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Past Projects

NYC Department of Education SHSAT Evaluation (2017)

The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) has implemented six initiatives to increase diversity in its specialized high schools (SHS), one of which focuses on preparing 7th graders for the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) through afterschool programming. NYC DOEImplementation of the initiative was facilitated through collaboration between the nine contracted test preparation vendors, School’s Out New York City (SONYC) providers, and host middle schools (program sites). In order to understand the overall quality of each vendor’s offerings and make summative decisions regarding the effectiveness and proximal successes of each such organization, the Office of Student Enrollment (OSE) contracted Hezel Associates (with subcontractor ReLearning Curve) to serve as the third-party, external evaluator for the SHSAT initiative.

Hezel Associates conducted a comprehensive external evaluation to provide formative and summative feedback on the quality of SHSAT prep vendors, assessing the quality of services from organizations contracted to provide test preparation. Hezel Associates used a mixed-methods approach for this evaluation, collecting both qualitative and quantitative data through interviews, classroom observations, documentation, and a student questionnaire. Data was analyzed separately by vendor and then across vendors to compare vendors and examine greater implications for initiative implementation. Hezel Associates presented findings to assist the NYCDOE in making informed decisions about initiative improvements and vendor quality.