School Design Research Studies

School Design Research Studies

Mathematica School Design Study

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Mathematica Policy Research Releases Evaluation of EL Education Middle Schools

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UMDI Study: School Design Impact in Rochester, NY

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An independent analysis performed by the UMASS Donahue Institute (UMDI) in 2011 found that EL Education schools “are making significant, substantial and sustained progress toward closing city-wide achievement gaps” for populations of underserved students.

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UMDI Study: School Design Model Closes Achievement Gaps

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An independent analysis performed by the UMASS Donahue Institute (UMDI) in 2011 found that EL Education schools “are making significant, substantial and sustained progress toward closing city-wide achievement gaps” for populations of underserved students.

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Curriculum Connections Cohort

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22 Colorado schools partnered with EL Education to implement, expand and innovate on EL Education’s K-5 Language Arts Curriculum. With support from the Bloomberg Foundation, schools engaged in four regional cohorts to implement the ELA curriculum, and translate curriculum modules into authentic, locally relevant expeditions through an improvement science approach.

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Building Equitable Learning Environments Project - Equity through Crew

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Six EL Education network schools engaged in a 3-year action research project examining how crew can be an engine for equity. This project, funded by the Raikes Foundation, employed a mixed methods continuous improvement approach to identifying how and under what conditions crew best supports all students’ sense of belonging in school, identity formation, and habits of character.

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After three years, El Education students are:

10 months ahead in math

7 months ahead in reading

Summary: 

The UMASS Donahue Institute performed a quasi-experimental study 2007-2008 to 2008-2009 comparing two EL Education schools in Rochester, NY to 12 local district schools. Study findings included improved student academic performance with “substantial and statistically significant advantages” for students attending the EL Education schools.

The Study:

Mathematica Policy Research conducted the first rigorous study of the impact of the EL Education School Design model in 2013. The study team examined student performance on state reading and math assessments up to three years after students enrolled in five EL Education middle schools in New York and Washington D.C. These students were matched to a control group made up of students with similar demographic characteristics and baseline achievement. Mathematica also used a variety of methods to mitigate potential threats to the study’s validity, such as student attrition and grade repetition. This rigorous approach helped to ensure that the estimated impacts on student performance were caused by the EL model and not variations in student characteristics or student achievement trends from prior years.

EL students and students at EL feeder schools have similar baseline test scores in reading and math.

Students qualify for free and reduced-price meals

Students received special education services before enrolling

EL Students

Feeder School Students

Each of the participating schools were founded within EL Education’s School Design network. Schools in the network receive sustained and intensive support prior to serving students as well as after opening. Support includes interdisciplinary curriculum development, professional training through institutes, and coaching services for teachers and school leaders.

Results:

At the end of the study, the analysis clearly showed students at EL Education schools experienced significant and meaningful gains in achievement, including in comparison to a control group. In reading, EL Education students experience positive impacts that are roughly equal in magnitude to an extra five months of learning growth after two years and an extra seven months of learning after three years. In math, EL Education students experience positive impacts roughly equal to an extra three months of learning growth after two years and 10 months of extra learning growth after three years.