Academic Achievement

"Expeditionary Learning...this is how kids want to learn."
—U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at King Middle School, Portland, ME

 

We are a growing network with national Reach

  

We Drive improvement in a wide variety of settings

 

We serve a diverse population of students

 


Schools implementing the el model outperform district averages in reading/english language arts and math

 

 

Longer partnerships with el and deeper implementation of the model yield higher achievement scores

 

Expeditionary Learning's expanding evidence base

EL is committed to collecting third-party research on the impact of its work. Three recent studies show statistically significant evidence of EL’s impact on student achievement.

Study 1: Impacts of Five Expeditionary Learning Middle Schools on Academic Achievement 

Type: Quasi-experimental matched comparison group design
Location: Washington, D.C. and New York, NY
Date: July 2013

Author: Mathematica Policy Research

Summary: In a 2013 study, Mathematica researchers matched students from five urban middle schools founded in partnership with EL in Washington, D.C., and New York City to a comparison group of students with similar demographic characteristics and baseline achievement in the two years before students entered EL schools.

Researchers found that the five Expeditionary Learning schools in the study had positive, statistically significant impacts on both reading and math test scores. In reading, Expeditionary Learning students experience positive impacts that are roughly equal in magnitude to an extra five months of learning growth after two years and an extra seven months of learning after three years.  In math, Expeditionary Learning students experience positive impacts roughly equal to an extra three months of learning growth after two years and 10 months of extra learning growth after three years.

 

Study 2: Impact of the Expeditionary Learning model on student academic performance in Rochester, NY

Type: Quasi-experimental matched comparison group design
Location: Rochester, NY
Date: July 2011
Author: UMASS Donahue Institute

Summary: In a 2010 study of EL schools in Rochester, NY, researchers compared students from EL elementary and middle schools to district peers in non-EL schools in Rochester, NY over two academic years. Researchers documented two important findings:

Participating in an EL school resulted in substantial and statistically significant achievement advantages for elementary students in English/language arts (ELA) and math, and for both years of middle school ELA. 

These statistically significant positive effects predict that, on average, enrollment in an EL school would raise 55% of comparison school elementary students and 39% of comparison school middle school students from the non-proficient level to the proficient level on the ELA exam. In math, the effect size suggested that 65% of elementary students would have increased from the non-proficient level to the proficient level. 

Study 3: The relationship between Expeditionary Learning participation and academic growth

Type: Quasi-experimental study
Location: National
Date: 2010
Author: Mountain Measurement, Inc.

Summary: In a national study of more than 11,000 students in eight states, researchers compared growth in reading, math, and language usage between students in EL schools to a non-EL comparison group. The researchers found that in mature EL schools – those that had implemented the EL program at a high level of fidelity for three years or more – students experienced significantly greater test score gains than non-EL students in four out of six comparisons in math, reading, and language usage.

Study 4: Expeditionary Learning: Analysis of impact on achievement gaps

Type: Quasi-experimental matched comparison group design
Location: New York, NY and Rochester, NY
Date: December 2011
Author: UMASS Donahue Institute

Summary: In a 2011 study, researchers examined the progress that EL schools in New York made between 2006 and 2010 toward closing achievement gaps for specific student populations: Hispanic, African-American, and special education students, English language learners, and those eligible for free or reduced price lunch. These gaps were measured in terms of effect sizes for English/language arts (ELA) and mathematics.1 Representing achievement gaps as effect sizes created a benchmark against which EL and comparison school effect sizes could be measured. Researchers documented two important findings:

Results provide strong evidence that EL schools are closing achievement gaps for these populations in Rochester and New York City. Residual effect sizes are large and consistent in ELA in all three schools and in math in two of the schools.

Effect sizes suggest that the EL schools in this study are substantially closing achievement gaps for students eligible for free or reduced price lunch, English language learners, and African-American and Hispanic students. In many cases, the achievement gap was completely closed. 

 1 Methodology described by Bloom, Hill, Black, and Lipsey (2008)