The Barr Foundation launched the Engage New England Initiative in 2017 to support the development of innovative schools to serve students who are off track to graduate from high school.
This research brief identifies promising strategies for embracing student voice in school design based on the experience of Engage New England (ENE) grantees. Successfully engaging students in decision-making and school design is not as simple as inviting them to attend staff meetings. As ENE grantees learned, meaningfully engaging students requires planning, scaffolding, and sustained attention to both representation and accessibility for the most historically underserved youth. The lessons ENE grantees learned from engaging in a structured, student-centered design process can help other schools to include student voice in school design and they may also be applied more broadly to ongoing continuous efforts. The lessons also may be useful for supporting the engagement of all participants in school design work, adults, and students alike. These lessons learned are presented and described in greater depth throughout the brief.
Designing Schools with and for Students: Lessons Learned from the Engage New England Initiative is the first of a series of research briefs resulting from SRI Education’s evaluation of the Engage New England Initiative. Subsequent releases will address the implementation of core components of the initiative, the student experience in ENE schools, planning year supports, and student outcomes such as high school graduation and successful transition to postsecondary education or training.
Study of the Engage New England Initiative Cross-Site Learning Brief 3: Improving Instructional Systems
This brief examines the efforts of schools participating in the Barr Foundation’s Engage New England Initiative to improve the instructional systems for students who are off track to graduate high school.
In 2017, the Barr Foundation launched Engage New England (ENE), a signature initiative that provides a unique opportunity for local education agencies and nonprofits to plan for and develop innovative schools designed to serve students off track to high school graduation.
SRI Education, the research partner for the ENE initiative, captured the learnings from the planning process through interviews, classroom observations, and student focus groups conducted during March and April 2018. This brief focuses on lessons learned during the initial Understand and Design phases of work. The findings in this brief are based on the reflections of the school and design leaders and staff members involved in the design process as well as Springpoint staff members who supported the design process.
This brief is designed to benefit all three cohorts of ENE grantees as they plan and build their schools and to highlight key elements of planning for innovative school models.
This report summarizes the progress made by the schools that participated in the Pathway Schools Initiative through the 2017–18 school year on a fundamental set of outcome indicators: continuity in the PreK–3 enrollment pipeline, literacy instructional practices, teaching quality, effective school leadership, and student reading achievement.
A comprehensive model of teacher induction: Implementation and impact on teachers and students evaluation of the New Teacher Center’s i3 validation grant, final report
SRI Education’s evaluation of the New Teacher Center’s (NTC’s) Investing in Innovation (i3) Validation grant examined the impact of the NTC induction model on teacher practice and student achievement. To account for different local contexts and needs, the study used randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in two districts—Broward County Public Schools and Chicago Public Schools—and a quasi-experimental design in Grant Wood Area Education Agency, a consortium of districts in Iowa. In the RCT districts, the study found positive impacts of the induction model on student achievement in English language arts and mathematics. The study found no statistically significant differences between NTC-supported teachers and comparison teachers on teacher practice measures or on teacher retention into their third year of teaching.
However, the high implementation fidelity levels and contrasts in induction experiences between treatment and comparison teachers indicate that the NTC induction model can be implemented well in a range of district contexts.
SRI Education’s evaluation of the New Teacher Center’s (NTC’s) Investing in Innovation (i3) Validation grant revealed positive impacts of NTC’s induction model on student achievement in mathematics and English language arts. Using randomized controlled trials in two districts€”Broward County Public Schools and Chicago Public Schools€”SRI Education examined the impact of the NTC induction model on teacher practice and student achievement. In addition to the positive student outcomes, the study found that NTC-supported teachers scored similarly on teacher practice measures and had similar rates of retention into their third year of teaching as teachers receiving typical district supports.
In 2011, The McKnight Foundation partnered on a preK–3 literacy initiative with a set of districts and schools in the Twin Cities area, all serving high-needs students. The Pathway Schools Initiative aims to dramatically increase the number of students who reach the critical milestone of grade 3 reading proficiency, an indicator predictive of later academic outcomes and high school graduation. This report presents findings from Phase I of the Pathway Schools Initiative (2011–15).
This was a descriptive study on how secondary teachers implementing the Common Core State Standards for literacy used writing software to facilitate their instruction. Teachers from districts participating in the Literacy Design Collaborative volunteered to be in the study. They were trained on one of three software programs— Criterion (ETS), PEG Writing (Measurement, Inc.), or WriteToLearn (Pearson). The majority of teacher volunteers who were trained on the software used it with their students. Data were collected through an online teacher survey, analysis of backend system data, interviews, and classroom observations.
Most teachers reported that using the software (1) led them to assign more writing, (2) enabled them to focus more on the content and less on the grammar and mechanics of students’ writing, and (3) improved student writing. Teachers expressed frustration that the software was optimized for use with canned prompts and provided less detailed feedback on teacher-generated prompts.