The student achievement guarantee

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Table 62. Second Grade Implementation of SAGE



Prentice – Ogema 10/31/97

Tripoli 10/31/97

Glidden – Glidden 11/20/97

Milwaukee-Maryland 9/30/97

Sherman 12/1/97

Carlton Class 1 – 11/03/97

Class 2 – 11/10/97

Maple Tree Class 1 – 11/15/97

Class 2 – 01/05/98

Class 3 – 01/05/98

Longfellow Class 1 – 11/14/97

Class 2 – 11/24/97 (long term sub)

Class 3 – 12/09/97

Wisconsin Conservatory January 1998


· The longitudinal results reported are based on regression equations using individual level

data. Since SAGE students do not move from grade to grade as part of an intact cohort it was

not possible to use HLM analyses to compare the performance of SAGE second-grade

classrooms to that of SAGE first-grade classrooms the preceding year.

· The analyses of the impact of different types of SAGE classroom organization on

achievement outcomes must be considered preliminary. The analyses were conducted using

only first-grade classroom organization data. Analyses conducted in subsequent years will

use classroom organization data for first-, second-, and third-grade SAGE classrooms.

These analyses are necessary to confirm this year’s findings.

· The qualitative data reported here do not draw distinctions between teacher behavior in

kindergarten, and first-, and second-grade classrooms. Additional analyses will be necessary

to ascertain whether grade level differences in teacher behavior can be identified.

Future SAGE Evaluation Reports

· Smaller classes in the SAGE program have a significant effect on student achievement in the

first grade. The data from the 1996-97 evaluation and the 1997-98 evaluation indicate that

this finding is robust. In future reports the achievement effects of the SAGE program

beyond first grade should emerge much more clearly than in this report. The problems

created by using the CTBS Complete Battery, Terra Nova edition, Level 10 as a first-grade

post-test during the 1996-97 school year will continue to make interpretation of the

achievement results of that cohort of SAGE first-grade students problematic as they move

through second and third grade. Much clearer results should emerge as the SAGE 1997-98

and 1998-99 first-grade cohorts move through the grades.

· The 1998-99 report will consider the impact of attendance in SAGE kindergarten on


subsequent SAGE student achievement.

· Although the SAGE program specifies that participating schools reduce class size to a 15:1

student-teacher classroom ratio, the average class size in SAGE schools in 1997-1998 varied.

Meta-analyses of the effects of reduced class size by Glass and Smith (1978) suggest that

even a slight increase in class size has an impact on achievement. Future analyses of SAGE

data will consider the effects of this increased class size.

· The impact on class achievement results of non-SAGE students entering second and third

grade for the first time will be considered.

· Several aspects of life in SAGE schools and classrooms will emerge more vividly in

subsequent reports. Examples of areas being investigated include how teacher behaviors do

or do not change over time in the SAGE program; how teachers in different grades respond

to smaller classes similarly and differently; what impact lighted schoolhouse programs have

on SAGE schools and on school community relations; how staff development and

professional accountability programs evolve in SAGE schools; and the impact of non-SAGE

students entering the program in second and third grade.

· Future reports will continue to study whether or not different forms of SAGE classroom

organization have a differential impact on student achievement. If the 1997-98 findings are

sustained the implications are considerable for school districts such as Milwaukee that wish

to reduce class size but do not have the funds to construct additional school space.



Allen, R. (1997). Effects of the revenue caps on Wisconsin’s school districts. 1996-97

school year fourth year study. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Education Association Council.

Bingham, S. C. (1993). White-minority achievement gap reduction and small class size:

A research and literature review. Nashville, TN: Center of Excellence for Research and Policy

on Basic Skills.

Bryk, A. & Raudenbush, S. (1992). Hierarchical Linear Models. Newbury Park, CA:

SAGE Publications, Inc.

CTB/McGraw-Hill (1991). Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills 4th Edition. CTB


Glass, G. and Smith, M. (1978). Meta-Analysis of Research on Relationship of Class-

Size and Achievement. San Francisco, CA: Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and


Mosteller, F. (1995). The Tennessee study of class size in the early school grades. The

Future of Children, 5, 113-127.

Pardini, P. (1998). Class wars. Middle Ground, 1(4), 22-24.

Pate-Bain, H., Achilles, C. M., Boyd-Zaharias, J., & McKenna, B. (1992). Class size does

make a difference. Phi Delta Kappan, 74(3), 253-256.

Viadero, D. (1998). Small classes: Popular, but still unproven. Education Week.


Wenglinsky, H. (1997). When money matters. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing



Appendix A

Interview Guide


Teacher Interview

1. Describe the extent to which your teaching is changing as a result of having fewer


Probe for in-depth descriptions, details, examples, etc., of the following:

Teaching time

a) More time on instruction?

b) Less discipline required?


c) More individualization of instruction?

d) More use of student-centered activities (cooperative groups, interest centers,

manipulatives, etc.)?

e) Greater number of learning activities used?

f) More opportunity for students choice of activites?

g) More opportunity for students to problem solve, create, etc?


h) More content (subject matter and skills) covered?

i) Content covered in greater depth?


j) Greater knowledge of students’ abilities, needs, personalities, etc?

k) Students more attentive and engaged?

l) Studnets participate in more discussions, volunteer comments more, etc?


m) Greater enthusiasm for and enjoyment of teaching?

n) Greater effort devoted to planning and teaching?

2. Describe the extent to which you believe your students’ learning has improved as a result

of being in a class with fewer students.

Probe for in-depth descriptions, details, examples, etc., of the following:

a) Improved reading/language arts?

b) Improved mathematics?

3. Describe changes you anticipate in your teaching during the second year of SAGE.


Appendix B

Classroom Observation Guide

1. Purpose of observations

To develop a descriptive, chronological account of selcect classrooms.

2. Classroom observation guide

Substantive Notes

a) Setting: Where is it taking place?

Space: desks, furniture, objects, displays, interest centers, etc.

Atmosphere: suportive, hostile, etc.

b) People: Who is involved?



Grouping: total class, small groups, individuals

c) Events: What’s going on?

Learning activities

Participants’ behavior

Participants’ talk (verbatim, if significant)

Objectives and specific subject matter or/and skill

Materials and resources

Reflective Notes

a) Analysis: speculate on themes, patterns, etc.

b) Method: observation problems, next steps, etc.

c) Clarifications: points that need to be clarified and explained

d) Frame of mind: observer’s biases, etc.


SAGE Classroom Observation Categories


I1. Monitoring T moves about room to check on progress of students’ work.

I2. Grouping T divides class into subgroups or pulls out a student for special attention.

I3. Choice T permits students to create own learning activities, select learning centers, etc.

I4. Help T offers feedback critique, assistance, guidance, scaffolding, help to student.

I5. Whole Class T provides whole class instruction.

All. All Children T enables All children in the class to participate in a specific activity or discussion.


E1. Listening S listen to teacher directions, demonstrations, lectures, explanations, stories, etc.

E2. Practicing S work at their seats to complete workbook exercises, board work, worksheets, read

textbooks, read trade books, use flash cards, etc.

E3. Responding S respond orally to teacher questions, follow teacher direction to write on the chalk

board, point to an object, read aloud, recite in unison, etc. (Identify each participant, e.g.,

S1, S2, S3.)

E4. Gaming S play educational or recreational games, role play, dramatize, sing.

E5. Manipulating S manipulate blocks, markers, objects, etc.

E6. Creating S draw, paint, make displays, work on projects, write stories, etc.

E7. Dialoguing S engage in discussion with other students and/or the teacher in which positions are

stated, questioned, critiqued, clarified, etc.

E8. Problem Solving S engage in investigation, inquiry, experimentation by formulating questions, drawing

conclusions, collecting data, etc.

E9. Reporting S share, present, report on accomplishments, ideas, etc.

E10. Reflecting S evaluate their knowledge and skill based on teacher critique, experiential feedback, etc.

E11. Initiating. S volunteers own ideas, perception, understanding, questions to class interaction.


M1. Praise T gives oral praise, stickers, prizes, etc., for academic achievement or appropriate


M2. Reproof T gives oral reproof, isolates a student, issues a threat for inappropriate behavior.

M3. Remind T reminds students of class rules, procedures, etc., regarding appropriate behavior.

M4. Warms T personalizes learning by relating topics, ideas, etc, to students’ lives, telling jokes,

sharing own experiences, laughing, etc.

M5. Cools T turns students off to learning by ignoring students, making cutting comments, sarcasm,


M8. Peer T allows students to develop socialization skills in areas relating to problem solving

amongst peers.

M11. Permits T permits students to make choices regarding behavior (bathroom, water, other physical



Appendix C

Teacher Log
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