|Title:||Exploring Academic Return on Investment as a Metric to Direct District-level Funding Towards Programs that Improve Student Outcomes|
|Principal Investigator:||Hollands, Fiona||Awardee:||Teachers College, Columbia University|
|Program:||Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships in Education Research [Program Details]|
|Award Period:||2 years (07/01/2018 - 06/30/2020)||Award Amount:||$400,000|
|Goal:||Researcher-Practitioner Partnership||Award Number:||R305H180003|
Co-Principal Investigator: Dossett, Dena; Shand, Robert; Pan, Yilin
Partner Institutions: Jefferson County Public Schools (KY)
Purpose:Cost-benefit analyses are useful to decision-makers at a federal or state level but may be less relevant to a school level decision-maker. Academic return on investment (A-ROI) is a practitioner-friendly decision-making tool for annual budget allocation. The main objectives of the partnership's work are to investigate whether and how A-ROI metrics are used to improve decision-making regarding education programs, and to develop a strategy to assess whether these approaches lead to improvements in student education outcomes.
Partnership Activities: The partners will provide training to district staff on how to rigorously document program costs and calculate effectiveness using A-ROI; examine the validity of the A-ROI estimates for 105 programs and identify possible adjustments to reduce bias; and investigate the extent to which A-ROI metrics are used in funding decisions. Finally, the partners will plan longer term research to assess the impact of cycle-based budgeting and use of A-ROI metrics on student outcomes.
Setting: Jefferson County Public Schools is located in Kentucky. The district includes 172 schools, employing nearly 16,000 staff, including 6,600 teachers.
Population/Sample: The district serves 100,600 students from diverse race/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds and from urban (59%), suburban (40%), and rural (1%) areas.
Data Analytic Strategy: Data analytic methods include cost analysis using the "ingredients method," document analysis, personnel interviews with theming and coding of transcripts, and exploratory application of value-added statistical models to student outcome data.
Outcomes: The partners will provide training for district cost center heads and principals in how to use A-ROI; develop presentations for the School Board and Superintendents' Cabinet; present papers at both researcher and practitioner-oriented conferences; create three versions of a free, written brief on the application of A-ROI to decision-making about educational programs; produce academic and practitioner-oriented journal articles; and develop an agenda for future research.