Year in Review: Most-Read Publications 2014

Here are the reports, briefs, and infographics from the past year that our website visitors found most insightful and informative.

1-Deeper Learning

students examining a model of an atom

AIR's most-read work in 2014 was several studies around deeper learning, the need for students to develop deeper content knowledge and an ability to apply their knowledge and skills in real life.

Evidence of Deeper Learning Outcomes

Study of Deeper Learning: Opportunities and Outcomes

The Shape of Deeper Learning: Strategies, Structures, and Cultures in Deeper Learning Network High Schools


2-Early Education and High Quality Preschools

two preschoolers looking at a book

In light of the Administration's focus on early childhood education, readers were interested in what experts at AIR had to say about what questions everyone—from parents to policymakers—should ask when determining what makes a high-quality preschool.

What to Look for in a High Quality Preschool


3-Big Differences in State, National, and International Educational Benchmarks

graph comparing state standards to international

This thought-provoking study used international benchmarking as a common metric to examine the variance in state performance standards, exposing a large gap in expectations between the states with the highest standards and the states with the lowest standards.

International Benchmarking: State and National Education Performance Standards


4-Examining Characteristics of STEM Ph.D. Holders

female scientist in a lab

Reflecting the nation's growing number of initiatives to build and expand the STEM workforce by recruiting and retaining people who have been traditionally underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), three studies examining the gender and careers of STEM Ph.D. holders made our most-read list. 

Exploring Gender Imbalance Among STEM Doctoral Degree Recipients

The Nonacademic Careers of STEM Ph.D. Holders

Leaving STEM: STEM Ph.D. Holders in Non-STEM Careers


5-Trends in College Spending

 young women studying in a college dorm

The updated analysis finds that subsidies for public higher education institutions have hit a 10-year low, while students for the first time pay on average half or more of their education’s cost. Additionally, community colleges are posting the lowest level of spending per student in a decade.

Trends in College Spending: 2001–2011


6-Enhancing Positive Life Outcomes for LGBT Children, Youth, and Families

thoughtful teen girl

Also among our most-read content this year, a new guide provided resources for educators and human services organizations on improving services and enhancing the health, mental health, and positive life outcomes for these children and youth.

A Guide for Understanding, Supporting, and Affirming LGBT Children, Youth, and Families


7-Teachers and Evaluation Reform

three teachers discussing a report

This quick list of facts about school reform, teacher satisfaction, and teacher evaluations was a hit with readers.

AIR Index: Teachers and Evaluation Reform


8-Early College High School Initiative Impact Study

Teacher helping a teen student with his assignment

Early College students—students who enrolled in college courses during high school—had a greater opportunity than their peers to enroll in and graduate from college.

Early College, Continued Success: Early College High School Initiative Impact Study


9-Understanding the College Drop-Out Population

young man sitting on steps

40% of full time bachelor's degree students don't complete their degrees within six years. This paper took a look at what actions students can take to improve their chances of success—such as starting out at a two-year rather than a four-year college—and how policies encouraging college enrollment are likely to be unproductive.

America’s College Drop-Out Epidemic: Understanding the College Drop-Out Population