AIR 2019 Highlights: Advancing Equity Through Evidence
Equity is at the heart of AIR’s mission to conduct and apply the best behavioral and social science research and evaluation towards improving people's lives, with a special emphasis on the disadvantaged. In 2019, AIR’s experts contributed evidence and insights in support of equal access to a good education, quality health care services, and robust opportunities in the workforce. Learn how AIR’s mission-focused work in research, evaluation, and technical assistance is seeking to improve people’s lives across the U.S. and around the world.
Early College High School programs offer high school students academic rigor and early exposure to higher education. This federally funded study builds on the first two evaluations of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Early College High School Initiative.
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.
Technology is a part of nearly every aspect of our daily lives—including the public education system. AIR, the National Center for Learning Disabilities, and more than 10 other organizations collaborated on the development of publications that will support 21st century learning. These resources will ensure educational technology conception, design, procurement, use, and evaluation close, not widen, opportunity gaps between students with and without disabilities.
Regularly missing school increases the likelihood that children will be unable to read well by grade 3, fail classes in middle school, and drop out of high school. Standing in the way of truly addressing chronic absence are three harmful myths.
The ability to read and understand basic texts is vital in modern society. A National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Data Point shows that one in five adults in the United States have low English literacy skills, meaning that they would have difficulty understanding, evaluating, using, or engaging with written texts.
As states continue to implement Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) programs, AIR is providing a series of action guides to support and inform education leaders. Each guide provides specific steps leaders can follow—and a list of helpful resources—to guide them through implementing different elements of ESSA. The first two guides cover Selecting Evidence-Based Practices for Low-Performing Schools and Using ESSA to Improve School Funding Fairness.
A scientific, research-based survey is one of the most unbiased, methodical ways to collect and understand human behavior and opinion. With response rates on the decline, AIR researchers Michael Jackson and Cameron McPhee have conducted research exploring ways to predict survey response, including strategies to boost participation among those least likely to respond. Here, they offer four takeaways from their work.
Educational equity means that all students, regardless of circumstances or location, have equal access to opportunities to succeed in the classroom and beyond. A group of AIR staff and clients participated in a civil rights learning journey across the South to better understand how the struggle for civil rights in the 1960s affects educational opportunities today.
Women and girls in low-and middle-income countries face societal and structural barriers related to education, employment, and health status. To counter these challenges, governments, development agencies, and nongovernmental organizations have invested in different types of women’s empowerment collectives, including economic self-help group programs and women’s groups practicing participatory learning and action.
Elizabeth Salisbury-Afshar, director of AIR’s Center for Addiction Research and Effective Solutions (AIR CARES) and a practicing physician at Heartland Alliance Health in Chicago, discusses her personal experience in treating patients with addiction and how research can help tackle the opioid epidemic.
Project Talent is the largest, most comprehensive study of high school students ever conducted in the United States. Since its launch in 1960, researchers have continued to collect data on the original participants and now its data are helping AIR researchers study possible risk and protective factors of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Susan Lapham, Project Talent director and AIR vice president, answered a few questions about the project, its history, and its potential influence.
Bullying has serious implications for the health and development of children and youth. Xan Young, senior technical assistance consultant, directs the Violence Prevention Technical Assistance Center, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In this Q&A, Young shares her insights on bullying and AIR’s work on this issue.
AIR has been a leader in the evolution of patient and family engagement as a key quality improvement strategy. In this Q&A, Thomas Workman, principal researcher, shares his insights about the current state of health care safety and patient and family engagement—and where we’re headed.
Successfully navigating work and life requires key skills—and the ability to adapt to a fast-changing, digital world. A major source for valid, reliable, and actionable data to inform adult education and training is the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). Here, AIR experts highlight findings from four PIAAC studies.
The U.S. Department of Education commissioned AIR to conduct a national study to evaluate how adult education operates at the state and local levels, including who adult education providers are, the services they provide, and the challenges they face. Managing researcher Stephanie Cronen answered some questions about adult education and what the study aims to accomplish.
Behavioral insights draw on psychology, cognitive science, social science, and research to understand how people make decisions. In this video, principal researcher Samia Amin explains why the use of behavioral insights has become increasingly important in the public sector.
Career and technical education (CTE) continues to gain traction with state and national policymakers, researchers, and educators across the country—evidenced by the creation of a federally funded center investigating CTE programs: the Career and Technical Education Research Network. AIR is leading this research network partnership under the direction of principal researcher Katherine Hughes, who answered a few questions about CTE, the research network, and her background.
One in five people in the American workforce has some form of disability, and inclusive workforces can benefit from their skills and talents. AIR’s disability and rehabilitation work aims to support people with disabilities in creating career pathways, pursuing employment opportunities, and gaining economic security.