Experts from the American Institutes for Research to Present on Data, Teacher and International Issues at Annual APPAM Conference

Washington, D.C. – More than 20 policy experts from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) will present at the annual conference of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) November 12-14 in Miami at the Hyatt Regency Miami Hotel.

Prior to the start of the conference, AIR will be co-sponsoring a “Big Data and Public Policy Workshop" on November 11. The workshop focuses on the wide availability of data and its implications for the world of research and policy. AIR Institute Fellow Julia Lane will be leading sessions on new data, text mining and health-related issues during the all-day pre-conference event.

The conference’s theme, “The Golden Age of Evidence-Based Policy,” is grounded in federal efforts to capitalize on programs that have strong evidence of success based on randomized controlled trials. According to APPAM’s website, “If evidence-based policy is to become more than a flash in the pan, both the program evaluation and program development communities will have to intensify their work to create and test intervention programs that more effectively address the world’s social problems.”

AIR presentations include:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Big Data and Public Policy Workshop

New Data

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Monroe Ballroom
AIR Chair: Julia Lane

Health and Other Issues

1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. | Tuttle Central
AIR Chair: Julia Lane

Text Mining

2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Tuttle Central
AIR Chair: Julia Lane

Plenary Session

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Monroe Ballroom
AIR Chair: Julia Lane

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Improving the Performance of Quasi-Experimental Designs: Bias and Precision in Evidence-Based Policy Studies

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | Orchid B
AIR Panel Chair: Rachel Garrett

Preventing High School Dropout: Findings in Four Experimental Studies

8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. | Tuttle Center
AIR Panel Organizer: Ann-Maria Faria
AIR Panel Chair: Ann-Maria Faria

Check and Connect: Impacts of a High School Dropout Prevention Program on at-Risk Youth
AIR Presenter: Kristina Zeiser

The Struggle to Pass Algebra in Urban High Schools: Does Early Credit Recovery Help Students Get Back on Track?
AIR Presenter: Jessica Heppen

Dropout Prevention: Documenting the Impact of the Early Warning Intervention Monitoring System on Schools and Students
AIR Presenter: Ann-Maria Faria

Giving Cash to the Poor? Impacts of Africa’s Unconditional Cash Transfers

1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. | Brickell Center

AIR Panel Organizer: Juan Bonilla
AIR Panel Presenters: Hannah Reeves and Juan Bonilla

Impact of the Zambian Child Grant Program on Women's Decision-Making and Empowerment
AIR Presenter: Hannah Reeves

Consumption Smoothing and Productive Investments in Rural Zambia
AIR Presenter: Juan Bonilla

Building a Better Teacher: Teacher Preparation, Student Teaching, and Teacher Coaching

1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. | Flamingo

Does the Match Matter? Exploring Whether Student Teaching Experiences Affect Teacher Career Paths and Effectiveness
AIR Presenter: Dan Goldhaber

Productivity Spillover and Knowledge Diffusion Among Employees: Evidence from School Teachers

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Flamingo
AIR Discussant: Dan Goldhaber

Examining Spillover Effects from Teach for America Corps Members in Miami-Dade County Public Schools
AIR Presenters: Ben Backes, Victoria Brady and Zeyu Xu

Patterns of Early Childhood Education Quality: Associations with Policy and Learning

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Brickell South

The Relationship Between QRIS Ratings and Observed Program Quality in California
AIR Presenter: Laura Hawkinson

Friday, November 13, 2015

Improving Educational Outcomes of Early Care and Education

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | Brickell South
AIR Panel Chair: Laura Hawkinson

Experiments in Schools: Methodological Considerations for Conducting Random Assignment in Educational Settings

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | Riverfront South/Central
AIR Presenter: Ann-Maria Faria

Labor Markets and Effective Teachers

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 a.m. | Brickell South

Pension Structure and Employee Turnover: Evidence from a Large Public Pension System
AIR Presenter: Kristian Holden

Charter School Teachers: Effectiveness, Entry and Exit
AIR Presenter: Umut Ozek

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Health & Education Intersections: Health Barriers to Academic Achievement and Potential Policy Solutions

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | Tuttle North

Back to School: Increases in Maternal Education and Infant Health
AIR Presenter: Christina LiCalsi

College Financing and Completion

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | Center
AIR Panel Chair: David P. Manzeske

Measuring Teacher Performance

10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. | Japengo

Is the System Solid? Assessing the Validity, Reliability, and Bias of Teacher Evaluation Measures
AIR Presenter: Rachel Upton

The Common Core Conundrum: To What Extent Should We Worry That Test and Curriculum Changes Will Affect Test-Based Measures of Teacher Performance?
AIR Presenters: Ben Backes, James Cowan, Dan Goldhaber, Zeyu Xu

Power Analysis in Designing Cluster Randomized Trials to Detect the Main, Moderation, and Mediation Effects

1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. | Pearson

Statistical Power for Short, Comparative Interrupted Time Series Designs with Aggregated Data
AIR Presenter: Andrew Swanlund

Performance Pays in Teaching

1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. | Flamingo

A Random Assignment Experiment to Examine the Impact of Performance Pay on Teacher Retention in High-Poverty Schools
AIR Presenter: David Manzeske

Does Performance Pay Make Teachers Stay? An Evaluation of Newark Public Schools' Teacher Contract
AIR Presenter: Candace Hamilton Hester

Understanding Personnel Decisions in Public Schools

1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. | Jasmine

Screen Twice, Cut Once: Assessing the Predictive Validity of Teacher Selection Tools
AIR Presenter: Dan Goldhaber

More information about the conference may be found at

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


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