What happens when adults in a school are given the tools to understand every single student as whole person with individual strengths and unique academic and personal needs? We were determined to find out.
Just as we believe in the power of data to shape instruction, we have always been committed to rigorous evaluation to understand whether the BARR model is working and how to keep strengthening it.
Tested through 12 within-school randomized control trials and an 18-year longitudinal study, the BARR model has been proven to create statistically significant impacts in 19 areas of academic performance and outcomes for students, teachers, and schools.
The BARR model is also the first and only school-improvement intervention to successfully climb the three tiers of evidence required under the U.S. Department of Education's Investing in Innovation (i3) program, including a Scale Up grant to expand its network to at least 250 schools and more than 250,000 students by the fall of 2021.
Higher Math and Reading Scores
In a randomized control trial of more than 1,200 students, 78.6 percent of BARR students met projected math growth compared to 71.7 percent of non-BARR students. 73.3 percent of BARR students met projected reading growth compared to 67.3 percent of non-BARR students.
For the 2011-2012 school year, freshman at California’s Hemet High school were split into two groups. Half were taught using the BARR model, while the other half were taught under the school’s existing approach. BARR students gained an average of two years’ math growth, while non-BARR students lost a year.
Students Meeting Projected Growth (%)
Students Passing All Core Courses (%)
Decreased Failure Rates and Increased Equity
On average, large urban schools see a 40% reduction in failure rate after one year of BARR while smaller rural schools see a 29% reduction.
An independent study of more than 1,800 randomly assigned high school freshman found that more than 42 percent of non-BARR students failed at least one core course. For BARR students, that number fell to less than 30 percent. The effects were especially large for students of color, male students, and students from low income families (as measured by eligibility for free and reduced-price lunch).
When ninth grade counselor and BARR Founder Angela Jerabek first started implementing the program at St. Louis Park High School in 1998, just 56 percent of freshmen were passing all their core classes. Today, more than 85 percent of St. Louis Park freshman pass all their core classes.
Improved School Climate
Compared to their peers, BARR students report increased expectations and support from their teachers. They also feel more deeply engaged in school.
BARR teachers report significantly better student behavior than non-BARR teachers.
In West Valley High School’s first semester implementing the model, freshmen participating in BARR were suspended at just a quarter of the rate of their non-BARR peers.
At St. Louis Park High School in Minnesota, the number of AP and IB tests taken increased from 200 to 1,160 in 14 years (from fall 1998 to spring 2011).
Maine’s Noble High school implemented BARR with half its freshman in 2014. By the end of the first semester, BARR students had missed roughly half as many days of school as non-BARR students.
How Teachers Feel
Higher Teacher Satisfaction
Compared to their peers, teachers who were assigned to BARR as part of a rigorous study by the American Institutes for Research reported that they felt better supported by their schools and more confident in their own work, collaborated better with and had an improved view of their colleagues, and made better use of data to inform instruction.
The BARR model is the first and only school-improvement intervention to successfully climb the three tiers of evidence required under the U.S. Department of Education's Investing in Innovation (i3) program
The U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse review concluded that BARR’s research "met evidence standards without reservation," the highest possible WWC rating, in three separate studies.
The BARR model is met the Evidence for ESSA requirements for “strong evidence” four times in both reading and math impacts.
BARR is listed in the CASEL Guide for Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs.
BARR received the 2014 ACT College and Career Transition Award.
BARR is included in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).