The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) gives states the authority and flexibility to turn around their lowest performing schools. In this blog post, Allison Gandhi asks if states can succeed where federal policy requirements have run into walls, using the success of the Massachusetts Wraparound Zone initiative as an example.
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12 Aug 2015
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.
11 Aug 2015
Issues besides academics, such as mental health and safety, often affect student attendance and learning. In this interview, AIR principal researcher Allison Gandhi discusses how schools can foster well-being by providing non-academic support services, enabling students to thrive and achieve better academic outcomes.
AIR’s state and local evaluation projects marshal a broad range of expertise and resources to support state education agencies and district offices as they decide whether to retain, revise, or end a policy or program. Our projects address challenges in district and school reform, educator quality, special education, school financing, STEM, literacy, virtual learning, extended learning, English learning, early childhood education, and college and career readiness.