The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Wraparound Zones (WAZ) Initiative is designed to create coordinated district systems that allow schools to proactively and systematically address students’ nonacademic needs. AIR's evaluation of the initiative found that students in WAZ schools experienced greater gains in English language arts and math achievement than students in similar schools that did not receive the grant. These effects were significant after two and three years of implementation, with particularly strong gains in the grades 3 and 4 for limited English proficient students.
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10 Aug 2015
Deeper learning combines a deeper understanding of core academic content, the ability to apply that understanding to new situations, and a range of competencies related to human interaction and self-management. A recent study by AIR found that students in high schools that were part of networks associated with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Deeper Learning Community of Practice performed better than similar students in comparison schools on a range of measures.
4 Aug 2015
The persistence of gaps in education, income, health, and other socioeconomic indicators suggests the urgent need to reduce inequality early in life. In this white paper, Eboni Howard reviews the science of early childhood and summarizes the disparities and the opportunity gaps stemming from inequalities, describing programs, services, and policies that might affect the extent of inequality and provide supportive early life experiences.
30 Jul 2015
Social and emotional learning is the process through which children learn the skills to handle themselves, their relationships, and their work effectively and ethically. This report presents findings about the outcomes of a complex eight-district demonstration project designed to learn about as well and show how and to what end school districts can make social and emotional learning an essential part of every student’s education.
29 Jul 2015
2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Title I of that act made educational equity a federal priority by providing financial assistance to local education agencies serving children of low-income families. This paper traces the history of the landmark federal program and provides background as Congress considers changes to Title I.
27 Jul 2015
During the past 20 years, the afterschool field has been held accountable in varying ways—first, on the ability to provide safe places for young people to spend time while their parents work; then, on success in helping to improve participants’ academic achievement as a supplement to the school day. This brief provides an overview of work done to date both in afterschool and school-based settings to define social and emotional learning, shares recent research on how afterschool programs contribute to the development of these competencies, and offers some next step recommendations to both practitioners and researchers.
9 Jul 2015
States each develop their own standards to measure student assessment, so how do we compare the ability levels of students across the U.S.? This report, prepared by AIR for the Department of Education, maps state proficiency standards onto National Assessment of Education Progress scales to examine the variation among standards. It finds that the variation continues to be wide.
25 Jun 2015
Dropping out of high school is related to a number of negative outcomes, including lower median income and greater reliance on welfare. This report from the National Center for Education Statistics describes dropout trends in the United States over 40 years, beginning in 1972. Results show dropout rates are trending downward, but are still higher for Black and Hispanic students than for White and Asian/Pacific Islander students.
8 Jun 2015
Research has shown a gap in college enrollment and degree attainment between students in rural and nonrural high schools. In Indiana, where 31 percent of high school students attend rural schools, increasing postsecondary educational attainment requires under standing and addressing the needs and challenges of rural students. This descriptive study supports the state’s efforts to improve college readiness by offering a better understanding of the processes that advance the educational success of rural students and by providing a foundation for future research on these processes and potential interventions.
31 May 2015
This report presents data on students in the United States attending kindergarten through grade 12. The main focus of the report is on parent and family involvement in the students’ education during the 2011–12 school year as reported by the students’ parents.