Project to Study School Intervention Programs
Researchers Seeks Most Effective Services for Students in Need
The Texas Schools Project will help evaluate programs designed to boost student achievement in five large school districts across the nation.
Researchers will try to identify the most successful ways to implement and manage these programs, known as Supplemental Education Services (SES), which are required by federal laws in many school districts.
The supplemental programs have been used throughout the U.S. since 2002 under the No Child Left Behind Act as a mandatory intervention for students of Title 1 schools that fail to meet adequate yearly progress. A large percentage of these students come from low-income homes. Previous research on such after-school services confirms that high-quality programs can improve student educational outcomes.
“SES is one key way schools can narrow the achievement gap and provide additional educational opportunities for poor and minority students,” said Dan O’Brien, director of the Texas Schools Project. “There has been little research, though, in determining which SES programs work best and how SES might improve its services for these students.”
The Texas Schools Project, a state-designated education research center at UT Dallas, is partnering with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research in the study.
The research project, which begins this fall, will last four years. It is being funded by the Institute for Educational Sciences, a division of the U.S. Department of Education. The Texas Schools Project’s portion of the grant is about $570,000.
The study of Supplemental Education Services will seek to determine:
- What types of programs help students the most.
- Whether students who are in most need of the programs actually participate.
- What factors influence parent and student choices on participation.
- How state and local educational agencies can increase the effectiveness of these programs.
Dr. Nidhi Mehrotra of the Texas Schools Project will lead the studies in the Dallas and Austin independent school districts. Other school districts to be studied are in Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
The Texas Schools Project at UT Dallas works with universities throughout the country to analyze policy-related questions that benefit students nationwide. The project was designated a State of Texas Education Research Center in 2006 and maintains an unparalleled source of data on Texas students from pre-kindergarten through college.