Identifying Students for Academic Support
Because resources for academic support are limited in schools, educators need data to guide decisions. The use and collection of data to identify students for academic support is broadly referred to as universal screening in schools.
Our research activities under Identifying Students for Academic Support help us to evaluate ways in which we can make the universal screening process for our programs more accurate—and importantly—more efficient. Even minor improvements in our process for selecting students for academic intervention can translate into a sizeable impact on the educational experiences of students.
Does more equal better when it comes to academic screening?
In this study, we worked with our colleagues to evaluate whether we could re-purpose existing information about students (in this case, their performance on the previous years’ state test) for screening purposes. That is, rather than test students again in the fall, do we already have enough information to make a good decision about their need for extra support?
As it turns out, using previous state test performance to predict future state test performance is a pretty accurate way to flag students for extra support! So much so that it may be worth considering whether to collect additional information at all—something that could save schools and students a lot of time and resources.
There are many reasons to collect fall screening data, and results from this work—as well as work by others—simply let us know that it’s worth considering whether extra data actually add value to the screening and intervention process.
Want to learn more? Connect with us to discuss our work in this area.