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December 2020 Newsletter

Dear Knowledge Network members,  

The impact of Covid-19 in 2020 has been devastating in terms of lost lives, serious health impacts, loss of jobs, stresses on the family, and, of course, the loss of ten months of schooling for most children. In addition to recognizing the unbelievable work of our first responders, health care professionals, essential workers and countless other individuals who have worked to keep us safe, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to the teachers and parents for their many long hours, perseverance, and adaptability. Under the most challenging conditions, they continue to teach, support, and care for our next generation of citizens. We at the Wing Institute wish each and everyone a very Happy Holidays as we set our eyes on a new year and a better world. Peace be with you!
Did You Know?
This month the Wing Institute examines a study comparing U.S. and international fourth and eighth grade student performance in mathematics and science.

Wing Institute Original Work: Monitoring 
Additional content includes two Wing Institute original papers on teacher induction and a data mining article on the topic of professional development: For more information on behavior management and it's impact on achievement, please link to these education driver papers: Formative Assessment, Summative Assessment, Assessment, and Treatment Integrity.
Professional Development Research
This issue contains the following resources: We are confident that our education system will get through these troubling times and emerge stronger than ever.  
Stay safe,
The Wing Institute

Did You Know?

Comparing U.S. Fourth and Eighth Grade Performance in Mathematics and Science With That of International Students 


The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) just released its most recent study comparing U.S. and international students performance in math and science.  A total of 64 education systems participated in TIMSS at the 4th grade, while 46 systems participated at the 8th grade.  Among other data, the report looked at student performance and equity indicators.  The data is from 2019.


In math, U.S. 4th-graders ranked 15th of 64 participating education systems.  U.S. 8th-graders ranked 11th of 46.

In science, U.S. 4th-graders ranked 8th of 64 participating education systems.  U.S. 8th-graders ranked 11th of 46.


In math, U.S. 4th-graders’ average mathematics score was 17 points higher in 2019 than in 1995.  U.S. 8th-graders’ average mathematics score in 23 points over the same time period.  However, neither group’s performance improved over the previous four years.

In science, U.S. 4th-graders’ average science score in 2019 was not significantly different from their score in 1995 but was 7 points lower than in 2015.  U.S. 8th-graders’ average science score in 2019 was not significantly different from their average score in 1995.  


The study measures the score gap between students at the 90th and 10th percentiles of the distribution (highest performing students and lowest performing students).  This is one indication of equity within an education system.  The larger the gap, the less equitable the education system is.

In math, the score gap between top- and bottom-performing U.S. 4th-graders in 2019 was larger than the gap in 37 education systems.   The score gap between top- and bottom-performing U.S. 8th-graders in 2019 was larger than the gap in 31 of the 45 education systems. 

In science, the score gap between top- and bottom-performing U.S. 4th-graders in 2019 was larger than the gap in 37 education systems.  The score gap between top- and bottom-performing 8th-graders in 2019, which was larger than the gap in 24 education systems 


Another indicator of equity ion an education system is the relationship between student performance and their poverty level.  The more linked these two items are, the less equitable is the system.

In the U.S., both math and science scores were completely tied the poverty levels of the schools.  TIMSS sorted the scores across five different levels of school poverty (highest poverty to lowest).  The data was linear across all five levels.  The higher a school’s poverty level, the lower the math and science scores. 

CitationTIMSS 2019 U.S. Highlights Web Report (NCES 2021-021).

Wing Institute Original Papers

Fidelity of Implementation in Educational Research and Practice

Fidelity of implementation is a critical but often neglected component of any new system, practice, or intervention in educational research and practice. Read More

Gage, N., MacSuga-Gage, A., and Detrich, R. (2020). Fidelity of Implementation in Educational Research and Practice. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.

Approaches to Increasing Treatment Integrity

Many promising education interventions fail? When innovations are not implemented as designed, the anticipated benefits are not forthcoming. The question is, what strategies can educators employ to increase the likelihood that practices will be implemented as designed? Read More

Citation: Detrich, R., States, J. & Keyworth, R. (2020). Approaches to Increasing Treatment Integrity. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.

Performance Assessment and Monitoring

How can schools effectively assess students during the pandemic?

Learning as We Go: Principles for Effective Assessment During the COVID-19 Pandemic. his paper summarizes the findings from a panel of assessment experts on diagnostic assessments and their role in helping educators and parents support student learning due to covid-19. Read more

Can formative assessment increase students’ use of self-regulation strategies?

TThe Association between Teachers’ Use of Formative Assessment Practices and Students’ Use of Self-Regulated Learning Strategies. Three Arizona school districts surveyed teachers and students in grades 3–12 in spring 2019 to understand the teachers’ use of formative assessment practices and students’ use of self-regulated learning strategies. Read more

Can teachers leverage the use of smart phones to assess student performance?


Using smartphones for formative assessment in the flipped classroom. This paper describes strategies used to effectively incorporate smartphones to enhance teaching and learning. Read More

What is the future of standardized testing?

The Big Test: The Future Of Statewide Standardized Assessments. The report examines the evolution of the testing backlash, the current landscape, and how state testing systems must change to survive. Read More

Wing Institute Recruiting

Search for Education Research Writers


The Wing Institute is recruiting contract-based content writers in the field of evidence-based education. 
We are looking for professionals who can: 
  1. conduct literature reviews;
  2. analyze the relevant data, research, and policies; and 
  3. write succinct overviews for publication on our web site.
Positions to be filled by January 1, 2020.
Compensation: $2,100 for each Overview (2,500-5,000 words)
Please send resume to Randy Keyworth at the Wing Institute:

For more information

Data Mining


Why is this question important? Educators are mandated to use research-based practices to improve student performance. If educators are to adopt a research-based intervention, they must be confident that the intervention was actually implemented according to protocol. Research informs on.  Without these data, it is not possible to know how well the implementation protocol was followed, which reduces confidence in the effects claimed.  Read More


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