Projects

AIR developed and facilitated a training series for Rhode Island high schools that provided staff with data to inform conversations about how best to prepare their students for college and careers. Researchers worked with school leadership teams to examine student profile data and use the information to determine priority areas for focused improvement, inform strategic planning, and access resources to improve postsecondary outcomes.

AIR created an online tool that allows users in Utah to view the return on investment associated with completing a degree from a particular state institution, in a particular major, at a particular level. Researchers incorporated data from multiple sources, including statewide completion data, data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Gallup, and more, to build the tool. The goal of the tool was to present the state’s educational outcome data in a way that makes it easy for users to compare and make decisions about their educational path.

Researchers at the Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest, operated by AIR, in collaboration with the Texas Hispanic STEM Research Alliance, conducted a study to identify associations between predictive indicators and postsecondary science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) success among Hispanic students in Texas. The goals of the study were to identify factors that predict positive STEM-related postsecondary outcomes for students in Texas and to determine whether the association between predictive factors and outcomes differs between Hispanic and non-Hispanic White students.

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 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.

This in-person event, cohosted by the Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, and the Michigan Department of Education, built on strategies that align the expectations of new K–12 teachers with the competencies they need in practice. The event covered existing research on new teacher competencies, offered information about high-leverage practices, and provided case studies from educator preparation institutions and K–12 schools and districts in Michigan working together to prepare novice teachers for success. This work aligned the expectations and training for prospective teachers with the competencies they need as teachers.

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 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 is serving as an evaluation partner for the Data for the American Dream (D4AD) initiative. D4AD supports innovative efforts to expand access to education and career data, with the specific goal of helping students and jobseekers make better career decisions in a changing economy through data-driven information, and especially to help low-income and unemployed Americans access better jobs and education opportunities. AIR’s role is to help grantees, sponsors, and the field learn from these efforts.

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.