Our educational system is facing unprecedented challenges to prepare future generations to successfully compete for higher skilled jobs in an increasingly globalized economy. Regardless of whether your educational entity is a private or public school or district, we can help as you face these challenges. We, at Third Millennium Analytics, Inc. provide research and analytic services that will enable you to objectively evaluate your programs or continuous improvement initiatives so that you may meet or exceed accountability and performance standards, and engage in effective strategic planning.
To confront challenges, many educators are employing innovative policies and programs (e.g., innovative curricula, special instructional practices for diverse student populations, new strategies of inclusion for students with disabilities, testing programs to incorporate developmentally appropriate practices, various social promotion and grade retention policies, new disciplinary and classroom management policies, character development programs). Others are implementing new charter or standards-based schools, or continuous improvement programs, which require unique methods for evaluation. Regardless of whether you are implementing these or other initiatives, we can provide independent and accurate assessments to help identify effective and efficient policies, curricula, etc., thus enabling you to make evidence-based decisions and properly allocate your resources for maximum benefit. Our assistance for primary/secondary education is best described across the areas of evaluation research, statistical analysis, and demographic research.
Evaluation Research. Evaluation is indispensable for the facilitation of student learning, as it results in valuable feedback for assessing curriculum design, classroom policies, instructional materials, formative monitoring of student progress, learning motivation and persistence, professional development for teachers, teacher effectiveness, school staff decision-making, community involvement, school board policy formation, etc. We strictly adhere to widely accepted ethical standards for educational evaluation, and can conduct evaluations (i.e., internal or external, formative or summative) to objectively identify program needs (so program goals and objectives can be established), individual needs (for insights about the instructional needs of learners), and to provide insight and guidance for resource allocation and budgeting priorities. Perhaps most importantly, it provides a systematic means for assessing outcomes of instruction, including the identification of which students, or groups of students, are achieving goals and objectives. For maximum benefit, we encourage the integration of perspectives from all interested stakeholders (e.g., parents, school board members, community leaders and employers, local professional educators) into your evaluation.
Our schools and districts are experiencing dramatically increasing accountability standards, which has resulted in the widespread adoption of standards-based testing, and by many states, the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Standardized educational testing is increasingly relied upon to provide benchmarks and a basis for assessing performance and indicating areas for improvement initiatives. While scores on standardized tests are sometimes amenable for comparing the performance of schools and districts, we are familiar with the nuances and potential pitfalls of inappropriate cross-school/district comparisons of standardized scores. It is often essential, for example, to statistically control for a variety of both educational and social factors in order to make such comparisons appropriate.
Specially tailored assessments are often needed to assess continuous improvement initiatives. Similarly, charter schools and progressive standards-based schools often need specialized testing or assessment approaches given their innovative curricula or instructional strategies. We can assist with evaluations to assess whether differential curricula, classroom policies, instructional materials, etc., are associated with improvements in learning, and examine whether results vary significantly by conditions, demographic groups, etc. Importantly, we will conduct your evaluations objectively, thus limiting or eliminating potential biases posed by stakeholders. Our cost-efficiency assessments may also prove beneficial given budgetary constraints. For more on our evaluation research services, please [click here].
Statistical Analysis. We're experienced with a variety of statistical techniques that are particularly well-suited for educational research. These include techniques for small samples (e.g., nonparametric tests, bootstrapping, exact permutation tests), and multivariate techniques (e.g., multilevel/hierarchical linear modeling, generalized estimating equations, random coefficients modeling) appropriate for complex and nested research designs. When data are nested (e.g., involving multiple classrooms within a school, or multiple schools within a district, or multiple districts within a county or state), it is essential to apply appropriate techniques in order to properly account for shared variance within the groupings when drawing inferences for the entire sample. For more on our statistical analysis services, please [click here].
Demographic Research. By applying demographic techniques, enrollment estimates and projections can be derived, which are essential for strategic planning and effective decision-making for budgeting, resource acquisition (e.g., bilingual educational materials, computers, textbooks), the location of new educational facilities, and various logistical issues (e.g., busing, distribution of resources). Depending on your district, common indicators of educational progress can be integrated in order to demographically and geographically identify groups with relatively lower median years of completed schooling, lower percentage of high school graduates, rates of movement through grade levels (using modal grade levels), as well as high school dropout rates. Examination of these data is essential for identifying groups with special needs (e.g., targeting at-risk or recent high school dropouts with initiatives to enroll in an alternative/vocational schools), as well as decisions regarding the location of facilities and distribution of resources. For more on our demographic research services, please [click here].