INNOVATIVE THINKING
RIGOROUS APPROACHES
REAL WORLD IMPACT

 

Project

Studies for the Midwestern Regional Educational Laboratory

Official Title
REL MidWest Beating the Odds Research Alliance
Location(s)
Michigan, United States
Dates
11/2013 – 10/2016
Market
Education Practice Areas
Services
Applied Research Studies
Survey Design, Sampling & Instrument Development
Client
U.S. Department of Education
Sub To
American Institutes for Research
Methodologies
Analysis and Validation
Quantitative Data Analysis
Survey Design and Sampling
Survey Validation
Support for “Beating the Odds” Research Alliance for Regional Education Laboratory (REL) Midwest

IMPAQ conducted two studies for the Beating the Odds/School Turnaround Research Alliance of the Midwestern Regional Educational Laboratory. These included:

  1. Performing an applied research study to examine and compare methods of identifying schools that outperform expectations based on demographics;
  2. Developing and validating a survey that can be administered to teachers to measure school practices associated with high performance. We also produced a paper for districts and schools on administration and use of this survey. 

The main goal was to support the Michigan Department of Education and other states with similar turnaround goals, to help them identify and publicize these schools, learn about successful practices, and inform future policy. 

We compared several models for selecting schools that “beat the odds.” This included comparing results when samples, outcome measures, and demographic control variables varied. We also developed a survey of practices associated with high performance, using methods that included literature review, cognitive interviewing, and survey validation using both classical test theory and item response theory.

This project drew on our experience with educational research and policy; our past work with Regional Educational Laboratories; and our expertise in quantitative methods, survey design and validation, and research-to-practice. The senior education researchers working on this project brought many years of experience in education policy, statistical methods, survey research, and psychometrics.​

Reports