Areas of Focus
Our team has a wide range of experience and capabilities, but much of our work can be captured in six focus areas that range from K-12 education to post-secondary populations.
Career and Technical Education
As the demand for employees with more sophisticated technical, academic, and employability skills has risen, so has the importance of strong career and technical education (CTE) programs for improving college and career readiness. CNA Education provides the rigorous research and technical assistance needed to strengthen the research on CTE and support CTE programs, particularly those focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Workforce Development and Career Pathways
CNA has supported federal, state, and local education agencies in strengthening workforce development through rigorous, relevant, and timely training and evaluation. CNA has designed and executed evaluation plans of training programs, examined the alignment of academic and technical programs with labor market needs, and defined measures of academic progress and success.
College and Career Readiness
Ensuring students are well prepared for success in college and careers, managing transition, and reducing risk of dropout has become a focus of education reform initiatives. CNA Education has expertise in investigating pathways to success and barriers to individual accomplishment. Our work has also focused on examining policies designed to reduce gaps in educational attainment and performance among students from various sociodemographic backgrounds, analyzing career and technical education programs, and understanding dropout trends.
CNA has over 40 years of experience analyzing the recruitment, retention, assignment, and evaluation of teachers and other public employees. Our analysis of the teacher workforce has covered pay and retention, qualities of good teachers, and the pipeline for new teachers. We have also examined the effects of teacher characteristics, teacher assessments, and national certification programs on student outcomes.
Assessment and Accountability
CNA’s analysis has focused on the characteristics and effectiveness of federal and state accountability systems. We assisted a district with the design of a local accountability system, examined the alignment between a state assessment and nationally recognized standards, and studied the implications of a state-level No Child Left Behind NCLB accountability system.
School safety is linked to improved student and school outcomes. Emotional and physical safety in schools strongly affect academic performance. CNA Education continues to build its expertise in examining the causes and consequences of school violence, developing and evaluating a comprehensive school safety framework, testing innovative and promising school programs using scientifically rigorous methods, and enhancing school safety data collection.
Applied Research and Program Evaluation
- Quantitative and qualitative analysis
- Randomized controlled trials
- Quasi-experimental design studies
- Summative and formative evaluation
- Statistical and econometric analysis
- Fidelity of implementation analysis
- Cost-benefit analyses
- Document analysis
- Literature reviews
- What Works Clearinghouse-certified research reviews
Policy Analysis and Technical Assistance
- Interviews, surveys, and focus groups
- Case studies and site visits
- Working with large-scale databases
- Webinars, meetings, and events