Projects

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’s College and Career Readiness and Success Center launched the State Work-Based Learning Initiative to help support states in designing, scaling, and implementing work-based learning (WBL) efforts as a strategy to improve student college and career readiness. This initiative is based on four state-led, peer-to-peer networks that focus on specific WBL priorities, promote cross-state learning, and engage external WBL experts. The goals of the initiative are to collect and share emerging strategies, identify common challenges, and develop resources related to the implementation of WBL.

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.

AIR participated in a workgroup organized by The Century Foundation consisting of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers focused on developing a research agenda that estimates the true costs of providing a community college education and what implications this might have for funding policy reform. This work culminated in three research briefs, one of which AIR co-authored.

The College and Career Readiness and Success Center at AIR supported the Kansas Department of Education in ensuring that all students have access to high-quality work-based learning. AIR built a geographic information system mapping tool and convened a group of cross-agency partners to analyze data, with the ultimate goal of developing a work plan to implement different policies and/or strategies.

The Texas Comprehensive Center collaborated with the Texas Education Agency to implement and sustain a systemic approach for the ASEP. The aims of the project were to create a reporting system that is useful to a broad audience in the state and engage in best practices for data management, analysis, and reporting.

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 conducted a comprehensive review of the Massachusetts Turnaround Practices and Indicators Continuum rubric. As a result of this review, AIR provided recommendations to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for refining the existing rubric to focus on the specific issues and high-leverage strategies that lead to improvement in high schools.

AIR is working with five open- and broad-access institutions across Texas to conduct a randomized controlled trial that assigns students to either corequisites or traditional developmental education courses and then compares 3-year outcomes in terms of course success, persistence, and degree completion. The goal of the study is to better understand the impact and implementation of corequisite courses in Texas community colleges.

Researchers at the Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest, operated by AIR, conducted a study to examine Algebra II completion and failure rates in Texas for high school students. This period spans (a) the point at which Texas began implementing the 4x4 curriculum that required four courses each in English, math (including Algebra II), science, and social studies, and (b) when the state moved to the new Foundation High School Program—which eliminates Algebra II as a math requirement—with the 2014/15 cohort.