topics

  • Supplemental Funding and Student Achievement, Part II
    • This would be a follow-up on an intern project from Oct 2008. Their recommendations for further research:
      • Breakdown of funding streams in order to analyze more specific areas in which these funding expenditures have an influence on student proficiency levels.
      • Look at questions such as "What is being done in schools that are successful - based on how they are spending their allotments?"
  • State Funding and ELL
    • Conduct an analysis of State funding of English Language Learners (ELL) and whether there is a correlation with outcomes such as Title III Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs) by LEA. Also of interest would be correlations between Title III AMAOs and the purchase of state-adopted text for ESL as well as the correlation between Title III AMAOs and staff development.
  • Financial Reversion - What should be involved in the NC prediction model?
    • Predicting annual salary costs in NC is no easy feat, since the State allocates teacher "slots" as opposed to dollars for LEA to staff their schools. Consider the current prediction model that is in place and determine whether anything can be done to enhance the model, and/or whether NC should consider implementing a new model.

Exceptional Children Division

  • Online Professional Development
    • Data on LEA performance in LEAs that are using system wide technology for professional development.
  • Positive Behavior Support (PBS) related topics to research:
    • validation of the annual report/data trends over time
    • how SET data from implementers correlates with the implementation inventory scores
    • more scrutiny of the relationship between suspension rates or SET scores and EOG/EOC results
    • comparison of PBS schools meeting fidelity criterion in districts that have TE devoted to PBS coordination and those that don't
    • relationship between administrator support and success of PBS implementation
  • Occupational Course of Study (OCS)
    • Number of students who are participating in the OCS in each LEA, SOP and charter (by grade, gender, disabling condition and race)
    • Percentage of LEA students participating in OCS as compared to total high school population and exceptional high school population
    • Percentage of OCS students that graduated with a diploma having fulfilled all graduation requirements? Percentage of OCS students that graduated with a certificate because they could not fulfill the paid work requirement?
    • Percentage of students by LEA and state that take longer than 4 years to graduate.

Health Related Research Topics

  • Incorporating the School Level Impact Measures (SLIMs) from CDC into the School Improvement Plans
  • Study to determine who is actually delivering reproductive health and safety instruction in middle schools and high schools (licensed health educators, physical educators, nurses, public health professionals, others)
  • How could NC best implement coordinated school health (CSH) efforts that are driven by the Basch (Columbia Teachers' college) study on educationally relevant health disparities?
  • The Child & Family Support Teams (CFST) have been operating for some time--have they really kept kids in school? Raised academic success?
  • Look at some way of comparing the effectiveness of reproductive health and safely instruction by licensed health education teachers vs. outside instructors such as school nurses, health department personnel, others
  • Study of parent receptivity to/complaints about reproductive health and safety education and the satisfaction of responses given by teachers and/or administrators and the time spent to deal with these issues
  • Larger scale look at In School Prevention of Obesity and Disease (IsPOD) through the NC Alliance for Athletics, Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NCAAHPERD) and Body Mass Index (BMI) data and some other factor-- time in PE? or academic factor for math or writing skills in younger grades--like 3rd or 5th?
  • Comparison between Kindergarten Health Assessment Body Mass Index (BMI) & BMI measured via In School Prevention of Obesity and Disease (IsPOD) (if they are doing BMI on K-3 kids?)
  • What makes secondary PE teachers more or less likely to seek certification in health education
  • What facilitates or inhibits communication between school boards & School Health Advisory Councils (SHACs)
  • Are School Health Advisory Councils (SHACs) that involve student members more effective (? measure) than those without student members?

 

Miscellaneous

  • Scheduling for Professional Time on Task - Good examples.
  • Overcoming the Statistical Odds
    • Which schools are actually "breaking the mold" of what would be expected for the demographics of the school? (Poverty, race, parent level of education, etc). Conversely, which schools are falling short of educating students in a manner that at least allows them to achieve at par given their demographics? What factors tend to make the difference in these schools?

Technology Funding in NC

  • How much money does North Carolina expend annually for instructional technology?
    • Source
      • Federal
      • State
      • Local
      • Community or other non-governmental source (grant funding, Donor Choose, etc)
    • Expenditures
      • Personnel
      • Instructional (salary, pd)
      • Technical (salary, pd)
      • Hardware
      • Software
      • Electrical infrastructure (wiring, breakers, to handle technology)
      • Technology Infrastructure (WANs, LANs, etc)
  • I would like to see a robust Return on Investment system that incorporates AMTR, TCO and ACRE.

School Improvement Programs

  • What do other states do as far as program evaluation for school improvement programs?

 

If you would like more information about these project suggestions, please contact Intern_Research@dpi.nc.gov.