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Florida 2010 Development Grant Abstracts


Grantee:

School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida

PR Award Number:

U396C101305

Project Title:

Florida Master Teacher Initiative

Project Director:

Marisel Elias-Miranda
305-995-7642

Amount of Award:

$5,000,000

Length of Award:

4 years

Absolute Priority:

AP1: Innovations that Support Effective Teachers and Principals

List of Partners (with states for each):

School District
Miami-Dade County Public Schools (FL)

Other
University of Florida College of Education (FL)

Project Website:

TBD

Description of Project:

The Florida Master Teacher Initiative will enhance early learning instruction of high-needs students by (1) developing an early childhood specialization within an existing job-embedded graduate degree program and offering the program to 100 early childhood teachers (grades pre-K-3); (2) providing school-based leadership opportunities for graduate students to share program content and practices with colleagues within inquiry-based learning communities; (3) supporting principals' efforts to adopt a facilitative leadership approach and enhance their ability to effect change within their schools; and (4) evaluating the model rigorously, using an experimental design over all 4 years of implementation.

This innovative approach combines cutting-edge pedagogy with professors-in-residence who deliver face-to-face instruction at the school site. In turn, graduate students lead efforts at their respective school sites to enhance colleagues' instructional skills and thereby improve student achievement.

Over the 4 years of implementation, partners will develop a web-based, open platform to share best practices and resources. The project will be scaled through existing partnerships in other school districts across Florida. In addition, the partnership will build on national contacts through the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Learning Labs Initiative, many of which have shown great interest in replicating the model in Hawaii, Mississippi and Washington. The target population consists of 100 pre-K through third-grade teachers who participate in the graduate program, 375 teachers who participate in inquiry-based learning communities each year for 3 years, and approximately 30,250 students in 25 Title I treatment schools.

The Florida Master Teacher Initiative addresses four objectives: (1) improving academic outcomes for 30,250 high-needs children by developing teachers with stronger skills and schools with an improved culture for learning; (2) documenting how a job-embedded, inquiry-based professional development model can reform schools and improve student achievement by increasing early childhood teachers' skills, forming learning communities in schools, and advancing principal leadership; (3) increasing the skills, performance and morale of the teachers in the 25 participating Title I schools, and (4) preparing to scale the model.

Description of Evaluation:

The evaluation will employ a randomized control trial to determine the impact of the Florida Master Teacher Initiative on teachers' instructional practices and on student achievement. Fifty Title I elementary schools will be randomly assigned to either the treatment or control condition. Data on teaching practices will be collected through annual teacher surveys as well as repeated classroom observations of teachers in the graduate program and teachers in control schools. Student performance will be measured with standardized tests.

Project Evaluator:

Marjorie Wechsler
650-859-4822

Organization:

SRI International


Grantee:

Take Stock in Children Inc.

PR Award Number:

U396C100570

Project Title:

Facilitating Long-Term Improvements in Graduation and Higher Education For Tomorrow (FLIGHT)

Project Director:

Judy Saylor
786-369-5133

Amount of Award:

$4,999,947

Length of Award:

3 years

Absolute Priority:

AP2: Use of Data

List of Partners (with states for each):

School Districts
Broward County School District (FL)
Highlands County School District (FL)
Monroe County School District (FL)

State/University
Florida Department of Education (FL) 
The State University System of Florida (FL)
The Florida College System (FL)
The Florida Prepaid College Foundation (FL)

Project Website:

www.takestockinchildren.org

Description of Project:

Take Stock in Children's (TSIC's) approach for Facilitating Long-Term Improvements in Graduation and Higher Education for Tomorrow (FLIGHT) includes five key elements, each of which is supported by a wealth of education research: (1) mentoring and case management; (2) academic and behavioral monitoring via study of key data indicators; (3) multiyear interventions, beginning in middle school, by a circle of adults committed to ensuring academic success; (4) early commitment scholarships combined with academic support services; and (5) establishment of practices to support a college-going culture in middle and high school. Each FLIGHT student is guaranteed a college scholarship provided by TSIC and its donor network. At-risk student participants receive wraparound supports, including ongoing academic and behavioral monitoring, case management, school-based mentoring and individualized interventions. TSIC Student Advocates monitor participating students' academic and behavioral records through a data platform integrating state, district and school-level information to ensure timely student interventions. The College Enrollment and Retention program component also helps ensure achievement of additional project goals that include increasing the high school graduation rate and postsecondary access and success among low-income and minority students by providing postsecondary preparation, transition services and supports during their first three college semesters.

The targeted population for FLIGHT is high-poverty, mostly minority students in grades 7-12 with a cohort of approximately 150 additional students per year in Years 1-3 and an additional 110-115 students per year during their first three semesters of postsecondary education through the College Access and Success program. The FLIGHT hypothesis is that providing interventions and proactive advocacy for high-needs (i.e., low-income, mostly minority) students produces positive outcomes that include increased student academic achievement, successful high school completion, and enrollment in and completion of postsecondary education programs.

The combined student population of the partnering local education agencies constitutes more than 10 percent of the K-12 population statewide, with demographics that closely mirror those of the state as a whole. The results of a detailed implementation study in the partner districts will be used to help strengthen the project's potential for scalability and replication.

The What Works Clearinghouse has evaluated several programs with elements similar to the TSIC approach; however, none included all of the critical elements of FLIGHT. The program offers an innovative strategy for using student data to close academic achievement gaps; increase high school graduation rates; and promote postsecondary educational attainment for high-needs, mostly minority students.

Description of Evaluation:

An independent evaluator will use a true randomized experimental design to compare outcomes of FLIGHT students to those of non-FLIGHT students in grades 7, 9, and 11 in Broward and Highlands counties. Approximately 280 interested students who meet program eligibility criteria will complete a TSIC application package. All eligible applicants will then be randomly assigned to either the FLIGHT group or non-FLIGHT group and tracked for 3 years. The major research question is as follows: To what extent do students receiving TSIC services [through FLIGHT] have better academic and postsecondary outcomes compared to a similar group of students not receiving TSIC services?

Project Evaluator:

Dr. Joel Philp
803-719-5102

Organization:

The Evaluation Group


 
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Last Modified: 03/22/2011