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.
School and district reform publications
A Summary of PDG B-5 Grantee’s Coordinated Eligibility and Enrollment Activities and the Impact of COVID-19
In this report, we summarize the initial 23 Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) renewal states’ planned CEE activities as they were written into their grant applications in late 2019.
From Research to Market: Development of a Transition Process to Integrate Sustainable Scaling Methodologies into Education Innovation Research Design and Development
Even when innovations have rigorous evidence of impact, they often are not widely adopted by the field, or their use is not sustained. To support more successful transitions of educational research to the field, SRI researchers modified its Invent-Apply-Transition (I-A-T) framework, that has been successfully used to scale research to practice in healthcare, enterprise software, and robotics, to educational contexts based on the experiences of an Advisory Council and Expert Panel Members, all with direct experience successfully scaling educational innovations. SRI began this project by conducting a brief literature scan to identify common themes that education researchers employed in effective scale-up strategies. SRI researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with the four Advisory Council and nine Expert Panel members to gather feedback from experts in the field who have successfully scaled educational innovations on the I-A-T framework, and then used their feedback to make relevant modifications. This report introduces the I-A-T framework and how it has been modified to educational contexts. The report also describes an Embedded Entrepreneur Program model that could be used to support Institute of Education Sciences (IES) grantees to increase their probability of scaling and transitioning their innovations to the educational market by helping them analyze their needs hypotheses, product-user fit, stakeholder mapping, market differentiation, product market fit, and scaling pathway hypotheses. Our initial findings suggest that education researchers and innovators could especially benefit from attending more to three factors: (1) the feasibility/usability of the innovation (the “Convenience” component of the Performance, Reliability, Convenience, Cost [PRCC] approach), and how it would be incorporated into the operating environment of the school and district; (2) an understanding of the scope of the innovation (i.e., whether it is a product or a feature); and (3) early identification of a commercialization strategy that is aligned with the scope of the innovation. The report explains how educational researchers can benefit from following the steps outlined in the modified I-A-T framework and collaborating with entrepreneurs with demonstrated skills and dedicated time for scaling innovations. The following appendices are included: a detailed description of the I-A-T framework, a description of the Embedded Entrepreneur Pilot Program, and a literature scan.
Evaluation of Los Angeles City College’s STEM Pathways Program: Impacts of the STEM Learning Center on Student Outcomes
Los Angeles City College launched the STEM Pathways program in 2016 with funding from the U.S. Department of Education. The intent of the STEM Pathways program was to improve students’ STEM degree completion and transfer to 4-year colleges, particularly for low-income and Latinx students, through a variety of supports. The STEM Learning Center, a drop-in peer tutoring program offering students assistance in STEM courses, was one of the grant’s most-used supports. This report presents findings from a quasi-experimental study to estimate the impact of the STEM Learning Center on STEM course success and continuation in STEM. SRI found positive effects of STEM Learning Center participation on students’ STEM outcomes, in terms of increased STEM credits and STEM continuation.
This REL Appalachia blog summarizes a recent IES report, examining Algebra I course taking pathways and outcomes based on students’ performance on Virginia’s grade 5 statewide math test, which showed significant equity gaps. The blog further encourages systematic data analysis related to course taking access and student success and includes practical advice on accomplishing this, including ideas on specific data points to pull and use.
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.
This paper describes five levers CSU campus-district partnerships used to make clinically oriented reforms to teacher preparation as part of the New Generation of Educators Initiative (NGEI): 1) identifying prioritized skills; 2) selecting or creating a rubric to assess candidate proficiency with prioritized skills; 3) integrating and expanding opportunities to practice prioritized skills; 4) reconceptualizing clinical roles, selection, and support; and, 5) defining and implementing processes to provide feedback on prioritized skills. This paper is one of a four-part series sharing lessons learned from NGEI, a multiyear effort to improve teacher preparation at 11 California State Universities teacher preparation programs (TPPs) in partnership with local public-school districts.
This paper describes four levers that helped university-district partnerships participating in the New Generation of Educators Initiative (NGEI) use data and continuous improvement practices to execute teacher preparation reforms: 1) developing data sources that can inform improvement efforts; 2) delineating clear roles to support continuous improvement; 3) building an infrastructure for efficient data entry and analysis; and 4) establishing a culture of improvement through routines for data review and use. This paper is one of a four-part series sharing lessons learned from NGEI, a multiyear effort to improve teacher preparation at 11 California State Universities teacher preparation programs (TPPs) in partnership with local public-school districts.
This paper describes three levers that helped the funder, the S.D., Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, execute the New Generation of Educators Initiative (NGEI): 1) balancing grant requirements with flexibility and responsive support; 2) customizing technical assistance support to meet partnership needs; and 3) embedding opportunities for cross-networked learning and collaboration. This paper is one of a four-part series sharing lessons learned from NGEI, a multiyear effort to improve teacher preparation at 11 California State Universities teacher preparation programs (TPPs) in partnership with local public-school districts.