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California 2010 Development Grant Abstracts


Grantee:

Advancement Through Opportunity and Knowledge

PR Award Number:

U396C100081

Project Title:

District-Wide Program Development, Expansion and Evaluation of the Education Pilot Program (EPP)

Project Director:

Lydia Cincore-Templeton
323-730-9400

Amount of Award:

$3,742,580

Length of Award:

4 years

Absolute Priority:

AP2: Use of Data

List of Partners (with states for each):

School Districts
Montebello Unified School Districts (CA)
Pomona Unified School Districts (CA)

Other
Advancement Through Opportunity and Knowledge (CA)
Department of Children and Family Services (CA)
Education Coordinating Council (CA)
Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office (CA)

Project Website:

www.cyfcla.org

Description of Project:

Generally, those responsible for the care of foster youth have not worked together effectively to address the complex administrative and educational obstacles these youth face — frequent placement changes, delays in transfers between schools, lost records, lack of connection to available resources and difficulties enrolling in classes required for graduation. To address these historical deficiencies, the Education Pilot Program (EPP) utilizes and shares data across sectors in an integrated service model that provides a district-based Department of Children and Family Services social worker focused on each youth’s education-related needs, a comprehensive intake assessment, an individualized learning plan, intensive tutoring and remediation services, and pre-emancipation planning. Service provision and student progress are monitored by a multidisciplinary Care Team that meets bi-weekly to coordinate educational services for participants. EPP is innovative in its student-centered, multipronged approach, supported by the collective efforts of all of the agencies that interface with foster youth: school districts, child welfare services, direct service providers and foster youth programming experts.

EPP is designed to be a model program suitable for replication in any region in which school districts, child protective services and community stakeholders are willing to partner to improve outcomes for foster youth. The proposed project will expand the EPP program to additional schools and bring it to scale at a district wide level. This expansion project will bring EPP to 13 additional schools. As the service model is scaled up for expansion across California and beyond, the work of the lead agency will evolve from providing direct service to providing training and technical assistance for collaborative partners as they implement the model in their communities.

Project outcomes include the following: (1) EPP will be fully operational at 13 schools; (2) EPP will serve 700 foster youth; (3) participants completing a minimum of 4 hours per week of tutoring and remediation services will show greater improvement in their grade point averages than those in the comparison group; (4) a higher percentage of foster youth seniors who complete at least 4 hours per week of tutoring and remediation will receive their high school diplomas than foster youth in the comparison group; (5) a higher percentage of high school graduates who complete EPP will enroll in postsecondary education than those in the comparison group; (6) the EPP service model will be fully codified, with 10 school districts identified for replication; and (7) a 3-year replication strategy will be developed.

Description of Evaluation:

EPP will be evaluated through a rigorous quasi-experimental design using comparison groups and value-added analyses — a multiple-regression procedure that provides an assessment of progress relative to the anticipated growth trajectory. The comparison group of foster youth will be matched to the study group using a series of relevant variables. Research questions will address which outcomes improve and the significance of those improvements, what the data reveal about the dosage and improvements in outcomes, and how that varies by grade level or other demographic variables; and what policies and procedures are most critical to successful implementation.

Project Evaluator:

Maura Harrington
213-346-3258

Organization:

Center for Nonprofit Management


Grantee:

Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools

PR Award Number:

U396C100321

Project Title:

CollegeYES

Project Director:

Toria Williams
213-943-4930

Amount of Award:

$4,989,786

Length of Award:

5 years

Absolute Priority:

AP3: High Standards and High-Quality Assessments

List of Partners (with states for each):

International Society for Technology in Education (OR)
Kijana Voices (WA)

Project Website:

www.laalliance.org

Description of Project:

CollegeYES will use engaging, empowering strategies to prepare high-needs Los Angeles middle and high school students in its charter school network to perform to high standards and to enroll in and graduate from college. To achieve this objective, CollegeYES will ensure that all students in Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools use modern technology to learn and help invent their lives. CollegeYES does the following:

  • Focuses on new Common Core and College/Career Readiness Standards. CollegeYES incorporates research-based professional development to support teacher adoption of standards and best practices related to project-based learning, with a focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and advisory curricula.
  • Addresses students' preparedness and expectations related to college. The program helps students understand issues of college affordability, financial aid and college application.
  • Establishes a team of 12 Student Technology Leaders (STLs) at each school. STLs form a foundation that will ensure that Alliance schools are world-class, using present and future technology.
  • Establishes a CollegeYES online network. The network connects STLs, teachers, school and district administrators, content experts and evaluators. This network forms the major communication, collaboration and data collection environment for meeting project goals.
  • Ensures that all Alliance students are highly proficient users of technology. Students achieve proficiency by creating two annual projects: one related to college readiness and the other to science. STLs help students complete projects and, with CollegeYES Advisors, assess projects to ensure that they meet National Education Technology Standards.

This innovative technology integration strategy establishes a powerful model for the nation's schools. The Alliance Board has identified increased use of technology by students and teachers as one of the greatest needs to improve the success of students in STEM coursework. Technology will help prepare students to graduate, be college and career ready, and develop research and independent learning skills.

A total of 18 Alliance schools will participate in CollegeYES through a phased-in approach. By the end of the grant period, all Alliance students and teachers will take part in CollegeYES. At that point, outcomes that indicate program success will be as follows: each school has implemented the model with fidelity; a minimum of 200 students have demonstrated exemplary leadership and technology skills; 80 percent of students complete technology certification; an increased number of students are prepared to enter college and apply for and receive financial aid; and there is an increase in the 4-year college enrollment rate among students in participating schools.

Description of Evaluation:

The program evaluation will address four research questions: (1) What is the site-based context in which the project is implemented? (2) To what extent does increased access to technology impact college/career readiness? (3) To what extent does scaffold support build sustainable capacity? (4) To what extent are the critical components of CollegeYES present when the program is implemented at each site? Data sources include surveys, observations of summer trainings, analysis of student work, interviews, students’ grade point averages in core content areas and California Standards Test scores, and results of a college readiness assessment and the International Society for Technology in Education’s 21st Century Skills Assessment.

Project Evaluator:

Sheila Cassidy
310-548-0077

Organization:

Wexford Institute


Project Evaluator:

Lisa Evans
310-548-0077

Organization:

Wexford Institute


Grantee:

California Education Round Table Intersegmental Coordinating Committee

PR Award Number:

U396C100135

Project Title:

STEM Learning Opportunities Providing Equity (SLOPE)

Project Director:

Sharon Twitty
559-930-4544

Amount of Award:

$4,982,527

Length of Award:

5 years

Absolute Priority:

AP3: High Standards and High-Quality Assessments

List of Partners (with states for each):

School Districts
Antioch School District (CA)
Los Angeles Unified School District (CA)
Newman-Crows Landing School District (CA)
Pasadena Unified School District (CA)
Patterson Unified School District (CA)
Porterville Unified School District (CA)
Redding Unified School District (CA)
Waterford Unified School District (CA)

Other
ConnectEd (CA)

Project Website:

TBD

Description of Project:

SLOPE builds on a project-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-focused pre-algebra and algebra curriculum, college readiness curriculum, experience with English language learners (ELLs), and a teacher reflective collaborative coaching model to deliver a three-tiered intervention for high-needs students (summer accelerated project-based pre-algebra plus college readiness, academic-year-enriched algebra, and after-school support) that will increase eighth-grade algebra pass rates among under-represented students. Combining three promising strategies in an innovative, scalable project builds support for the hypothesis that the project will have a positive impact on improving student mathematics performance, closing the achievement gap, increasing college enrollment and increasing the number of students entering STEM pathways.

There is a clear need for new approaches that will increase the proportion of high-needs, under-represented students meeting rigorous standards in algebra in the eighth grade and entering STEM pathways. While summer algebra academies have been tried with some success, the SLOPE model is unique in that it combines the best strategies from a number of previously successful endeavors: early intervention, rather than remediation; engaging, project-based learning; explicit strategies for ELLs; an introduction to college culture for high-needs students; and support for teachers through professional development and reflective coaching via web-based technology that also includes the effective use of the Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Program (MDTP) for assessment and diagnostic purposes.

SLOPE is supported by empirical evidence, and the California Education Round Table (the grantee) represents four California education systems that have the wherewithal to create policy and leverage funds ultimately to make this intervention standard practice throughout middle schools in California. Partners ARCHES and ConnectEd have the capacity to create a statewide community of learners among the ARCHES collaboratives, K-12 and college systems, and ConnectEd’s statewide network of school districts, and this community can introduce SLOPE across the state. The feasibility of replicating SLOPE in many settings with a variety of student populations is high.

The sites participating in the SLOPE project were selected to represent a cross section of districts, middle schools and students in California, demonstrating geographic and ethnic diversity as well as district size. Outcomes of the grant will be an increased number of students enrolled in and successfully completing algebra in eighth grade; increased enrollment of project students in STEM pathways at high schools; and creation of a college-going culture in the middle schools, as evidenced in student and parent surveys.

Description of Evaluation:

This multiphase intervention includes a summer pre-algebra session, a yearlong Algebra I class with specialized curriculum, after-school tutoring for a small subgroup of students, and intensive professional development for teachers. Evaluators will use a randomized controlled trial study design to determine the impact of SLOPE on teachers and students. Students in the treatment group will be exposed to each intervention component; students in the control group will have no changes to their class schedules or teacher assignments and will have no exposure to the treatment curriculum. Recruited teachers from participating schools will be randomly assigned to the intervention or control condition.

Project Evaluator:

Carole Gallagher
415-615-3211

Organization:

WestEd


Grantee:

Corona-Norco Unified School District

PR Award Number:

U396C100467

Project Title:

Write Up

Project Director:

Barbara Wolfinbarger
951-736-5117

Amount of Award:

$5,000,000

Length of Award:

5 years

Absolute Priority:

AP3: High Standards and High-Quality Assessments

List of Partners (with states for each):

Discovery Education (CA)
Sonic Consulting LLC (CA)

Project Website:

TBD

Description of Project:

The Write Up Project will build on the success of the instructional program in the Corona-Norco Unified School District (CNUSD). Write Up will augment classroom strategies to deeply align current instructional practices with 21st-century learning. Discovery Media resources will be integrated throughout all content areas to support all students. By using Discovery Media resources to build background knowledge and vocabulary, the Write Up project specifically targets closing the achievement gap for high-risk students, English language learners, socioeconomically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities.

CNUSD students will use a variety of technology resources, hardware and software to access information and to demonstrate learning. Students will communicate their thinking and understanding through essays, blogs and other written products. It is anticipated that access to college and career opportunities will expand for all students, particularly high-risk students, through improved writing skills and through online courses.

Description of Evaluation:

Evaluators will examine implementation, effectiveness, and periodic progress, and evaluation results will inform data-driven decisions for program modification. The methods of evaluation will be aligned with the goals and objectives of the project, including the performance measures, research design, data collection and analysis. The evaluation will incorporate multiple measures with several sources of data (e.g., the California Content Standards Test, standards-based benchmark assessments, observations, teacher surveys, use of technology, Early Assessment Program results and California High School Exit Examination pass rates). A quasi-experimental matched comparison group design was selected as the most rigorous design possible given the constraints of equal access. Students at target schools will be matched with students in the district at comparison (non-program) schools on several variables, including prior ability, school size, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disabilities, gender and English proficiency. All quantitative outcomes will be analyzed contrasting target and comparison group performance.

Project Evaluator:

Lorie Sousa
951-675-2060

Organization:

Key Data Systems


Grantee:

Exploratorium

PR Award Number:

U396C100434

Project Title:

Integrating English Language Development and Science: A Professional Development Approach

Project Director:

Lynn Rankin
415-561-0334

Amount of Award:

$2,984,628

Length of Award:

5 years

Absolute Priority:

AP1: Effective Teachers and Principals

List of Partners (with states for each):

Sonoma Valley Unified School District (CA)

Project Website:

http://www.exploratorium.edu/ifi/

Description of Project:

Integrating English Language Development (ELD) and Science is designed to close the achievement gap for limited-English-proficient students at the K-5 level. The framing hypothesis is that strategically designed professional development focused on integrated ELD and science will increase the percentage of highly effective teachers, as measured by teacher performance and student achievement in ELD and in science. This approach addresses the serious instructional time shortage in elementary grades, especially for science, while positing the proposition that inquiry-based approaches to science require greater communication and more sophisticated uses of academic language, thereby accelerating English language acquisition. Because this is a novel approach for most teachers and schools, introducing the program through a thoughtfully designed and tested teacher professional development program is the most likely route to significant student-level impacts.

This project is based on the results of a 2-year pilot project in one school in the Sonoma Valley Unified School District that showed measurable gains in student achievement in ELD and in science. The project will first work with 24 teachers from the pilot project to refine the professional development approach and then work with two cohorts of 30 teachers each from the remaining four elementary schools, involving 90 percent of the district elementary school teachers in a series of workshops, study groups and leadership activities.

This developmental project is designed to study the introduction of integrated ELD and science to an entire district to better understand the issues of scale and dissemination. Anticipated outcomes include an increase in the number of highly effective elementary teachers teaching ELD and science and a reduction in the achievement gap for K-5 students in both ELD and science.

The goal of the project is to develop and study effective district professional development practices that support elementary teachers in offering integrated ELD and science that lead to greater student achievement. To this end, researchers will implement and document a research plan to accomplish the following:

  • Understand what teachers need to integrate ELD and science to improve student learning.
  • Understand the key components that lead to student growth in ELD and inquiry-based science.
  • Understand the key factors and principles for designing effective professional development that leads to increasing the percentage of highly effective teachers.
  • Produce a professional development guidebook and disseminate the results of the project.

Description of Evaluation:

Inverness Research Inc. and the Center for Research, Evaluation, and Assessment will evaluate the project and distill findings. To answer questions about intervention impact, evaluators will engage in a quasi-experimental comparison study methodology. To assess benefits to teachers and changes in classroom practice, evaluators will gather qualitative and quantitative data from multiple sources and use pre-post comparisons. Interrupted time series methodology will allow evaluators to use the district as its own control group by comparing student achievement patterns before, during (analysis will take into account the two waves of teacher cohorts) and after the intervention. In addition to the experimental component of this study, qualitative methods (observation) and quantitative methods (surveys and participant data collection) will support investigation of program implementation.

Project Evaluator:

Mark St. John
415-660-7156

Organization:

Inverness Research Inc.


Grantee:

Los Angeles Unified School District

PR Award Number:

U396C100336

Project Title:

L.A.'s Bold Competition — Turning Around and Operating Its Low-Performing Schools

Project Director:

Matt Hill
213-241-4236

Amount of Award:

$4,880,391

Length of Award:

3 years

Absolute Priority:

AP4: Persistently Low-Performing Schools

List of Partners (with states for each):

Associated Administrators of Los Angeles (CA)
The City of Los Angeles (CA)
Los Angeles County Federation of Labor (CA)
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce (CA)
UNITE-LA (CA)
United Teachers Los Angeles (CA)
United Way of Greater Los Angeles (CA)

Project Website:

http://publicschoolchoice.lausd.net/

Description of Project:

This initiative focuses on enhancing the distinctive features of an open competition for operators of turnaround schools. In the competition, applicant teams and selected schools can receive support through the Los Angeles School Development Institute (LASDI); iDesign, a unique department in the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Innovation and Charter Schools Division that focuses on empowering and supporting schools to implement innovative and effective practices; and other mechanisms that aim to accelerate student achievement by reforming the way school districts serve and support their students.

Member organizations of the L.A. Compact are committed to further developing and scaling the effort in LAUSD across the district and to providing prevention-oriented strategies before schools reach Program Improvement Year 3 status. LAUSD superintendent Ramon Cortines has brought in a team of experts — many of whom have experience in other school transformation efforts — to manage the project and to further develop, enhance and scale up the initiative. In addition, United Teachers Los Angeles and Associated Administrators of Los Angeles — the largest education-related labor organizations in the county, each of which has been a vital partner in providing support and success to internal applicant teams — have reached agreement with LAUSD on the process. Other partners, including the California Charter School Association, will encourage and bring resources to applicant charter organizations.

Over the grant period, it is estimated that as many as 36 low-performing focus schools (8-12 schools per year) and 30 new relief schools will go through the public school choice process, impacting more than 60,000 students. In the longer term, more than 260 persistently low-performing schools and 300,000 students will be affected. By the end of the 3-year grant period, following an in-depth assessment by an external evaluator and simultaneous improvement processes conducted by the district in partnership with the L.A. Compact, the initiative will have produced a detailed road map for other school districts to use in their school transformation efforts.

The primary objective of L.A.’s Bold Competition initiative is to create a rich portfolio of high-performing schools that are tailored to and supported by the local community. To do this, the project will (1) enhance the public school choice selection process, (2) support implementation of the instructional plans of the selected teams and (3) implement accountability and continuous improvement measures.

Description of Evaluation:

To answer the question of whether involvement in the initiative impacted student, parent and teacher outcomes, the evaluation will use an interrupted time series design to study the impacts of the initiative’s school turnaround activities on student achievement, teacher retention and other key indicators of performance. Specifically, the evaluation will examine the various outcomes pre- and post-treatment, exploiting the policy shift in each school.

Program evaluators will answer the following research questions: (1) How are the activities being implemented over time? (2) What are the intermediate outcomes of these activities? (3) What are the longer-term outcomes of the initiative?

Project Evaluator:

Susan Bush
213-740-4249

Organization:

University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education, Center on Educational Governance


 
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Last Modified: 05/01/2012