All students enter school with a combination of "headwinds" and "tailwinds". Tailwinds are the things that make school easier for students. Tailwinds include things such as coming from a home with parents of high education levels and economic stability, being a native English speaker, not having a disability, and being a member of the cultural majority. Each of those characteristics plays a role in helping a student experience success in school.

Headwinds on the other hand make school more difficult. Headwinds can include having economic instability at home, parents with lower levels of education, having a disability, or still learning English. The more headwinds a student has, the more difficulty they will have in maximizing their academic potential and the more “tailwinds” they will need. Tailwinds come in the form of high-quality instruction, support, and intervention.

The Academic Support Index, or ASI, quantifies these headwinds. A student’s ASI is the sum of their headwinds. Their ASI can also be considered a measure of the amount of support that they will need in order to mitigate the impact of those educational headwinds. Students with a low ASI will likely need very little additional support outside of Tier 1 instruction. Higher ASI students will likely need proportionally higher amounts of Tier 2 and sometimes Tier 3 supports.

There is a strong relationship between the ASI and academic outcomes. These include standardized and standards-based assessments such as the SAT, Smarter Balanced Assessments, AP and IB tests, STAR Reading and Math, kindergarten screeners, cumulative grade point averages, rates of college eligibility, and rates of college degree attainment. We have studied these effects over seven years of data as well as across urban, suburban, and rural schools. To date over 400,000 students have been scored on the ASI. (See the featured post below for a list of papers and presentations on the ASI).

Because the ASI is able to reliably predict student outcomes you have to opportunity to interrupt that predictability by using the ASI to make sure that you are identifying the right students for early intervention and support. With effective intervention, predictive analytics can become preventive analytics.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The ASI as a predictor of SAT performance

Now that the College Board is going to start providing an "Adversity Index" along with SAT scores, I thought I'd take a look at how well the ASI aligns with students' SAT scores.  The ASI itself is a measure of the academic headwinds that students face.  I suspect the Adversity Index is attempting to do something similar.

Friday, April 26, 2019

AERA Division H Outstanding Paper Award for Advances in Methodology

At the 2019 American Educational Research Association meeting in Toronto our paper "Maximizing Assessment Performance of At-Risk Students Using the Academic Support Index to Engineer a Low Stress Testing Environment" was recognized by Division H (Research, Evaluation, and Assessment in Schools) in their Outstanding Paper competition under the category for Advances in Methodology.  

Monday, January 28, 2019

IEUC San Diego 2019

Title: Focusing on Equity Using the Academic Support Index
Abstract: Closing the achievement gap is the challenge of our time. When looking at student data, it is imperative that we examine performance through a lens that focuses our attention on the right students. The Academic Support Index (ASI) provides a more nuanced and effective way to identify students for support.  In this session attendees will learn how to calculate students’ ASI, identify students for support prior to academic struggles, look at assessments in Illuminate, and evaluate academic data through the ASI lens. Research proven examples of how the ASI has been used to close the achievement gap will be provided.

Thursday (Day 1), Session 2, 11:15-12:15, Room 24A

Friday (Day 2), Session 8, 1:30-2:30, Room 24B

Sunday, November 4, 2018

ASI slides for visiting WASC team

Click here to access the slide deck from the presentation. Please feel free to email me with any questions.

Learn more about using the ASI framework in your school or district here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

AERA 2018 Slide deck

Thank you all for attending my session.  You can access the slides from the presentation here. Please feel free to email me with your thoughts, questions, or concerns.  If you have difficulty accessing this file please email me and I can send it to you directly.

Learn more about using the ASI framework in your school or district here.

Friday, April 6, 2018

AERA 2018 Demonstration session, New York, April 17th, 10:35-12:05

Session Title:   Building Your Own Academic Support Index for Research, Evaluation, and Intervention Design

Disaggregating data by demographic categories such as gender, race, and class ignores the fact that
students exist in multiple categories simultaneously and that these categories are inherently interactive. The Academic Support Index (ASI) addresses this by accounting for the additive impact of students’characteristics. The ASI is a tool based on the statistical relationship between demographic fields and student academic performance. The ASI has strong correlation to outcomes including Smarter Balanced Assessments, grade point averages, and post-secondary degree attainment. This session will include an introduction to the background, development, and effective applications of the ASI as well as a practicum for researchers and educators to calculate the ASI of their students.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Equity Conference: San Pablo, California

Thank you for attending this past Saturday.  Please email me with any questions.
Click here to see the slide deck.

Learn more about using the ASI framework in your school or district here.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Are you using the Academic Support Index in your school or district?

By my latest count there are about 300,000 students that have been scored using the ASI.  I'd like to share some data around both its use and applications at my presentation at the American Educational Research Association in New York in April.

Are you using the ASI and want to contribute to its knowledge base? Please email me with the following information:

1. Your name and district/school.
2. Contact information
3. Number of students scored on the ASI
4. Description of how you have been using the ASI.

You can email me by clicking on my name at the bottom of any of the blog posts.

Thank you!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Effect size of the Academic Support Index on Smarter Balanced Assessment performance

In this analysis I compare the effect size of the ASI and other demographic fields on students "distance from met" on the Smarter Balanced Assessment for English Language Arts (ELA) and Math over three years of data.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Illuminate Education Users Conference 2018

My presentation "Using the Academic Support Index as a Lens When Looking at Data" will be offered both Thursday and Friday at 9:30 AM in room 30A. You can preview the slide deck here.  Feel free to send me any questions you would like addressed in advance.  See you in San Diego!