Public School Reform


Public Works has conducted a wide range of public education and school improvement evaluation projects locally and across the state. We have supported schools and school districts to incorporate various components of state and local accountability systems and have provided more general technical assistance related to school improvement.

 

Evaluations of Professional Development for Educators

 

Statewide Evaluation of the California Mathematics and Science Partnership (CaMSP) Program.  PW conducted a statewide evaluation for the California Department of Education (CDE) to study the implementation of the CaMSP program organized through local partnerships for the past 12 years.  The CaMSP program was intended to increase the academic achievement of students in mathematics and science by enhancing the content knowledge and teaching skills of classroom teachers through professional learning activities. The CaMSP program funded a new set of partnerships each year encompassing multiple districts, institutions of higher education, county offices of education, and other professional development partners across the state. Evaluation activities included site visits to each partnership, observations of professional development activities, telephone interviews, statewide surveys of participating teachers and partners, development of a statewide database for teacher demographic and participation data, and a matched control/comparison group study of teacher and student outcomes. These activities resulted in annual reports that summarized key qualitative and quantitative data about the impact of the program including supporting all partnerships in the completion of the federally required Annual Performance Report (APR). In this evaluation, PW has collected, analyzed and reported data in 15 Cohorts of partnerships that included 553 districts and 50 county offices of education. An additional 292 charter schools and a small number of private schools were also included in the evaluation.

 

Local Evaluations of the California Mathematics and Science Partnership (CaMSP) Program for Cohort 10, 11, 12 and 13. Each partnership that is awarded a grant is required to submit its own APR and to conduct a local evaluation. Under the RFAs issued for Cohorts 10-13, PW coordinated all local evaluation plans, data collection, analysis, and reporting for 55 partnerships. All partnerships included at least one LEA and IHE with a focus on a particular professional development model such as lesson study, coaching or profession learning communities. Local evaluations involved an initial site visit and evaluation plan design, 2 annual follow-ups, the creation of customized instrumentation, data collection and analysis. We provided all the evaluation-related reporting that is required at the state and federal levels for each partnership (state quarterly reports and annual evaluation report and evaluation under APR). Evaluation included the administration of the teacher content assessment. Depending on the focus of the partnership and/or the subject areas of participating teachers, partnerships select the Learning Mathematics for Teaching (LMT) instrument developed by the University of Michigan using its online Teaching Knowledge Assessment System (TKAS) and/or a PW-developed content assessment for science aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards, the Teacher Content Assessment for Science (TCAS). The table on the following page indicates the lead LEAs for the 55 local evaluations we conducted.

 

 

Lead LEAs for the 55 Local Evaluations PW Conducted

Each Partnership ranged in size in terms of number of districts, schools and teachers

ABC USD

Alameda COE

Anaheim UHSD

Azusa USD

Baldwin Park USD

Butte COE

Chaffey Joint Union HSD

Chico USD

Clovis USD

Coachella Valley USD

Elk Grove USD

Escondido USD

Fortuna ESD

Glendale USD

Hacienda La Puente USD

Hayward USD

Imperial COE

Kings COE

Lakeside USD

 

Lamont ESD

Lincoln USD Madera COE

Marin COE

Merced COE

National SD

New Haven USD

Norwalk La Mirada USD

Oakland USD

Orange CDE

Pacheco Union SD

Paso Robles JUSD

Porterville USD

Rialto USD

Riverside USD

Sacramento COE

Salinas City ESD

San Diego COE

San Joaquin COE

San Juan USD

San Marcos USD

San Mateo COE

San Rafael City Schools

Santa Ana USD

Santa Maria-Bonita SD

Santa Rosa City Schools

Shasta COE

Shoreline USD

Solano COE

Sweetwater Union HSD

Tehama COE

Tuolumne COE

Valley Center-Pauma USD

West Contra Costa USD

Whittier City SD

Yolo COE

 

 

Accelerating Academic Achievement for English Learners (AAAEL) Evaluation, Sonoma State University, Co-Teaching Program for Pre-Service Educators. PW served as the evaluator collecting and analyzing formative data related to the implementation of the professional development program and supported year-end and summative reporting to the US Department of Education. PW collected the following data: pre-post teacher attitudinal survey for in-service teachers, pre-post teaching preparation and attitudinal survey; and a professional development activity feedback form. PW also collected EL student achievement and engagement in academic coursework.

 

Project Engage: College and Career Readiness through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, Two Rock Union School District. Public Works evaluated a school-based program funded by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Military-Collected Academic and Support Programs (MCASP) at a TK to 6th grade school serving 60 percent military-Connected students located adjacent to the United States Coast Guard Training Center (TRACEN). Project ENGAGE supported professional development for teachers to increase inquiry-based learning, integrated classroom-based and STEM-Maker Lab activities, and enhanced educational technology. Evaluation strategies included a teacher pre-post survey, regular collection and analysis of staff feedback, classroom observations, student and parent focus groups and analysis of state testing data in mathematics and science.

 

Local Evaluator, Multiple Districts, Mathematics and/or science professional development initiatives funded through the California Math and Science Partnership (CaMSP) program. Prior to consolidation of all local evaluation activities under a single entity, PW conducted multiple local evaluations of CaMSP projects. Evaluation activities included: collecting and analyzing data related to teacher participation in professional development, observations of classroom instruction, student achievement through district-wide state testing data, student achievement through district-wide quarterly benchmark assessments, conducting analysis of surveys, collection and analysis of coaches logs, student work, analysis of student transcript data, conducting focus groups of participating coaches, and observation of teacher participation in the summer institute. PW provided reports to meet state and federal requirements, periodic quarterly reports for the leadership team and a summative evaluation report.

 

  • Downey Unified School District: Downey Opportunities in Mathematics (DO Math) funded professional development program that targeted 45 mathematics teachers in grades 3-Algebra I, with the goal of directly impacting 3,500 students with UCLA MCPT training and professional development.
  • John Swett Unified School District: North East Bay Mathematics Consortium funded professional development program that targeted 100 teachers in grades 3 to Algebra I to reach 6,000 students.
  • Hollister School District: San Benito County Mathematics Initiative funded professional development program for 100 teachers in grades 3 to Algebra I to reach 6,000 students.
  • Little Lake City School District: Achievement in Little Lake for Mathematics (ALL for Math) professional development program that targeted 36 mathematics teachers in grades 5-8, with the goal of directly impacting 2,500 students through UCLA MCPT training and professional development.
  • Pasadena Unified School District: Pasadena Math Pipeline professional development targeted 40 mathematics teachers in grades 5-Algebra I, with the goal of directly impacting 2,200 students.
  • Lennox Elementary School District: The Lennox CaMSP Project targeted 30 mathematics teachers in grades 5 through Algebra I, with the goal of directly impacting 3,400 students.
  • Alhambra Unified School District: Alhambra Institute in Math (AIM) professional development program targeted 30 mathematics teachers in grades 6-8, with the goal of directly impacting 750 students though UCLA MCPT training and professional development.
  • Healdsburg Unified School District and Sonoma County Office of Education: Redwood Area Algebra for All (RAAFA) Partnership offered professional development targeting 50 math teachers in six school districts coordinated by the Sonoma County Office of Education in partnership with Sonoma State University.
  • San Diego Unified School District: NEXT STEP (Novice and Expert Teachers’ Science Teaching) professional development program targeting 164 science teachers of grades 4-8, with the goal of directly impacting 25,000 students.
  • Lawndale Elementary School District: Centinela Valley, Lawndale, UCLA Educational Partnership (CLUE) was a professional development that targeted 30 mathematics teachers of grades 5 through Algebra I, with the goal of directly impacting 4,400 students.
  • Palmdale Elementary School District: Antelope Valley Math & Science Partnership Program funded professional development targeting 100 mathematics and science teachers of grades 4-6, with the goal of directly impacting approximately 10,000 students.

 

Evaluation, Sonoma County of Education Common Core Math Professional Development. PW served as the evaluator for this project that focused on a developing network of classroom professional development providers to demonstrate an effective model for providing regional professional development opportunities that allow participants to implement and support colleagues in applying the Mathematics Practice Standards and the California Common Core State Content Standards in Mathematics. PW collected the following data: surveys (to assess familiarity with the Common Core Standards, determine needs and readiness to disseminate and train colleagues in sue of the content modules and Mathematics Practice Standards); professional development activity feedback from participants to help shape subsequent professional development. Other data evaluated included the Learning for Mathematics Teaching assessment to measure content knowledge and portfolios from participating counties.

 

Evaluation of the Effects of Mathematics Contents Program for Teachers (MCPT) on Student Achievement.  PW served as the external evaluator of the program. In the first year, PW collected and analyzed both formative and summative data on students taught by teachers implementing the “Introduction to Algebra” curriculum. Formative data consisted of quarterly assessments administered using Scantron forms. Summative data consisted of students’ 8th grade general mathematics and Algebra I California Standards Test (CST) results in 2006. PW also assisted in setting up a system for administration and collection, was in charge of scanning the periodic assessments on Scantron forms, and prepared a report on periodic assessments.

 

FRAME UCLA Center X Mathematics Professional Development Program Evaluation at Fremont High School, Los Angeles Unified School District. This evaluation study encompassed five research questions in an evaluation that includes the study of treatment teachers at Fremont High School and teachers from a comparison high school in LAUSD. Research questions examined the extent that the providers effectively supported professional development to teachers to support: (1) Fremont Math program goals, (2) delivery of mathematics instruction, (3) school-site mathematics culture, (4) teacher content knowledge and (5) student outcomes in mathematics. Methods in this study included a quasi-experimental student outcome study, measurement of teacher mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT), classroom observations, and a teacher survey.

 

Evaluation, CalTech/Pasadena Schools High School Biology Inquiry Science Project, CalTech Precollege Science Initiative (CAPSI). PW served as the evaluator of this inquiry-based learning model in the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) to better serve students and to document how the project can provide information about reform in other multiethnic urban school districts. The project goals included: a) better science content knowledge, b) ability to do independent investigations, c) learning to use evidence-based reasoning, d) increased interest in and preparation for science careers and e) improved written and oral communication skills. PW evaluated the professional development activities; evaluated the extent of implementation of inquiry-based instruction; and collected baseline student outcome information from PUSD to assess student science and literacy skills.

 

Evaluation of the California State Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) Teacher Credential Program, CSUDH.  PW conducted an evaluation that provided a descriptive picture and status report on a cohort of new teacher participants in the Teacher Credential Program administered by CSUDH and housed in the satellite locations of the Professional Development Center in the Pasadena Unified School District.  Evaluation activities included updating the program’s database for each participant including courses and completed certification.  In collaboration with the program’s administrators, PW developed and administered a survey on the program and its requirements to be completed by new teacher participants.  Follow-up focus groups were conducted with program participants.  Findings were analyzed and provided to program administrators to be utilized for program development and improvement.

School Improvement Support and Technical Assistance

Evaluation, California State University, Dominguez Hills Gear-Up, Bethune Middle School, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). PW served as the evaluator for a California State University Dominguez Hills Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) project in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). This GEAR UP project supported the 2011-12 7th grade students beginning at Bethune Middle School as they transitioned into Fremont High School, Dymally High School, and four small pilot high schools at the Diego Rivera Learning Complex (Communication and Technology School; Green Design Community School; Performing Arts Community School; and Public Service Community School). PW collected both quantitative and qualitative data designed to evaluate two objectives: 1) student success in rigorous curricula and coursework that prepares them for college; and 2) high school graduation and preparation for and enrollment in post-secondary education. PW collected annual surveys of students as they transitioned from grade to grade and post graduation, and of parents and teachers; conducted site visits and student focus groups; collected and analyzed student and staff participation data; collected and analyzed middle school and high school achievement data (state testing, course grades, and pupil attendance) annually and longitudinally for the cohort of students; and collected and analyzed first year college student placement data.

 

LAEP Partner and Network School Evaluation. PW evaluated the six core elements identified by the LAEP organization to define its model for school support in terms of both school culture and student outcomes at Partner Schools. PW focused on identifying any correlations between level of participation and service provision and partner school student outcomes; and between commitments to model fidelity and Partner School and student outcomes. PW also examined differences in the performance of Pilot schools compared to other Partner schools; and the impact of autonomy that came with Pilot status on student or school outcomes. PW analyzed student achievement and school performances data on Partner, Pilot and comparison schools, administered and analyzed survey data from students, parents, and credentialed school staff; conducted site visits to Partner Schools, and rated and assessed partner Schools in terms of the Model Fidelity. In addition, PW evaluated Network Schools with respect to the extent that participation in LAEP’s networks enhanced or spurred teacher leadership and collaboration and improved teacher capacity to implement high quality instruction.

 

English Language Learner Acquisition & Development Pilot Program (ELLPP) (AB2117) Statewide Evaluation.  PW conducted an evaluation for the California Department of Education (CDE) to study the implementation of English Learner (EL) pilot programs statewide through the AB2117 grant. The funds supported the expansion of best practices in California schools related to curriculum, instruction and staff development for teaching ELs and promoting English language acquisition and development. The evaluation included 39 Local Education Agencies and four county consortiums that spanned urban, rural and suburban regions of north, central and southern California. The study focused on how sites ensured all EL students had access to, were prepared for, and were encouraged to participate and succeed in core classes; how partnerships enhanced the quality of the teacher workforce; and, what evidence-based outcomes contributed to understanding how students effectively learn English.

 

Evaluation of US Department of Education Smaller Learning Communities Grant (Cohort VIII) to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). PW evaluated three-year and five-year grant programs to implement Smaller Learning Communities in LAUSD comprehensive high schools in all funded Cohorts including Cohort III (5 high schools), Cohort IV (7 high schools), Cohort V (10 high schools), Cohort VI (9 high schools), Cohort VIII (9 high schools). Research focused on the modification of the delivery of curriculum and instruction; the benefits to students resulting from personalization of instruction; and improvements in school safety, community engagement and improved student achievement including increased student eligibility and preparation for postsecondary education and careers.

 

Evaluation of US Department of Education Smaller Learning Communities Grant to the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS).  PW evaluated three-year and five-year grants to implement Smaller Learning Communities in SBCSS comprehensive high schools in funded cohorts including: Cohort III (5 high schools), Cohort VI (10 high schools), and Cohort IV (5 high schools). Research questions focused on the modification of the delivery of curriculum and instruction, the benefits to students resulting from personalization of instruction, improvements in school safety, community engagement and improved student achievement including increased student eligibility and preparation for postsecondary education and careers.

 

  • Evaluation activities included site visits to each school, surveys of school staff, current students, and graduates, analysis of student outcome data, and support in the use of data at school sites for continuous program improvement.
  • Deliverables included qualitative and quantitative reports summarizing the status of grant implementation across the nine high schools and submission of the Federal Annual Performance Report each calendar year.

 

PW was contracted to conduct SLC evaluations with similar scope of works to the LAUSD and SBCSS in Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) Cohort 5 (9 high schools), Petaluma City Schools (PCS) Cohort IV (2 high schools), Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) Cohort IV (1 high school), and Bassett Unified School District (BUSD) Cohort VI (1 high school).

 

Evaluator of the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) for Whittier City School District. Whittier City School District was granted the federal Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) grant to increase physical education activity in 11 elementary schools. PW assisted the district in meeting federal reporting requirements including pedometer logs, pre-and post-BMI scores and a student survey to measure consumption of fruits and vegetables.

 

Evaluation of the Art Program with the Community for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). PW evaluated a pilot integrated arts education program funded by the Anna H. Bing Children’s Art Education Fund that aims to bring LACMA’s collection and expertise to so that the museum is seen as a resource available to all that supports the education of children and life-long learning. In the 11 pilot elementary and middle schools located in LAUSD District 4, PW examined the impact of artist coaches in the classroom and arts-related professional development for participating teachers through a combination of site visits, surveys, and documentation of program participation.   In addition, PW evaluated the influence of LACMA’s curriculum on student outcomes in English/Language Arts, particularly the impact of exposure to the visual arts on student writing and oral presentations using both summative and formative achievement data.  PW prepared a summative evaluation report on aimed at improving the model of arts integration in elementary and middle schools.

 

Local Evaluator, Weingart Foundation, Inglewood Unified School District. The Weingart Foundation awarded a grant to IUSD to continue on-going reforms in secondary Mathematics. The grant from Weingart outlined plans for building teacher capacity for delivering research-based instructional strategies and constructivist pedagogy that engage and scaffold Mathematics instruction. A set of activities were proposed and implemented with PW assistance.

 

Local Evaluator Weingart Initiative, Pomona Unified School District. This initiative focused on developing and implementing a principal accountability system to complement on-going district efforts to enhance school and district accountability.  Specifically, the Weingart effort sought to define a multi-indicator accountability system that 1) ensured that the school principals are fairly assessed based on leadership performance; 2) linked professional accountability to school progress; and 3) helped target leadership development to further support the capacity of site administrators. PW monitored the implementation process by analyzing district summative data, administrators’ involvement in the initiative seminars, an administrator survey and principal evaluations.

 

Conference Coordination, 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, PW 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 the secondary and postsecondary 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, particularly high schools and community colleges.

 

Evaluation of Sonoma State University’s Ensuring Access through Collaboration and Technology (EnACT) grant. PW served as the evaluator of a three-year grant designed to enhance effective teaching and learning in higher education through the use of Universal Design for Learning concepts. The grant involved eight campuses of the California State University system and was coordinated by the Department of Educational Leadership and Special Education at Sonoma State University. Funded by the US Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education offers students with disabilities within the CSU system support toward attaining their postsecondary educational goals. Evaluation activities included collection of student outcome data for participating instructors at partner universities, telephone interviews, program component feedback questionnaires, and support in completion of federal reporting requirements.

 

Final Year Evaluation of the Los Angeles Urban Systemic Program. The Los Angeles Urban Systemic Program focused on mathematics and science for every student to receive a rigorous, comprehensive education in mathematics, physical, earth, and life science with learning opportunities that allowed each student to meet or exceed grade-level mathematics and science standards. The plan focused primarily on: 1) the development of content literacy; 2) the understanding of skills and concepts; and 3) learning activities that reinforce the California mathematics and science standards. PW served as the third party evaluator for this project including collecting and reporting on summary outcome data and completing qualitative data collection such as interviews and focus groups, surveys, and assessments. The final report was submitted to the National Science Foundation.

 

Data Analysis and Professional Development to Support Accountability and Assessment, Birmingham High School, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).  PW collected and analyzed four years of summative student achievement and school performance data for Birmingham High School.  Based on this review of data, PW provided professional development to the entire faculty designed to increase awareness of school accountability and assessment goals. Follow-up training was conducted with core academic department chairpersons in order to deepen staff understanding of how to use assessment data to guide and modify instruction. PW prepared a set or data notebooks summarizing student achievement data and presenting these data graphically.

 

Evaluation of Inglewood Unified School Districts Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program. As part of a Coordinated Compliance Review (CCR) Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD), representatives from the California Department of Education (CDE) noted a need for a summative evaluation of the GATE program in IUSD.  As a result, IUSD contracted with PW to examine the GATE program in the district. Activities centered on analyzing demographic data on Inglewood’s student GATE population, collecting and analyzing GATE to non-GATE student achievement on the California Standards Tests (CSTs) and California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE), and conducting district-level aggregation of staff, student, and parent survey results collected by NCS Pearson.

 

Evaluation of Service Learning (Cal Serve) Implementation, Los Angeles Unified School District.  PW served as LAUSD’s evaluator of a three-year Cal Serve grant aimed at integrating service learning into secondary education.  Per guidelines from the California Department of Education, the evaluation focused on identifying the elements of “exemplary” service learning using a case study methodology with model middle and high school classrooms delivering Social Science or Science instruction.  The evaluation focused on three dimensions of student impact: 1) social and personal development; 2) civic responsibility; and 3) student academic achievement. Evaluation activities included interviews and focus groups with teachers and students, student and teacher surveys, as well as analysis of teacher developed, standards-based assessments that linked service learning with course curricula. In addition, PW documented LAUSD’s progress in establishing service learning as a high school graduation requirement, compilation of a resource manual of standards-based service learning lesson plans, training of site-based service learning facilitators at all district high schools, and brokering of school-community linkages around service learning projects. At the end of each grant year, PW prepared an evaluation report documenting grant implementation and assessing impact of service learning participation on student achievement.

 

Evaluation of Service Learning, Districts A and F, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). PW evaluated the implementation of pilot service learning projects in two regional sub-districts of LAUSD.  The evaluation measured gains in three dimensions: 1) social and personal development; 2) civic responsibility; and 3) student academic achievement. Drawing on data from a sample of case study middle and high school classrooms that integrated service learning projects into social science curricula, evaluation activities included interviews and focus groups with teachers and students, student and teacher surveys, and the analysis of student achievement data.  The evaluation findings were used to shape the preparation of schools for the new service learning high school graduation requirement for the class of 2007.

 

Evaluation of High Tech High Los Angeles Charter School, Los Angeles Unified School District. PW served as the internal evaluator of High Tech High Los Angeles (HTH-LA). PW helped draft the evaluation section of the school’s original charter petition and has analyzed a wide variety of quantitative and qualitative data to ensure that HTH-LA is continually using data to improve services to students. Evaluation methods have included analysis of student achievement data, structured classroom observations, interviews and focus groups, surveys of students and parents, and design of longitudinal tracking systems to measure the “added value” of enrollment at this charter school organized on the basis of project-based learning.

 

Evaluation for the Charter Schools Division, Los Angeles Unified School District.   PW has assisted the LAUSD Charter Schools Division (CSD) in the review of charter school petitions and the design of district procedures to assess the viability and progress of charter schools.  PW’s assistance to LAUSD focused on 1) development of site visitation guidelines and rubrics for required annual site visits to charter schools; 2) review of charter components 1-3 (Educational Program, Measurable Student Outcomes, and Evaluation Methods) from selected charter school applicants; 3) preparation of a list of common shortcomings and pitfalls of charter petition; 4) completion of a comprehensive review of the literature on charter schools, focusing on authorization and oversight, extent of educational innovation, evaluation of charter school effectiveness, and accountability implications; and,  5) development of training materials for charter school developers intended to enhance charter accountability, assessment, and evaluation.

 

Evaluation of the Alliance for College Ready Public Schools (ACRPS). PW evaluated the ACRPS educational model at four secondary charter schools. In particular, the evaluation focused on examining 1) high expectations for all students; 2) small personalized schools and classrooms; 3) increased time for learning; 4) highly qualified principals and teachers; and 5) parents as partners.  The evaluation included in-depth site visits to all four schools, surveys of students and parents, as well as examination of extant quantitative student achievement data in relation to students attending similar LAUSD schools. PW also examined other data such as staff participation in professional development/training, rates of teacher retention, student participation in service learning and/or internships, quarterly student progress reports, parent participation in school events/activities, etc. The final evaluation report will include key findings, conclusions, and recommendations aimed at assessing the benefits of the model for students, parents, and staff, as well as baseline quantitative achievement data to measure future impact.

 

Evaluation of the College and Career Success (C&CS) Schools, UNITE-LA.  PW evaluated the extent of systemic change associated with the implementation of five autonomous small schools/small learning communities organized on the basis of thematic, hands-on learning and interdisciplinary use of technology.  In particular, the evaluation assessed the extent to which the C&CS Initiative assisted, modeled, and built sustainability among participating high schools.  Evaluation methods included 1) documentation of partnerships, leveraged funds, and participation in professional development; 2)  student participation in key activities (e.g., internships, job shadow, project-based learning, etc.); 3) school performance data (e.g., dropout/graduation rate, attendance, teacher retention/turnover rates; 4) site visits to focus schools; and 5) district interviews. The final evaluation report focused on recommendations aimed at sustaining and replicating the C&CS model in other LAUSD high schools.

 

Evaluation of Watts Learning Center Charter School, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).  As part of the district’s five-year charter renewal process, PW evaluated the progress of Watts Learning Center, an elementary charter school in South Central Los Angeles.  Research focused on both the school’s implementation of the charter as well as the impact on student achievement and overall school performance.  The evaluation also focused on the analysis of quantitative data linked to school performance and student achievement, comparing the performance of students from Watts Learning Center to a matched sample of students from demographically similar schools.  In addition to tracking longitudinal student-level data, the evaluation employed statistical regression methods in order to isolate the impact of different variables on student achievement.  The evaluation also included a qualitative review of many key aspects of the school in relation to its charter and goals.  Report findings were presented and used in consideration of approval of extending the school’s charter school status for a following five-year term.

 

Evaluation of the Summer Math Academy, Pioneer High School, Whittier Union High School District (WUHSD).  PW evaluated the impact a Summer Math Academy program intended to increase the proportion of students completing the entire sequence of high school mathematics while also providing summer remediation to students who did not pass math courses during the regular school year.  The evaluation included classroom observations, focus groups and interviews with staff and students, and a comprehensive review of transcripts for the graduating class of 2002.  Recommendations from the evaluation report centered on redefining the mission of the program to include a more explicit focus on helping more students become college eligible by increasing pass rates in benchmark mathematics courses.

 

Status Report on Project SEED, PUSD.  PW researched and compiled a report on the status of the Project SEED, an elementary science program used in PUSD. Qualitative research included the review of program documentation and databases, as well as interviews with District/program staff.  PW produced a document on the history of the program, its impact on students and schools, a description of the current program, and recommendations for future evaluation.

 

Evaluation of the Professional Development School (PDS) in LAUSD Local District I, Urban Educational Partnership (UEP). PW evaluated an initiative designed to increase the proficiency levels and retention rates of non-credentialed teachers assigned to inner city schools in south Los Angeles.  Evaluation methods included surveys and interviews with PDS credential candidates, coaches assigned to these teachers, and the leadership at schools sending teacher candidates to the PDS.

 

Evaluation of Success for All, Local District I, Los Angeles Unified School District.  PW evaluated the effectiveness of Success for All (SFA), a reading intervention program developed by Johns Hopkins University, at four underperforming Title I elementary schools located in south central Los Angeles.  PW designed an electronic database for schools to enter interval reading assessment data and then retrieved these data for analysis.  Student reading data were analyzed to determine overall progress and grade level attainment under SFA. The evaluation also included a qualitative review of the schools’ implementation of the model, particularly modifications to school structure, professional development, and parent outreach.   A final report was prepared for each school detailing student achievement findings and providing recommendations for strengthening school-based reform efforts.

 

Evaluation of Montague Charter Academy, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).  As part of the five-year Charter reapplication process, PW evaluated the progress of Montague Charter Academy, an elementary charter school in the northeast San Fernando Valley. The evaluation focused on the analysis of quantitative data linked to school performance and student achievement, comparing Montague to a matched sample of demographically similar schools.  In addition to tracking longitudinal student-level data over time, the evaluation employed regression techniques to isolate the differential impact and statistical significance of Montague’s performance controlling for student demographic characteristics.  In addition, the evaluation included an in-depth analysis of the charter’s impact on curriculum and instruction, assessment practices, professional development, intervention programs and services and parent and community involvement. This report was used to determine whether or not to re-approve the school’s status as a charter school.

 

Evaluative Technical Assistance and Communication Services for School Families in the Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project (LAAMP), Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).  PW provided evaluative technical assistance to twenty-two LAUSD School Families (geographical groups of K-12 schools feeding into a single comprehensive high school), each of whom was responsible for developing an annual self-evaluation report as part of the LAAMP annual review process. PW 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. PW 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. After several years of technical assistance, PW 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.

 

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, PW evaluated the differential impact of LAAMP on PUSD’s existing reform programs as well as progress toward PUSD’s K-12 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 California Proposition 227 (which limited the use of bilingual education in California) on the instructional services and student outcomes of English Language Learners.  Quantitative analyses centered on identifying trends and patterns in student achievement and school performance data, analyzing secondary transcripts to highlight equity and achievement issues and examining the performance of a subset of schools implementing Success for All, a model program for improving reading. PW also facilitated meetings of participating schools and otherwise assisted PUSD in preparing an annual report submitted to the Los Angeles County LAAMP Office.

 

Evaluation of the Implementation of the Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project (LAAMP), Little Lake City School District (LLCSD). PW evaluated the extent to which the LLCSD met its goals in the areas of literacy and mathematics as set forth in their Annenberg Family Learning Plan. 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, PW 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 involved in using data from school improvement.

 

Evaluation of Teacher Recruitment and Retention Policies, National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF), Teachers College, Columbia University.  As part of a national study of urban school districts, PW 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—Beginning Teacher Support Assistance (BTSA) and the New Teacher Team Coaching (NTTC).  Evaluation methods included surveys of new teachers and mentor teachers as well as observational assessments using the California Standards for the Teaching Profession. 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 the recruitment and support of new teachers. The third component was a best practice study of the pre-service and in-service support practices offered

 

Evaluation of the Palisades Charter Complex, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).  As part of the Charter reapplication process, PW 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 the previous 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 logistic regressions 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. This report was used to determine whether or not to extend charter status for an additional five years.

 

Rubric Development for the North Hollywood and Sylmar School Families, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). PW facilitated the North Hollywood School Family in the development of writing prompts and rubrics to be used as pre- (fall) and post- (spring) assessments of students in kindergarten through fifth grade (N. Hollywood) and the third, fifth, eighth and tenth grade (Sylmar). A random sample of student work was selected and scored, results summarized, benchmarks selected, and rubrics fine-tuned. Teachers were trained in the development, scoring prompts and rubrics as well as the analysis of results.

 

Evaluation of the Parents as Learning Partners (PLP) High School Parent Orientation, School Family, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).  PW evaluated the impact of a summer orientation program seeking to smooth the transition of middle school students to high school. This evaluation collected data that would allow the school 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 targeted areas for future parent education and outreach. Most work conducted for this evaluation consisted of qualitative data obtained through focus groups conducted with students, parents, teachers, and high school counselors

 

Preparation of LEARN School Report Cards, Los Angeles Educational Alliance for Restructuring Now (LEARN). PW 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, and staffing.  Along with the individual school report cards, PW 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.

 

California Accountability System School and District Support

 

SAIT Provider

  • Birch High School and Citrus High School, Fontana Unified School District
  • Echo Valley Elementary School, North Monterey County Unified School District
  • Edison Elementary School, Pasadena Unified School District.

 

PW served as the SAIT provider for two continuation schools and two elementary schoo targeted for oversight because of receiving HPSG funds and failing to meet API targets for two consecutive years.  PW monitored the implementation of corrective actions resulting from completion of an Academic Program Survey (APS) comprised of nine Essential Program Components (EPCs).  The schools received $150 per pupil for up to three years in order to implement corrective actions with the objective of increasing student achievement, meeting API growth targets, and exiting the SAIT process. Evaluation and monitoring activities included analysis of summative achievement data, classroom observations, staff survey, facilitation of meetings with various stakeholder groups and the securing of instructional materials and professional development aimed at furthering the implementation of corrective actions.  PW submitted quarterly progress reports on behalf of each school to the California Department of Education, and periodic status reports to school and district staff.

 

California Scholastic Audit, Blair High School, Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD).  PW served as the School Assistance Intervention Team (SAIT) provider to Blair High School, one of twenty-four California public schools subject to a SAIT audit during the 2002-2003 school year. As part of the audit, PW conducted a five-day on-site examination of the school’s academic program including an in-depth analysis of student achievement data, structured classroom observations, interviews and focus groups with school staff and students, a public meeting with parents, and surveys of school staff members.  In addition, the audit encompassed a review of District-level policies and support for the school.  A set of findings and corrective actions were produced detailing steps for the school and PUSD to take in four key areas: School and District Leadership; Curriculum and Instruction; Assessment, and Parent/Community Engagement.  PW continues to assist Blair during the implementation of the audit’s corrective actions with quarterly follow-up visits and brokering of outside support.

 

HPSG External Evaluator, Castroville Elementary School, North Monterey County Unified School District. PW served as the external evaluator for Castroville Elementary School, a school that received a High Priority Schools Grant (HPSG), discretionary State funds for the lowest performing 10% of schools in California as measured by the API.  After facilitating the completion of the District Assistance and Academic Program Surveys, PW facilitated the development of the HPSG Action Plan and subsequent submission of the grant application to the state.   The school received $400 per student for two years in order to implement the plan.  Evaluation activities focused on monitoring the implementation of plan components through analysis of student achievement data and quarterly visits to meet with various stakeholder groups.  PW prepared and submitted End-of-Year reports to the State on HPSG implementation, and delivered periodic status reports for the school leadership team.

 

Facilitated planning of High Priority Schools Grant (HPSG)

  • Sylvan Park and Hazeltine Elementary Schools, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Warren Lane Elementary and La Tijera K-8 Schools and, Inglewood Unified School District

PW conducted a comprehensive needs assessment as part of the development of a school-wide plan for improvement based on staff and student needs at each school. HPSG targets improvements in English Language Arts and Mathematics including professional development, intervention, coaching, and use of school resources. Activities included analyzing data on student performance, as well as reviewing existing documents related to the school’s instructional program. PW also facilitated multiple meetings with the school’s District School Leadership Team (DSLT) in order to administer and score the required Academic Program Survey (APS), which assesses school capacity in terms of the Essential Program Components (EPCs) required of HPSG schools. In addition, PW coordinated and led a public meeting with parent/community members to solicit input for school improvement planning. PW used the aforementioned data in order to develop a draft HPSG plans for each school, which was shared with the DSLT prior to being submitted to LAUSD, IUSD and the California Department of Education.

 

High Priority Schools Needs Assessment and Monitoring, Los Angeles Academy, Virgil and Carver Middle Schools, Los Angeles Unified School. In response to identification of schools with an Academic Performance Index (API) score of less than 600, PW conducted a comprehensive needs assessment of the underlying reasons for low student achievement.  Needs assessment methods included staff and parent surveys, classroom observations, review of student achievement and school performance data, focus groups and interviews with school staff and parents, and review of other school documentation.  Based on the needs assessment, PW developed a five-year HPS Action Plan/Single School Plan for each school outlining corrective actions in the areas of Curriculum, Instruction, Student Capacity, Professional Development, Leadership, Organization and Support Structure, Physical and Emotional Safety, and Parent/Community Engagement, and Performance Reporting and Accountability.  PW also assisted the schools in the subsequent two years of HPS implementation with evaluation services including classroom observations, focus groups and interviews with school staff and parents, and surveys of staff.  PW presented evaluation findings to a site-based Leadership Team as well as to school faculty.

 

HPSG Consultant, Washington Middle School, Pasadena Unified School District. PW served as a consultant and evaluator for Washington Middle School to improve financial tracking systems and to consolidate funding procedures and processes. Activities included assisting the principal with the facilitation of the School Site Council and collecting and reporting expenditures for government program funds; facilitation with school staff and the school site council to develop the HPSG single plan to the district; assisting with year end reporting; and a summative evaluation including focus groups with teachers and students, a staff survey, and interviews with administrators.

 

Evaluation of HPSG Implementation, Audubon, Webster and Bethune Middle Schools, Los Angeles Unified School District.  PW served as the local evaluator for three middle schools receiving a High Priority Schools Grant (HPSG), discretionary State funds for the lowest performing public schools in California.  Evaluation activities centered on helping the school utilize a wide range of data to inform and modify school improvement efforts.  PW facilitated a site-based Instructional Leadership Team charged with examining multiple sources of data (e.g., student achievement, staff, student and parent surveys, classroom observations, etc.).  PW worked closely with core academic department chairs to strengthen school plans for professional development and to help focus school plans for parent outreach and parent education. PW also helped develop and monitor after-school and Saturday interventions for students struggling to meet academic standards. PW prepared final End-of-Year reports for the State on HPSG implementation on behalf of the schools.

 

Evaluation of Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) Implementation, Gratts Elementary, Marina Del Rey Middle, and Verdugo Hills High Schools, Los Angeles Unified School District.  PW served as the local evaluator for three schools receiving Comprehensive School Reform Grant (CSR) funding, following the Scholastic Performance Audit (SPA) conducted by LAUSD. Evaluation activities centered on helping the school utilize a wide range of data to inform and modify school improvement efforts, as they relate to the implementation of the Comprehensive School Reform corrective actions. PW facilitated a site-based Instructional Leadership Team charged with examining multiple sources of data (e.g., student achievement, staff, student and parent surveys, classroom observations, etc.).  PW worked closely with core academic department chairs to strengthen school plans for professional development, including facilitating activities related to implementing Professional Learning Communities (PLC). PW helped the school focus school plans for parent outreach and parent education and also helped develop and monitor after-school and Saturday interventions for students struggling to meet academic standards. PW prepared final End-of-Year reports for the State on HPSG implementation on behalf of the schools.

 

Evaluation of Scholastic Performance Audit Implementation, Twain Middle School, Los Angeles Unified School District.  PW was selected from a list of State approved providers to serve as the school’s external evaluator following a Scholastic Performance Audit conducted by LAUSD. Evaluation activities centered on helping the school utilize a wide range of data to inform and modify school improvement efforts, as they relate to the implementation of the SPA corrective actions. PW facilitated a site-based Instructional Leadership Team charged with examining multiple sources of data (e.g., student achievement, staff, student and parent surveys, classroom observations, etc.).  PW worked closely with core academic department chairs to strengthen school plans for professional development and to help focus school plans for parent outreach and parent education. PW also helped develop and monitor after-school and Saturday interventions for students struggling to meet academic standards. PW prepared final End-of-Year reports for the State on HPSG implementation on behalf of Twain Middle School.

 

State Reporting on Underperforming Schools, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD).  PW prepared required End-of-Year reports for four elementary and one middle school in LAUSD and one elementary and one middle school in PUSD receiving either Immediate Intervention/ Underperforming Schools Program (II/USP) or Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) program grants.  Evaluation activities included a review of summative student achievement data, on-site interviews and focus groups, and review of school budgets and professional development documentation. 

 

External Evaluator for District Program Improvement, Whittier Union High School District (WUHSD). PW served as the WUHSD’s external evaluator during a district-wide self-assessment and revision of the district’s Title I Program Improvement (PI) plan.  PW conducted both a district and site-based analysis as required to identify areas in need of improvement including analysis of all District and school-based achievement data, as well as interviews and focus groups at each school and with selected district staff to evaluate school and district capacity using two state-mandated instruments: the District Assistance Survey (DAS) and the Academic Program Survey (APS). To ensure follow-up of the needs assessments recommendations, PW has continued to work with WUHSD in 2005-06 and 2006-07.  In particular, PW evaluated the effectiveness of the district’s academic “Pyramid of Intervention” model and worked with Intervention Specialists at each district school; 2) facilitating a district task force charged with improving the delivery of instruction to Special Education; 3) providing technical assistance on the a system for common formative assessments in core subject areas; and 4) collecting input from parents via satisfaction surveys.

 

Evaluation of II/USP Implementation, Emerson Middle School, Los Angeles Unified School District and Wilson Middle School, Pasadena Unified School District. PW served as the local evaluator for Emerson Middle School, a school receiving an Immediate Intervention/ Underperforming School Program (II/USP) grant beginning in 2001-2002. Evaluation and monitoring activities included assisting the school in understanding and using summative and formative student assessment data to guide and modify instruction as well as structured observations of classroom instruction in core academic subject areas aimed at spurring changes in pedagogy and professional collaboration.  In addition, Wilson’s process included restructuring school services and support for English Learners as well as surveying staff and students regarding the school’s implementation of the International Baccalaureate Programme. In addition to facilitating quarterly leadership team meetings, PW surveyed staff on school reform efforts and presented data on student achievement to parents. PW prepared the final End-of-Year report for the State on of II/USP implementation on behalf of the schools.

 

Evaluation of High Priority Schools Grant (HPSG) Implementation, Webster and Bethune Middle Schools, Los Angeles Unified School District.  PW served as the local evaluator for both Webster and Bethune Middle Schools both receiving a High Priority Schools Grant (HPSG), discretionary State funds for the lowest performing public schools in California.  Evaluation activities centered on facilitating a site-based Data Team charged with moving examining data from multiple sources as part of school improvement efforts.  In helping the school move towards a data-driven model of school decision-making, multiple sources of data were examined (e.g., student achievement, staff and parent surveys, classroom observations, etc.).  PW also worked closely with core academic department chairs to strengthen school plans for professional development and use of formative assessment data to guide and modify instruction.  PW prepared final End-of-Year reports for the State on HPSG implementation on behalf of the schools.

 

Facilitated planning of Bonita’s High Priority Schools Grant (HPSG), Bonita Unified School District. PW conducted a comprehensive needs assessment as part of the development of a school-wide plan for improvement based on staff and student needs. Activities included facilitating and developing the capacity of School Site Council (SSC) to develop and manage a plan for improvement, analyzing data on student performance, as well as reviewing existing documents related to the school’s instructional program. PW also facilitated meetings with the school’s District School Leadership Team (DSLT) in order to administer and score the required Academic Program Survey (APS), which assesses school capacity in terms of the Essential Program Components (EPCs) required of HPSG schools. In addition, PW coordinated and led a public meeting with parent/community members to solicit input for school improvement planning. PW used the aforementioned data in order to develop a draft HPSG plan, which was shared with the DSLT prior to being submitted to the Bonita board of education and the California Department of Education.

 

Facilitated planning of High Priority Schools Grant (HPSG),

  • La Tijera K-8 School, Inglewood Unified School District
  • New Economics for Women (NEW) Academy of Science, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Edison, Muir and Drew Middle Schools, Los Angeles Unified School District

 

PW conducted a comprehensive needs assessment as part of the development of a school-wide plan for improvement based on staff and student needs. HPSG targets improvements in English Language Arts and Mathematics including professional development, intervention, coaching, and use of school resources. Activities included analyzing data on student performance, as well as reviewing existing documents related to the school’s instructional program. PW also facilitated three to four meetings with each school’s District School Leadership Team (DSLT) in order to administer and score the required Academic Program Survey (APS), which assesses school capacity in terms of the Essential Program Components (EPCs) required of HPSG schools. In addition, PW reviewed existing documents and evidence related to the schools instructional program including: charter petition, budgets, staffing qualifications, and experience. PW coordinated and led a public meeting with parent/community members to solicit input for school improvement planning. PW used the aforementioned data in order to develop a draft HPSG plan, which was shared with the DSLT prior to being submitted the California Department of Education.

 

Public Engagement Evaluation of Sun Valley Middle School, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).  PW conducted a public engagement evaluation aimed at documenting school progress since an audit conducted by the California Department of Education in October 2001.  Based on document and data review, classroom observations, focus groups and interviews, and surveys of school staff, PW prepared an annual report detailing the story of the school’s reform and transformation.  This deliverable served as evidence of the school’s successful exit from State oversight due to school wide improvement.

 

Evaluation of II/USP Implementation, Local District D High Schools, Los Angeles Unified School District.  PW served as the local evaluator for three high schools implementing an Immediate Intervention/Underperforming Schools Program (II/USP) grant. PW focused on collecting evaluation data linked to an action plan developed as part of the II/USP process for implementation over the next two school years. Working closely with a site-based Data Team comprised of teachers, counselors, and administrators, PW examined a wide range of data linked to the implementation of the schools’ improvement plans over three years.  Evaluation efforts included in-depth examination of summative student achievement and school performance data, surveys of school staff, structured classrooms observations, and interviews with school personnel. Facilitation of site-based data teams at each site focused on helping school personnel interpret and use data for program improvement.

 

Evaluation of the Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration (CSRD) Program, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).  PW served as LAUSD’s District evaluator of the CSRD program for 14 Cohort I and 18 Cohort II schools.  All schools were implementing research-based model reform designs intended to improve student achievement.  Evaluation methods included pre/post (Fall/Spring) school staff and parent surveys as well as the analysis of student achievement data linked to annual State and District performance benchmarks. In addition, a sample of schools was included in a case study, which allowed an in-depth examination of the factors behind effective implementation of site-based comprehensive reform.  Data from the evaluation provided LAUSD with information that can be used to match underperforming schools with appropriate and effective reform designs.  PW also facilitated quarterly meetings with all LAUSD CSRD schools, providing information and training on using data to guide school improvement efforts.  As part of the project, PW prepared an annual End-of-Year report to the State and assisted schools in meeting State accountability and reporting requirements. Supplemental summative evaluation reports were also prepared for LAUSD.

 

External Evaluator Services for Schools Receiving Public Schools Accountability Act Planning Grants (Senate Bill 1X), Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD), and Lennox School District (LSD). In line with California legislation intended to improve school accountability, PW served as the State-approved external evaluator for 22 K-12 schools in LAUSD receiving planning grants under the Public Schools Accountability Act, Immediate Intervention/Underperforming Schools Program (II/USP) as well as one elementary and two middle schools in PUSD and one elementary in LSD. In LAUSD, PW worked ten elementary schools, one middle, and one high school as well as serving as the external evaluator to five elementary, one middle, and four high schools.  Legislatively mandated tasks included: public meetings with parents and community representatives, as well as comprehensive school reviews to identify barriers to school improvement.  Methods included in-depth analyses of student achievement data as well as school site visits devoted to interviews, focus groups and classroom observations.  Throughout the project, PW facilitated an Action Team made up of representatives of all stakeholder groups, culminating in the development of a school improvement plan covering four areas: school management, curriculum management, resource allocation, and parent/community involvement. This plan recommended curricular programs and reform strategies, outlining measurable goals, contractual arrangements with outside model reform providers, and an expenditure plan linked to school-wide reform goals. All plans and grant applications were approved by the State and the schools received implementation awards of up to $200 per student for a period of either two (II/USP only) three (CSRD schools) years.

 

Evaluation of the Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration (CSRD) Program, Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD).  PW served as PUSD’s District evaluator of the CSRD program, in place at Blair High School, a Cohort I CSRD school implementing the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Evaluation methods included school staff and student surveys as well as the analysis of student achievement data linked to grant and District performance benchmarks. In addition, on-site qualitative research allowed the examination of the school’s progress in implementing the IB reform design. As part of the project, PW prepared both school and district End-of-Year reports to meet State accountability and reporting requirements. A supplemental summative evaluation report was also prepared for PUSD.

 

Evaluation of II/USP Implementation, Evergreen Elementary, Los Angeles Unified School District.  PW served as the local evaluator for an elementary school located in East Los Angeles implementing an Immediate Intervention/Underperforming Schools Program (II/USP) grant.  PW focused on collecting evaluation data linked to an action plan developed as part of the II/USP process.  Working closely with a site-based Data Team, PW conducted staff and parent surveys, observed classrooms, interviewed school personnel and examined student progress under the Open Court Reading program.  Meeting monthly, PW endeavored to build the capacity of school representatives to conduct and lead their own internal evaluation efforts. In particular, efforts focused on helping school personnel interpret and use data for program improvement.  PW also provided evaluative technical assistance linked to grade level articulation and parent education and outreach.  PW prepared a final report summarizing the results of the first year implementation.

 

School-based Data Team Coaching

 

Facilitation and Training of Math Data Team, Whittier Union High School District (WUHSD). PW coordinated bimonthly meetings of a data team comprised of district leaders and math department chairs from five high schools aimed at improving student achievement in mathematics.  Activities centered on examining key accountability data from the California Standards Test and the California High School Exit Exam, survey data from all district math teachers, and structured observations of mathematics instruction based on the California Standards for the Teaching Profession. PW facilitated the development of a set of recommendations for mathematics instruction including plans for professional development, new teacher support, provision of instructional materials, assessment practices, and intervention services for struggling students.

 

Facilitation and Training of Reading Intervention Data Team, Whittier Union High School District (WUHSD). PW coordinated bimonthly meetings of a data team comprised of district leaders, English department chairs, and high school teachers of reading intervention classes targeting students reading more than two years below grade level. PW surveyed faculty at all WUHSD high schools as part of a needs assessment on the extent of literacy integration in all subject areas. Evaluative technical assistance centered on the developing a set of recommendation for development of a system of course entry and exit criteria, instructional guidelines, assessment procedures, and professional development aimed at improving site-based reading interventions and promoting literacy across the curriculum.

 

Facilitation and Training of Site Based Math Data Teams, Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD). PW coordinated monthly meetings of a data team comprised of administrators, teacher(s), curricular coaches, and counselors from nine sites aimed at improving student achievement in mathematics. Activities centered on examining key accountability data from the California Standards Test and the California High School Exit Exam, formative assessment data, survey data from staff and students (secondary only), and structured observations of mathematics instruction based on the California Standards for the Teaching Profession. PW assumed responsibility for building a system of formative mathematics assessment data. Activities included creation, coordination, collection, and analysis of formative assessments data for grades 2 – Algebra I, which were tied to curricular pacing plans. In addition, PW, delivered reports by teacher and by standard approximately every eight weeks. PW worked jointly with the Coalition for Educational Partnerships to provide training to IUSD teachers and principals regarding data-driven school improvement.

 

North Monterey County Unified School District, Technical Assistance and Professional Development. PW has provided ongoing technical assistance and support to the seven K-12 schools that comprise NMCUSD.  Activities focused on providing site-based professional development for school staff on data analysis and use, Professional Learning Communities (PLC), Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI), organizing common lesson study, design of common formative assessments, and analysis of student work.  PW served on the District School Leadership Team (DSLT) at three schools (two elementary and one middle) under Program Improvement (PI) corrective action, providing facilitation and helping coordinate school improvement activities.  In addition, PW provided professional development at the district-level for central office staff and principals aimed at ensuring a systemic approach to district-wide priorities targeting PLCs, RTI, and closing English Learner achievement gaps.  As part of the district-level focus, PW conducted required needs assessment activities using State-required protocols including District Assessment Survey (DAS), English Learner Subgroup Self-Assessment (ELSSA), and Inventory of Services and Supports (ISS) for students with disabilities, and assisted in drafting revisions to the Local Education Agency (LEA) plan required under district PI status.

 

Facilitation and Training of the English Language Learners Data Team Task Force, Whittier Union High School District (WUHSD). PW assisted WUHSD in the development of a set of proposals for restructuring instructional delivery, student scheduling, professional development and teacher articulation as part of the development of a district wide Master Plan for English Language Learners (ELLs).  PW facilitated monthly meetings of school representatives from the five WUHSD high schools and District leaders aimed at reaching consensus on the instructional program for ELLs. Evaluative technical assistance centered on the development of a system of student achievement benchmarks to evaluate progress as well as recommendations for ongoing data management and analysis.   PW also provided annual professional development annually for three years to school principals, counselors, and teachers on assessment, accountability, and data analysis.

 

Public Schools Choice Technical Assistance.   Assisted three LAUSD secondary schools (one high school, one middle, and one grade 6-12 school) in developing portions of school improvement plans linked to LAUSD’s Public Schools Choice (PSC) initiative.  PSC requires all new schools opening in the district as well as chronically underperforming schools to prepare a detailed plan for ensuring improved student achievement in competition with non-profits, institutions of higher education, charter schools, and charter school networks.   PW conducted needs assessments of the school and facilitated Design Teams comprised of local district representatives, school administrators, teachers, and community/parent representatives working to formulate and respond to a rubric detailing elements of a comprehensive school improvement plan.   PW presented research-based approaches to schooling in selected key areas and drafted key portions of the PSC plans for these schools including: 1) Curriculum and Instruction; 2) Assessment and Data; 3) Performance Management; 4) Professional Development; 5) Leadership; and 6) Governance and Oversight.

 

 

© 2018. Public Works Group. All Rights Reserved.