School of One is committed to a rigorous program of research and evaluation. Since our first summer pilot in 2009, evaluations have produced key information about the program and important trends related to results, teachers and students, which have helped to refine the model over time.
Spring 2010 Pilot
In Spring 2010, School of One operated afterschool and in-school pilots, which were evaluated by the New York City Department of Education's Research and Policy Study Group (RPSG). The study compared students who participated in the afterschool program and in-school program with those who did not, finding that, on average, School of One students significantly outperformed those in traditional classes. After adjusting for the variables such as fluctuation in afterschool attendance rates and the short duration of the pilot, RPSG estimated that School of One students learned at a rate 50-60% higher than those in traditional classrooms. The effects were positive for all subgroups, but most pronounced for the two lowest-performing quartiles of students.
Additionally, RPSG conducted surveys of students and teachers to assess their general opinions of and reactions to the School of One model. The great majority of students and teachers expressed interest in continuing the School of One model in future years.
RPSG concluded that the results were sufficiently strong to warrant strategic expansion to in-school programs in the 2010-2011 school year.
Summer 2009 Pilot
EDC: Proof of Concept
School of One's first evaluation was conducted by the Educational Development Center, Inc. (EDC). EDC evaluated the 2009 summer school pilot at M.S. 131 as a proof of concept for the School of One model, finding a 28% rise in scores between pre-test and post-test for School of One summer school participants. The researchers concluded that these results, combined with positive qualitative data from the classroom, warranted the expansion of the program to serve students in after-school or in-school settings.
RPSG: Peer Comparison
RPSG conducted a parallel evaluation of the summer 2009 pilot to compare School of One's results to achievement gains achieved by their citywide peers. They found that over the course of the short summer school period, School of One students learned at a significantly higher rate — as much as seven times faster — than peers with similar starting scores and demographic characteristics. The statistical power of this calculation was limited due to the small sample size at School of One (n=78).