Missouri

Findings and Lessons from First Things First

July, 2005
Janet Quint, Howard Bloom, Alison Rebeck Black, LaFleur Stephens

First Things First, a comprehensive school reform initiative, increased student achievement in Kansas City, Kansas, the first school district to adopt the reform model. It is not yet clear if First Things First is working in four other school districts in which it has been replicated.

An Exploratory Analysis

January, 2006
Theresa M. Akey

This analysis of data collected in MDRC’s evaluation of the First Things First reform initiative confirms that high school students’ engagement in school and perceptions of their own academic competence influence their mathematics achievement. The study also suggests that perceived academic competence may be more influential than engagement in boosting achievement in both mathematics and reading.

Findings from the First Implementation Year

December, 2003

Based on survey data and findings from interviews and observations, this report describes the First Things First reform initiative and its first year of implementation at seven secondary schools, with a focus on three key components: small learning communities, a family advocacy system, and instructional improvement strategies.

Creating the Conditions and Capacity for Community-Wide Reform in an Urban School District

November, 2002
Michelle Alberti Gambone, Adena M. Klem, William P. Moore, Jean Ann Summers

Take a look inside the Kansas City, Kansas (KCK) public schools and you will find challenges facing any urban district: insufficient funding, large numbers of at-risk students, declining enrollment and teacher shortages. You will also see teachers working in teams and staying with their students for more than one year, lower ratios of students to teachers in key classes and extra time built into the day for professional development.

42-Month Impacts from the Kansas and Missouri Sites of the Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project

February, 2012
JoAnn Hsueh, Mary Farrell

Two Early Head Start programs were enhanced with formalized services to proactively address parents’ employment, educational, and self-sufficiency needs. A random assignment evaluation finds limited impacts for the full sample but some positive effects on employment and earnings for families who had an infant or who were expecting a child at the outset of the study.

April, 2011
Pei Zhu, Robin Tepper Jacob, Howard Bloom, Zeyu Xu

This paper provides practical guidance for researchers who are designing and analyzing studies that randomize schools — which comprise three levels of clustering (students in classrooms in schools) — to measure intervention effects on student academic outcomes when information on the middle level (classrooms) is missing.

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