Evidence for Sound Decisions: New State and Local Evaluation Center Will Help States and Districts Improve Education Policies and Programs

Washington, D.C. – Now more than ever, states and districts are deciding the future of a policy or program based on its value for students. The evidence of this value must come from rigorous efficient evaluations whose findings and recommendations are communicated effectively and promptly.

The American Institutes for Research (AIR), which has been conducting scientifically rigorous evaluations since 1946, has established a new State and Local Evaluation Center to marshal the organization’s broad expertise and deep resources to support state education agencies and district offices as they decide whether to keep, revise, or end a policy or program. For decades, AIR has been conducting major studies for states and districts across the country—from Texas and California to New York and Ohio, from Denver and Miami to Boston and Gary, Indiana.

“The Evaluation Center is another demonstration of how AIR lives its mission to conduct and apply the best behavioral and social science research and evaluation toward improving peoples’ lives. We are committed to making a difference in the educational prospects of the country’s children and youth by helping the nation’s states and districts move from tactical questions to strategic action,” says Dr. Lawrence Friedman, its director.

The Evaluation Center brings together experts in many areas of education research to empower states and districts to find the best way to address vexing issues in district and school reform, educator quality, school financing, STEM, virtual learning, extended learning, English learners, early childhood education, and college and career readiness. The Center’s staff:

  • Help identify and clarify research objectives, so findings have meaningful results.
  • Use rigorous quantitative and qualitative methodology, measurement, and analysis
  • Effectively use extant data and efficiently collect new data.
  • Produce reports that clearly communicate findings and actionable recommendations.

For more information on the State and Local Evaluation Center, contact Lawrence Friedman at lfriedman@air.org.

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. For more information, visit www.air.org.


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