The Voinovich School has a long history of education research and evaluation that is practitioner driven and provides insight into policy implications and practical application.
Primary research areas include:
- College access and success in the Appalachian region;
- The implementation of Value-Added Analysis and its role in informing classroom and building practices, promoting student achievement and identifying high performing schools;
- Development and effectiveness of leadership and collaboration networks among K-16 educators;
- Evaluation of K-12 programs;
- Promotion and evaluation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) initiatives;
- Education and its relationship to economic development;
- Early Childhood Literacy, Health and Education;
- Education and Health/Wellness
The Voinovich School is an active partner in the Ohio Education Research Center (OERC) a collaborative partnership among six Ohio universities (Ohio State, University of Cincinnati, Miami University, Ohio University, Case Western Reserve University, Wright State University) and four organizations (Battelle Memorial Institute, Battelle for Kids, Community Research Partners, and the Strategic Research Group) The OERC carries out a P-20 education research agenda in collaboration with ODE and the Ohio Board of Regents.
Engaging and Inspiring Students: Rural High School STEM Initiative
Jointly funded by the NEA Foundation and the AT&T Foundation, the purpose of this project is to increase teachers’ knowledge of science and experiential learning techniques and to enhance student engagement and interest in STEM-related coursework and careers. Over the past three years, The Voinovich School’s Ohio Appalachian Educators Institute (OAEI) has partnered with science and math teachers from six local high schools to provide intensive professional development workshops, develop new curriculum correlated with the Ohio Academic Content Standards, and coordinate interactive science experiences for students, including field research opportunities, technology contests, and visits to working science laboratories. Voinovich School professional staff members have also worked with the funders to document the program and its impact on students through the compilation of statistics, case studies and video footage.
Science Professional Development Seed Grant Evaluation
The Science Professional Development (PD) Seed Grant Evaluation was a multi-phase, statewide project evaluating the provision of professional development to science teachers. The first phase involved 10 university-led projects from around the state who were awarded “Seed Grants” to design an effective PD model in partnership with schools, teachers and community organizations. Phase II was the selection of two grants to receive substantial financial awards to implement their model on a larger scale. Phase III was a refinement of the models using feedback from the evaluator. As the project evaluators, the Voinovich School conducted classroom observations using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) which focused on student-centered, constructivist teaching pedagogy. We also completed periodic phone interviews throughout the year, and guided teachers to document an entire unit as a portfolio.
Student Growth Measures: Policy and Practice Study
Student achievement growth is a significant component of Ohio’s new educator evaluation system, comprising 50 percent of a teacher’s annual performance evaluation. The SGM: Policy and Practice study, led by the Voinovich School in partnership with researchers from Wright State University and the Ohio State University, is a multi-year project focused on understanding 1) how well the various SGM components fit together and if they do not, how their fit may be improved; and 2) how well the 50 percent SGM element compares with the remaining 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation that is graded on state-specified performance rubrics and standards.
Click here to view the executive summary.