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.

The National Center for the Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research at AIR, plus other partners, have collaborated with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to study career and technical education (CTE) in the state. The project aims to investigate several topics, including, the application process for CTE programs and schools, the association between participation in CTE programs and later student outcomes, the variation in student outcomes across CTE programs and student characteristics, and associations between CTE teacher qualifications and student outcomes.

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 is conducting an evaluation of the implementation of the Perkins V legislation, which defines and supports career and technical education (CTE). The evaluation includes a survey of state CTE directors, a nationally representative survey of local education agencies, an evidence review of career development and counseling, analysis of extant data, a content analysis of the states’ Perkins plans, and possibly a survey of community colleges. This research will explore the implementation of the Perkins V legislation and how implementation is changing as a result of new mandates and allowable activities.

AIR is partnering with the Arkansas Department of Education to identify which student-level K–12 indicators are best suited for predicting postsecondary success. The aims of this research are twofold to better understand the malleable conditions and characteristics that place students at risk of not attaining postsecondary readiness and to use data to support timely and targeted interventions designed to enhance students' odds of experiencing later life success.

The Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, collaborated with members of the Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance to conduct a study that described the postsecondary pathways of Minnesota public high school graduates. The goals of the study included describing the pathways that graduates take within 1 year of high school graduation; graduate degree attainment and employment outcomes 6 years later; and differences in initial pathways, degree attainment, and employment outcomes for students with different characteristics.

The Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, in collaboration with the Management Performance Hub, used student demographic, academic, and financial aid variables to examine what percentage of students achieved early college success. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between receiving Pell Grants and 21st century scholarships and early college success among the 2014 cohort of Indiana public high school graduates entering public Indiana colleges in the fall after graduation from high school.

The Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, is conducting a study to better understand career and technical education (CTE) course offerings in Indiana and Minnesota and identify gaps in access to high-quality CTE programming in these states.

AIR’s NAEP researchers are conducting statistical and psychometric research, evaluation, and data analysis in support of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The goals of the research studies conducted by AIR under this task include (a) developing the psychometric soundness and precision of NAEP assessments, (b) adapting NAEP assessments to changing situations and populations, (c) enhancing understanding of NAEP results, and (d) exploring new ways of modeling NAEP data.

AIR conducted data collection and analysis for U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of all high schools in the country. The goal was to create a ranking system to identify the top-performing high schools that were exceeding the odds based on the students they serve. Rankings were based on state proficiency standards and the degree to which schools were preparing students for college-level work.