Evaluations & External Reviews

2013
Deci, E.L., Early, D.M., Aber, J.L, Ryan, R.M., Berg, J.K., Alicea, S. & Si, Y. , Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education

IRRE partnered with the Institute of Educational Sciences and a consortium of research partners to study the impact of their Curriculum and Instructional Benchmarking strategy on the continuous improvement of classroom instruction and student outcomes. Implementation and transfer of new learning into practice are two of the greatest challenges in education which this study took head on.  

2009
Lane, B., Center on Innovation & Improvement

This report, from the Center on Innovation and Improvement, describes a “framework for district capacity building and improvement.”  Using case studies of two districts, including IRRE's partner district in Kansas City, Kansas,  the report asks how districts can “engage in rapid and sustainable improvement efforts.”  Drawing upon additional research, the authors identify a core set of “rapid...

2009
Hooker, S. and Brand, B., American Youth Policy Forum

This report from the American Youth Policy Forum (aypf.org) provides educators and policymakers descriptions of programs that have produced significant evidence of effectiveness in helping youth become ready for college and careers. Twenty-three evaluations are briefly summarized to give policymakers and practitioners a basic understanding of the research findings on these effective programs;...

2008
Supovitz, J. A. & Weinbaum, E.H. (Eds.)., Teachers College Press

This book is the product of a series of case studies conducted by a group of leading researchers from the Consortium for Policy Research in Education.  The guiding theme examined in the book is the interaction of high schools with school reform models designed and supported by outside technical assistance providers.  First Things First was among those "external reform models" included in this...

2008
Quint, J., Thompson, S.L., Bald, M., Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC)

In the summer of 2007, education leaders from 22 school districts across the U.S. schools participated in a conference, Putting Knowledge to Work: A Summit of Midsize School Districts, discussed the role of research and evaluation in their school reform efforts. These leaders identified three common challenges from their work: “1) creating an environment in which students feel that teachers...

2007
Fruchter, N., Teachers College, Columbia University

First Things First (FTF) is one of three initiatives demonstrating that district-wide school reform is both possible and needed, according to a new book by Norman Fruchter, a nationally recognized expert in educational policy and Director of the Community Involvement Program at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform.  Fruchter uses FTF in Kansas City Kansas Public Schools, in addition to...

2006
Quint, J., Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC)

In this report, Dr. Janet Quint, Senior Associate in MDRC's K-12 Education Policy Area, distills major lessons learned from recent research about what works for raising student achievement and increasing the number of students graduating from high school. Her insights build on the findings from rigorous evaluations of three high school reform models, including First Things First. Dr. Quint...

2006
Herlihy, C.M. & Quint, J., National High School Center

In this issue brief, Dr. Janet Quint, Senior Associate in MDRC's K-12 Education Policy Area, extracts lessons learned from recent research about five central challenges to high school reform:

1) “how to address the challenges of assisting students who enter high school with poor academic skills,

2) improving instructional content and practice,

3) creating a personalized...

2006
Levin, H., Belfield, C., Muennig, P. & Rouse, C., Teachers College, Columbia University

This cost-benefit study, conducted by Henry Levin of Teachers College, Columbia University, and three colleagues examined the cost effectiveness of diverse approaches (pre-K through high school) to improving graduation rates.  As the only high school approach meeting the authors’ evidentiary standards for inclusion in the study, First Things First (FTF) was found to be the most cost-effective...

2006
American Institute for Research, Comprehensive School Reform Quality Center: American Institutes for Research

The federally sponsored Comprehensive School Reform Quality Center (CSRQ) completed a review of evaluation findings for forty elementary, middle, and high school comprehensive school reform (CSR) models. The Center employed high standards for reviewing the research designs of CSR model evaluations, and based its findings only on those evaluations meetings its qualifications for rigor and...

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