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Early Progress and Outputs of a Grow Your Own Teachers Program for High School Students and Paraprofessionals in Texas

Region:
Southwest
Abstract:

Description: In 2018, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) launched a Grow Your Own grant program for Texas school districts to help increase the pipeline and diversity of teachers, particularly in small and rural districts. The program provides funds for districts to offer Education and Training courses to high school students, with the goal of encouraging diverse groups of students to pursue a teaching career. The program also provides funds to support district-employed paraprofessionals, instructional aides, and long-term substitute teachers in the pursuit of education and certification for full-time teaching roles.

At the request of TEA, REL Southwest is studying participation in the Grow Your Own program by high school students and paraprofessionals in grantee districts as well as short-term outputs of the program. The study will provide timely evidence of progress toward achieving Grow Your Own program outcomes, which can inform the ongoing implementation, refinement, and monitoring of the program and prepare TEA for a study of outcomes in later years.

Research Questions:

  1. What were the characteristics and geographic distributions of Grow Your Own districts in 2018/19?
    1. How did the characteristics of Grow Your Own districts compare to districts in the same region of the same locale type?
  2. What were the course completion outputs and characteristics for high school students completing Education and Training courses in Grow Your Own districts in 2018/19 and 2019/20?
    1. What percentage of high school students completed Education and Training courses in Grow Your Own districts before and after the grant awards?
    2. How did the demographic characteristics of students who completed Education and Training courses compare to other students in Grow Your Own districts?
    3. How did student completion of Education and Training courses in Grow Your Own districts compare to districts in the same region of the same locale type?
  3. What were the career-related outputs and characteristics for paraprofessionals who participated in Grow Your Own activities in 2018/19 and 2019/20?
    1. What percentage of paraprofessionals attained bachelor's degrees, teaching credentials, and teaching positions each year in Grow Your Own districts before and after the grant awards?
    2. How did background characteristics and attainment of bachelor's degrees, teaching credentials, and teaching positions compare between participants in Grow Your Own activities and other paraprofessionals in the district?
    3. How did attainment of teaching credentials and teaching positions among paraprofessionals in Grow Your Own districts compare to paraprofessionals in districts in the same region of the same locale type?

Study Design: The study will draw from administrative longitudinal data and Grow Your Own program records for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 cohorts of Grow Your Own grantees. The study will use descriptive statistics with district data and geographic mapping to examine district characteristics. The study will use descriptive statistics with teacher and student data to examine student and paraprofessional characteristics and the extent to which the percentages of high school students who completed Education and Training courses and the percentages of paraprofessionals who attained career-related outputs changed in Grow Your Own grantee districts. The study will also examine the degree to which completion of Education and Training courses for high school students and the attainment of career-related outputs by paraprofessionals differed between Grow Your Own districts and other districts in the same region with the same geographic locale type (that is, rural, town, suburban, or urban).

Projected Release Date: Winter 2022

Study Related Products: Just in Time report

Principal Investigators & Affiliation:

Elizabeth Barkowski, American Institutes for Research