Research and Evaluation
Analysis of TAG Center Enrollment and its Impact on Readiness for Middle School 

Berhane B. Araia, Ph.D. & Akilah D. Swinton, Ph.D.


The goal of this study was to examine the factors that contribute to under-enrollment of TAG centers in Grade 2 and to examine the achievement of TAG students at the end of Grade 5.  TAG center lottery application and placement data, enrollment data, achievement data, and data from a survey administered to TAG parents were used to address the research questions. The findings from the study indicate that the main source of under-enrollment in the TAG centers is the declining number of the applicant pool (i.e., TAG-identified students), especially in SY16. The failure to meet post lottery deadlines is a second source of under-enrollment, as 17 percent and 13 percent of parents whose students were offered a seat in a TAG center missed deadlines to accept placement in SY15 and SY16, respectively.  Over a third of the parents who responded to the survey reported that they have never applied to a TAG center lottery. The survey data indicates that low participation in the TAG center lottery can be attributed to lack of awareness and information about the TAG center as well as a lack of interest in the TAG center because they prefer the neighborhood school,  the TAG center is too far, or the desire to not separate siblings. The results from the achievement analyses indicate that students who are identified in Grade 1 and receive TAG services are equally prepared for middle school regardless of whether they receive TAG services in a center or in a their neighborhood school. The results also demonstrated that students who enroll in a center in Grades 3 and 4 were equally prepared for middle school as those who enroll in a center in Grade 2. Based on the findings presented in this report, we make several recommendations to improve the TAG center lottery process. 

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    Did You Know?

    That ninety (90%) of PGCPS' school-based administrators expressed being satisfied with their job in 2015, an increase of 10 percentage-points over the rate in 2011.


    More than 33,600 students, 9,000 parents, and 5,700 teachers participated in the 2017 School Climate Survey.