Program Areas | K-12 Education
College Board: Helping Students to Succeed in High School and Prepare for College
Seventh grade students at the Northeast Preparatory Academy in Rochester, one of the College Board Schools, work together on an experiment in the science lab.
Metis Associates helped the College Board to evaluate two of its initiatives that seek to promote high school success and create a college-going culture in schools where students must overcome barriers to college preparation. One of these initiatives, the New York Education Initiative (NYEI), involves opening new secondary schools in low-income, high-minority areas. With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates and Michael and Susan Dell Foundations, the College Board opened 17 schools in New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, and Yonkers. These schools, which serve students in grades 6 through 12, have a rigorous academic program and focus on college preparation starting in the critical middle school years. In addition, with funding from the Gates Foundation, the College Board launched an initiative in several large school systems to capture students at risk of failure. The EXCELerator Initiative, located in Chicago, Denver, and Florida's Duval and Hillsborough counties, aims to create a college-going culture among students who could be the first in their families to have the opportunity to go to college.
Metis Associates teamed up with the College Board's research and analysis unit to evaluate both of these initiatives. Together they developed a set of research questions to assess how well the schools in both initiatives were implementing College Board products and programs, what they were gaining from the initiatives' professional-development activities, and how well students were achieving. Analyses of program effects for both initiatives included propensity-score matching—a rigorous method that involves the use of advanced statistical techniques to identify comparison groups from within the school district for students who are enrolled in the College Board or EXCELerator schools.