1What does REMIQS stand for?
Robust and Equitable Measures to Inspire Quality Schools
2What is REMIQS trying to accomplish?
REMIQS is designed to illuminate what better schools do to achieve equity. It aims to identify and investigate a small set of “beat the odds” high schools that demonstrate a consistently higher level of achievement among students from resilient and historically marginalized populations, both in school and in postsecondary education. We will study those high schools to determine what features they establish and approaches they use to promote such outcomes. We will share those findings broadly to inspire other high schools to adopt the features and approaches that have been proven to yield greater equity.
3How did you determine where the “successful, equity-producing schools” were found?
REMIQS determined where equity-producing schools are by blending multiple federal and state data sets that are capable of tracking students’ post-graduation outcomes longitudinally. We took these thousands of data points and put them into a statistical model that predicts how schools will perform based on a host of factors. Then we looked for those schools that far outperformed the model. Finally, we looked at these “exceeds expectations” schools with our Stakeholder Committee, Advisors and funders to develop a set of criteria that determined the final group of schools we will investigate in-depth.
4Where are REMIQS schools located?
We’re studying schools in Arizona, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Texas and Virginia. These states were chosen because their longitudinal student-level data systems met our quantitative study criteria and together they represent significant geographic and population diversity.
5I’ve heard a lot about how tests scores are biased and are a weak predictor of outcomes. So how is REMIQS moving us beyond a reliance on test scores?
We include test scores because they can be helpful indicators in evaluating a school’s relative capacity to promote achievement on tests, and in some states can demonstrate mastery along certain academic standards. However, an over reliance on those scores can lead to strained or even inaccurate conclusions about school quality and students’ postsecondary readiness. The project moves beyond test scores to also include the kind of real-world outcomes that reflect what families, employers and colleges value: college enrollment and graduation, high school graduation, access to advanced coursework in high school, low levels of exclusionary discipline in high school and high levels of attendance.
6How is this effort different from other efforts to find “beat the odds” schools?
REMIQS differs from other efforts in at least one of three fundamental ways:

  1. We are including a more robust set of output and outcome measures than has been used in other studies.
  2. We are combining a field-tested, rigorous quantitative model with a deep qualitative investigation of the schools the model identifies.
  3. We are integrating the expertise and experiences of stakeholders at critical turn-points throughout the project.
7How are you protecting student privacy?
We have put several steps in place to ensure student privacy is maintained from the beginning and protected throughout. For the quantitative phase, we will neither have access to nor be able to report any information that would identify a single student. We will know students by a unique assigned number that will link to their demographics, performance indicators, and longitudinal outcomes, but we will always analyze those data in large enough groups so no individual student will ever be identifiable. For the in-depth investigations of identified schools, our research team will obtain informed consent from all research participants (students and adults alike) and establish confidentiality protocols and secure data procedures to maintain all participants’ anonymity.
8How are you defining “equity”?
Our definition of equity is the measurable condition whereby schools produce disproportionately positive results among students from resilient and historically marginalized populations. By “disproportionately positive results,” we mean that students from resilient and underserved populations experience equal, greater or more accelerated levels of success than those who typically benefit the most from school.

We are defining “students from marginalized and resilient populations” as those students who identify as Black, Brown, Latino/a, Indigenous, AAPI, have learning differences, are emerging bilinguals, LGBTQAI+, have recently immigrated or are low-income. We define equity in this way to reflect an awareness that “rising tide lifts all boats” approaches have historically preserved opportunity gaps and inequitable distributions of resources that reinforce advantage. Also, by including “resilient” in the above framing, we are seeking to foreground the assets, strengths, funds of knowledge and perseverance such individuals and groups bring to their education and to the schools and communities in which they learn.
9Who are you prioritizing when you say you’re primarily interested in capturing outcomes experienced by “students from resilient and historically marginalized populations"?
We use the phrase “students from resilient and historically marginalized populations” to refer to those populations of students who have faced the greatest systemic barriers to their success. This framing is our attempt to be as inclusive as possible, but we realize it is not perfect and can obscure as much as reveal important distinctions. Pending the availability of data that allows various social groups to be disaggregated, we intend to investigate schools’ impact on the following specific groups: those who identify as Black or African American, Indigenous, Latino/a/x, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Arab, Middle Eastern, South Asian, low-income, emerging bilingual, undocumented, immigrant, refugee, students with (dis)abilities, students with learning differences and students who identify as LGBTQAI+. We will also seek to acknowledge and investigate how identity, positionality and intersectionality function; that is, we will probe for the ways students may co-identify with multiple groups and how that shapes their experiences. Lastly, by including “resilient” in the above framing, we are seeking to foreground the assets, strengths, funds of knowledge and perseverance such individuals and groups bring to their education and to the schools and communities in which they learn.
10How will you identify what promoted such strong outcomes among students from resilient and historically marginalized groups?

We will spend two semesters (Fall 2022, Spring 2023) studying five “bright spot” schools in five states to learn what makes them successful. The research team will engage with a variety of key stakeholders at each site—prioritizing student perspectives throughout—to reveal the approaches, policies and school features that drive that school’s success with students from resilient and historically marginalized populations. We’ll be gathering and analyzing a host of data from a variety of sources and we’ll be consulting member-checks with local stakeholders to guide our interpretations. The research team will combine and compare their findings to surface key themes and differences across the sites, then translate those findings for various audiences who are positioned to act on what is discovered.
11Who will be part of the Stakeholder Committee? And what does the Stakeholder Committee do?
KnowledgeWorks has convened a national Stakeholder Committee to ensure the project design remains responsive to those who have been least served by public education, both historically and currently. Parents, employers, community leaders, college/university officials and state- and local-level policymakers all have a vested and immediate interest in optimizing our schools—and the individuals marginalized within those groups have a magnified interest.

The Stakeholder Committee supports REMIQS in four main ways:

  1. help select the final list of schools to be investigated
  2. review and revise the methodology we will use to investigate identified schools
  3. help the research teams focus their investigations and make meaning of finding
  4. review and refine public-facing communications to ensure messaging is compelling and targeted.
12What’s the timeline for the REMIQS project?
Winter-Spring 2020 — analyze data from state and federal sources to locate successful schools and regular communications to field to capture progress

Spring-Fall 2021 — work with Stakeholder Committee, Advisors, and funders to select schools for in-depth case studies then form partnerships with identified schools

Winter 2021/2022 — adapt to ongoing pandemic by shifting recruitment strategies to enlist additional sites in KY, TX, and VA, then refine the research process to “meet the moment” in ways that reflect the challenges districts and schools are now facing

Early 2022 — issue press releases and a social media campaign to announce first two selected sites in AZ and MA

Spring 2022 — secure additional sites and begin planning for site visits and data-gathering activities in late summer 2022

Fall semester 2022 — conduct first site-visits at selected schools across five states, analyze data and share emerging findings with Advisors, Stakeholder Committee, and funders, and publicly distribute regular updates on progress and learning to core audiences

Spring semester 2023 — conduct second site-visits at selected schools across five states, analyze data and share trends and conclusions with Advisors, Stakeholder Committee, and funders, and publicly distribute regular updates on progress and learning to core audiences

Summer 2023 — Analyze all data and begin translating it for the public, targeting specific leaders and impacted families with actionable findings that demonstrate what they can do to achieve equity in their location
13When will you release results?
We released the names of the first two selected sites in February 2022. We plan to release the names of selected schools sometime in late spring of 2022.
14Where can I find REMIQS materials I can share with others?
Check out the overview page where you’ll find an explanatory video, an infographic and a webinar on the project’s methodology.
15What methods did you use build the statistical model and find these inspiring schools?
If you want to take a deep dive into the statistical methods we used to build and execute our quantitative filtering model, click here to download the technical report. Produced by a research team at WestEd, led by Raifu Durodoye, PhD, the report describes the data and methods used during the quantitative filtering phase of the REMIQS project. The quantitative filtering phase answered the question: Which schools consistently produce positive outcomes for historically marginalized students? The technical report describes the data gathered from the longitudinal data systems of five states (Arizona, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Texas and Virginia), and the process the team used to identify a subset of higher performing schools from across those states. After identifying an initial subset of “beat the odds” schools, the list was used to select sites for an in-depth study of their programs, practices, policies and features associated with improving academic and postsecondary outcomes for students from historically resilient and marginalized backgrounds.
16How can I receive updates about REMIQS?
Sign up at the bottom of any page on the site.

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