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NORC’s decades of experience studying elementary and secondary education initiatives can help educators improve access and outcomes nationally and overseas.

From exploring the connection between high school performance and later life outcomes to evaluating the United States Agency for International Development’s School Health and Reading Program in Uganda, NORC’s elementary and secondary education experience is wide and varied. Many of our projects deal directly or indirectly with the ongoing implementation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), including our evaluation of the U.S. Department of Education’s Growth Model Pilot Program, an effort to improve how student achievement data were analyzed and used to assess the effectiveness of schools and school systems under the accountability provisions of NCLB.

NORC is also conducting a study for the National Assessment Governing Board analyzing the degree of content alignment between the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress Reading and Mathematics assessments for grade eight, and the ACT Explore assessments in reading and mathematics. This research will provide a greater understanding of the connection between students’ scores on these assessments and their preparedness for freshman college coursework.

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Elementary & Secondary Education Experts

Highlighted Projects

National Study of Special Education Spending: Foundational Phase

Providing crucial national data on special education spending across districts and schools

Client:

Institute of Education Sciences

Equity & Place: A Rural Education Research Agenda

Shining a light on equity challenges and innovative solutions in rural schools and communities

Client:

Spencer Foundation

National Evaluation of Title III Implementation

The nation’s first study of how Title III grants are used to support English learners

Client:

Institute for Education Sciences

Youth & Teen Math Mindset Study

Examining how students’ perceptions of math and their own math skills influence their math performance

Client:

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Washington Statewide Family Engagement Center Project

Evaluating a collaborative family engagement infrastructure across Washington state

Client:

U.S. Department of Education

Curriculum & Learning Improvement Project (CLIP)

Creating an innovative data ecosystem to support classroom instruction and education research

Client:

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Kauffman Scholars Evaluation

Analyzing the ripple effect of a 20-year-old college scholarship and mentorship program in Kansas City

Client:

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Advancing Research & Communications in STEM

Raising the nation’s learning curve on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics

Client:

National Science Foundation

Massachusetts Playful Learning Institute P-3 Evaluation

Evaluating an effort to increase play-based learning in early grades

Client:

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Assessing Distance Learning for the Bureau of Indian Education

Understanding how best to reach and teach students who lack broadband service

Client:

Bureau of Indian Education

Curriculum & Learning Improvement Project Consortium

A data ecosystem supporting middle school math instruction for historically marginalized students

Client:

Gates Foundation

Evaluating Oakland Promise’s Cradle-to-Career Programs

NORC’s assessments enable Oakland program to identify past benefits for future funding

Client:

Oakland Promise

Fulton County STEM Schools Study

An early assessment of how well new STEM high schools are serving those principles

Client:

Fulton County Schools

Sesame Workshop’s Identity Matters Project

Helping Sesame Street increase children’s self-esteem and awareness of social identity

Client:

Sesame Workshop

Comprehensive Literacy Program Evaluation

Assessing whether grants to promote youths’ reading and writing are having an impact

Client:

Institute of Education Sciences

2024 National Survey of Early Care and Education

Examining early care and education after major disruption

Client:

Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Services

Surveys of Chicago Parents About Schooling in the Pandemic

Surveying Chicago parents about their child’s learning experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic

Client:

Kids First Chicago

Minnesota Reading Corps K-3 Impact Evaluation

NORC finds tutoring by AmeriCorps volunteers brought benefits to most young students

Client:

Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)

Tracking State Assessment in Science and Math Education

The first-ever tracking system for math and science education comparisons

Client:

National Science Foundation

Washington State K-12 Civics Education Survey

A mixed-methods data collection effort to thoroughly understand how Washington teaches civics

Client:

Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Ready Classroom Mathematics Curriculum Evaluation

Correlating the use of Ready Classroom Mathematics with student achievement

Client:

Curriculum Associates, LLC

Pre-K Developmental Loss from COVID-19 Closures

Examining preschoolers’ cognitive and social skills during the pandemic

Client:

University of Colorado, Denver

Getting Effective Leaders into High-Needs Schools

Understanding how the preparation, recruitment, and hiring of principals impact student outcomes

Client:

Institute of Education Sciences

National Assessment of Educational Progress

Assessing whether the NAEP, used to gauge learning progress, can also measure college readiness

Client:

National Assessment Governing Board

National Science Foundation Secure Data Access Facility

Ensuring security while expanding access to data on science and engineering graduates

Client:

National Science Foundation

National Survey of Students’ Personalized Learning Experiences

Exploring how strategies to promote personalized learning are working in the classroom

Client:

International Association for K-12 Online Education

‘Closer to Home’ and ‘A Path to Equity’

Exploring the impact of more equitable access to pre-k on student outcomes

Client:

Institute of Education Sciences

Oakland Promise Kindergarten to College Evaluation

Assessing efforts to promote a college-going culture among young students and their parents

Client:

Oakland Promise

School Effectiveness in Indiana Study

Examining what works for the state’s public, private, and charter schools

Client:

University of Notre Dame; University of Kentucky

Spence-Chapin Adoption Study

Helping an adoption agency deepen its understanding of birth mothers

Client:

Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children

High School Experience Study

Exploring the long-term impact of early college high schools on workforce and life outcomes

Client:

American Institutes for Research

Minnesota Reading Corps Pre-K Program Evaluation

Demonstrating that AmeriCorps volunteer tutors can improve preschoolers’ literacy

Client:

Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)

Head Start-to-Kindergarten Transitions Project

The first rigorous, system-level study of the factors that drive successful kindergarten transitions

Client:

Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families

Catalytic Communities Initiative Evaluation

Assessing strategies to transform educational communities to benefit K-12 students

Client:

Walton Family Foundation

Support for Analytic Capacity of NSECE Data

Enhancing the analytic capacity of the NSECE’s public-use and restricted-use data

Client:

Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Services

Retaining Rural Science & Math Teachers

Cultivating a high-quality science and math teacher workforce in rural Illinois

Client:

National Science Foundation

Magnetic Reading Evaluation

Examining the impact of an evidence-based reading comprehension program for grades 3 through 5

Client:

Curriculum Associates

Survey of U.S. History Teachers

Survey of U.S. history teachers in nine states to inform civic discussions about teaching U.S. history

Client:

American Historical Association

Student Absenteeism Meta-Analysis

A comprehensive analysis and meta-analytic synthesis of student absenteeism interventions

Client:

Institute of Education Sciences and the Smith Richardson Foundation

Fulton County Principal Leadership Program Evaluation

A district-level analysis of an effort to train experienced principals to be mentors

Client:

Fulton County Schools, Georgia