There is dedicated funding for staff in the Department of Research and Evaluation to conduct the following program evaluations.
AISD Afterschool Programs, in the Education Support Services evaluation area, provide academic support and homework assistance to help students meet state and local standards in core academic subjects (i.e., reading, math, science, and social studies). In addition, the programs support a broad array of enrichment activities (e.g., fine arts, technology, health and fitness, character education, and youth development and leadership). The programs are intended to complement the regular academic program and to offer literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.
Evaluations of the Afterschool Programs investigate outcomes such as school-day attendance, discipline referrals, Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills scores, and grade point average for students who participate in an afterschool program.
Austin Partners in Education (APIE) is a nonprofit organization that helps the Austin community and classrooms work together to ensure academic excellence and personal success for students in AISD. APIE places adult volunteers in classrooms to participate in activities ranging from coaching reading groups in 2nd-grade classrooms to helping 12th-grade students prepare for college entrance exams. DRE has evaluated program outcomes for both students and volunteers.
AISD offers the following programs to English learners (ELs; students whose home language is not English and who are not yet proficient in English, as determined by state-approved assessments): late-transitional bilingual education (LTBE), dual language (one-way and two-way), and English as a second language (ESL). The school district provides ongoing assessment and evaluation of ELs’ academic progress in acquiring English language proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and in meeting state academic standards.
AISD developed guiding principles to help nurture an organizational culture that values each employee and provides exceptional customer service to our students and families. These principles follow the CARES acronym: Customer-Focused, Action-Oriented, Responsive, Empathetic, and Service-Driven. They were developed to ensure a culture of positive relationships and exceptional customer service throughout AISD, and are the pillars of the CARES program.
The Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, in the Secondary Education and College, Career, and Life evaluation areas, provides opportunities for middle and high school students to acquire 21st century academic and technical skills needed for entry into the global workforce and/or postsecondary education. Evaluations of CTE have focused on comparing the outcomes (e.g., standardized test scores, college readiness, and postsecondary education and employment) of students who took a sequence of CTE courses with the outcomes of students who did not.
Child Creative Learning Initiative seeks to bring access, balance, and equity to each child's arts education, using an affordable model that combines the resources of the school district, local arts groups, and the Kennedy Center. With the assistance of expert consultation services provided by Kennedy Center staff and other professionals, community leaders developed a long-range plan for arts education in Austin that is tailor-made for the school district and community.
The Diversified Education through Leadership, Technology, and Academics (DELTA) is a dropout prevention and course credit recovery program that provides an individualized, self-paced online instruction that will help students earn academic credits and graduate from high school. The program also offers students the option of accelerating course completion and earning multiple credits in a short amount of time.
Early College High Schools (ECHS) are innovative high schools that provide students with an opportunity to earn a high school diploma and 60 college credit hours which lead to an associate degree. These high schools provide dual credit at no cost to students, offer rigorous instruction and accelerated courses, and provide academic and social support services for students.
Education Innovation Research (EIR) grant is a 5-year federal grant with the goal of guiding and supporting efforts at 10 AISD schools in the adoption of culturally responsive restorative practices, a framework intended to improve school climate and reduce exclusionary student discipline.
Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, GEAR UP, is a federally funded grant program encouraging economically disadvantaged students and their families to have high educational expectations, graduate high school academically ready to enroll in college, and understand how to pay for postsecondary education.
The purpose of the Department of Leadership Development is to develop a sustainable and scalable pipeline of outstanding urban school leaders. AISD Human Capital Services is committed to creating a rigorous and scalable leadership pipeline that focuses on seeking, finding, preparing, and keeping highly qualified principals and assistant principals.
National Board Certification (NBC) is offered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) organization. The certification process is rigorous professional development available to teachers, counselors, and librarians that involves intensive self-reflection of their teaching practices against national established standards. AISD supports a cohort of staff annually through the certification process.
The Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-Tech), also referred to a Career Launch, provide a 6-year, career focused program that combines high school and college coursework with real-world experience. Students will gain work experience through job shadowing, internships, and apprenticeships in fields connected to their classroom studies.
AISD’s Professional Pathways for Teachers (PPfT), in the Educator Quality and Retention evaluation area, is a collaboration between Austin Independent School District, Education Austin, and American Federation of Teachers to design a Human Capital System that blends appraisal, compensation and professional development. This work focuses resources on building the capacity of our teachers through a comprehensive system of supports and rewards with the ultimate goal of impacting student achievement.
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the capacity to recognize and manage emotions, solve problems effectively, and establish positive relationships with others. SEL is a process for helping children and adults develop fundamental skills for life effectiveness. Direct instruction in SEL provides students with skills that enable them to succeed in college, career, and life by being responsible citizens and decision makers. SEL supports positive school culture and climate, allowing students to practice life skills throughout their school experience.
State Compensatory Education (SCE) is a supplemental program designed to eliminate disparities in (a) student performance on assessment instruments administered under chapter 39 of the Texas Education Code (1995, amended 2013), and (b) the rates of high school completion between students who are at risk of dropping out of school, as defined by Texas Education Code 29.081 (1995, amended 2013), and all other students. SCE funds must be used for programs or services that are supplemental to the regular education program and aim to increase the performance of students identified as at risk of dropping out of school, and school districts must provide accelerated instruction to each student in any subject in which the student failed to perform satisfactorily on an end-of-course assessment instrument required for graduation. Each year, the Austin Independent School District (AISD) allocates a portion of funding for SCE programs and services.
In partnership with universities, colleges, alternative certification programs and other teacher preparation programs, the Student Teaching Program offers placement for student teachers in classrooms across the district. For cooperating teachers, it provides an opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise in the area of teaching and instruction, while developing their mentoring capacity. The student teaching program is a pipeline for recruiting effective employees into the district.
The Teacher Induction Program (TIP) is designed to onboard teachers new to the district by expanding the teachers’ knowledge, acquainting teachers with specific curricula and district practices, exposing them to new ideas and strategies, and providing a context for further learning over a course of two academic years. This program includes the TIP orientation week, novice teacher mentoring program, and targeted professional learning opportunities for novice teacher.
Twilight is a dropout prevention and course credit recovery program that gives high school students the opportunity to recover academic credits and/or attendance, thus allowing these students to graduate. In addition, Twilight gives middle school students the opportunity to recover grades for a 6-week grading period, a grade for the full school year, and/or attendance.
AISD has partnered with Verizon Innovative Learning to provide students at select middle schools with a Chromebook and data plan at no cost to families. These resources will help students practice the skills they’ll need to succeed in the future and allow teachers to extend learning in new and exciting ways.
DRE has publications available about the following programs served in prior years:
Accelerated Reading and Math Programs
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (AARA)
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Title I, Part A
Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID)
Educator Excellence Innovation Program
Families as Partners
First Things First (FTF)
High Dosage Tutoring
High School Advisory/Family Advocacy System
High School Math Improvement Initiative
High School Professional Learning Communities
INVEST and Positive Families Programs
Middle Level Education Plan (MLEP)
Middle School - Let's Move
Ninth-Grade Success and At-Risk Indicators Study
Optional Extended-Year Program
Parent and Family Support Programs
Positive Behavior Support (PBS)
Response to Intervention
Quality Teaching for English Learners (Q-TEL)
Smaller Learning Communities
Teachers’ Instructional Best Practices
Texas Accelerated Science Achievement Program
Texas High School Redesign and Restructuring Grant
Texas Literacy Initiative
Title I A and D Programs – Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged
Title II A Programs – Teacher and Principal Training and Recruitment
Title IV Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities