Early College High School Study Meets What Works Clearinghouse’s Highest Standard for Evidence

Washington, D.C. – A rigorous, multiyear study by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) of the Early College High School Initiative launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has received the highest possible rating issued for a study by the federal government’s What Works Clearinghouse (WWC). 

Ten schools were part of the randomized controlled trial, Early College, Early Success: Early College High School Initiative Impact Study, which 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.

“This study is a well-executed randomized controlled trial,” the WWC report found. “The impact estimates for high school achievement in mathematics and English/language arts, high school GPA, high school graduation, college enrollment and college degree attainment meet WWC evidence standards without reservations.”

WWC Single Study Reviews are designed to provide education practitioners and policymakers with timely and objective assessments of the quality of research evidence from recently released papers and reports. 

WWC was established in 2002 as an initiative of the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education. The goal of the WWC is to 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.

The report is available at http://www.air.org.

About AIR 
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education and workforce productivity. For more information, visit www.air.org.


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