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Balance the Equation - BTC Parent/Guardian & Student Assent Letter


Parent/Guardian Permission Form
Purpose. The American Institutes for Research (AIR) and Black Teacher Collaborative (BTC) have received permission from the Research Review Board of the Clayton County Public School system to conduct the research study entitled, Study of Black Liberatory Algebra I Teacher Professional Development program. The purpose of this research is to understand how an innovative math program for teachers affects students’ perceptions of math, as well as their math achievement. The study is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Participation in the Study. Your child has been asked to participate in this research study between the dates of August 10, 2022 and December 16, 2022. The manner of your child’s participation will include the following:

Balance the Equation Student Survey— A student survey in fall 2022 and again in winter 2022. The student survey will consist of a 20-minute survey about students’ experiences in math class and their perceptions of math. Survey responses will be used only for research purposes. 

Balance the Equation Student Focus Group — We will conduct 3-4 focus groups with small groups of students to hear their perspectives on their math identity and math experiences. Focus groups will take place in the middle of the fall 2022 semester and will be approximately 30 minutes in length. We will record these sessions for data analysis but will not share the recording outside of the project team. Not all students participating in the study will be asked to participate in the focus groups.

Participation in this study is voluntary and will not affect your child’s grades or future classroom placements. If you decide to withdraw permission after the study begins, please notify the school of your decision. 

Risks and Discomfort. Minimal risks are anticipated as a result of your child’s participation. As a general rule, researchers are not permitted to conduct any studies that will disrupt the order of the typical instructional program found at any Clayton County Public School.

Benefits. As the parent and/or guardian of a student(s) participating in this research study, the researcher believes that the information produced will improve the quality of instruction and types of services it provides for all children in Clayton County Public Schools

Confidentiality. All information is confidential and will only be used for research purposes. Anonymity is assured as your child’s name will not appear in any written reports that stem from data collected by the researcher. Information collected will be stored in a secure computer environment that is password-protected, encrypted, and only accessible by selected members of the study team until December 2025. At that time, all information associated with the present study will be destroyed.

More Information. If you would like more information about this study, you may contact Dr. Toni Smith at AIR at, or 202-403-5926. If you have any concerns or questions about your child's rights as a research participant, contact AIR’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), which is responsible for the protection of project participants, at, or toll free at 1-800-634-0797.