Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) is a nonprofit organization based in New York City that administers the Scholars Program. The SEO Scholars Program is an academic after-school counseling service that aims to help low-income public high school students gain admission to and graduate from competitive colleges.
In the first evaluation of the program, PSA compared the high school academic outcomes and college enrollment of SEO Scholars to the corresponding high school academic outcomes and college enrollment of a group of similar students. The evaluation found that SEO Scholars outperformed matched comparison students by statistically significant margins on most outcome measures used in the evaluation, including students’ grade-point average, type of high school diploma earned, SAT scores, and the selectivity of the colleges they attended. You'll find the report here.
At the request of Save the Children, U.S. Programs, PSA is evaluating the participation and literacy achievement of targeted children in the organization's literacy programs, which Save the Children implements in rural communities across the country. PSA has collected and reported on participation and outcome data in each of the first eight years of program operation. The evaluation found that the literacy programs served a population of children whose average reading skills were significantly below grade level and that those served received Save the Children literacy services on a frequent, consistent basis. It also found that participants improved their literacy skills significantly over the course of the program period, moving closer to grade-level performance and to a greater extent than did similar students in the same schools who did not participate in the program. The report of the evaluation of programs in the 2010-11 school year is now available here.
PSA conducts high-quality evaluation, research, and policy analysis to improve decisions in education and youth development.
A 2015 PSA report for The Wallace Foundation details how six urban school districts are beginning to build larger pools of strong principal candidates, revamp principal hiring and placement, and effectively evaluate and support new principals. The report, Building a Stronger Principalship: Districts Taking Charge of the Principal Pipeline, is the third in a multi-year evaluation conducted by PSA and RAND.
A new PSA brief examines the ways in which expanded learning can contribute to the development of mindsets that support student learning and success, based on findings from PSA’s evaluation of TASC’s ExpandED Schools and a review of the current research base. The brief presents evidence that strategic partnerships between schools and community-based organizations can create opportunities for students to take control of their own learning and build confidence in their ability to succeed. PSA also recently completed a comprehensive report on fidelity to the core elements of the ExpandED Schools model in the second year of the national demonstration, including the creation of more time for a balanced curriculum, the implementation of a strong school and community partnership and of engaging and personalized instruction, and the development of an integrated funding model to support the expanded day.