Research is a crucial piece of what we do.
The City Connects evaluation team operates independently, analyzing data from City Connects programs and producing peer-reviewed studies.
So there’s a lot we know about boosting students’ success — and there’s more that we want to know.
Here’s a quick rundown:
Four things we know:
- Up to two-thirds of academic achievement is related to nonacademic factors.
Growing up in challenging circumstances is one of the biggest factors that can erode students’ success.
- City Connects has a positive impact on students’ academic achievement.
Students, for example, do much better in math and English on the statewide exam in Massachusetts.
- City Connects has a positive impact on students’ attendance.
Students at City Connects schools attend significantly more days of school — both when they are in City Connects schools and long after they leave.
- City Connects lowers high school dropout rates.
Years after they’ve left City Connects schools, students are less likely to drop out of high school.
Four things we want to know more about:
- How does City Connects lead to positive outcomes, especially over the long term?
We can see the good outcomes, but we’d like to know more about what produces them and why they stick.
- How does City Connects affect students’ social and emotional learning?
Teachers report that students are improving on these skills, and we’d like to better understand this.
- How does City Connects affect school climate?
From the individual experiences of students to how groups of students, teachers, and parents function, school climate has been found to affect student achievement. We want to understand how City Connects contributes to this.
- Do we see the same positive impacts on students at every City Connects site?
Where we’ve looked, we’ve seen those outcomes replicated, but we want to continue to study both implementation and outcomes in communities across the country.
Research projects are underway, so we’ll report back as we learn more.