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The Illinois Center for School Improvement (Illinois CSI) resource library includes research and a variety of other resources that are organized by essential elements central to effective education in Illinois. Each included resource has been reviewed for alignment to one of the 10 elements (Illinois’s 8 Essential Elements plus School Turnaround and Achievement Gaps), the intended audience, and the type of information provided. The Resource Library includes research and resources that examine numerous factors impacting education in the United States and will continue to grow as IL CSI staff and experts add additional resources to the library.

To find a resource, you can search the whole library with keywords using the search box below. If you don’t have a keyword, you can use the filters on the right hand side of screen. Choose the filters and click Apply, and it will reduce the list of resources accordingly. Click Clear to clear the filters and start again.

All the resources also are listed under the search bar. To scroll through the resources, simply click the "next page" arrow underneath the last listing of the current page.



Redefining professional development282535/23/2016 9:26:37 PM23 This newsletter examines the characteristics of high-quality professional development identified in research literature. Citing a number of studies on professional development, the publication states that high-quality teacher development includes the following characteristics Informed by research Integrated with district goals, guided by a long-term plan, and driven by student outcome data Responsive to teacher needs and utilizes collaborative problem solving School based Continuous and ongoing, based on principles of adult learning and provides follow-up support Evaluated for its impact on teacher effectiveness and student learning. Center authors concluded that teachers must have the skills, tools, and support needed to improve student achievement in the current era of reform. For professional development to be effective, it needs to be the focus for policymakers, districts, schools, and educators alike. The format of professional development should vary and be dictated by the desired outcome. In addition, teachers must be engaged in professional development through principles of adult learning that involves teachers directly in identifying areas of interest, is goal oriented, and is self-directed.​Research
How reading outcomes of students with disabilities are related to instructional grouping formats: A meta-analytical review282825/23/2016 10:01:55 PM20 In this meta-analysis, researchers investigated grouping for instruction with students with special learning needs. They examined the link between reading outcomes and the following grouping formats cooperative learning (mixed-ability groups work together on class assignments), student pairing (students work together in groups of two), peer tutoring, small-group instruction, and multiple grouping formats (use of several of the previously listed grouping formats). The researchers found that the use of small groups, reciprocal tutoring, and peer tutoring positively influenced the reading performance of students with disabilities. In addition, instructional groups of six to eight students were generally more effective than smaller or larger groups or one-to-one instruction. The researchers also determined that the magnitude of the effects for student pairs differed considerably depending on the roles of the students within the pair. When students with disabilities were paired with same-age partners, they benefited more from being tutored than from engagement in reciprocal tutoring. The tutors were students without disabilities who had better skills and were able to provide more effective instruction. When the student pairs were different ages rather than the same age, students with disabilities benefited more when they served in the role of tutor. ​ Research
Discarding the deficit model.280235/25/2016 1:57:41 PM617 The authors looked at the special education placement process for black and Hispanic students in a large urban school district in a southeastern US state. The 12 elementary schools involved represented a range of ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, and rates of special education placement. On the basis of data they gathered from classroom observations, school-based conferences, interviews with school personnel and family members, and examination of student documents (such as individualized education programs, behavioral referrals, and evaluation reports), they found that several conditions seriously marred the placement process. These included lack of adequate classroom instruction prior to the students’ referral, inconsistencies in policy implementation, and arbitrary referrals and assessment decisions. It was also clear that students in poor neighborhoods were at risk of receiving poor schooling, which increased their risk of failing and of being placed in special education. The response-to-intervention model holds promise for preventing academic failure. It also provides support for culturally and linguistically diverse students before they underachieve. Educators are becoming increasingly aware that they need to apply the model in culturally responsive ways. This might mean considering whether suggested instructional interventions have proven effective with all students, including English language learners. Also, educators should avoid a one-size-fits-all approach because culturally diverse students or English language learners may require different tier-one or tier-two interventions. Legislation regarding intervention services also calls for increased and specific efforts to include parents in all phases of the placement process.​Research
Achievement gap between disabled and nondisabled students280245/25/2016 1:59:59 PM47 Since the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 2002, lawmakers have devoted particular attention to educational conditions concerning students with disabilities. Current research has conveyed that, given the appropriate curriculum and tailored instruction, students with disabilities can thrive in academic settings. These needed resources for students have become increasingly scarce as a growing achievement gap has developed between students with disabilities and students without them. Kosiewicz gathered National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data to compare the reading performance of 12th grade students with disabilities to those without disabilities. Results revealed that only 5 percent of disabled students scored at or above proficiency compared with 36 percent of non-disabled students. The majority of students with disabilities in the study (73 percent) tested below the required proficiency level. Kosiewicz’s research revealed that variations were seen contingent upon what type of disability students faced. For example, students with dyslexia and hearing impairments tested at a higher level than students with other disabilities. The author suggests that increased individual instruction and specialized curriculum are needed to help close the achievement gap for students with disabilities. Research
Subgroup Exploratory Guide: English Language Learners282446/9/2016 4:00:52 PM24
Professional development analysis282575/23/2016 9:31:35 PM76 Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) published a synthesis of research about the influence of three variables in teaching and student learning standards-based curriculum, standards-based instructional guidelines, and standards-based accountability assessments. The synthesis concluded that teachers would need opportunities for deeper professional learning in order to teach in the ways envisioned by standards reformers. An analysis of more than 70 articles was conducted to explore the influence of standards-based professional development on teacher instruction and student achievement. The findings concluded that professional development can have a positive effect on classroom practice and student achievement when it is of high quality. Based on the synthesis of the research, the authors conclude that the professional development most likely to positively affect teacher instruction is (1) of considerable duration, (2) focused on specific content and/or instructional strategies, (3) characterized by collective participation of educator teams, (4) coherent, and (5) infused with active learning. Research
Mental health surveillance among children280685/26/2016 1:32:33 PM44 This comprehensive report describes the complexity and prevalence of mental health issues among American youth. Specifically, this report reviews the surveillance systems and surveys used between 2005 and 2011 to report the mental health issues of youth in the United States. These surveillance systems and surveys include the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, the National Survey of Children’s Health, the National Vital Statistics System, and the National Youth Risk Behavioral Survey, among others. The findings of these surveys and systems also are reported, and they are organized by mental health issue, ranging from mood disorders to Tourette syndrome. For example, the national prevalence of ADHD was between 6.8–8.9 percent for youth ages 3–17. Depression was reported at a rate of 2.1–12.8 percent for this age group. More detailed information is given about the specific mental health issues that affect today’s youth. Research
Monitoring children with reading disabilities’ response to phonics intervention: Are there differences between intervention aligned and general skill progress monitoring assessments?283205/25/2016 1:47:36 PM112 There is an increasing need for effective progress-monitoring assessments for the special education population. This study compares the predictive abilities of two progress-monitoring assessment instruments oral reading fluency (ORF) and intervention-aligned word list (IAWL). ORF is a commonly used assessment instrument that has been shown to indicate student reading competence. The IAWL is a novel assessment instrument that the authors created specifically for this study. The IAWL consists of 50 words that students are asked to read; compared to the ORF, the IAWL is tied to the curriculum and is untimed. Study participants were 40 students in a metropolitan school district in the southeastern United States; all participating students were identified as having learning disabilities. The reading intervention used was the Phonological and Strategy Training Program (PHAST). All students were given a battery of pretest and posttest assessments. Moreover, the ORF and IAWL progress-monitoring assessments were administered at preintervention and at regular intervals afterwards. The results showed that the IAWL can account for variance in performance changes in decoding and word identification. The ORF accounted for variance in performance changes in passage reading fluency. Overall, the IAWL was more sensitive to intervention-specific performance changes, whereas the ORF was a better indicator of more general measures of reading competence. Both the IAWL and ORF leave 49–74 percent of the unique variance in performance gains unaccounted for. Research
Families and schools: The effect of parental involvement on high school completion280925/26/2016 1:58:06 PM43 Previous research has indicated the positive effects that family involvement can have on academic outcomes for students. Anguiano conducted research on the potential influence of parental involvement on high school completion rates for students. Data for the study, which were gathered through the National Education Longitudinal Study, captured information from a sample of 25,000 eighth-grade students and parents. Students in the study were followed throughout high school and given follow-up interviews two years after the scheduled date of their graduation. Anguiano captured data from students who identified as Native American, Latino, European American, and Asian American. The sample set included both single- and dual-parent families, but only mothers participated in interviews. Parental involvement was measured through a questionnaire format. Participants were asked about the frequency of parental contact with school personnel and the school as well as parents’ attendance at parent-teacher meetings and activities at which their children were participating. The author gained information concerning parental educational system contact by determining parents’ knowledge about school policy and their attendance at parent-teacher organization meetings. Anguiano found that parental participation was a significant factor in completion rates for all students but that results varied by group. Traditional parental involvement was a better predictor of high school completion for Asian Americans than for European Americans, Native Americans, and Latinos. Family involvement did not serve as a significant predictor for high school completion rates for Native American students. The more education completed by parents, the more likely their children were to complete high school. Children from households with higher incomes also were more likely to complete high school than children from households with lower incomes. The author concluded that schools would benefit from increasing parental involvement and knowledge regarding school and district policy issues. ​Research
Subgroup Exploratory Guide: African American282456/9/2016 4:02:55 PM18


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