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This Week's Podacast: Real School Improvement Providers Back S. 2118

S. 2118, introduced by Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Richard Lugar (R-IN), merely spells out standards for evaluation that define what school improvement providers have always done, will always do, and reasonably assumed NCLB mandated for everyone else.
Listen here.

Read the proposed standards.

SECTION I. Short Title. This Act may be cited as the “Proven Programs for the Future of Education Act of 2007.”....

[T]he Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 is amended....

SEC. 9701. RESEARCH-PROVEN PROGRAMS AND COMPETITIVE GRANTS. In all competitive grants that are awarded by the Department to a State education Agency [or a local education agency] or by a State agency to a local educational agency under this Act, competitive preference points equal to 10 percent of the total number of points awarded maybe awarded to a State educational agency or local educational agency if such State educational agency or local educational agency proposes in the grant application to use research proven programs, when appropriate....

SEC. 9101(37). RESEARCH PROVEN PROGRAM....

(A) IN GENERAL. The term “research proven program” means a program that is determined to be a qualified program pursuant to to subparagraph (B), and that is evaluated in not less than two studies, both of which meet the following minimum criteria:

(i) The program was compared to a control group using alternative or traditional methods.

(ii) The study duration was not less than 12 weeks.

(iii) Program and control schools were equivalent at pretest in achievement (within 0.5 standard deviation). Analyses of posttest differences are adjusted for pretest differences.

(iv) The post-test measures used to compare program and control groups is a valid standardized or criterion-referenced test, such a State accountability test, and is not inherent to the program. For example, tests made by program authors, or tests of content not studied by control students, do not qualify.

(v) The sample size of each study is not less than 5 classes or 125 students per treatment (10 classes or 250 students overall). Multiple smaller studies may be combined to reach this sample size collectively.

(vi) The median difference between program and control students across all qualifying studies is not less than 20 percent of student-level standard deviation, in favor or the program students....

RESEARCH-PROVEN REFORM IN READING FIRST.... SEC. 1202(c)(2)(C). PREFERENCE. - In making subgrants to eligible local educational agencies, a State educational agency shall award competitive preference points equal to 10 percent of the total number of points if applicants propose to use research-proven reading programs....

SEC. 1208 (6) RESEARCH-PROVEN READING PROGRAM....

(A) IN GENERAL [Reads as Sec.9101(37), but substitute “research-proven reading program” for “research-proven program]....

(B) REVIEW. -

(i) IN GENERAL. - The Department shall constitute a review panel to review scientific reviews of reading evaluations and determine which programs qualify as qualified research-proven reading programs.

(ii) PANEL MEMBERS. - Review panel members shall have expertise in scientific research review and in scientifically-based reading research, but may not have financial or personal connection with the authors or publishers of any program.

(iii) PANEL MEETINGS. - Review panel meetings shall be open to the public and minutes shall be made available to the public.

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