Non-profit

American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences (AIR)

Website:

www.air.org/%20

Location:

Washington, DC

Tax ID:

25-0965219

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $829,569,118
Expenses: $430,980,832
Assets: $869,577,472

Type:

Research Organization

Formation:

1946

Chair:

Patricia Gurin

American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences (AIR) conducts behavioral and social science research for clients including the federal government. Founded in 1946, it produces white papers on social science subjects including health, education, and workforce development. [1]

AIR states that “embracing diverse…racial/ethnic and cultural backgrounds” and “gender identities” drives its work. [2] It adds that it implements diversity and inclusion in everything it does, including its work on American public education. [3] American Institutes for Research has been involved in education since its founding, beginning with Project TALENT in 1957, which studied 400,000 students. [4]

AIR’s clients include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, George Kaiser Family Foundation, the state of California, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [5]

History

The American Institutes for Research was founded in 1946 by John C. Flanagan. Flanagan, who originally worked in aviation psychology, was AIR’s first President and CEO until 1967 and again from 1970 to 1973. [6]

Education Policy

NCLB Research and ESSA Authorization

In 2006, American Institutes for Research conducted two studies of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, which were sources for Congress’s assessment of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and Title I, a federal program that helps low-income students. [7] AIR concluded that there was insufficient uniformity in teacher and school improvement standards [8] [9] and that NCLB lacked funding for low-income neighborhoods. [10]

AIR’s research was used in nine reports between 2006 and 2011. [11]

ESEA was re-authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015. [12] AIR’s research informed the implementation of ESSA States, [13] leading to recommendations that school districts should utilize technology for accessibility [14] and guidelines for how districts should evaluate teacher performance. [15]

Common Core Testing

During the 2000s, AIR expanded its involvement in education research. [16] The non-profit joined Smarter Balanced testing, [17] which “is based on the Common Core.” [18] AIR was chosen to partner with the testing effort in 2013 and 2014. [19]

In 2015, surveys found dissatisfaction with Smarter Balanced testing. Ohio state Sen. Peggy Lehner (R) noted widespread criticism of Smarter Balanced testing in Ohio. In Florida, there were many issues with technical testing programs. In some cases, students were unable to access tests. Tampa Commissioner Pam Stewart described this as a “disruption” and demanded that AIR be held accountable. In 2013, Minnesota faced similar issues as Florida had. [20]

Other Education Projects

AIR is involved in Research Education Laboratories (RELs), which develop education policy in collaboration with the federal government and local school districts. [21] RELs contribute to research on how the demographic group to which students belong may impact outcomes both in school and later in life. [22]

AIR’s Project TALENT began in 1957 and studied 400,000 students for 11 years to investigate causal relationships between high school experiences and later life experiences. The study found that socioeconomic background outweighed academic ability when predicting college enrollment and career paths, significant numbers of high school girls want to be housewives, and that there was a significant gender wage gap in 1977. [23] In the 2010s, AIR followed up with 60,000 of the original subjects to conduct an aging study. [24]

Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER) is a joint project between AIR and multiple universities across the United States, including Duke University, Stanford University, and University of Texas at Dallas. The CALDER project is oriented around researching education practices. [25] CALDER’s first reports were published in 2008, and the center still continues to publish papers. [26]

Political Donations

According to OpenSecrets, American Institutes for Research-associated persons (which includes members, employees, and owners who report an AIR affiliation with their political donation), have made $156,599 in recent political donations. These people gave $54,210 to President Joseph Biden, $10,926 to the Democratic National Convention, $7,729 to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and other smaller donations to Democratic candidates and politicians. There were no significant contributions to Republican candidates or politicians. [27]

Finances

In 2019, AIR received $829,569,118 in revenue. Its total functional expenses totaled $430,980,832, and its net income was $398,588,286. [28]

Its revenue was comprised of contributions totaling $476,002,962 (57.4%) and sales of assets totaling $345,763,077 (41.7%). The largest share of expenses was salaries and wages, totaling $166,336,534 (38.6%). [29]

In 2019, AIR gave $211,289 to the Kaiser Foundation. [30]

The non-profit has received more than 180 federal grants and contracts, according to CauseIQ. [31]

References

  1. “Our Work.” American Institutes for Research. Accessed June 7, 2022. https://www.air.org/our-work ^
  2. “Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” American Institutes for Research. Accessed May 13, 2022.  https://www.air.org/our-commitment-diversity-equity-and-inclusion ^
  3.  “Regional Education Laboratories.” American Institutes for Research. March 14, 2014.  https://www.air.org/resource/spotlight/regional-educational-laboratories ^
  4. “Our History.” American Institutes for Research. Accessed May 13, 2022. https://www.air.org/about#timeline ^
  5. “Our Clients.” American Institutes for Research. Accessed May 13, 2022. https://www.air.org/our-clients ^
  6. “Our History.” American Institutes for Research. Accessed May 13, 2022. https://www.air.org/about#timeline ^
  7. “Our History.” American Institutes for Research. Accessed May 13, 2022. https://www.air.org/about#timeline ^
  8. “State and Local Implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act Volume VIII—Teacher Quality Under NCLB: Final Report.” American Institutes for Research. Provided for U.S. Department of Education. 2009. https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/teaching/nclb-final/report.pdf ^
  9. “State and Local Implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act Volume III—Accountability Under NCLB: Interim Report.” American Institutes for Research. Provided for U.S. Department of Education. 2007. https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/disadv/nclb-accountability/nclb-accountability.pdf ^
  10. “State and Local Implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act: Volume VI—Targeting and Uses of Federal Education Funds.” U.S. Department of Education. 2009. https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/disadv/nclb-targeting/nclb-targeting.pdf ^
  11. “Analysis of the National Longitudinal Study of NCLB (NLS-NCLB) and the Study of State Implementation of Accountability and Teacher Quality Under NCLB (SSI-NCLB)”. American Institutes for Research. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://www.air.org/project/analysis-national-longitudinal-study-nclb-nls-nclb-and-study-state-implementation ^
  12. “ESEA Reauthorization.” Hunt Institute. Accessed June 10, 2022. http://www.hunt-institute.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Update_ESEAReauthorization_Final_ForWeb.pdf ^
  13. “ESSA at AIR.” American Institutes for Research. Accessed May 13, 2022. https://www.air.org/resource/spotlight/essa-air ^
  14. “ESSA and Digital Learning Closing the Digital Accessibility Gap.” American Institutes for Research. November 2018. https://www.air.org/sites/default/files/2021-06/ESSA-Digital-Lrng-508.pdf ^
  15. “Teacher Effectiveness in the Every Student Succeeds Act A Discussion Guide.” American Institutes for Research. November 2016. https://www.air.org/sites/default/files/2021-06/TeacherEffectiveness_ESSA.pdf ^
  16. “Our History.” American Institutes for Research. Accessed May 13, 2022. https://www.air.org/about#timeline ^
  17. “Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Selects American Institutes for Research to Create an Online Test Delivery System for States.” American Institutes for Research. September 6, 2012. https://www.air.org/news/press-release/smarter-balanced-assessment-consortium-selects-american-institutes-research ^
  18. “Smarter Balanced Assessment System.” California Department of Education. Accessed May 13, 2022. https://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sa/ ^
  19. “Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Selects American Institutes for Research to Create an Online Test Delivery System for States.” American Institutes for Research. September 6, 2012. https://www.air.org/news/press-release/smarter-balanced-assessment-consortium-selects-american-institutes-research ^
  20. O’Donnell, Patrick. “AIR takes over Ohio testing with optimism, but also controversy.” Cleveland.com. July 2, 2015. https://www.cleveland.com/metro/2015/07/air_takes_over_ohio_testing_wi.html ^
  21. “Regional Education Laboratories.” American Institutes for Research. March 14, 2014.  https://www.air.org/resource/spotlight/regional-educational-laboratories ^
  22. “About the RELs.” IES. Accessed May 26, 2022. https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/rel/About ^
  23. “Findings.” Project Talent. Accessed June 21, 2022. http://www.projecttalent.org/about/findings/ ^
  24. “About Project Talent: Overview.” Project Talent. Accessed May 13, 2022. https://www.projecttalent.org/about/overview/ ^
  25. “Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER).” American Institutes for Research. Accessed May 13, 2022. https://www.air.org/centers/national-center-analysis-longitudinal-data-education-research-calder ^
  26. “Publications.” CALDER. Accessed June 21, 2022. https://caldercenter.org/publications?tag_select=All&field_pub_published_date_value%5Bvalue%5D%5Byear%5D=2008&field_research_areas_tid=All&field_policy_brief_value=All ^
  27. “American Institutes for Research.” Open Secrets. Accessed May 17, 2022. https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/american-institutes-for-research/summary?id=D000031483 ^
  28. [1] American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences. Return of an Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990). 2019.  https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/250965219/04_2021_prefixes_23-25%2F250965219_201912_990_2021040117852748 ^
  29. American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences. Return of an Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990). 2019.  https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/250965219/04_2021_prefixes_23-25%2F250965219_201912_990_2021040117852748 ^
  30. American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences. Return of an Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990). 2019.  https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/250965219/04_2021_prefixes_23-25%2F250965219_201912_990_2021040117852748 ^
  31. “American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences.” Cause IQ. Accessed May 13, 2022. https://www.causeiq.com/organizations/american-institutes-for-research-in-the-behavioral,250965219/ ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: August 1, 1948

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Dec Form 990 $829,569,118 $430,980,832 $869,577,472 $107,439,294 Y $476,002,962 $17,489 $7,966,866 $13,144,620 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $481,741,424 $439,128,941 $464,107,012 $129,276,396 Y $462,380,008 $38,255 $7,264,630 $9,546,538 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $457,805,054 $427,252,118 $435,565,954 $110,862,346 Y $449,114,978 $151,466 $5,297,397 $7,806,366 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $458,835,950 $420,518,051 $380,943,069 $110,594,212 Y $453,000,720 $111,459 $3,680,250 $6,730,301 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $476,490,415 $437,660,626 $348,281,698 $121,891,444 N $469,315,779 $306,329 $2,777,537 $6,747,195 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $396,164,835 $371,441,852 $302,650,420 $109,337,954 N $384,797,411 $463,310 $3,859,400 $7,044,218 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $354,615,195 $335,591,383 $266,157,083 $91,791,195 N $347,960,823 $317,449 $2,548,501 $6,011,708 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $314,636,288 $296,832,656 $239,392,864 $88,693,845 N $310,634,501 $960,627 $2,780,175 $6,029,590 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $279,391,722 $260,743,764 $198,648,393 $72,427,917 N $275,772,480 $719,876 $2,343,801 $9,497,738 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences (AIR)


    Washington, DC