Teacher-reported social skills . These assessments are based on teachers’ reports of how frequently (from “never” to “very often”) the student exhibits certain social skills and behaviors. The items are based on the “Social Skills Rat- ing System” (Gresham and Elliott 1990). Teachers were asked about the child’s self-control (four items); tendency to internalize problem behaviors (four items); tendency to externalize problem behaviors (five items); and inter- personal relationships (five items). In all cases, higher scores suggest that the child shows that behavior more often (Tourangeau et al. 2013, 3-21). Note that the values in the behavioral problems skills are negative. When discussing ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE | JUNE 17, 2015 PAGE 33
these assessments, we report the size of the gaps and ignore the negative signs, as they represent fewer problems, i.e., better behaviors. The results for the self-control, internalizing problem behaviors, and externalizing problem behaviors measures appear in the tables and figures covering principal noncognitive skills as reported by teachers. The interpersonal skills measure is included in the tables and figures covering “other noncognitive skills” as reported by teachers. Student-teacher relationship scales. These two scales are based on Pianta and Steinberg (1992) and derive from teach- ers’ answers on a number of items. Teachers were asked whether certain statements about their relationship with the students apply, using a 5-point scale, ranging from “definitely does not apply” to “definitely applies.” The closeness-to-teacher scale is based on seven items and measures the degree of affection, warmth, and open com- munication that the teacher experiences with the student. High scale scores on the closeness scale indicate that the teacher perceives that he or she has a close relationship with the child. This assessment appears in the tables and figures covering other noncognitive skills as reported by teachers. The conflict scale builds on eight items, including the teacher’s perception of the negative and conflictual aspects of the teacher’s relationship with the student. High scale scores on the conflict scale indicate that the teacher perceives his or her relationship with the child to be char- acterized by conflict (Tourangeau et al. 2013, 3-27). This assessment is available upon request but is not included in the tables and figures in this report. Children’s behavior . Some assessments were performed and are available upon request but are not included in the tables and figures in this report. Among those are assessments of “attention focus” and “inhibitory control” (Put- nam and Rothbart 2006). For the first measure, teachers assess whether it is true or untrue that students show six behaviors related to the ability to focus attention on cues in the environment that are relevant to the task in hand, with higher scale scores indicating a larger number of behaviors that demonstrate “attention focus.” (Tourangeau et al. 3-26). Similarly, higher scale scores on the inhibitory control scale (also based on six items) indicate that the
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