Projects

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 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.

As part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s postsecondary strategy, AIR evaluated a group of organizations, or Channel Partners, in their postsecondary institutional transformation efforts. The goals of the evaluation included understanding the services and resources that Channel Partners provide to clients, identify strengths and areas for improvement, and share lessons learned to support continuous improvement and the development of strategy.

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.

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 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 evaluated outcomes associated with the Walton Family Foundation’s sizable past investments in the University of Arkansas (UA). AIR analyzed data provided by the Foundation, as well as publicly available data, to estimate the impact of these major investments on key indicators of institutional success at UA. This evaluation has allowed the Foundation to determine how it might further support UA in driving regional economic development and bettering the lives of the state’s residents.

AIR is conducting a 50-month research and evaluation project of 29 institutions and two state systems to enhance the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s and the broader field’s understanding of the institutional transformation process. The goal of the project is to share findings and results from institutional-level and cross-case data related to what catalyzes the transformation process at an institution, the key components of effective models of transformation, how stakeholders are engaged in the transformation process, the timeline for seeing visible changes in institutional and student outcomes, and the risks to transformation.