We’re focused on creating products and processes that are both actionable and replicable for our partners, while meeting a high level of statistical rigor. We work closely with our partners throughout several stages of a program or policy’s lifecycle, including its design, implementation, continuous improvement, sustainability, and scale-up.
We explore these types of challenges:
How do we effectively deliver and scale up programs to support early elementary students who are struggling to read on grade level by the critical third grade benchmark?
We know that students who fall behind in reading by third grade are more likely to struggle academically and have social and behavioral issues throughout their educational journeys. Our Future Forward early elementary literacy program is designed to intervene before this critical benchmark, by providing one-on-one tutoring integrated with family engagement for kindergarten through third grade students struggling with reading. We reach children through a multi-tiered model that draws upon students’ home and learning communities to establish a collaborative system of support. Future Forward has proven more effective than any one approach or intervention on its own, and its evidence-based approach has emerged from years of on-the-ground experience, careful program evaluation, and strategic expansion to standardize the central elements that have rendered the program so successful for so many students.
How should TA be designed and implemented to maximize its impact?
At EA, we believe that the key to maximizing the impact of Technical Assistance (TA) is to know the content, know the context, and know the stakeholders. Given the goal of TA is to assist partner organizations in strengthening their capacity to address a specific challenge (or set of challenges), the TA provider needs not just subject matter expertise, but also a proven track record of implementing research-based strategies in that domain. Effective TA must also be tailored to the specific needs of the partner organization, adjusting to fit the service area context where the organization operates and the life cycle of the specific program or policy the TA is provided for. Policy implications and implementation challenges differ at each level of the educational system, so EA prioritizes working with our partners to identify and incorporate all stakeholders at all relevant levels to personalize the TA, maximize its uptake, and build trust in the TA process and end product.
What is the most appropriate way to evaluate the efficacy of a particular type of educator preparation or professional development on student learning?
We partner with organizations that are eager to know if the time and resources invested in a particular educator preparation program or professional development opportunity are having a measurable and positive impact on student learning. But this isn’t as straightforward to untangle as one might think, since we can’t randomly assign students to be taught by a particular teacher, and we can’t randomly assign teachers to participate in educator preparation programs. At EA, we design custom evaluation projects that take into account differences among the students who are taught by educators who participated in a program with educators who did not, as well as differences among the educators themselves. By considering how data are related across multiple levels of the educational ecosystem, we aim to ensure that any estimates of program effectiveness are interpreted as causal impacts of a program only when appropriate. This requires effective communication to stakeholders about under what conditions it is appropriate to draw causal conclusions from the data we receive and from the analyses we conduct.
Supporting Use topics:
Our team has experience in delivering, scaling up, and expanding fully staffed programs to better serve students. Program delivery can range from custom dashboarding and reporting to on-the-ground services such as one-on-one tutoring and family engagement.
We provide intensive capacity-building services at the federal, state, regional, and local levels. We work with stakeholders throughout the service region to enhance both communication and instructional techniques and support the operations of our partners.
Our team provides program evaluation services to better understand the impact of education programs and policies. In addition to producing rigorous findings, we engage in thought partnership to offer flexibility and build organizational capacity for future evaluation and continuous improvement.
They are at the cutting edge methodologically, but also have great practical experience. Those are two things that don’t often go together.
Interested in Learning More About EA?
We want to empower you to be informed and discerning data consumers. We get excited about the work we do and are enthusiastic about the changes it can bring to education.