Areas of Expertise
Accountability Systems in Education
AIR has an in-depth, state-by-state understanding of educational accountability systems, built in part on two major national evaluations over the past five years. These systems include policies related to content and proficiency standards, assessments used to determine adequate yearly progress (AYP), annual measurable objective (AMO) trajectories, state accountability workbooks, and strategies used to support low-performing schools. In these efforts, AIR collected comprehensive interview data for all 50 states, compiled and analyzed the largest and most comprehensive existing database of AYP performance, analyzed nationally-representative survey data, and created a series of policy-relevant reports.
AIR Experts Author Report on Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in School Accountability Systems
A new report by experts at AIR offers descriptive information on the inclusion of students with disabilities in school accountability systems under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
The Race to the Top (RTTT) initiative, part of the larger federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, provided an unprecedented amount of federal competitive grant funding to push educational systems toward innovation through the use of coherent and comprehensive reforms. AIR is conducting a mixed-method evaluation for the state of Hawaii, examining the extent to which the state’s RTTT program has been implemented as planned and is meeting its key benchmarks, especially for RTTT resource usage and participation. AIR evaluators are analyzing which changes in policy and professional practice have been associated with implementation as well as the resulting impact on student performance. The evaluation is providing timely, actionable information, supporting continuous improvement and enabling RTTT leaders, participants, and stakeholders to judge the value and worth of the initiative and its components.
State and Local Implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act Volume VI - Targeting and Uses of Federal Education Funds (TRAC)
This report examines how well federal funds are targeted to districts and schools serving economically disadvantaged students, how Title I targeting has changed over the past seven years, how districts have spent federal funds, and the base of state and local resources to which federal funds are added.
More than 100 supplemental educational services (SES) providers offer tutoring and support to as many as 180,000 students across 1,200 school districts in Texas. AIR and its partners conducted a comprehensive evaluation to provide the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Education Service Center Region XIII with information about provider effectiveness as well as the effects of SES services on student performance in English language arts and mathematics.
The National Professional Development Program (NPDP) supports projects designed to increase the pool of teachers who are highly qualified to work with ELLs and to improve the skills of teachers who are currently serving these students. On behalf of the Program and Policy Studies Service at the U.S. Department of Education, AIR is gathering lessons learned about characteristics of pre-service and in-service teacher education programs, courses, and activities intended to improve instruction for ELLs, both by reviewing the literature and by conducting case studies of current and former NPDP grantees.
In response to the federal mandate to devise strategies that are effective in fostering and sustaining improvement among their lowest performing schools, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) devised layers of support to schools identified as high priority. AIR and its partner, the University of Michigan, conducted a three-year study to address questions related to the implementation, coherence, and impact of the supports that MDE designed for its lowest performing schools. The evaluation team conducted a mixed method, longitudinal study, collecting multiple years of data through online surveys and interviews from numerous actors within the system, including leadership coaches, process mentors, and principals.