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.
The Kellogg Foundation provides AISD with grant funding to improve parent engagement and community involvement by building and enhancing family and school leadership capacity to support student success. Five schools implement the program, and the district plans to expand to additional schools over the 3-year grant period.
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.
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.
AISD’s Educator Excellence Innovation Program (EEIP), in the Educator Quality and Retention evaluation area, is a Texas Education Agency (TEA) funded program designed “to improve educator effectiveness in Texas public schools through the funding of innovative practices that target the entire timeline of a teacher's career” (TEA, 2016). Six elementary schools are participating in EEIP in Austin Independent School District (AISD). EEIP in AISD includes: full-release mentors (FRMs) for teachers in their first 2 years of teaching, campus-based mentors (CBMs) for teachers in their 3rd year of teaching, peer observers (POs) to support growth of teachers with 4 or more years of teaching experience, the Professional Pathways for Teachers (PPfT) teacher appraisal system, student learning objectives (SLO) facilitators, and professional learning communities (PLCs) and PLC leads.
AISD received a grant from the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) to provide high-quality, research-based educator professional development to address and overcome gender- and culturally-based implicit biases that may occur in the classroom and that manifest through "micromessages.” Micromessages may be gestures, tone of voice, or other types of feedback that subtly impact school culture, classroom engagement, and students themselves.
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. 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.
The Texas Literacy Initiative (TLI) grant provides funds to improve school readiness and success in the areas of language and literacy for disadvantaged students in AISD, from birth through 12th grade. AISD uses Literacy Lines (vertical collaboratives among feeder-pattern campuses and their associated early childhood education providers) to deliver instructional and programming alignment for language, pre-literacy, and literacy development to ease the transition for children across their entire learning careers. Grant activities focus on Literacy Lines for Lanier and Travis High Schools.
The Title I A and D grant programs, funded through the federal No Child Left Behind Act, support several evaluation areas, including Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Family and Community, Secondary Education, and Educator Quality and Retention. AISD receives Title I A funds annually to support efforts to improve student achievement, staff quality, and parent involvement at AISD schools with a high percentage of low-income students. Title I D funds received by AISD support programs for students at facilities for delinquent youth. Some Title I A grant funds support services provided at participating private schools and facilities for neglected youth within AISD’s attendance zone.
Title II A programs, funded through the federal No Child Left Behind Act, support the Educator Quality and Retention evaluation area. AISD receives these funds annually to increase the academic achievement of all students by helping schools and districts improve teacher and principal quality and ensure that all teachers are highly qualified. Title II A evaluation efforts include examining district efforts in the areas of novice teacher mentoring, staff professional development opportunities, employee working conditions, and teacher and principal recruitment and retention.
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)
First Things First (FTF)
Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)
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 IV Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities