Building Assets, Reducing Risks (BARR) is a comprehensive, strength-based approach that uses eight interlocking strategies to build intentional staff-to-staff, staff-to-student, and student-to-student relationships in secondary schools. Read the final report of a large-scale independent evaluation of the BARR model in ninth grade in eleven high schools in Maine, California, Minnesota, Kentucky, and Texas.
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26 Oct 2018
States and school districts have made significant investments in systems to measure teacher performance, with the ultimate goal of improving student learning. In this report, AIR experts share their findings from the two-year Beyond Accountability project, in which four school districts identified a specific problem of practice and used plan-do-study-act cycles, an iterative process, to develop, test, and revise their strategies to address that challenge.
1 Apr 2018
The schoolwide program and the targeted assistance program are two approaches related to the ideas established in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that focused on funding being provided to assist low-achieving students in high-poverty schools. This study compares services and resources provided by each approach and the ways these approaches go about allocating their resources.
19 Dec 2017
Amidst numerous issues plaguing the San José Unified School District, the San José superintendent and the San José Teachers Association president came together to find common ground and chart a new path. This report shares the lessons learned over 24 years of collaboration between the district and the union, and the path they are charting moving forward.
1 Oct 2017
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has an ongoing commitment to improve support provided to all schools, with an emphasis on the lowest performing schools. This report summarizes findings from AIR’s qualitative analyses of turnaround practices that appear challenging for low-performing high schools, as well as promising practices used by improving and higher performing high schools in the state.
5 Sep 2017
Although DCPS has made measurable progress over the past five years in terms of the goals laid out in the former Chancellor’s strategic plan, gains have not been evenly distributed among all student groups or across all of DC’s eight wards. To summarize the extent to which DCPS met its goals over the past five years and to highlight specific areas for continued improvement, AIR prepared a policy brief reflecting on DCPS’ progress.
1 Sep 2017
Meeting the needs of English learners (ELs) and students with disabilities (SWDs) is a critical yet challenging responsibility for all schools. This brief highlights four key strategies that emerged from the exploration of practices and systems in place in Massachusetts turnaround schools that successfully provide appropriate interventions to all of their ELs and SWDs.
28 Jul 2017
The Local Control Funding Formula has introduced positive and much-needed change to California’s approach to K-12 education funding, but received criticism for being archaic, cumbersome, difficult to complete, opaque, and incoherent. A new brief from the California Collaborative on District Reform and Pivot Learning, Fostering Innovation: How User-Centered Design Can Help Us Get the Local Control Funding Formula Right, describes an alternative approach to solving policy problems.
25 Jan 2017
Charter schools have become a widely used alternative to traditional public schools, and play an increasingly important role in state reform efforts. South Carolina stakeholders wanted to broaden their understanding of why some charter schools are more successful than others to inform their consideration of whether to expand this school choice option. This study identifies charter schools that are “beating the odds,” or performing better than expected in math and language arts, given the demographic characteristics of the students they serve.
18 Jan 2017
The School Improvement Grant program awarded grants to states that agreed to implement one of four school intervention models—transformation, turnaround, restart, or closure—in their lowest-performing schools. This final report builds on the earlier briefs and report by including an additional year of data and by examining whether receipt of SIG funding had an impact on student outcomes.