Gallagher, H. A., Kim, D., & McCaffrey, T. (2009). Evaluation of the California Subject Matter Project.
Approximately 20 years, ago a partnership began between the California Reading and Literature Project (CRLP) and National School District (National). What became a district wide partnership started with two teachers from a small district in San Diego participating in a CRLP summer institute. Fostered by bottom-up teacher initiative and top-down administrative support, the partnership established supports to train and assist teachers and schools throughout the district in improving student performance. What is notable is that during the time of the partnership, this improvement has occurred not only in reading, the focus of the professional development, but also in other academic areas. In addition, the work of the partnership advanced and deepened CRLP’s work both locally and across the state. The partnership provided many teachers opportunities for leadership roles in CRLP and offered CRLP opportunities to refine the content of its institutes and to change the way it worked, moving from interacting primarily with individual teachers to partnerships with entire districts. We share here the story of how this partnership evolved, some of the impacts it had on the teachers and administrators involved and the students they served, and a few of the challenges they continue to address now, more than 20 years later, in a very different context from the one in which the partnership began.