Evaluation, Planning for Alliance for Education (High School) in the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS). PW was contracted to assist the Alliance for Education in evaluating STEM and ABLE programming. PW evaluated STEM outcomes by collecting rosters of students participating in STEM programming from schools and matching that information to student outcomes. PW also conducted a follow-up survey of seniors after graduation from selected schools.
Evaluation Planning, Alliance for Education, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools. Public Works assisted in the development of an Evaluation Design for the Alliance for Education, a partnership of business, labor, government and education for a qualified workforce. Services included gathering proposals and grant reports written by the Alliance; convening an Evaluation Group to assess goals and objectives; interviews with stakeholders, partners and staff; and producing and presenting a proposed evaluation strategy to the Evaluation Group.
Technical Assistance of the Los Angeles Police Academy Magnet Schools and Police Orientation Preparation Program LAPAMS and POPP. Public Works has provided technical assistance and guidance in the development of a comprehensive master evaluation plan, which focused on improving the preparation of students for careers in the LAPD, other law enforcement, and related fields for the Irvine Foundation. PW provided leadership in the development of the evaluation design and methodology and worked with other evaluators to ensure the final written plan was complete and met the highest standards of evaluation design.
Evaluation of the Urban Network for Improving Training and Education in Los Angeles (UNITE-LA), Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD). In order to gather baseline data on the different components of the evolving School-to-Career (STC) system in Los Angeles, Public Works and its partner WestEd focused on documenting the extent of STC implementation, stakeholder support and involvement in STC initiatives, and the impact of STC on student outcomes. Research methods included an intensive study based on a sample of 11 LAUSD high schools representing all of the regional consortia served by UNITE-LA, as well as 3 community colleges and 3 JTPA youth programs. The evaluation also collected survey data from key stakeholders (e.g., employers, educators, and program staff) in the Los Angeles area STC community. In the second year of the evaluation, Public Works, Inc. conducted two evaluations tasks. The first involved measuring the long term potential impact of the UNITE-LA partnership and organization structure through a series of interviews with staff members, subcontractors, and partners and an analysis of the budget and spending priorities overt the grant provided. Site visits and focus groups were also conducted. The second task focused on measuring the impact of participation in STC programs on student outcomes. Exemplary STC programs were chosen and student data and qualitative program information was collected and analyzed. Taken together, the data present a broad picture of the STC services and programs available to youth during the 1997-98 academic year that will be used to measure the long-term impact of UNITE-LA, one of the largest School-to-Career partnerships funded in California through the Federal School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994.
Strategic Planning for Career and Workforce Development, Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). Public Works facilitated directors of programs administered by LACOE as part of the joint strategic plan to better serve clients preK-adult. Bringing together administrators of the Greater Avenues for Independence Now (GAIN) and Regional Occupation Program (ROP) (pre-reorganization included Headstart and Career and Family Services) these strategic planning sessions focused on improving the coordination and implementation of LACOE’s mission in the areas of instructional technology, fund development, program development, infrastructure, marketing, communication, and product development. Work also included the dissemination of the results to the overall CWD through retreats as well as the coordination of committees in the strategic plan areas. Work focused on assisting committees with deliverables such as a report on infrastructure, product development plan, program inventory, and brochures.
Technical Assistance on Education Linkages, Laborers-Associated General Contractors (AGC). Laborers-AGC is focused on improving it connects to education institutions. In order to best do this, Public Works worked with six regions throughout the U.S. to capture effective practice in the area of education linkages and develop a user-friendly guide on how to improve linkages in the areas of educator and counselor support, industry experience for educators and counselors, development of curriculum units, exposure and awareness of the industry, work experience, and advisory boards. Workshops were offered at both national conferences and within the regions to work with sites improve the linkages that exist.
Instructor Development Program, Laborers-Associated General Contractors (AGC). The Laborers-AGC sponsors an annual education and certification program for the instructors in all of its training fund sites located throughout the US and Canada. Public Works taught two courses for this program, one about the lesson planning process and the other about choosing and developing appropriate instructional materials. The courses included information on the learning process and instructional theory, appealing to different kinds of learners, and incorporating Laborers-AGC skill standards in the lesson planning process.
Development of Construction Standards, Laborers-Associated General Contractors (AGC). In order to evaluate the Laborers-AGC’s skill standards utilized on the job by workers in the areas of Concrete, Open Cut Pipe Laying, Lead Abatement, and Hazardous Waste, Public Works conducted site visits and interviewed workers in these occupational areas. The evaluation included the development of academic and industry standard crosswalks intended to improve classroom training conducted by Laborers-AGC. Site visit write-ups will be used to guide teachers in the improvement and implementation of new training strategies that better align to industry need. Laborers-AGC standards were aligned to National Academic Standards to assess the level of math, science and SCANS competencies embedded in construction standards.
Development of Hazardous Materials Standards, Laborers-Associated General Contractors (AGC). Laborers-AGC has defined skill standards for a variety of occupations in the construction industry. Public Works assisted in the development of skill standards for Hazardous Waste Workers. Public Works accompanied Laborers-AGC staff on site visits to various locations in the country to interview and survey incumbent hazardous waste workers and to verify the skills that were frequently used and critical to hazardous waster workers. Laborers-AGC skill standards are organized into three sections: conventional industry standards; key tasks; and workplace skills, knowledge, and aptitudes. Public Works developed skill standards for the section on workplace skills, knowledge, and aptitudes in the areas of employability skills and health and safety.
Sonoma County School-to-Career Partnership. Public Works provided ongoing technical assistance to the Sonoma County STC Partnership in the area of sustainability by identifying potential funding sources to sustain partnership activities, coordinating the development of a three-year business plan, organizing sustainability strategies for the director, and providing grant writing technical assistance to schools and other partners that want to apply for funding.
Technical Assistance in Developing State Systems of Vocational Certification at the Secondary Level in the State of Kentucky and Utah, Kentucky State Department of Secondary Education and Utah State Department of Workforce Development. Assisted Kentucky and Utah in the development and implementation of a statewide assessment system that provided accountability information on programs as well as signals to employers that students passing the exam are skilled workers. Activities have included facilitating the development of multiple-choice test items, written or problem-based scenarios, and performance assessment; researched electronic databases that provide assessment layout, scoring, item analysis and reporting; and provided guidance on technical quality issues related to validity, reliability and fairness.
Technical Assistance of State Level Efforts to Integrate School Reform and Workforce Development Initiatives, National Center for Research in Vocational Education. Public Works provided technical assistance to 22 state departments of education in the areas of accountability, using data for program improvement, and standards-driven curriculum and assessment. Through workshops, individual visits and best practice studies, strategies for improving the integration of academic and vocational policy and practice were disseminated in order to ultimately improve student achievement. Written surveys, telephone interviews, and case study research methods were among the methodologies employed. A report documenting best practices across states was developed to spur innovation and information sharing around improving accountability in vocational education. A second document was developed with profiles of all 22 states involved in the project including their accountability system developed under Perkins III.
National Assessment in Vocational Education, U.S. Department of Education. Public Works developed a conceptual framework to conduct research on state’s responses to the accountability requirements in the Carl D. Perkins III Act. The paper provides a typology for categorizing states in the four required indicator areas of: academic and occupational competency attainment, completion, placement and retention, and enrollment and completion in nontraditional areas. The paper provides the context for vocational education by describing the tensions between purposes in workforce development and school reform and centralized and decentralized governance structures. The paper will be used to develop an RFP process for a contractor to research Perkins III accountability systems.
Technical Assistance to the ASAP School-to-Work Partnership, Foothill Private Industry Council (FPIC) and Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD). Public Works served as the coordinator of the state school-to-career partnership grant in the Foothill region called All Students Access Pathways (ASAP). The partnership included the communities of Pasadena, Altadena, Sierra Madre, Alhambra, Duarte, South Pasadena, Arcadia, Monrovia and San Marino. Coordination activities included conducting all meetings related to the partnership, coordinating the development of Technology Centers at each high school and middle school, managing grant activities, and developing materials. Documents developed include a guides on work-based learning curriculum, teachers internships, elementary curriculum units, implementing Senior Project and using the internet for career and postsecondary searches.
Evaluation of the Orange County Coalition Vision 2020 Project, Orange County Office of Education and the Orange County Private Industry Council. Public Works evaluated the first-year implementation of Vision 2020, a Federally-funded comprehensive School-to-Career project, through the examination of student outcomes and program activities in 10 Model Collaboratives and 100 Local Integrated Projects. Evaluation efforts focused on assessing the effectiveness of the Coalition’s collaborative governance structures and collecting baseline data on school-to-career efforts in 12 participating school districts. The evaluation included a 12th grade student survey and employer survey as well as intensive evaluation efforts in individual Model Collaboratives.
Technical Assistance for LA City Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) Youth Consortia, Kip Stottlemyer Associates. Kip Stottlemyer Associates and Public Works trained representatives of JTPA youth partnerships to improve practices in youth training and employer recruitment using SCANS Competencies and Foundation Skills. Training topics included assessment, mentoring, work-site supervisor training, marketing, integrated curriculum and employer recruitment. Strategies utilized included a pre/post survey, facilitating, training, interviews and a best practice document.
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