NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED538135
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 338
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Students Training for Academic Readiness (STAR): Year Two Evaluation Report
Maloney, Catherine; Sheehan, Daniel; Rainey, Katie; Whipple, Allyson
Texas Center for Educational Research
The federal Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, or GEAR UP, project strives to equalize low-income students' access to higher education by increasing their participation in rigorous coursework, providing expanded opportunities for low-income students and parents to learn about postsecondary educational opportunities and financing options, and forging strong partnerships between school districts, colleges, and community support groups. Created as part of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965, GEAR UP began in 1998 as a system of federally funded grants targeted to schools in which at least 50% of students are designated as low income by their eligibility for free- or reduced-price lunches. In 2006, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) applied for and received a state grant to administer a GEAR UP project in six Gulf Coast area school districts in which "a college education seems almost impossible" for many students (TEA, GEAR UP grant application, 2006). The state project, Students Training for Academic Readiness, or STAR, will receive approximately $18 million in federal funding across six school years (about $3 million each project year) to implement GEAR UP in the six STAR districts. Each district is eligible to receive funding ranging from $125,000 to $250,000 annually for each year of the grant and must provide matching funds equivalent to at least 101.55% of the federal contribution. This report presents information on the second year (2007-08) of the STAR project, making comparisons, where appropriate, to first year (2006-07) findings and baseline data collected for the 2005-06 school year. Report chapters rely on data collected through paper and pencil surveys of middle and high school students; an online survey of STAR teachers, counselors, and librarians; and a telephone survey of parents of students enrolled in STAR campuses; as well as data collected through interviews with administrators and counselors in STAR districts, focus group discussions with teachers on STAR campuses, and observations in STAR core content area classrooms. In addition, the report incorporates archival data drawn from TEA's Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) and Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS), the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and College Board reports. Chapter 1 provides a brief summary of the college readiness literature and an overview of the components of the STAR project and partners. Chapter 2 presents the theoretical framework and methodology of the evaluation and describes the characteristics of the STAR districts and campuses as well as the characteristics of respondents to STAR's 2008 surveys of middle and high school students; teachers, counselors, and librarians; and parents of students attending STAR campuses. Chapter 3 presents baseline information about instruction in STAR classrooms. Classroom observation data were collected during spring 2008 site visits and will provide an initial measure against which evaluators will assess changes in classroom practice across future evaluation years. Chapter 4 examines the STAR districts' approaches to providing college information to students and their families, and generating family and community support for college readiness. Findings are derived from analysis of site visit interviews with teachers and administrators and from surveys of students and parents. Chapter 5 describes STAR districts' efforts to increase students' access to advanced academic programs and to provide teacher professional development to improve the rigor of instruction. Findings are derived from analyses of student surveys; a survey of teachers, counselors, and librarians; and site visit interviews with teachers, administrators, and counselors. Chapter 6 discusses STAR students' first year (2006-07) academic performance, advanced course completion, and graduation and college enrollment rates for STAR districts relative to baseline data collected in 2005-06. The chapter relies on archival data sources, including Texas Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) and the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) as well as Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and College Board reports. Chapter 7 presents a summary of the findings of the 2007-08 STAR evaluation. Appended are: (1) Results from the Survey of Teachers, Counselors, and Librarians; (2) Results from the Parent Survey; (3) Results from the Middle School Student Survey; (4) Results from the High School Student Survey; (5) Instruments and Protocols; and (6) STAR Goals and Objectives. Individual chapters contain footnotes. GEAR UP STAR Glossary of Programs is included. Individual chapters contain footnotes. (Contains 165 tables and 30 figures.) [For "Students Training for Academic Readiness (STAR): Year Two Evaluation Report. Executive Summary," see ED538136. For "Students Training for Academic Readiness (STAR): Year One Evaluation Report," see ED538133.]
Texas Center for Educational Research. P.O. Box 679002, Austin, TX 78767. Tel: 800-580-8237; Tel: 512-467-3632; Fax: 512-467-3658; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Texas Education Agency
Authoring Institution: Texas Center for Educational Research (TCER)
Identifiers - Location: Texas