Research and Evaluation

Identifying Gaps in Competency Based Learning Research


Joshua Cox, a research associate for the REL Northeast & Islands at EDC and a researcher on EDC’s student-centered learning study funded by Jobs for the Future, advances knowledge of college and career readiness, competency-based learning, and the use of data to guide policymaking. With Sarah Ryan, Josh co-authored a tool published by the Institute of Education Sciences that helps policymakers and educators examine students’ experiences with competency-based learning and he is the co-author of the report Competency-Based Learning: Definitions, Policies, and Implementation. In this post, Josh shares some highlights from a recent symposium led by our REL Northeast & Islands at EDC team that focused on competency-based learning and its potential role in enhancing college and career readiness and success.

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Why Does Investing in Young Children Matter?

In this feature article, four of EDC's early childhood experts--Jana Martella, Rachel Christina, Mary Mackrain, and David Jacobson--discuss the key role that early childhood programs play in setting the stage for young children's successful lifelong learning and good health. In the U.S., early childhood programs have been proven to provide a return on investment of $7 in long-term benefits for every $1 invested--including in strengthening the future workforce by ensuring all children enter school ready to learn and succeed--and the return on investment is even greater in impoverished communities around the world.


EDC Newsroom

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Mon, 01/23/2017

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Supporting English Learners

This article spotlights the REL Northeast & Islands at EDC's work to support school districts in closing opportunity gaps and improving achievement for English learners. EDC’s Jill Weber and Julie Riordan discuss what they have learned and the REL's next steps. Weber notes: "Districts should evaluate how programs for ELs impact student outcomes. When districts implement a new intervention that is intended to support ELs, they don’t always have a way to measure whether it is having the desired effect. Digging into the impact of programs and services can have major implications for policy and practice." Riordan adds: "We’ve seen this work pay dividends. Districts that we have supported are using data to develop new programs and services for ELs and considering ways to evaluate these programs. Better information results in programs that more effectively address the diverse needs of EL students."


EDC Newsroom

Publication Date: 

Thu, 01/19/2017

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Remedial Education and Completing College: Exploring Differences by Credential and Institutional Level

Fri, 12/16/2016


Katherine Shields, Laura O'Dwyer

This article, published in The Journal of Higher Education, reports on this study that compared the postsecondary outcomes of students who enrolled in remedial (sometimes called “developmental”) courses in college and their peers who did not. The analysis examined the relationship between postsecondary remediation and the odds of achieving 3 postsecondary outcomes and explored how these relationships varied between students attending colleges at the 2-year and 4-year levels.

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The Development and Testing of an Instrument to Measure Youth Social Capital in the Domain of Postsecondary Transitions

Tue, 12/27/2016


Sarah Ryan, Brian J. Junker

This research article, published in Youth Society, discusses the development and field testing of an instrument designed to measure youth social capital in the context of postsecondary transitions, This research addresses the need for theory-driven measures of social capital among youth. The results offer preliminary evidence that dimensions of youth social capital, including network structure and network content, can be reliably measured and that these dimensions of social capital are interrelated in a manner consistent with theory.

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EDC Develops Special Issue of Journal of Science Education and Technology

Journal of Science Education and Technology

The new issue of Journal of Science Education and Technology, “Stories from ITEST: Inspiring Young People to Pursue STEM Careers,” Caroline Parkerspotlights findings from the trailblazing STEM education and workforce development efforts of National Science Foundation-funded Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) projects.

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Library of Congress turns to EDC as Research Collaborator

Bill Tally

EDC is the key research collaborator for the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program, which helps educators use its enormous collection of digitized primary source materials in the classroom. After helping pioneer TPS nearly 20 years ago, EDC has seen the program become the cornerstone of the educational outreach the Library of Congress conducts to all 50 states.

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Shanna Russ

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Shanna Russ

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Shanna Russ provides dissemination and project management expertise to large and small research projects at EDC. Her work reflects her commitment to understanding how the presentation of information affects its reception and understanding. She specializes in website management, public information outreach, and data visualization.
Russ supports the dissemination work of the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands, funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences. She manages the project’s website and coordinates the production of its events, which bridge research, policy, and practice, and build capacity in the region. She also supports the dissemination activities of the Research+Practice Collaboratory at EDC, and is co-leader of the i3 Dissemination Community, where she assists grantees in their research dissemination efforts.
Before joining EDC, Russ was an editor and writer for IJET International, a risk management firm, where she produced and edited global health and security reports for multinational and nongovernmental organizations.
Russ received a BA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College.


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Project Associate II


Research, Evaluation, and Policy

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43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313




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