In recent months, Gibson has been awarded several new and interesting research and evaluation projects. We are excited about our 2018 portfolio of work and wanted to share some of our recent efforts with you.

RAPID Response Research Grant for Investigating the Impact of Hurricanes and School Responses on Students in Texas and North Carolina

The National Science Foundation awarded the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), a RAPID Response grant to study how Texas and North Carolina schools responded to challenges in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Gibson is supporting UNC-Chapel Hill with the Texas portion of this research project. The study will identify how schools recover from devastating storms and what responses from state, regional, and local agencies, as well as from school districts, were most successful in aiding recovery efforts as judged by school leaders. The ultimate goal of this study is to provide educators and policymakers with guidance on best practices in response to storms.

Descriptive Study of Students’ Online Reasoning for the Hewlett Foundation

People are increasingly making decisions based on information they find online. For the last three years, the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) has developed assessments that gauge how well students can evaluate the credibility of online content. Gibson has partnered with SHEG in 2018 for the execution of a nationwide study designed to construct a picture of students’ proficiency in evaluating online content. This study will allow us to describe students’ ability with attention to inequities across student subpopulations and across different regions of the country. The study seeks to advance the Hewlett Foundation Education Program’s goal of preparing students for civic life, by illustrating the need for greater emphasis on effective digital literacy instruction as a part of civic education.

Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest

For the past five years, Gibson has been a research partner on the Regional Education Laboratories (REL), Southwest grant, led by the American Institutes for Research (AIR). At the end of 2017, the Institute of Education Sciences awarded the next five-year REL contract again to AIR, with Gibson as one of several partnering organizations. We are excited to begin work under the new, five-year REL Southwest contract and to continue supporting research-practice partnerships throughout the Southwest region.

Student, Employee, and Parent Surveys for Arlington Independent School District (ISD)

Since 2013, Gibson has administered student surveys to all of Arlington ISD’s students in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12. In 2018, this Texas district with over 60,000 students selected Gibson to administer its employee and parent surveys. Gibson is working closely with the district to redesign the instruments, to increase the number of responses obtained, and to analyze resulting data in ways that allow the district to examine pressing questions for which stakeholder input can be critical to informing change and improvement.

Texas Education Agency Research and Evaluation Contracts

Gibson has a long history of working on important research and evaluation projects for the Texas Education Agency (TEA). This year TEA selected Gibson and our respective partners for the awards of four major recent projects, further expanding our research experience around charter schools and career and technical education (CTE).

Charter Authorizer Accountability Report

TEA entered into a contract to continue working with Gibson on the development of a report on the performance of open-enrollment charter schools by authorizer compared to campus charters and matched traditional campuses. Gibson analyzed statewide data to provide information about campus-level performance which we developed into the 2014-15 report, and we are currently analyzing 2016-17 data. The report explores campus-level performance results for various outcomes, including student attrition rates, student performance on State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exams, TEA performance index scores (i.e., for student achievement, student progress, closing performance gaps, and postsecondary readiness), dropout rates, and graduation rates. The report makes comparisons between charter schools with one of three different authorizer types and matched traditional public school campuses.

Public Charter School Program Start-Up Grant Evaluation

Gibson is working with our research partners, Safal Partners, Inc. (Safal) and Mathematica, to examine the effectiveness and impacts of the Public Charter School Program Start-Up Grant, as well as to examine the student and teacher recruitment and retention strategies used by Start-Up grantees, for TEA. For this project, Gibson is leading the effort to identify best or promising practices among high quality charter schools and Texas Charter School Start-Up Grant recipients.

Texas 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Evaluation

Gibson is continuing its work with AIR on a statewide evaluation of the federally-funded 21st CCLC afterschool programs. The statewide evaluation will examine program implementation, student achievement outcomes, best or promising practices in afterschool programming and delivery, and improvement in local evaluation efforts.

Statewide Evaluation of Career and Technical Education Programs

Gibson and our research partner, SRI International, are working on a statewide evaluation assessing the quality of high school CTE programs in Texas public school districts for TEA. The project seeks to measure student attainment in CTE programs, and to describe the landscape of available CTE programs across Texas public schools as well as how well they are aligned to future workforce needs.