K-12 Schools and Higher Education

Over its 25-year history, REA has designed and conducted numerous studies to assess the implementation and impact of new approaches to teaching and learning in pK-12 schools and higher education. Our portfolio includes recent, multi-year evaluations of federally-funded efforts to improve both teaching quality and student achievement, while understanding links between implementation and impact. We offer deep expertise in program evaluation and in conducting complex and rigorous research within the pk-16 policy landscape. Our services deliver:

  • Seamless data collection strategies for participants at all levels, including students, teachers, district- and school-level administrators, parents and caregivers, pre-service teachers, and university faculty.
  • Skillful capacity to evaluate impacts of large-scale educational initiatives on student achievement as well as links between implementation and impact.
  • Efficient assembly of achievement, placement, and retention data with institutional review boards and local- and state-level officials, and awareness of industry standards and differences in institutional policies.

Please browse selected examples of our past projects with K-12 schools and higher education clients below, or learn more about our projects specifically focused on Teacher Development and Preparation, Literacy, and Math Education.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss your project with you and to provide you with more information about our tailored services. Please Contact Us to schedule a free 30-minute Q&A session with a consultant.

Selected Projects Include

  • Multilingual Learner Project

    Rockman et al is conducting the evaluation of the Multilingual Learner Project (MLP), a partnership between the City College of New York (CCNY), the New York City Department of Education, and New Visions for Public Schools. The partners received a five-year, $2.6 million National Professional Development grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition. This project is designed to create a new TESOL certification and training program for in-service, content-area teachers in NYC high schools. Teachers will complete coursework and receive onsite training and support that is focused on strategies for English learner instruction and strengthening connections between school and home. REA’s research during the first phase will focus on investigating the implementation of training program and its influence on teachers’ practice and communication with families. The second phase of the research will utilize a quasi-experimental design with matching to estimate program effects on students’ language development and progress toward graduation.

  • Convergence Academies Project

    The Center for Community Arts Partnerships at Columbia College Chicago, in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, received a development grant from the Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) of the U.S. Department of Education for their Convergence Academies project (http://convergenceacademies.org/ourorigins.html). To support 21st Century learning, CCAP developed a whole school reform model, inspired by principles and values of connected learning, that involved inquiry-based instruction and integration of digital media arts and technology throughout the school. The model was implemented in Chicago in both a high school and a feeder elementary school (K-8). As the external evaluator for the project, Rockman et al conducted studies of both implementation and impact, including an interrupted time-series design to investigate gains on state tests in math and reading.

  • Leading with Learning

    Rockman et al is the external evaluator for the U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) Development award to WestEd for the Leading with Learning (LWL) project, (formerly known as the English Learner Professional Learning (ELPL) Project). The three-year evaluation includes both a quasi-experimental impact study with matched comparison schools, and an implementation study in six California elementary schools in two districts. For the impact study, REA is using hierarchical linear modeling to compare student and teacher outcomes. Expected outcomes for students—as measured by state tests—are improved reading comprehension, speaking and listening competencies, oral and written production of English, and content understanding. Participating teachers are expected to develop greater knowledge and skills in new practices for accelerating EL students’ understanding and use of academic language. To study implementation, REA will use surveys, interviews, focus groups, observations, and logs. The LWL model aims to develop teachers’ and instructional coaches’ knowledge and skills for implementing new instructional approaches that are sensitive to the language demands necessary for ELs to excel in academically and linguistically challenging content.

  • New Visions Accessing Algebra through Inquiry (a2i)

    The Accessing Algebra Through Inquiry (a2i) project is an i3 validation grant conducted by New Visions for Public Schools, in partnership with the Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative and the New York City Department of Education. The project provides formative assessment lessons, ongoing coaching and training, and opportunities to examine student work in school-based inquiry team meetings. As the external evaluator, REA will conduct both implementation and impact studies to assess how students in a2i project classrooms perform on annual standardized achievement tests compared to matched groups of students whose teachers are not participating.

    Report: a2i narrative
  • Systems Approach to Green Energy (SAGE) Program

    With a grant award from the NSF IGERT program, the University of California, Berkeley’s (UCB) Systems Approach to Green Energy (SAGE) program aims to provide interdisciplinary education and training for UCB graduate students, in order to develop a workforce capable of achieving greener energy technologies. As the external evaluator of the program, Rockman et al is conducting a five-year, mixed-methods study to track progress towards and attainment of SAGE program goals. The study involves multiple questionnaires and focus groups with students and faculty, and focuses on three areas: (1) program infrastructure, (2) faculty collaboration and productivity, and (3) student expectations and experiences.

  • Genetic Science Learning Center (GSLC) at University of Utah

    Since 2006, REA has worked with the University of Utah’s Genetic Science Learning Center (GSLC) on evaluation projects for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), conference presentations, and peer-reviewed publications. Our collaborations have included conducting randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to evaluate the impact of high school curriculum supplements on cell biology and epigenetics, and documenting the process of curriculum and assessment development for a National Science Foundation Discovery Research K-12 project on evolution and common ancestry. REA and the GSLC co-authored a paper on randomized controlled trials and a primer on instrument development. They have co-presented on evaluation and educational research topics, such as mixed-methods designs, program implementation and assessment development, at the National Institutes of Health’s Science Education annual meetings.

  • ReadWorks

    Rockman et al has conducted several studies investigating the implementation and impact of ReadWorks‘ curriculum and teacher training materials, which are designed to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement in reading comprehension. A primary goal of the work has been to understand educator engagement with RW training resources and its influence on making instructional shifts in English language arts and literacy that are required by the Common Core State Standards. REA’s impact study investigated potential improvements in student achievement and teacher practice, beliefs, and knowledge through classroom observations, teacher interviews and surveys, and student assessment data in three elementary schools. REA has also conducted analyses of Google Analytics (GA) data, Drupal content management system (CMS) reports, and customer relationship management (CRM) data to describe digital resource distribution, concentration, use, and saturation or growth patterns.

  • Appalachian Support for Specialized Education Training (ASSET)

    Rockman et al is the external evaluator for the Appalachian Support for Specialized Education Training (ASSET) program, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) Grant and led by Radford University’s IMPACT lab. REA will evaluate the implementation and impact of the online, self-paced, competency-based education (CBE) training program designed to increase teacher effectiveness and workforce capacity in underserved rural communities in Appalachia. The CBE teacher-training program will serve as a dissemination platform for the IES What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) practice guides, while developing a replicable and scalable national model for CBE-enabled teacher effectiveness training in critical shortage areas.