Acceleration: Lessons from the Field

dc.contributor.authorSteiner, David
dc.description.abstractThe Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy, supported by the Louis Calder Foundation and Chiefs for Change, has conducted the first in-depth case study of the use of acceleration strategies by public school districts. Through an analysis of documentation and assessment results, interviews with district leadership and school principals, and using multiple classroom observations, the Institute examined district policy and granular practices in math and ELA instruction at the middle school grade levels. Counter to expectations, we found that teachers in whole-class settings were closely following their respective high-quality curricula in both subjects – a key goal of acceleration. We found too that students were being regularly re-grouped for differential small-group and individualized online instruction – a key component of acceleration models. However, we found that the rigor of whole-class instruction was highly variable, even within the same school. We also found widespread skepticism on the part of principals as to the value of digital platform online learning. Finally, based on the assessment data and the observations we made, we can suggest the hypothesis that acceleration works best for students who are modestly behind in their learning (roughly up to a year), but that for those who are several (or more) grade levels behind, more drastic interventions will be necessary.
dc.description.sponsorshipLouis Calder Foundation and Chiefs for Change
dc.publisherThe Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy
dc.subjectAcceleration Strategies
dc.subjectPublic Schools
dc.subjectachievement gap
dc.subjectskills-based learning
dc.titleAcceleration: Lessons from the Field
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