Wilcox, K. C., Angelis, J. I., Baker, L. & Lawson, H. (2014) The value of people, place and possibilities: A multiple case study of rural high school completion. In Journal of Research in Rural Education,29(9) 1-18. What are the qualities of classroom, school, and district processes and practices in rural high schools with higher-than-average graduation rates? How do these processes and practices compare with rural schools with histories of average graduation rates? In this study six schools were sampled for a multiple case study of rural high school completion. Four had higher-than-average graduation rates. All six schools were visited by site teams who conducted 63 interviews and collected documentary evidence of practices and processes related to high school graduation. Using cross-case analytic procedures, several important contrasts were found between the two sets of sample schools. Differences in graduation outcomes in these rural schools were associated with (1) the qualities of academic goals, expectations, and learning opportunities; (2) the nature of individual and collective educator efficacy; (3) the strategies educators used to develop and maintain family relationships and engage community members; and (4) mechanisms for adapting instruction and employing interventions for students at risk of dropping out.
Angelis, J. I. & Wilcox, K. C. (2014) University at Albany researchers identify ways schools succeed in graduating at-risk students. In Issues in Education, On Board (Newsletter of the New York State School Boards Association) March 31, 2014, p.9.
Angelis, J. I. & Wilcox, K. C. (2014) An amazing thing happened on the way ...: Best practices in staying ahead of new state mandates. In Impact (Journal of the New York State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (NYSASCD)).
Wilcox, K. C. (2013) A socioecological view of higher-performing diverse elementary schools. In Journal of Education for Students Placed At Risk. (18), pp. 1-27. This multiple case study relied upon a socioecological framework and the lens of resilience to investigate practices and processes that are correlated with high academic achievement among African American, Hispanic, and English language learners. Utilizing quantitative measures for sample selection of 10 higher-performing and 5 average-performing schools and qualitative data collection and analysis methods, findings indicate that 4 interrelated practices characterize higher-performing diverse schools: close engagement with and understanding of the student population; intensive literacy- and technology-enriched instruction; a collaborative and iterative approach to curriculum revision and data use; and fluid adaptation and deployment of resources. One of the 15 diverse high-poverty case study schools is discussed in detail as an exemplar.
Angeles, J. I., Wilcox, K. C. & Andress, N. (2013) Staying focused in turbulent times. In Update (Newsletter of NYSASCD).
Wilcox, K. C. (2012)
Diversity as strength: How higher-performing schools embrace diversity and thrive. In A. Cohan & A. Honigsfeld (Eds.), Breaking the mold of education for culturally and linguistically diverse students: Innovative and successful practices for the 21st century (pp. 47-51). New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield. Review
Wilcox, K. C., Angelis, J. I. & Andress, N. (2012)
Building adaptive and resilient high schools. Paper presented at Achieving Success at Scale: Research on Effective High Schools, conference of the National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools, June 2012.
Oliveira, A. W., Wilcox, K. C., et al (2012)
Best practice in middle-school science. In Journal of Science Teacher Education, (24)2, pp. 297-322 and Online First May 26, 2012, DOI 10.1007/s10972-012-9293-0.
Using socio-ecological theory, this study explores best practice (educational practices correlated with higher student performance) in middle-school science. Seven schools with consistently higher student performance were compared with three demographically similar, average-performing schools. Best practice included instructional approaches (relevance and engagement, inquiry, differentiated instruction, collaborative work, moderate amounts of homework, and intergration of language literacy and science) and administrative practices (nurturing a climate of opportunity to succeed in science, offering professional development based on data and dialogue, engaging teachers in standards-based curriculum revision and alignment, and recruiting the right fit of teacher). It is argued that best practice entails multiple levels of teaching and administrative praxis that together form a school-wide socio-ecological system conducive to higher performance.
Angelis, J. I. & Wilcox, K. C. (2012) UAlbany identifies factors explaining higher performance among 'critical needs' elementary students. In Issues in Education, On Board (Newsletter of the New York State School Boards Association)
May 21, 2012, p. 7.
Angelis, J., Wilcox, K. & Andress, N. (2012)
Collect.analyze.act.: Follow the data to success. In Principal Leadership 12(7), pp. 32-36.
Since 2004, the staff of the Know Your Schools~for NY Kids project has been conducting studies in New York State to examine what marks the difference between high- and average-performing schools. No matter what the level of schooling, the two groups of schools differ in how they use evidence to make decisions. A related finding is a high level of trust and collaboration among staff members. Teachers and school leaders in effective schools collect a variety of data, analyze those data, and make decisions accordingly.
Wilcox, K. C. & Angelis, J. I. (2012) From 'muddle school' to middle school: Building capacity to collaborate for higher performing middle schools. In Middle School Journal.
Angelis, J. I. & Wilcox, K. C. (2011)
Poverty, performance, and frog ponds: What best practice tells us about their conditions. In Phi Delta Kappan 93(3), pp.26-31. Higher-performing schools create conditions that enable schools to address some of the challenges of teaching high concentrations of students living in poverty.
Angelis, J. & Wilcox, K. C. (2011)
Trust and respect at the middle level. In Principal (National Association of Elementary School Principals) 91(1), pp. 44-45.
Trusting and respectful relationships are the bedrock on which effective middle schools are built. Trust and respect make it possible for teachers, principals, and other staff to collaboratively enact a shared vision for the success of every student, to take a crticial look at results and make necessary adjustments, and to foster the social and emotional well-being that make it possible to focus on academics. Schools where all these conditions have been put into place are better able to close achievement gaps and consistently prepare students for successful transition to high school.
Angelis, J. (2011) Schools need collaboration. In Times Union (Albany, NY) July 28, 2011, p. A17.
Despite increasing evidence that collaboration is one of the keys to a school's success in improving student performance and closing achievement gaps, policymakers at national and state levels, including New York, are moving toward teacher evaluation systems that attempt to attribute student progress to the efforts of individual teachers. Read more...(pdf)
Wilcox, K. C. (2010)
The importance of civic responsibility in higher-performing middle schools: An empirical study. In Education and Urban Society 20(10), pp. 1-16.
Angelis, J. I. & Wilcox, K. C. (2010)
What works in middle school science in New York State: Best practices from higher-performing schools. In The Science Teachers Bulletin 73(2), pp. 16-22.
Angelis, J. I. (2008)
Higher-performing middle schools in New York State build teachers' instructional, curricular, and leadership capacities through collaboration. In Transition (Journal of the New York State Middle School Association) 25(3), pp. 35-38.
Wilcox, K. C., & Baker, L. (2006)
What works in best practice research: Methodological approaches toward the study of best practices in elementary schools. In Ethnographic and Qualitative Research in Education (Vol. 2). Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press.
Last updated or reviewed 3/19/15