Mandating supplemental intervention services: Is New York state doing enough to help all students succeed?

Kieran M. Killeen, John W. Sipple


As states have become more active in establishing curriculum content standards and related assessments disappointingly little attention has been paid to policy efforts that create learning opportunities for students to meet the new standards. This study examines one state policy designed to bolster the opportunity to learn by mandating additional instruction for students not currently achieving proficiency in the state standards. The results focus on a detailed description of New York State's Academic Intervention Services, including its organizational and instructional elements (e.g., staffing, scheduling, student grouping, instructional strategies) across NYS schools. While the majority of states have established curriculum frameworks and linked them to assessment instruments, this experience in NY may be unique for its coordinated emphasis on intervention services (academic and non-academic) linked to rigorous learning and accountability standards. However, the caveats identified in this study promote a familiar sense of local discretion in the interpretation and implementation of state policy mandates. The analyses describe how such practices vary by local district context, such as community wealth and geography, and if those practices have equity implications. The primary analyses draw on survey data from a stratified random sample of 764 teachers and principals from 125 school districts, and feature multi-variate methods with proper adjustment for the clustering of responses within districts (i.e., multiple teachers and administrators within each district).

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Copyright (c) 2019 Kieran M. Killeen, John W. Sipple


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