College Readiness Systems Longitudinal Evaluation: EXCELerator Program Impact, Year 2 Report

Executive Summary

College Readiness Systems (CRSs) for comprehensive reform are designed to help prepare all students for college success and support schools and school districts in their work toward this goal. There are two key CRS principles: ensuring access and opportunity for all students, regardless of their backgrounds, and creating a culture of rigorous coursework and high expectations. The College Board provides participating schools with a variety of customizable programs, services, and resources to help them meet their goals.

Included in CRS are two different implementation models: College Board schools, which are new small schools, and EXCELerator schools, which are existing schools that adopt CRS reform.

In 2009, the College Board selected the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to conduct a longitudinal evaluation of CRS. The evaluation examined the implementation and the impact of the program in both College Board and EXCELerator schools. This report focuses on the impact of the EXCELerator program from its inception in the 2006–07 school year through the 2009-10 school year. We used a comparative interrupted time series (CITS) design to analyze the effects of the program, comparing the EXCELerator schools to both themselves, prior to implementation, and other similar schools that did not adopt the program.