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’s Southeast Comprehensive Center supported state education agencies in strengthening their plans for implementing college- and career-ready standards and assessments. These supports addressed the lack of capacity for implementation and improvement of effective statewide assessment and accountability systems.
The Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, created a documentary that reveals best practices for educating Latino students and preparing them for college. It highlights the predominantly Latino Cesar Chavez Academy High School in Detroit and the College Assistance Migrant Program at Michigan State University. The goal of this work was to equip educators with the knowledge they need to tailor their Latino students’ education to reflect their cultural needs and prepare them for college and career readiness.
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.
AIR is providing support for the Longitudinal Studies Branch, which is responsible for the design and operation of three national early childhood cohort studies and several longitudinal studies of middle school, high school, and postsecondary students. AIR is providing support across the full range of design and reporting activities associated with the major data collection projects and statistical studies, including study development, cognitive laboratory work, field test and national data collection activities, review of data files and data documentation, report review and development, outreach, user support, and training activities.
AIR’s Midwest Comprehensive Center provided technical assistance to the Minnesota Department of Education on implementing strategies outlined in the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act plan, including contributing content expertise to improve the early warning intervention and response process that identifies students at increased risk of not completing high school in 4 years. These improvements aim to help close the state’s wide achievement gaps between students of color and their White peers.
The Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, in collaboration with Wisconsin Public Television, created a documentary that discusses promising practices for educators to help Black students on their journey to postsecondary education. The documentary sought to raise awareness about the best ways to support Black students’ higher education aspirations.
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 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 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.