1What is REMIQS trying to accomplish?
REMIQS aims to identify, investigate – and ultimately inspire more – high schools that ensure their most marginalized students succeed in postsecondary education, careers, and civic life.
2How does REMIQS go about identifying, investigating, and inspiring quality high schools?
First, we put together a rich and dynamic list of a wide variety of outputs, outcomes, and indicators we would hope to see for marginalized (or any!) youth. Next, we test and refine a statistical model and use it to find those schools that are particularly successful in producing a wider variety of positive outcomes among underserved populations. After that, we spend significant time qualitatively investigating what those schools do to produce such impressive results. And throughout it all, we take what we find and share it with those leaders who are designing policy, implementation, and reforms to achieve equity in public education.
3I’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?
Test scores can be helpful indicators in evaluating a school’s relative capacity to promote achievement on tests, and in some states demonstrate mastery along certain academic standards, so we do include them in our model. However, an over reliance on those scores can lead to strained or even inaccurate conclusions about school quality and students’ postsecondary readiness. REMIQS moves beyond test scores to trace the kind of real-world outcomes that reflect what families, employers, and colleges value: postsecondary education attendance and graduation, workforce participation, wage earnings, civic engagement, and mental health.
4How are you determining where “high quality schools” can be found?
REMIQS determines where high-quality schools are by first blending multiple federal and state data sets that are capable of tracking students’ post-graduation outcomes longitudinally. We take these thousands of data points and input them into a model that predicts how schools will perform based on a host of factors. Then we look for those schools that “beat the odds” — i.e., we locate those schools that far outperform the model. Finally, we look at these outliers with our technical and community advisors to develop a set of criteria to determine the final group of schools we will investigate in-depth.
5How 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:
- We’re interested in how schools compare across states. By designing an “apples to apples” comparison, even states not included in the study will be able to apply the findings to their schools.
- We are including a more robust set of output and outcome measures than has been used in other studies.
- We are combining a field-tested, rigorous quantitative model with a deep qualitative investigation, and connecting impacted communities’ feedback at critical turn-points along the way.
6How are you protecting student privacy?
We have put several steps in place to ensure student privacy is maintained from the beginning and protected throughout. 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.
7How are you defining “equity”?
Our definition of equity is the measurable condition whereby schools produce disproportionately positive results with marginalized student populations. By “disproportionately positive results,” we mean that underserved populations of students experience greater or more accelerated levels of success than those who typically benefit the most from school. We are defining “marginalized student populations” as students who identify as Black or Brown, have learning differences, are English Language Learners, 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. We don’t want to do this.
8Who are you prioritizing when you say you’re primarily interested in capturing outcomes experienced by “marginalized populations”?
We have been using the terms “marginalized,” “vulnerable,” and “traditionally underserved” to signal the systemic drivers of differences in student performance that often aligns with racial, ethnic, linguistic, socioeconomic, and gender differences. We attempt to be as inclusive as possible in using these terms, but we realize they’re not perfect, and they often obscure as much as reveal important distinctions. Generally, however, we mean we will be identifying how well schools serve the following groups (pending the availability of data that allows such groups to be disaggregated): African-American, indigenous, Latinx, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, AMEMSA, low-income, English-learners, undocumented, immigrant, refugee, students with disabilities, students with learning differences, and students who identify as LGBTQAI.
9How will you identify what promoted such strong outcomes among marginalized student groups?
Once we identify approximately ten schools across five states, KnowledgeWorks and research teams will spend two years observing and analyzing those schools to understand what makes them successful. They will engage with a variety of key stakeholders to surface the approaches, policies, and school features that drive that school’s success with marginalized students. We’ll be gathering and analyzing a host of data, from classroom observations to student and parent surveys, from each school’s history of reforms to their school climate measures. KnowledgeWorks and the research teams will combine, compare, and contrast their findings in order to surface key themes and differences across the sites to identify the main factors that drive those schools’ success.
10Is student voice a part of the REMIQS project?
Students have the greatest stake in their education, but too often they are given little to no say in how it is designed and implemented. For this reason, REMIQS is prioritizing the inclusion of student voices, particularly marginalized students. High school aged youth who identify as Black, Brown, indigenous, immigrant, LGBTQ+, English learner, low-income and/or possess a learning difference will be core informants when we investigate what makes inspiring schools so successful for students like them. Through focus group interviews, observations, surveys, data analysis, message testing and findings reviews, our research team will be actively engaged in capturing and highlighting youth experiences and expertise. In addition, when engaging youth our researchers will incorporate principles of universal design to ensure that our efforts to find what works — and for whom — are accessible to all students.
11Who will be part of the Stakeholder Committee?
KnowledgeWorks is building and supporting a Stakeholder Committee to ensure that the REMIQS design remains responsive to those who most depend on schools to be successful and to produce equitable outcomes. Students, parents, employers, college/university officials, and state- and local-level policymakers all have a vested and immediate interest in optimizing our schools, and the marginalized individuals within those groups have a magnified interest. Therefore, the Stakeholder Committee will be comprised of individuals from these groups, selected to represent as much as possible a diverse range of backgrounds, state residencies, and expertise that mirror the student populations we most intend to serve.
12What does the Stakeholder Committee do?
The Committee is tasked with two main activities. First, Committee members will review our initial subset of identified schools across the five states and help us select the final list of schools to be investigated. Committee members will possess local, regional, or other contextual knowledge that will help illuminate why some schools may have been appropriately or inappropriately identified in the statistical analysis. Secondly, once the research in those schools begins, the Committee will help the research teams focus their investigations and make meaning of findings within and across the sites. Finally, they may also interact with representatives from local communities who are helping make meaning of data and findings from individual school sites.
13What’s the timeline for the REMIQS project?
— analyze data from state & federal sources to locate successful schools + regular communications to field to capture progress.
— work with Stakeholder Committee and Advisors to select highly successful schools for in-depth case studies + announcements of selected schools and how they were identified.
Academic year 2020-2021
— year 1 of in-depth case studies of highly successful schools across five states + regular updates and insights shared publicly.
Academic year 2021-2022
— year 2 of in-depth case studies of highly successful schools across five states + broad communications campaign to share best practices & policies and accelerate uptake & equity.
14When will you release results?
Please sign up for updates below to make sure you’re included in forthcoming announcements. We plan to release the names of selected schools in the late summer or fall of 2020.
15Where can I find REMIQS materials I can share with others?
Downloadable resources can be found on our Overview page.
16How can I receive updates about REMIQS?
Sign up for updates using the form below.