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California Educational Research Association

​CERA 2016

​Title: A Comparison of the Local Control Funding Formula and the Academic Support Index in Predicting Academically Underperforming Students

AERA 2015

State and Regional Educational Research Associations: Distinguished Paper Session 1

Paper Title: California Education Research Association: Building and Utilizing an Academic Support Index to Identify and Support Students At-Risk for Academic Underachievement

Paper Abstract: 

With greater access to student data, there is an opportunity for educators to develop more effective practices for identifying and supporting students at-risk for academic under- performance. When attempting to address and discuss gaps in student performance, traditional disaggregation categories such as race, ethnicity, and gender contribute unintentionally to stereotype threat and support a narrative that negatively impacts students. Additionally, waiting for summative student performance results in the secondary school setting can delay intervention to the point where students’ post- secondary options can be severely impacted. There is a significant need to be able to identify in advance students who may need academic and other available supports to maximize student potential.  Through an Academic Support Index (ASI) using a variety of widely available demographic and other data points, Berkeley High School has been able to score each student and reliably identify students at-risk for academic underperformance, particularly those transitioning from middle to high school, and prioritize them for appropriate interventions. Additionally, the ASI provides context for classroom, program, and intervention evaluation, assessment data, and promotes more precise data disaggregation allowing for apples to apples comparisons across programs.  The ASI has shown strong statistical correlations when compared against a variety of metrics including California High School Exit Exam passing rates (math R2 =0.90 and ELA R2 =0.92), student grade point averages (semester R2 =0.83) and UC A-G eligibility rates (R2 = 0.97). 

American Educational Research Association

Research and Conference Presentations 

AERA: 2018

Division H: Research in Education Demonstration Session

​Session Title: Building Your Own Academic Support Index for Research, Evaluation, and Intervention Design

​Session Description: 

Disaggregating data by demographic categories such as gender, race, and class ignores the fact that students exist in multiple categories simultaneously and that these categories are inherently interactive. The Academic Support Index (ASI) addresses this by accounting for the additive impact of students’ characteristics. The ASI is a tool based on the statistical relationship between demographic fields and student academic performance. The ASI has strong correlation to outcomes including Smarter Balanced Assessments, grade point averages, and post-secondary degree attainment. This session will include an introduction to the background, development, and effective applications of the ASI as well as a practicum for researchers and educators to calculate the ASI of their students.

​Paper Title: Revisiting the Academic Support Index: A Validation Study Using Data From Three School Districts

Paper Abstract: 

Previous studies have shown that the Academic Support Index (ASI) has strong correlations to academic outcomes and can be a valuable tool in educational research and practice. In this validation study, the ASI was evaluated against standardized test performance and grade point average in three school districts: rural, semi-urban (original district of study), and urban. The results validated the earlier findings that the ASI is a strong predictor of academic performance. The study also replicated the original ASI point assignment protocol creating local versions of the ASI and evaluated these against the same outcomes. Correlations for the locally developed ASI were not as strong as with the original ASI.


CERA 2015

Title: Identifying Students for Support During the Transition from Middle School to High School

​CERA 2014

​Title: Building and Utilizing an Academic Support Index (CERA Outstanding Paper Award 2014)

AERA: 2017
​Paper TitleUsing the Screening Tool for At-Risk Students Protocol for Identifying Students at Risk During the Transition to High School​
Paper Abstract: 

There is a need in educational practice to reliably identify students who will struggle during the transition to high school. Students who do not transition smoothly experience long-lasting impacts on graduation progress and post-secondary options. Identifying students who will require additional support, both academic as well as socioemotional, is key for early intervention. The goal of this study was to develop a statistically valid tool that would identify these students while still in their eighth grade. The Screening Tool for At-Risk Students (STARS) protocol reliably identified and differentiated at-risk students by grade point average, credits earned, attendance rates, and discipline. The protocol also facilitated the transmission of specific actionable information to the receiving school.

​CERA 2016

​Title: Math Gatekeeping

​CERA 2015

​Title: Improving Test Performance for At-Risk Students