What Works Clearinghouse Quick Review: ‘AIR Early College High School Initiative Impact Study’ Meets WWC Evidence Standards Without Reservations

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A rigorous, multi-year study of the Early College High School Initiative (ECHSI) led by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) has received the highest possible rating issued for a What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) quick review.

A rigorous, multi-year study of the Early College High School Initiative (ECHSI) led by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) has received the highest possible rating issued for a What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) quick review.

Ten schools were part of the randomized controlled trial study, “Early College, Early Success: Early College High School Initiative Impact Study,” led by AIR’s Andrea Berger, that compared outcomes for students admitted through a lottery to an Early College with outcomes for students who were not admitted. The study found that students who were randomly admitted to an Early College high school were significantly more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in college and earn a degree than their peers who were not admitted.

“Although the findings from this study are applicable only to the 10 Early Colleges included in the study sample, they provide strong evidence for the positive impacts of Early Colleges on students … In addition, Early Colleges appeared to mitigate the traditional educational attainment gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged students,” the authors wrote in the report.

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) was established in 2002 as an initiative of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education. The goal of the WWC is promote informed education decision making by providing educators, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a central and trusted source of scientific evidence about “what works” in education.

WWC quick review blasts are intended to provide a timely and objective initial assessment of recent research and the quality of the research evidence. The WWC will also conduct a more detailed review of the study at a later date.

More information about the report is available at http://www.air.org.

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Larry McQuillan
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