WWC review of this study

The Building Assets-Reducing Risks Program: Replication and expansion of an effective strategy to turn around low-achieving schools. Final report.

Corsello, M., & Sharma, A. (2015). Napa, CA: Corsello Consulting. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED560804

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    548
     Students
    , grade
    9
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: December 2016

Academic achievement outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP): Mathematics

Building Assets Reducing Risks (BARR) vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
483 students

N/A

N/A

Yes

 
 
13
More Outcomes

Average GPA in core courses

Building Assets Reducing Risks (BARR) vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
548 students

N/A

N/A

Yes

 
 
9

Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP): Reading

Building Assets Reducing Risks (BARR) vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
495 students

N/A

N/A

Yes

 
 
6
Show Supplemental Findings

Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP): Mathematics

Building Assets Reducing Risks (BARR) vs. Business as usual

1 Year

More proficient students;
193 students

N/A

N/A

Yes

 
 
20

Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP): Mathematics

Building Assets Reducing Risks (BARR) vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Less proficient students;
289 students

N/A

N/A

Yes

 
 
15

Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP): Reading

Building Assets Reducing Risks (BARR) vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Less proficient students;
297 students

N/A

N/A

No

--

Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP): Reading

Building Assets Reducing Risks (BARR) vs. Business as usual

1 Year

More proficient students;
198 students

N/A

N/A

No

--
Progressing in school outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Percent of students without at least one failure in a core course

Building Assets Reducing Risks (BARR) vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
548 students

79

68.1

Yes

 
 
13
More Outcomes

Credits earned in core courses

Building Assets Reducing Risks (BARR) vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
521 students

N/A

N/A

Yes

 
 
9

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 17% English language learners

  • 68% Free or reduced price lunch

  • 11% Minority

  • Female: 54%
    Male: 46%
  • Race
    White
    52%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    37%
    Not Hispanic
    63%

  • Suburban
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    California

Setting

The study was conducted in a large high school in suburban southern California. Enrollment was 2514 students.

Study sample

Of the 555 ninth-grade students who participated, 54% were female, 46% male, 68% were eligible for free or reduced price lunch, 17% were eligible for free or reduced price lunch, 17% were ELL students, 52% Caucasian, 37% Hispanic, and 11% were African American, Asian, American Indian, or mixed race.

Intervention Group

Building Assets Reducing Risks (BARR) is a model that assists students in the transition to ninth grade using eight school-wide and individual strategies. These strategies are: providing repeated professional development that focuses on how student-teacher relationships can help student achievement, creating student cohorts who take core courses together, encouraging families to participate in their student's learning, using BARR's I-Time Curriculum, holding regular meetings of cohort teacher teams, conducting risk-review meetings to target support to persistently low-performing students, focusing on the student as a whole (i.e., not just academically, but also students' social, emotional, and physical needs), and ongoing supportive administrator engagement. The I-Team Curriculum entailed a weekly 30-minute lesson focusing on social/emotional issues for adolescent students.

Comparison Group

The non-BARR group was described as "business as usual". Teachers did not receive the repeated professional development or support and likely taught as they had in the past.

Support for implementation

Once a site coordinator was chosen as an intermediary between the participating teachers and principal, teachers and administrators received two days of training on BARR theory and principles. A technical assistance provider called the BARR coordinator at least every week while the project director ran monthly professional Professional Learning Community conference calls with coordinators and administrators.

 

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