Instruments:

Vermont Department of Education Teacher Survey
Over 2000 Vermont educators completed this teacher survey, administered online (via Survey Monkey) in the fall of 2008. The survey was developed based on the common characteristics of effective, high-poverty schools identified through the literature review (below).

Full Teacher Survey Results
Statisticians at the Vermont Department of Education ran a comprehensive analysis on all results from the teacher survey. Included are correlations across themes and full results of the regression analysis.

Site Visit Interview Protocols
The Vermont Department of Education, with help and guidance from the University of Vermont, developed a full set of interview protocols to be used for each site visit. Included are interview questions for principals (one for internal school factors and one for external), staff (individual and group), district staff and superintendent (also used for school board members), parents, and students.

Literature Reviews:

Vermont Department of Education Literature Review: Characteristics of Successful High-Poverty Schools
To prepare for this study and design the teacher survey, the Vermont Department of Education conducted an extensive literature review to determine what other researchers had identified as characteristics common to successful schools. This literature review and the characteristics it revealed align with results from our own state-specific study, thus confirming the research base for our eight findings.

Washington State: Nine Characteristics of Effective Schools
Similar to Vermont, the Washington State Department of Education was interested in identifying the characteristics common to effective schools. Rather than investigate school practices through a teacher survey or site visits, they conducted a large and detailed literature review of existing research on the topic. This literature review revealed nine characteristics, all of which correlate to Vermont’s findings. On page 132 of the report, the authors include a matrix of all of the studies they reviewed and how they support the various nine findings.

Marzano: A New Era of School Reform
In this comprehensive review, Robert Marzano explores the influence of three factors (school-level, teacher-level, and student-level) on student achievement. His detailed analysis reveals that while student-level factors (like socioeconomic status) do impact student achievement, schools and teachers do, too. The results of the Vermont teacher survey (mainly, that schools do affect student outcomes) match with Marzano’s conclusions.

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