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Illinois 2010 Development Grant Abstracts


Grantee:

Erikson Institute

PR Award Number:

U396C100383

Project Title:

Early Mathematics Education (EME) Innovations Program

Project Director:

Jennifer S. McCray
312-893-7249

Amount of Award:

$5,999,999

Length of Award:

5 years

Absolute Priority:

AP3: High Standards and High-Quality Assessments

List of Partners (with states for each):

Chicago Public Schools (IL)

Project Website:

TBD

Description of Project:

The Early Mathematics Education (EME) Innovations Program will help Illinois students reach or exceed the Illinois Learning Standards for Mathematics by designing and implementing an innovative professional development (PD) program for teachers who teach prekindergarten through third grade (PK-3). Providing both off- and on-site services in individualized, small-group, and large-group formats, the project addresses teacher attitudes, practices and knowledge as they relate to mathematics, and creates within-school mechanisms to sustain excellent math teaching beyond the intervention. Erikson faculty will provide in-depth learning labs with structured adult learning activities that help teachers build their own foundational math knowledge. Individualized coaching by master teachers will utilize video so that teachers can observe their own math teaching. Each school's assigned coach will also facilitate grade-level and cross-grade meetings focused on mathematics, and a summer institute will allow thorough math curriculum mapping within each school site.

To prepare for the possibility of program scale-up, the EME Innovations Program includes the publication of training materials that address the Illinois Learning Standards for Mathematics and the Common Core State Standards and are suitable for replication. These materials will be accompanied by a video series, designed to illustrate high-impact math teaching strategies and help teachers "see" the development of children's mathematical thinking. Targeted to high-needs students, this conceptually and operationally unique approach to PD will serve 4,512 children at eight Chicago Public Schools over 5 years. Approximately 80 teachers at eight neighborhood school sites that work with socioeconomically disadvantaged children will be trained.

Outcomes that will indicate success include the following: (1) teachers will understand how early mathematics concepts represented by the standards develop in children's thinking; (2) teachers will demonstrate increased skill in implementing instruction that addresses the standards; (3) teachers will report a greater sense of comfort and competence in mathematics and math teaching; (4) the performance of students from high-needs schools on standardized assessments of mathematics achievement, including the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT), will significantly improve; and (5) children's school readiness, as evidenced by math and literacy assessments, will increase.

Description of Evaluation:

Using a quasi-experimental design, SRI International will collect pre- and post-tests of teacher-, student- and school-level outcomes in both the intervention and matched-comparison schools. The evaluation will address four research questions: (1) What is the effect of the intervention on teachers' mathematical attitudes and beliefs, pedagogical content knowledge and classroom practices?; (2) Are changes in teacher outcomes sustained over time?; (3) Do students in the intervention group make greater gains in mathematics and early literacy compared to contrast group students?; and (4) Are the effects on students' academic achievement greater the longer the teacher has participated in the intervention?

Project Evaluator:

Ximena Dominguez
619-281-0143

Organization:

SRI International


Grantee:

National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform

PR Award Number:

U396C101182

Project Title:

Schools to Watch: School Transformation Network

Project Director:

Deborah Kasak
217-351-2196

Amount of Award:

$4,999,969

Length of Award:

4 years

Absolute Priority:

AP4: Persistently Low-Performing Schools

List of Partners (with states for each):

Academy for Educational Development (DC)
Association of Illinois Middle-Level Schools (IL)
California League of Middle Schools (CA)
North Carolina Middle School Association (NC)

Project Website:

http://mgforum.org

Description of Project:

Schools to Watch: School Transformation Network will (1) build the capacity of persistently low-performing middle-grades schools, (2) improve students' academic performance, and (3) close achievement gaps among subgroups. The National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform (the Forum) will develop and test the innovation with a consortium of 18 urban and rural schools in three states. The innovation uses the Forum's Schools to Watch (STW) criteria as a framework for change; STW tools for school assessment, goal setting, action planning and monitoring; a multilayered system of support that includes an STW coach, a principal leadership coach, and a mentor school matched by demographics; and focused professional development.

It is anticipated that participating schools will (1) strengthen their structures, norms and processes for continuous improvement; (2) increase their academic rigor; (3) promote equity for all students, including those with disabilities and limited English proficiency; and (4) develop an array of supports to meet the needs of young adolescents. Over 4 years, the program will serve approximately 18,000 students in 18 schools. The Forum's State STW Program operates in 19 states and provides the infrastructure necessary for scale-up and sustainability.

The program has an extensive national and state infrastructure, with leaders who work collaboratively to improve middle-grades education. It focuses on building organizational capacity, using the STW criteria (coupled with analysis of student data) as a comprehensive framework that incorporates self-assessment, goal-setting, action planning and evaluation. STW specifically targets high-needs students, including those who show early signs of dropping out. STW's underlying hypothesis is that meeting student needs requires a multilayered system of support (including school coaches, high-performing mentor schools with similar demographics, and mentor principals) that can provide a vision of what is possible, strengthen the school's leadership and empower the faculty to work together to achieve results.

Consortium schools will report differences between participants and a comparison group: higher levels of school performance on the STW criteria (e.g., organizational capacity for improvement, academic excellence, social equity and developmental responsiveness); improved school wide changes in culture and climate (e.g., use of best instructional practices, leadership and shared decision making, professional development, team structures and activities, and parent involvement); improved teacher attitudes and buy-in (e.g., perceived efficacy, role clarity); improved student attitudes and behavior (e.g., academic expectations, belonging, school climate, self-efficacy, self-esteem, discipline and attendance); higher levels of academic performance on statewide tests; and reductions in the achievement gap among subgroups.

Description of Evaluation:

The program evaluation will employ a matched, quasi-experimental, mixed-methods design using data collected via STW's School Rating Rubric, The Center for Prevention Research and Development's School Improvement Self-Study Surveys, focus groups, coaches' logs, and student outcome and performance data. State achievement data will examine longitudinal growth from sixth to eighth grade and cross-sectional data for the seventh- and eighth-grade groups. Statistical analysis will initially employ baseline comparisons (t tests, ANOVAs) to determine school- and student-level equivalence and will use hierarchical linear modeling to differentiate nested levels — school, grade/team and individual — to determine overall effects and to track achievement gains (aggregate and disaggregate, by subgroups) in mathematics and reading.

Project Evaluator:

Peter Mulhall
217-333-3231

Organization:

Center for Prevention Research and Development, University of Illinois


 
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Last Modified: 03/22/2011