The iSTEM study is the first large-scale controlled longitudinal study of the impacts of inclusive STEM high schools in the United States. The research builds on the data collected during a 2-year Feasibility Study that began in North Carolina in September 2011. The study's focus is on the extent to which inclusive STEM high schools contribute to improved academic outcomes, interests in STEM careers, and expectations for post secondary study. The research study engages in implementation research to examine the elements of the STEM schools' design and implementation and other contextual factors, including state policies, which are associated with superior outcomes. 

The study uses a quasi-experimental study design to investigate the effects of attending an inclusive STEM high school, and compares outcomes for students in these schools with those of their counterparts attending other types of schools in the same states. The study includes all students in the 9th or 12th grade in the inclusive STEM high schools and students in samples of same-state comparison schools. Data are collected longitudinally using student records and surveying students at regular intervals. The study follows the 12th grade students after graduation into postsecondary study and the workforce.  Impacts on student achievement are analyzed separately for each state. Data on the elements of STEM schools are collected through teacher and administrator surveys and interviews. State STEM school history and policy data are collected through document analysis and interviews.


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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-1118993. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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This project is funded by the National Science Foundation under NSF grant number DRL-1118993.