A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
Biennial Evaluation Report - FY 93-94
Star Schools Program (CFDA No. 84.203)
I. Program Profile
Legislation: The Education for Economic Security Act, Title IX, as amended by Section 2302, Title IX of the Augustus F. Hawkins-Robert T. Stafford Elementary and Secondary School Improvements of 1988, P.L. 100-297, (20 U.S.C. 4081-4086) and as amended by P.L. 102-103 (expires September 30, 1999).
Purpose: To encourage improved instruction in the areas of mathematics, science, foreign languages, and other subjects such as literacy skills and vocational education. Grants allow telecommunications partnerships to aquire facilities and equipment, produce and distribute programming, and obtain technical assistance.
|Fiscal Year ||Appropriation|
|1988 ||$19,148,000 |
|1989 ||14,399,000 |
|1990 ||14,813,000 |
|1991 ||14,416,000 |
|1992 ||18,417,000 |
|1993 ||22,777,000 |
|1994 ||25,944,000 |
|1994 ||25,944,000 |
II. Program Information and Analysis
The Star Schools Program supports eligible telecommunications partnerships organized on a Statewide or multi-State basis. Grantees are either public organizations established to operate telecommunications networks to provide educational programming, or partnerships of three or more of the following types of organizations, one of which must be a local education agency or a State education agency: State education agencies, institutions of higher education, teacher training centers, local education agencies, public broadcasting entities, and other public or private telecommunications agencies, or a public or private school.
In the first funding cycle (FYs 1988-1989), most of the students served were located in small rural schools located in the southern and central regions of the Nation. In FYs 1990 and 1991 funding cycles, enhanced services were provided to the northwest and northeast regions. In addition, two of the four projects focused on students in urban settings. In the third cycle, a variety of technologies were used to provide services in urban, rural and suburban communities across the country.
The program has provided services, including equipment, staff development, instructional programming, to more than 6,000 schools in 48 States, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands. In addition, the dissemination projects provide technical assistance and training, or disseminate information about distance education opportunities to States and school districts not using distance education.
Project officers report the following:
- More than 20,000 students received high school credit in science, mathematics, or foreign language instruction through the program.
- More than 200,000 students participated in hands-on science experiments, instructional modules, electronic field trips and other activities.
- Nearly 50,000 teachers participated in staff development activities.
- Approximately 720, teachers in participating schools received college credit courses through the program and another 22,600 teachers participated in staff development seminars.
Funds may be used to develop and acquire instructional programming, and to provide equipment for distance learning service. Not less than 50 percent of the funds awarded must be for services, equipment, or facilities for local education agencies eligible to receive Chapter 1 funds, and not less than 25 percent must be for instructional programming. The grantees must match 25 percent of the funds except in the case of demonstrated hardship. While the program requires at least 25 percent matching funds, a survey of current grantees shows that there has been, on average, a 40 percent match.
Each of the projects previously funded under the Star Schools Program included an evaluation component. In most instances, the evaluation strategy involved formative and summative methods. Two of the former projects also included case studies which documented changes in both student behaviors, teacher attitudes, and school climate as a result of participation in the Star Schools activities. Some examples of these findings are presented below:
- Many teachers reported changing their approach to teaching as a result of the program, including using and valuing more open-ended, collaborative teaching; interdisciplinary team teaching; and new evaluation methods.
- Ninety-six percent of the science teachers in one project indicated that they had little competence in science prior to their participating in the program, and therefore, relied almost exclusively on the classroom textbook when teaching a science lesson. Because of the support received during the telecast staff development classes and the science classes for students, teachers indicated that they became more confident in presenting their own lessons and less dependent on the text book.
- Several students at a Louisiana high school received college credit based on their scores on an Advanced Placement economics examination. The facilitaor of the school stated that the satellite course prepared their students for the entrance examination.
III. Sources of Information
- Program files.
IV. Planned Studies
The program is currently conducting an evaluation.
IV. Contacts for Further Information
- Program Operations :
- Joseph Wilkes (202) 219-2186
Cheryl P. Garnette, (202) 219-2267
- Program Studies:
- Robert Glenn, (202) 401-1958
[Leadership in Educational Administration Development]
[Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program]