Validate Indicators

AIR researchers work with schools’, districts’, and states’ own data to identify the indicators that signal students’ readiness for key educational milestones. Starting with indicators drawn from the literature, AIR experts perform appropriate statistical analysis using state-, district-, or school-level data to identify which indicators accurately predict which students are on track.

AIR has extensive experience with identifying and selecting the most appropriate early warning indicators for our clients’ local context. For example, AIR researchers identified and selected early warning indicators and thresholds for each of three school districts in Ohio to identify students in grades 8 and 9 at risk of failing to graduate high school on time on behalf of the Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest.

Contact Us today to learn more about how we can help our clients validate early warning indicators.

Related Resources

Implementation Guide : District Guide for Creating Indicators for Early Warning Systems

December 2016

While research has validated early warning indicators for high school dropout and other educational milestones in many locations, those indicators may vary across contexts. Districts and schools that seek to use an early warning system relying on these indicators are left to determine which indicators to use and to trust that the cut point for those indicators is the same in their communities as they are across the country. This guide from the Regional Educational Laboratory West at WestEd, written by Yibing Li, Jenny Scala, Dean Gerdeman, and David Blumenthal of American Institutes for Research (AIR), provides a step-by-step guide that school districts can take to identify and select their own early warning indicators. Included in the guide is a set of templates to document decisions and organize the analysis to identify and select appropriate early warning indicators for your school or district.

In addition to the guide, the team from REL West and AIR produced this short video describing the guide and how it can be used:

Report : Identifying Early Warning Indicators in Three Ohio School Districts

July 2016

This report from the Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest describes a project conducted on behalf of the Midwest Dropout Prevention Research Alliance to analyze early warning indicators of failure to graduate high school on time in three school districts located in Ohio. The report authors were David Stuit of Basis Policy Research and Mindee O’Cummings, Heather Norbury, Jessica Heppen, Sonica Dhillon, Jim Lindsay, and Bo Zhu of American Institutes for Research. Analyzing attendance, behavioral incidents, and course performance for two cohorts of students in 8th and 9th grades, the report found that different indicators previously identified in the research and different thresholds were the most accurate predictors of students’ failure to graduate on time in the three districts. The report concludes that attendance was shown to be predictive in all three districts and that predictors were more accurate in the 9th grade. School districts interested in using early warning indicators to identify students would benefit from local validation to improve the accuracy of identification. The report includes a supplementary infographic describing the approach used to validate indicators across the three districts.