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Works In Progress

REL Mid-Atlantic conducts applied research studies to address our partners’ research questions and provide policymakers and practitioners with information they need to increase their capacity to make data driven decisions. Applied research is critical for informing practice and effecting educational improvement. Works in progress are posted after project proposals have gone through a rigorous peer review process.

Learn more about our research studies currently underway.

Predicting Early Fall Student Attrition in the School District of Philadelphia

This project will build the School District of Philadelphia's (SDP) capacity to employ sophisticated, but easy-to-use, machine learning algorithms (MLAs) to predict the probability that each student will remain in their assigned schools and classrooms. This project will provide SDP with predictions about which students will remain in their assigned schools and classrooms and which will leave during the early fall term. Several statistical methods will be used to generate the predictions. The resulting report will shed light on which prediction method produced the most accurate forecasts, and whether any method outperformed SDP's current forecasts. The results will inform choices for SDP and other districts coping with high, yet erratic attrition.

Extension of Predictors of Near-Term Academic Risks

Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) and the Allegheny Department of Human Services (DHS) have requested a Just-in-Time study to compare the risk scores produced by predictive machine learning models to an alternative, simpler approach to identifying students with prior academic problems. A prior REL applied research study developed the predictive models, which generate risk scores for each student for five types of academic problems. The stakeholders would like to know how the two approaches compare in results and accuracy to inform whether the new system should be adopted.

Evaluation of the Impact of Structured Relationship-Building Teacher Home Visiting on Student and Teacher Outcomes

This study will evaluate the impacts of structured teacher home visits conducted as part of the District of Columbia Public Schools' (DCPS) Family Engagement Partnership (FEP) and Family Engagement Collaborative (FEC) programs. The study will provide information to help DCPS and other districts across the country determine the best ways to use their resources to improve parent engagement.

Evaluation to Study Pennsylvania's Innovative Teacher and Principal Residency Grants

Pennsylvania provides Innovative Teacher and Principal Residency Programs grants to institutions of higher education in the commonwealth to develop and provide year-long clinical experiences and intensive supports to aspiring teachers and principals. This study is evaluating how well the funded programs are doing in accomplishing the grant program's goals and collecting data on ways the programs can be approved.