Research Reports

The following research reports are the result of in-depth explorations of specific issues, case studies, proven best practices, and relevant trends that help inform Raise Your Hand Texas’ policy priorities and proposed solutions. Often we commission independent experts and academic entities to conduct this intensive research to ensure an objective viewpoint without respect to partisanship or particular ideology.

Educator Data System

Educators matter — they have the greatest influence on student achievement within a school and represent the most significant budgetary investment for any state education system. Regrettably, much of the national debate around growing an effective corps of principals and teachers has been reduced to a single point of friction around systems for educator evaluation. The fact is, a much broader conversation needs to be taking place, both nationally and in Texas, about how to recruit, train, evaluate, support and retain educators at scale.

  Research Report  Executive Summary

Texas Innovation Schools

Texas policymakers are faced with a conundrum: how to ensure accountability for student outcomes while at the same time creating the conditions to allow the state’s public schools to innovate to better meet the needs of students. A focus solely on accountability has led to a top-down, compliance-driven system, and many districts have predictably responded with similarly restrictive approaches to managing their campuses without producing significantly improved outcomes for their students.

  Research Report  Executive Summary

Supporting School Turnaround

Although they represent a relatively small subset of public schools, chronically low-performing schools remain a persistent and vexing problem in American public education. Not only do they do a disservice to students and families, they also undermine support for public schools. Fortunately, over time, educators, administrators, policymakers, and researchers have learned about practices that help schools break a cycle of persistently low performance.The literature on school turnaround is characterized by prevalent and recurrent themes, on the basis of which we can point to key practices grounded in and supported by research.

  Research Report  Executive Summary

Pre-Kindergarten for the Modern Age

Recent evaluations show quite clearly that large-scale, publicly funded pre-k programs have significant benefits for children’s school readiness skills and future academic achievement. Importantly, these results come from today’s state-funded pre-k programs, operated at scale in various states across the country. Based on recent programs and rigorous research, there is no longer any question that publicly funded pre-k programs hold enormous potential for closing skills gaps, both in the short and long-term. Research shows that children with risk factors benefit from more time in pre-k, and more time in a high-quality pre-k environment will lead to greater and more sustained gains for these students.

  Research Report  Executive Summary