Methodology of Research

All components of Real Life have an element of research designed to prove outcomes and/or provide FMA and sponsors with an opportunity to evaluate results and enhance program effectiveness.

In addition to making the program more effective, research is also essential for foundation and Department of Education funding.  Our preliminary 2007-2010 Case Study reporting on 300+ high school students who graduated from the Real Life and Game of Real Life programs.  These students demonstrated significant outcomes with 98.35% of Real Life graduates entering college.

FMA is currently conducting academic research with plans to submit the research to the What Works Clearinghouse, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES).  The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) was created in 2002 to be a central and trusted source of scientific evidence for what works in education.

Our objective is to have a middle to large research study (exceeding 350 subjects). Sponsors, School Districts and parents must agree to the research and provide data required to FMA.

Overview of the Research Process

Patrick Henry Middle School (PHMS) is the first school selected for the research and pilot program. PHMS is a Title 1 school with 100% of students eligible for free or reduced lunch.  More than 90% of the students are African American or Hispanic.  The 7th grade class has 300 students.  The school received a grade of D, based on 2013 student performance.

FMA is evaluating adding other schools to the research to achieve the 350 sample.

Step 1 – Draft of research proposal.  This was completed in November 2014.

Step 2 – Submission and acceptance of proposal by Houston Independent School District (HISD) with letter of support from PHMS principal Sarah Stafford.  This was completed in November 2014.

Step 3 – Research permission slips translated into Spanish and distributed to all 7th grade parents at PHMS.  This was completed in December 2014.

Step 4 – Students, with parent approval, complete registration and pre-program research.  Data collected consists of student demographics, PISA Personal Financial Literacy exam and 8 scale Grit test by The Duckworth Lab at University of Pennsylvania.  Scheduled for January 2015

Step 5 – Students randomly selected for the program.  One-half of the students with parental permission will be in the intervention group and one-half will be in the comparison group.  Scheduled for January 2015.

Step 6 – Information session held for intervention group of students.

Step 7 – Program begins in January and ends in July 2015.

Step 8 – All students complete the PISA Personal Financial Literacy exam and 8 scale Grit test in September 2015.

Step 9 – Academic performance and attendance records are compared for intervention and comparison group.

Step 10 – Research report is written and submitted for peer review and submitted to HISD and WWCH.