“I appreciate the ability to use Hanover’s literature to gain insight about what other school districts are doing. This research is helpful in giving us validated, data-driven answers into some of our district’s key questions.”
– Melissa DeSimone,
Dir. of Research, Assessment, & Accountability
Northwest Independent School District (NISD) joined Hanover Research in Fall 2012 to grow the administration’s program evaluation capacity and amplify pathways and support structures in college and career readiness.
THE HANOVER PARTNERSHIP
Hanover helps us diagnose what the best practices in the field are, which enables us to prescribe solutions that ensure our programming aligns with industry standards.”
Dir. of College & Career Readiness
398,130 Texas students completed Advanced Placement (AP) exams in 2013. NISD students accounted for 2,312 of these exams, with 77% of NISD AP students taking one or more AP exam.
When reviewing the district’s success metrics, Melissa DeSimone, NISD’s Director of Research, Assessment, & Accountability, hypothesized there was a missing link between current programming and the district’s effectiveness in enabling postsecondary student success. She also believed that an increased focus on teacher quality, vertical alignment, and professional development would serve as key components to bridge this gap. To validate this hypothesis, Melissa collaborated with Hanover to develop a research-driven college and career readiness initiative.
THE RESEARCH PROCESS
THE DISTRICT VALUE
NISD’s motto is “Every Student Future Ready,” a goal it will continue to fulfill as the college and career readiness initiative progresses. Hanover’s contributions in the first phase of this iterative research process helped the district strategize how to enhance current programming, ultimately achieved through the establishment of the Director of College & Career Readiness position.
Kyle Seipp, NISD’s new Director of College & Career Readiness, stated:
Furthering our initial benchmarking research to analyze the specific student data from SAT and ACT test scores will continue to answer big questions for our district. Given the current scope of our program, we can determine if our efforts are leading to success. Based on this research, we will know if we should keep our current program focus or redirect efforts to increase student achievement.”
As the district is projected to grow by an additional 11,000 students within the next eight years, Kyle, Melissa, and the NISD team plan to apply Hanover’s research to inform upcoming future-readiness needs.
The Benchmarking AP Scores in Texas project was a six-week request included within NISD’s year-long research partnership. All services are delivered on a fixed-fee, annual contract basis, where partners receive support on an unlimited number of projects within a sequential research queue across the contract terms.