Researchers at the Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest, operated by AIR, conducted a study examining the impact of providing parents with an informational brochure about the role of Algebra II in college access on students’ grade 11 Algebra II completion rates in Texas. One hundred nine schools, covering all 20 Educational Service Center regions in Texas, participated in the study.
AIR evaluated several competency-based education (CBE) programs to build evidence related to student outcomes. The evaluation was a response to the minimal availability of evidence-based student achievement and cost outcomes surrounding CBE programs. The goals of the evaluation were to build evidence about student outcomes in CBE programs and provide tools for program leaders and researchers to support evaluation and continuous improvement efforts.
AIR is evaluating IDEA (Individuals Dedicated to Excellence and Achievement) Public Schools’ implementation of two computer science interventions that aim to (a) increase access to and participation in rigorous mathematics and computer science coursework among students who are traditionally underrepresented and (b) increase the number of teachers with deep content knowledge in computer science and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) within schools predominantly consisting of students from low-income backgrounds. The goals of the evaluation are to determine if the two interventions are improving students’ performance on district, state, and Advanced Placement mathematics assessments and if they contribute to postsecondary STEM aspirations.
AIR is evaluating the implementation and impact of the New Tech Network’s (NTN) partnership with 10 high schools in Texas, which is intended to improve student advising during the transition to college. The goals of this evaluation are to help NTN address any implementation issues and determine the effectiveness of their revised advising practices.
AIR is testing whether Castleman and Page’s “Summer Melt” text messaging intervention increases college enrollment, persistence, and credential attainment among college-intending seniors at high-poverty high schools when implemented at scale in routine educational settings. This randomized controlled study aims to extend existing research on the intervention by studying its cost effectiveness, implementation, and impact on student enrollment and persistence patterns.
AIR is analyzing 20 years of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 panel using an individual fixed-effects regression strategy. The purpose of the analysis is to estimate the returns to non-credit-bearing credential and licensure pathways compared with credit-bearing credential and associate degree programs that are unrelated to persistent differences in the respondents’ characteristics (e.g., ability). Findings show that credit-bearing credentials yield an approximately equal likelihood to be employed as noncredit-bearing credentials, but significantly improved earnings of about $7,000 a year.
AIR is evaluating STEMfast, a program developed by New Mexico Highlands University to provide comprehensive support services to Hispanic students and students from low-income backgrounds who are studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEMfast addresses the underrepresentation of these students in STEM fields and works to decrease the likelihood that developmental core subject courses will deter these students from persisting and graduating from college.
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.
AIR conducted an evaluation to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of Texas OnCourse online training programs, which provide instruction about preparing for high school, college, and future careers to middle school counselors and teachers. Together, the evaluation team and Texas OnCourse staff developed and employed end-of-module assessments and participant perception surveys to measure improvements in counselors’ knowledge of module content and determine program effectiveness on teacher and counselor outcomes. The aim of this research was to improve high school counselors’ awareness of college and career planning information.
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.