Technical Assistance in Evaluation and Planning for School Families in the Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project (LAAMP), Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Public Works provided evaluative technical assistance to twenty-two LAUSD School Families (geographical groups of elementary and middle schools feeding into a single comprehensive high school), each of whom was responsible for developing an annual self-evaluation report as part of the 1997-98 and 1998-99 LAAMP annual review process. Public Works helped the School Families receiving Annenberg Challenge grants and/or supplementary District funding to develop measurable outcomes tied to specific implementation strategies and action steps set forth in their Learning Plans. During 1997-98, Public Works focused on providing School Families with coaching and training related to the efficient and accurate collection, analysis, and public presentation of data related to student achievement, school performance and overall progress. Evaluation teams in each of the School Families received training in survey development, interpreting standardized test results, performance assessment, transcript analysis and focus group methodology. For the 1998-99 annual review process, Public Works shifted away from a descriptive report toward a more user-friendly annual report in a “brochure” format. These reports were targeted at rank-and-file teachers and interested parents. In addition to data on School Family progress, the annual report “brochures” included School Family “best practices” and data unique to the individual School Families. Based on the data in these School Family annual reports, Public Works prepared a District annual report for both 1997-98 and 1998-99 summarizing cross-Family findings and presenting performance data for all School Families.
Evaluation of the Implementation of the Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project (LAAMP), Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD). As local evaluator for the PUSD LAAMP initiative, Public Works designed a local evaluation plan to assess the differential impact of LAAMP on PUSD’s existing reform programs as well as progress toward PUSD’s articulation targets in the areas of literacy, mathematics, professional development, and parent involvement. Qualitative evaluation methods included site visits to a sample of participating schools to conduct interviews with school staff, students, parents and District stakeholders. Special attention was paid to assessing the impact of Proposition 227 on the instructional services and student outcomes of English Language Learners as well as the impact of Success for All, a reading intervention program piloted in three elementary schools. Additional evaluation focus areas included the teacher credential program and professional development delivered through the district’s DELTA/Professional Development Center. Quantitative analyses centered on identifying trends and patterns in student achievement and school performance data as well as the analysis of secondary transcripts to highlight equity and achievement issues. Public Works also facilitated meetings of participating schools and otherwise assisted PUSD in preparing an annual report submitted to the Los Angeles County LAAMP Office from 1996-97 through 1999-00.
Evaluation of the Implementation of the Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project (LAAMP), Little Lake City School District (LLCSD). As a recipient of Annenberg Challenge grant funds, LLCSD is accountable for preparing an annual report. Serving as local evaluator, Public Works has evaluated the extent to which the LLCSD has met its goals in the areas of literacy and mathematics as set forth in their Family Learning Plan over the time period 1996-97 through 1999-00. Evaluation methods include both quantitative data on student achievement and school performance, as well as qualitative data on the status of reform implementation and stakeholder involvement throughout the LLSCD Family of Schools. In addition to assembling the annual reports each year, Public Works has worked with school and district administrators to refine the implementation of standards-based instruction, improve school-level strategic planning, and disseminate information on reform efforts to parents and the surrounding community. Training was also provided to site-based data teams responsible for collecting and analyzing data to inform school plans for improvement.
Evaluation of Teacher Recruitment and Retention Policies, National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF), Teachers College. As part of a national study of urban school districts, Public Works evaluated teacher induction, recruitment and retention policies in the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD). The first component of the study focused on the effectiveness of the two induction programs of the District – BTSA and NTTC. Evaluation methods included surveys of new teachers and mentors teachers, focus groups with teachers at low and high retention schools, as well as observational assessments using the California Teaching Standards. In the second component, surveys of former teachers were used in conjunction with interviews of PUSD central office staff to highlight the impact of existing personnel policies, professional development, and school climate on overall teaching quality and teacher satisfaction. Districts where PUSD teachers were leaving to teach were compared for policies and practices related to new teachers. The third component involved the development of a personnel database that allows PUSD to link data on teacher characteristics and qualifications to participation in District initiatives and on-going professional development in order to be able to evaluate the impact of reform on teacher qualifications, training, and classroom practice.
External Evaluator Services for Schools Receiving Public Schools Accountability Act Planning Grants (Senate Bill 1X), Los Angeles Unified School District. Through newly passed State legislation intended to improve school accountability, Public Works is working with four elementary schools receiving planning grants under the Public Schools Accountability Act. Legislatively mandated tasks include: public meetings with parents and community representatives, as well as comprehensive school reviews to identify barriers to school improvement based on school site visits with interviews, focus groups, and classroom observations. Information gathered as part of these tasks will be used to recommend curricular programs and reform strategies as well as to prepare an action plan outlining two-year measurable goals, objectives, and an expenditure plan. The four areas of the action plan include: school management, curriculum management, resource allocation, and parent/community involvement. If approved, the plan will generate an implementation grant in the amount of $168 per pupil for two years.
Preparation of LEARN School Report Cards, Los Angeles Educational Alliance for Restructuring Now (LEARN). Public Works developed “report cards” for all of the LEARN schools in the first three cohorts (approximately 200 schools). These report cards summarized a wide range of data related to school demographics and resources, student achievement and school performance data, as well as survey data from staff and parents linked to the implementation of site-based reforms. The primary goal of the project was to promote accountability among LEARN school communities by providing parents and rank-and-file school staff with a user-friendly, two-page summary of their school’s data that could be used as the basis for making decisions related to school curriculum, budget allocations, staffing, etc. Along with the individual school report cards, Public Works prepared a report discussing how data might be used to guide local school reform efforts as well as recommendations related to the refinement of the goals and objectives in schools’ reform plans.
Evaluation Technical Assistance for the San Fernando School Family, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Public Works provided evaluative technical assistance to the San Fernando Family of Schools designed to monitor and assess progress toward the literacy, professional development, and parent involvement components of the Family’s Learning Plan. Evaluation activities include analyses of survey data and follow-up focus groups with students, parents, and school staff. Public Works also assisted the Family in developing a data management and analysis plan for assessing the impact of Success for All, a reading initiative developed by the Johns Hopkins University.
Evaluation Technical Assistance and Grant Facilitator for the Reseda School Family, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Public Works facilitated decision-making within the Reseda School aimed at boosting student literacy through improvements in the areas of professional development, parent involvement, and instructional technology applications. Working closely with school administrators and teachers, efforts focused on incorporating accountability and assessment into the implementation of the Family Learning Plan. Parent and school staff surveys were used as evaluation tools along with the examination of data measuring student reading levels and reading comprehension skills. Family progress was summarized in a 1998-99 final report as part of an annual review process overseen by LAUSD’s School Reform Office. During 1999-00, Public Works will focus on guiding the Reseda Family toward measuring the impact of literacy and technology programs.
Rubric Development for the North Hollywood School Family, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Public Works facilitated the North Hollywood School Family in the development of writing prompts and rubrics to be used as pre – (fall) – and post – (spring) assessment of students in kindergarten through the fifth grade. A random sample of student work was selected and scored, results summarized, benchmarks selected and rubrics fine tuned.
Rubric Development for the Sylmar School Family, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Public Works facilitated the Sylmar School Family in the development of reading comprehension and writing prompts and rubrics to be used as pre – (fall) and post – (spring) assessment of students in the third, fifth, eighth and tenth grade. A random sample of student work was selected and scored, results summarized, benchmarks selected, and rubrics fine-tuned.
Lincoln School Family, Evaluation of the Parents as Learning Parnters (PLP) High School Parent Orientation, Los Angeles Unified School District. Public Works is evaluating the impact of a Summer orientation program that seeks to smooth the transition of middle school students to high school. Based primarily on focus groups with students, parents, teachers, and high school counselors, this evaluation is intended to improve interactions between home and school, helping parents and school staff work together to identify students not meeting academic standards and/or behavioral codes of conduct. In addition, the evaluation is targeting areas to target for parent education and outreach.
KCET, The Brain at Work Conference, National Science Foundation (NSF). In conjunction with representatives from Los Angeles area community colleges, a regional School-to-Career partnership, and a local public television station, Public Works helped designed and facilitate a conference entitled: The Brain at Work: Achieving a Shared Agenda for Academic and Applied Learning in Math and Science. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the conference focused on identifying a research agenda for educators and other partners based on the implications of recent brain development research for the teaching of math and science at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. Presentations and workshops at the conference also discussed ways to integrate academic and applied learning as well as strategies for improving articulation and coordination across educational institutions.
Palisades Charter Complex, Evaluation of the Palisades Charter, Los Angeles Unified School District. As part of the Charter reapplication process, Public Works evaluated the progress of eight schools (five elementary schools, a middle school, a high school, and one continuation high school) that had operated as a Charter school for five years. The evaluation focused on the analysis of quantitative data linked to school performance and student achievement. In addition to tracking longitudinal student-level data over time, the evaluation used Ordinary Least Squares regression techniques to isolate the relative weight of different school and student variables in terms of achievement. In addition, school staff, parents, and secondary students were surveyed to evaluate school progress towards the goals and objectives outlined in the Charter.
© 2011. Public Works Group. All Rights Reserved.