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Learn how Dallas Independent School District uses K-12 program evaluation to maximize student outcomes.

Dallas ISD Leverages K-12 Program Evaluation to Maximize Student Outcomes

The Dallas Independent School District in Texas gains data-driven K-12 program evaluation insights to make key academic recovery decisions.  

Named “one of the nation’s fastest-improving school districts,” Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD) has a high standard of academic programming with an impressive portfolio of student-centered accomplishments. The district is home to two of the top 20 public schools in the U.S. and offers 150 dual-language programs and increased Advanced Placement enrollment and success.   

In 2023, district leaders partnered with Hanover to evaluate the efficacy of their ESSER-funded academic support and tutoring programs to ensure they were making the best use of district resources.  

The Challenge 

In 2019, Dallas ISD invested in Achieving in the Middle (AIM), a $10 million initiative to improve school performance at 23 middle schools. Additionally, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dallas ISD invested district and federal ESSER funds in tutoring and free after-school programming to promote student academic recovery.  

As ESSER funds depleted, Dallas ISD leaders needed to determine which academic support programs were providing the greatest return to students. With limited staff, Dallas ISD leaders knew they would need an external partner to help them gather and analyze the right data to make the best programmatic decisions. 


The percentage of fourth–eighth graders who participated in math tutoring


The percentage of fourth–eighth graders who participated in ELA tutoring


The percentage of students eligible for tutoring that did not participate


The number of Dallas ISD students across 240 schools

The Solution 

To determine the efficacy of Dallas ISD’s academic support programs — and identify how to expand or modify them — Hanover researchers designed a customized plan to analyze program performance data, assess outcomes against stated goals, and provide evidence-based strategies to maximize student learning and success. The multi-phased plan relied on a mixed-methods research approach to:  

  • Build an evaluation framework to explore the efficacy of AIM, tutoring, and after-school programs. 
  • Create data dashboards to analyze tutoring and after-school program participation and outcomes. 
  • Develop logic models to consider how to improve and expand extended learning programs. 
  • Conduct surveys and in-depth interviews with staff and families to measure satisfaction, assess professional development needs, and measure AIM’s fidelity of implementation. 
  • Analyze quantitative and qualitative data. 
  • Share best practices in tutoring models, tutor training, and learning recovery strategies. 
  • Provide benchmarking insights from peer districts on tutoring models and after-school program engagement strategies. 

“The district is committed to using objective and valid information to make informed decisions about its initiatives. Our partnership with Hanover allows us to extend our internal staffing capacity to be able to gather and analyze key program data that will lead to improved educational success for all our students.” 

— Cecilia Oakeley, PhD, Deputy Chief of Evaluation and Assessment 


Find out how to systematically evaluate mental health programs with our Student Well-Being Program Evaluation Checklist.  

The Outcome 

In January 2024, Hanover culminated the project with a capstone-style report synthesizing all the program evaluation findings and recommendations.  

Armed with newfound data and insights, Dallas ISD has entered the next phase of its continuous improvement plans and administrators will use the research to make sound decisions about how to invest resources to increase student learning recovery in the next school year.  

Moving forward, the capstone report can also serve as an annual update on the implementation of academic support programs to increase communication and transparency with community members across the district. 

“Dallas ISD is working to become the best urban district in the United States. Our strategic investments in high-impact tutoring, extended learning opportunities, social and emotional support, and instructional excellence will help us to close the opportunity and achievement gap.”

Cecilia Oakeley, PhD, Deputy Chief of Evaluation and Assessment

Learn how Dallas Independent School District uses K-12 program evaluation to maximize student outcomes.

Dallas, Texas


Evaluate academic support programs within a limited funding landscape

Learn how to leverage more data analysis in your district with our Step-by-Step Guide to K-12 Program Evaluations.

Hanover helped Dallas Independent School District with:




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Data utilization is a districtwide effort. Learn more about promoting data analysis across your district and schools with our newly updated Data Literacy Checklist.

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