Projects

The Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, is conducting a formative evaluation of the Minnesota Learning Center Networked Improvement Community (NIC). The goal is to assess the functioning of the NIC and share a methodology for evaluating the implementation of NICs. Interest is growing in using NICs to address complex problems of educational practice, and this evaluation will contribute to the limited body of research on the extent to which NICs are operating as planned and intended.

AIR conducted a literature review and interviews with college and career readiness experts to support the development of a profile of a Boston high school graduate. The goals of this research were to identify a set of college and career readiness indicators for this population and support stakeholders and a consultant in developing a profile of Boston Public Schools’ graduates.

The College and Career Readiness and Success Center and the Midwest Comprehensive Center (both operated by AIR) completed a literature review that examined the relationship between potential postsecondary readiness measures for Iowa to consider for accountability and the student outcomes identified in the state’s definition of postsecondary readiness. They also conducted a scan of the postsecondary readiness measures included in other states’ Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans. The goal of the project was to use the literature review and the state scan to coach the Iowa Department of Education in developing a postsecondary readiness indicator for its ESSA plan.

Researchers at the Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest, operated by AIR, worked with the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) to review college and career readiness indicators in the state. The goals of this effort were to support ADE in several areas, including developing and refining college and career readiness indicators, improving and using data systems and data visualization techniques, gaining a better understanding of the progress of their students as they prepare for college and careers, and identifying where unequal postsecondary education and employment opportunities exist for students.

AIR’s College and Career Readiness and Success Center (CCRS Center) collaborated with CareerWise, the Colorado Department of Education, and the Colorado Workforce Development Council to support the expansion of work-based learning (WBL) opportunities in Colorado. The CCRS Center developed the capacity of a Colorado team to maintain and revise WBL geographic information system map applications. The goal of the project was to improve place-based and data-driven decision making.

AIR is examining the impact of attending a deeper learning network school on students’ civic engagement, college completion, and workforce outcomes and the differences in their college experiences versus those who attend comparison schools. The aim of this study is to measure the longer term impacts of attending a deeper learning network high school not yet captured in previous research.

The Midwest Comprehensive Center (MWCC) collaborated with the Minnesota Department of Education to develop a career and college readiness toolkit. The purpose of the toolkit was to support districts and schools in Minnesota in their development of the state-required career and college readiness indicator as part of their World’s Best Workforce plans. The MWCC supported the dissemination, implementation, and continuous improvement of the toolkit, with an emphasis on equitable and inclusive practices.

AIR conducted a randomized controlled trial to determine the effects of Early College High Schools, which allow students to take a mixture of high school and college-level courses. The study examined the impacts of Early College High Schools on college enrollment and degree completion up to 6 years after expected high school graduation, in addition to a cost-benefit analysis of Early College High Schools. The goals of the study were to estimate the longer-term impacts of Early College High Schools on student postsecondary outcomes and compare the financial costs and benefits of these schools.

AIR supported the annual reports and information staff in preparing three major annual reports, as well as a variety of other analytic, indicator, and tabular reports and studies on education statistics. The aim of this work was to support NCES’ annual reports and information staff in compiling, maintaining, and analyzing survey data; writing reports; and disseminating the information gathered and maintained by NCES, the U.S. Census Bureau, and other federal and nonfederal education data sources.

AIR developed a series of online modules that support state and local education agency leaders in the creation of Grow Your Own Programs, which aim to establish an educator talent pipeline. The modules provide examples and considerations for developing a Grow Your Own Program to address educator shortages and retention issues, promote a more diverse workforce, and support college and career readiness development among high school students.