Description of Research and Evaluation Design


Goals of Research Study

  • To provide information on "Best Practices."
  • To initiate formative feedback to HAC.
  • To provide a summative account of the HAC Initiative and assess the extent to which HAC has met the goals set for the project.
  • To build capacity for inquiry and reflection within reforming schools.
  • To inform the public about accomplishments, needs, and challenges of public education in the greater Houston area.

Goals of Houston Annenberg Challenge

  • Academic Achievement: Children in HAC initiative schools would be learning at higher levels.
  • Teacher Learning: Teachers and staff of HAC initiative schools would be well prepared to meet the individual educational needs of students.
  • Isolation: The community - from the family to the local neighborhood and across the multidistrict city - would work together to support public schools.
  • Size: HAC initiative schools would be reorganized to create personalized learning environments through the use of their size, which includes structure, resources, space, and time.
  • Long-term Impact: HAC initiative schools would become models for systemic reform across districts.

Data Collection and Analysis

This research and evaluation study employed three major strategies:

  • Macro analysis of data across and within HAC initiative schools.
  • Micro analysis of case studies of a set of HAC initiative schools.
  • Cross-case analysis of data collected both quantitatively and qualitatively.

The macro analysis (quantitative component):

  • Focused on student achievement data, especially in the areas of reading and mathematics.
  • Examined other data measures including data related to retention, dropout, attendance, mobility, and academic engagement.
  • Included analysis of survey data collected from middle and high school students, teachers, principals, parents, district staff, and external partners.
  • Was conducted by a group of researchers from the University of Houston and The University of Texas at Austin.

The micro analysis (qualitative component):

  • Conducted case studies of 12 HAC initiative schools.
  • Included interviews, observation, and document analysis within each school setting.
  • Incorporated stakeholders from each school including: teachers, principals, parents, other school staff, district staff, and other community members.
  • Conducted by multi-disciplinary teams of researchers from Rice University, University of Houston, and The University of Texas at Austin.

Cross-Case Analysis (qualitative and quantitative data):

  • Examined major trends across HAC initiative schools revealed in data analysis.
  • Compared and contrasted these major trends with the goals of the HAC initiative and the national Annenberg reform.
  • Compared and contrasted these major trends with the goals of the HAC initiative and the national Annenberg reform.




Updated 7/07/2003