At a Glance: AIR in 2018
As the new year begins, we reflect on the efforts of our Professional Services Division to further AIR’s mission of conducting and applying the best behavioral and social science research, evaluation, and technical assistance towards improving people's lives, with a special emphasis on the disadvantaged. Here are just a few highlights of this work across 2018, along with links to related resources for researchers and practitioners.
Improving Education Outcomes
- We continued our school improvement work through the Comprehensive Centers, Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs), and the Illinois Center for School Improvement (CSI):
on work-based learning and employability skills; the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL) expanded its national work on teacher recruitment, induction, and mentoring. AIR’s four regional centers (Great Lakes, Midwest, Southeast, and Texas) began analyzing and addressing equitable access to effective teachers and leaders, resources and opportunities, fair discipline policies, and equitable outcomes for all learners.
The College and Career Readiness and Success Center focused
kindergarten teachers on how to administer a new entry assessment; a literature review and companion video on strategies to improve black student success; and a coaching session with the Ohio Department of Education staff on identifying evidence-based practices.
REL Midwest continued to work in partnership with practitioners and policymakers across the region on meaningful coaching, research, and communications projects. Highlights include: a series of trainings for 350
EL students in New Mexico; using College and Career Ready indicators in Arkansas; using Title IV funds to address the whole child as well as early childhood education needs in Oklahoma; and working on a statewide teacher residency program in Louisiana and school improvement efforts in Texas.
REL Southwest successfully launched six new collaborative research partnerships with state education agencies that included: addressing the needs of
- Illinois CSI, operated by AIR, improved the standing of 54% of the state’s lowest-performing schools; 38% moved from “lowest performing” to “commendable” status.
- In 2018, we began overseeing the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) website, databases, and communication efforts. We also have convened a group of methodological experts to regularly discuss advancements in WWC standards and approaches.
We assisted the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) by preparing for and supporting administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to 140,000 students in grades four, eight, and 12.
- in Ethiopia. In partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), we assessed early grade reading and English language learning at 198 schools
Enhancing the Health and Well-Being of Children and Families
TN Together: Community Solutions to End the Opioid Epidemic in Tennessee, a series of summits with community stakeholders to share ideas, review local data, and identify strategies on the opioid epidemic. We also facilitated workshops, launched a new Center for Addiction Research and Effective Solutions (AIR CARES), and conducted a briefing on Capitol Hill.
We partnered with the Tennessee Department of Health on
Trauma-Sensitive Schools Toolkit, a training resource to help administrators and school staff understand trauma and its impact, as well as build and lead trauma-sensitive schools. We worked with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) to transform school climate and culture in the face of school violence.
Our social and emotional learning team developed the
Results of a study on the relationship between adolescent cognitive ability and dementia later in life findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
We continued to make use of data from Project Talent.
Equipping the Workforce of Today and the Future
- U.S. Department of Labor Behavioral Interventions project, AIR worked with the federal Office of Unemployment Insurance to develop and rigorously test strategies to improve work search among unemployed workers and reduce overpayments. Under the
interactive online training for customer service personnel at the Los Angeles World Airports, focusing on helping them better understand disability law, the needs of travelers with disabilities, and respectful etiquette while serving such customers. A second training geared toward wheelchair service providers is forthcoming.
We also launched an
- “50 Out Front” best places to work for women and diverse managers by Diversity MBA. We were honored to be named one of