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+ Arts

Transforming Education through the Arts and Media (TEAM): Final Evaluation Report

Transforming Education Through the Arts and Media (TEAM) is an arts integration program that was implemented in seventh- and eighth-grade classrooms in Chicago Public Schools over a period of four years, beginning with the 2010-11 school year. TEAM is based on the concept of the 21st century transliterate learner and is designed to increase teacher capacity to integrate media arts and technology in classroom practice and to increase student motivation and achievement. To evaluate TEAM, surveys were administered to participating teachers and students. In addition, the performance of TEAM students on standardized reading and mathematics tests was compared to that of control students. This report presents the results of a four-year evaluation of TEAM and discusses the successes and challenges that were encountered.


Neighborhood Bridges: 2012-2013 Evaluation Report

Neighborhood Bridges is a nationally recognized literacy program using storytelling and creative drama to help children develop their critical literacy skills and to transform them into storytellers of their own lives.In 2012-2013, a total of 640 students in grades three through six from twenty-three classrooms in eleven schools across the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area participated in the Neighborhood Bridges (Bridges) program of The Children’s Theatre Company (CTC). This report presents the results of an evaluation of the Bridges program. CTC contracted with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) to conduct the study. The purpose of the evaluation was to measure the quality of Bridges implementation and assess student learning in the areas of writing; knowledge and skills in theatre; retelling and dramatization and critical literacy.


Minneapolis Public Schools Observational Drawing Evaluation Report

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) was awarded a grant by American Honda Foundation to implement observational drawing in 20 elementary classrooms in 2010. Minneapolis Public Schools used observational drawing to teach skills of observation and apply them in the context of scientific investigation. Classroom teachers and the teaching artists had varying levels of experience with observational drawing. Minneapolis Public Schools contracted with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) to assess the impact of implementing this technique in a sample of MPS classrooms.


FACETS: Focus on Arts, Culture and Excellence for Teachers and Students

In 2008, a 3-year Professional Development for Arts Educators (PDAE) grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) to support professional development for arts educators. The funded project was titled Focus on Arts, Culture and Excellence for Teachers and Students (FACETS). Project funding provided professional development opportunities for music and visual arts teachers in elementary and middle schools characterized by high poverty, where 50% or more of the students were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. FACETS had two primary purposes. One was to enhance music and visual arts teachers’ knowledge and skills related to providing effective instruction for students of the ethnic/cultural backgrounds present in their classrooms, especially African American, Somali, Hmong, Latino/Hispanic, and American Indian students. The second was to support the creation of on-going professional learning communities (PLC’s). MPS contracted with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) at the University of Minnesota to serve as the external evaluator of the project. This report presents an evaluation of the 3 years of the FACETS project, 2008-2011, including a description of the components, the modifications that were made from year to year, and the results of teacher surveys and teacher interviews.


Neighborhood Bridges: 2010-2011 Evaluation Report

Neighborhood Bridges is a nationally recognized literacy program using storytelling and creative drama to help children develop their critical literacy skills and to transform them into storytellers of their own lives. In 2010-2011, students in twenty-five classrooms from eleven schools in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area participated in The Children’s Theatre Company’s Neighborhood Bridges (Bridges) program. The Children’s Theatre Company contracted with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) to evaluate Bridges in these classrooms. The purpose of the evaluation was to measure the quality of Bridges implementation and assess student learning in the areas of writing; knowledge and skills in theatre; retelling and dramatization; and critical literacy. Highlights from the results of the evaluation study are discussed below.


Project AIM 2009-2010 Evaluation Report

During the 2009‐2010 school year, Project AIM, a program of the Center for Community Arts Partnerships at Columbia College Chicago, worked with over nine hundred fifth through eighth grade students in five schools. Project AIM teaching artists collaborated with classroom teachers in these schools to develop residencies that offered students instruction in arts, literacy and/or math. Each residency included thirteen sessions in which the artist provided instruction in the classroom in collaboration with the classroom teacher. In addition to the residencies, Project AIM facilitated the development of learning communities within each school. Project AIM also convened the artists each month for professional development sessions focused on topics such as the emotional and social development of middle grades students and integrating instruction in math and visual art. This report summarizes the results of an evaluation study of Project AIM during the 2009‐2010 school year.


Arts for Academic Achievement Developing Readers Project

The Developing Readers Project is part of the Arts for Academic Achievement (AAA) program that has been implemented since 1997 in Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS). The mission of AAA is to increase student academic achievement and improve teacher practice by making arts-based and arts-integrated learning essential to classroom instruction through collaborations with artists and arts organizations. The primary goal of the project is to increase the reading achievement of students in the middle grades, with a concentration on working with students in grade 6. The students targeted for inclusion are struggling readers enrolled in schools that have a significantly large proportion of students in poverty as defined by their eligibility for free or reduced price lunch. MPS has contracted with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) to evaluate its implementation of the Developing Readers Project. This document is the year 2 evaluation report that addresses project implementation during the 2009‐10 academic year. The report includes descriptions of the participants and project activities and the results of student surveys, classroom video documentation, and teacher interviews. Also included are the results of analyses of attendance rates during the 2009‐10 school year and standardized reading test performance in spring 2009 compared to spring 2010.


Making the Body Visible through Dramatic/Creative Play: Critical Literacy in Neighborhood Bridges

This report describes and examines the meaning and use of critical literacy in The Children’s Theatre Company’s Neighborhood Bridges (Bridges) program. Critical literacy is an orientation to reading that includes an understanding of how texts (oral stories, books, media) position readers (listeners/viewers), how readers position texts, and how texts are positioned within social, cultural, historical, and political contexts. Critical literacy is central to the philosophy of Bridges, which involves elementary and middle school students in storytelling and creative drama. An important goal of the program is to develop in children the capacity to analyze and challenge dominant social and cultural storylines as they create new storylines through imaginative retellings and reenactments. Of particular interest in this report is how critical literacy is facilitated via various opportunities for drama/creative play and Teacher Artist interactions with students during the four phases of a typical Neighborhood Bridges session.


Critical Literacy in Neighborhood Bridges: An Exploratory Study

This report describes and examines the meaning and use of critical literacy in The Children’s Theatre Company’s Neighborhood Bridges (Bridges) program. Critical literacy is an orientation to reading that includes an understanding of how texts (oral stories, books, media) position readers (listeners/viewers), how readers position texts, and how texts are positioned within social, cultural, historical, and political contexts. Critical literacy is central to the philosophy of Bridges, which involves elementary and middle school students in storytelling and creative drama. An important goal of the program is to develop in children the capacity to analyze and challenge dominant social and cultural storylines as they create new storylines through imaginative retellings and reenactments.


Arts for Academic Achievement: Integrating Tableau Evaluation Report

This report focuses on AAA’s efforts to provide professional development opportunities to teachers using a school-based planning approach for integrating Tableau during the 2008-2009 school year. Tableau is a theater arts strategy in which students interpret stories using dramatic techniques. The Arts for Academic Achievement Program (AAA) has incorporated Tableau in Minneapolis Public Schools’ classrooms as a strategy to supplement reading and writing instruction.


Arts for Academic Achievement Evaluation Report

This report focuses on Arts for Academic Achievement’s efforts to provide professional development opportunities to teachers using a school-based planning approach for integrating Tableau during the 2008-2009 school year. Tableau is a theater arts strategy in which students interpret stories using dramatic techniques. The Arts for Academic Achievement Program (AAA) has incorporated Tableau in Minneapolis Public Schools’ classrooms as a strategy to supplement reading and writing instruction. The main goal for students participating in Tableau is to use their bodies and facial expressions to portray the meaning of a reading passage, in a “frozen picture.” The strategy allows students to “bring thinking and reading to life.”


Project Intersect: Year Two Evaluation Report (Cloquet Public Schools & Fond Du Lac Ojibwe School)

Project Intersect is funded by a Department of Education grant awarded to Cloquet Public Schools and the Fond du Lac Ojibwe School for a period of three years: July 1, 2006, to June 30, 2009. The primary purpose of the project is to help students increase their understanding and appreciation of visual and performing arts, language arts, math, and science and how American Indian culture intersects with these areas. The project is a collaborative effort of the American Indian community, the Ojibwe tribal college, the elementary and middle schools, University of Minnesota art education faculty, and the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration. Year one of the project was a planning year devoted to establishment of a design team and development of an intervention design to integrate American Indian arts content into grade 1-8 curriculum. Year two was the first implementation year. In addition to continuing implementation, year three will include creation of a replication manual and dissemination of print and Web-based materials. CAREI evaluated three aspects of Project Intersect: teacher participation, teacher professional development, and classroom implementation.


Arts for Academic Achievement: A Brief Review of Research on Readers’ Theatre and Tableau in Literacy Instruction

This review of the literature seeks to identify and summarize scientific research on the use and effectiveness of Readers’ Theatre and Tableau in literacy education. These programs integrate theatre activities into the classroom and are intended to enhance literacy skills. This review will also define key terms, address the use of drama techniques in the context of current standards- and evidence-based educational practices and policies, including Reading First, and discuss the nature of the relationship between the use of drama techniques in the classroom and literacy achievement.


Arts for Academic Achievement: Long-Term Artists’ Perspectives

This report summarizes the perspectives of a sample of artists who have been involved in Arts for Academic Achievement for multiple years. In two focus groups the artists discussed:

  • how the AAA projects they have been involved with have changed over time,
  • what they’ve learned about collaborating with teachers and integrating the arts,
  • the benefits of AAA that they had observed for students and teachers,
  • how they’ve been affected by their involvement in AAA,
  • the strengths of AAA, and
  • challenges in collaborating with teachers and integrating the arts, or, in other words, areas that could be improved.

Neighborhood Bridges Program Evaluation Report 5

This report is the fifth in a series of reports from a three-year evaluation study of the Neighborhood Bridges (Bridges) program of the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minnesota. CTC contracted with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement to evaluate Bridges as part of a grant CTC received from the Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Program of the U.S. Department of Education. The evaluation was designed to measure the extent to which Bridges accomplishes the outcomes specified in the grant proposal, and provide information that CTC and Bridges staff can use to strengthen the program. The intended program outcomes are as follows: Increase student achievement in reading, Increase student achievement in writing, Increase student achievement in theatre, and Broaden classroom teachers’ instructional strategies to include elements of storytelling and theatre as arts and as a support to learning in other core content areas.


Arts for Academic Achievement: Perspectives of Long-Term Teachers and Principals

This report summarizes perspectives of teachers and principals who have been involved in Arts for Academic Achievement (AAA) for multiple years. Through teacher focus groups and telephone interviews with principals, the study participants talked about the benefits of AAA that they had observed for students and teachers, and what they had learned over the years about integrating the arts and partnering with artists.


Neighborhood Bridges Program Evaluation Report 4

This report is the fourth in a series of reports from a three-year evaluation study of the Neighborhood Bridges (Bridges) program of the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minnesota. CTC contracted with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement to evaluate Bridges as part of a grant CTC received from the Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Program of the U.S. Department of Education. The evaluation was designed to measure the extent to which Bridges accomplishes the outcomes specified in the grant proposal, and provide information that CTC and Bridges staff can use to strengthen the program. The intended program outcomes are as follows: Increase student achievement in reading, Increase student achievement in writing, and Increase student achievement in theatre.


Neighborhood Bridges Program Evaluation Report 3

This report examines the relationship between student participation in Neighborhood Bridges and their reading achievement as measured by the spring 2006 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA-II) in reading. The report is the third in a series of reports from a three-year evaluation study of the Neighborhood Bridges (Bridges) program of the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minnesota. CTC contracted with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement to evaluate Bridges as part of a grant CTC received from the Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Program of the U.S. Department of Education.


Arts for Academic Achievement: A Compilation of Evaluation Findings from 2004-2006

This report summarizes results of the first two years of a three-year evaluation of the Arts for Academic Achievement (AAA) program. To accomplish these goals, AAA provides schools a structure, resources, and support for collaborative projects between teachers and artists. The purpose of the projects is to increase the amount and quality of arts-based and arts-integrated learning by students. The major objectives of this study were to 1) examine student learning, as measured by standardized tests, in a larger set of grade levels, and 2) measure student effects not otherwise captured by standardized assessments.


Neighborhood Bridges Program Evaluation Report 2

This report is the second in a series of reports from a three-year evaluation study of the Neighborhood Bridges (Bridges) program of the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minnesota. CTC contracted with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement to evaluate Bridges as part of a grant CTC received from the Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Program of the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of this report is to summarize additional data gathered since the initial report and present recommendations for program improvement based on a synthesis of all the data collected to date. The next report in the series will include data from the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA-II) reading test that students took in spring 2006.


Neighborhood Bridges Program Evaluation Report 1

This report is the first in a series of reports from a three-year evaluation study of the Neighborhood Bridges (Bridges) program of the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minnesota. The study is funded through a grant to CTC from the Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Program of the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of this report is to summarize results from surveys completed by teaching artists and classroom teachers who participated in Bridges during the 2005-2006 school year and make preliminary recommendations for how the program could be improved. A subsequent report will summarize data collected through interviews with classroom teachers and teaching artists and include final recommendations based on a synthesis of the survey and interview data.


Arts for Academic Achievement: Summative Evaluation Report

The purpose of this report is to summarize findings from our longitudinal evaluation of the Arts for Academic Achievement program. The strength of the evidence for our findings varies, but these distinctions are not elaborated in this summary report. Detailed descriptions of the study design, data collection methods, and further exploration of the study results are located in the individual reports listed at the end of this document.


What Does Arts Integration Do for Students?

This report summarizes findings on the relationship between arts-integrated instruction and student achievement in the Arts for Academic Achievement (AAA) program. It is part of a series of reports based on a longitudinal study of AAA by a team of researchers at the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI). The purpose of the four-year Arts for Academic Achievement: The Annenberg Challenge in Minneapolis project (AAA) was to transform teaching and learning through partnerships between schools, artists, and arts organizations. The theory of action underlying the initiative was that when teachers and artists collaboratively develop instruction that integrates arts and non-arts disciplines, instruction in non-arts disciplines becomes more effective and student achievement increases.


Implementing Arts for Academic Achievement: The Impact of Mental Models, Professional Community and Interdisciplinary Teaming

The following paper explores the impact of several factors on the implementation of the Annenberg-funded Arts for Academic Achievement program in the Minneapolis Public Schools. using survey data collected from elementary teachers in spring 2001. This program sought to increase the integration of theatre, music, visual arts, and other art forms into core curriculum as a means of increasing overall academic achievement. Specifically, we examine the contributions of two important sociological concepts related to teaching practice: mental models and professional community, along with the specific teaching strategy of interdisciplinary teaming as employed in the program.


Arts for Academic Achievement: Images of Arts Infusion in Elementary Classrooms

This paper presents the findings from a longitudinal research study of the experiences and conditions in which community-based artists have been blended into everyday, on-going instruction in six Minneapolis elementary schools. Along with an earlier paper, “Arts Integration–A Vehicle for Changing Teacher Practice,” this paper substantiates and deepens what was first described by teacher participants in group interviews. The methodology for this current study utilized extensive classroom observation conducted over time. The six schools studied were part of a larger district-wide arts integration initiative, where a total of 43 schools were involved in the Annenberg Arts for Academic Achievement Project. Within each of the six selected schools presented in this paper are individual and teams of classroom teachers who have worked with the same artist over the course of one to three years. The classroom teachers and teaching artists were observed on twenty-two different occasions by observer-researchers from CAREI over the course of a year.


Models of Implementing Arts for Academic Achievement: Challenging Contemporary Classroom Practice

The Minneapolis Public Schools’ Challenge Grant from the Annenberg Foundation focused on the arts as a means for overall academic improvement. To accomplish this goal, schools were to increase integration of the arts into the core curriculum and develop strong partnerships with artists and arts organizations. The core of the Arts for Academic Achievement (AAA) project was “bottom up” innovation, with the precise nature of the intervention to be defined by the school and the arts partners working together. Schools were at various levels of experience in working with visiting artists and arts organization partners, and therefore, developed a variety of approaches to implementation. The arts integration models in elementary schools varied by what core curriculum was taught in and through the arts, the number of disciplines (arts and non-arts) involved in the activity, whether the concepts taught during the activity focused on both the arts and non-arts areas, and what roles were played by the classroom teacher and arts partner. The five implementation models we observed are: Residency Model, Elaborated Residency Model, Capacity Building Model,Co-Teaching Model, Concepts Across the Curriculum Model


Artist, Teacher, and School Change Through Arts for Academic Achievement: Artists Reflect on Long-Term Partnering as a Means of Achieving Change

The purpose of the four-year Arts for Academic Achievement project is to transform teaching and learning through partnerships between schools and artists and arts organizations. The theory of action underlying the initiative is that when teachers and artists collaboratively develop instruction that integrates arts and nonarts disciplines, instruction in nonarts disciplines becomes more effective and student achievement increases. This report is one in a series of reports based on research conducted for the Arts for Academic Achievement project by the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement at the University of Minnesota. The purpose of this report is to describe artist perceptions of artist, teacher, and school changes that occurred as a result of long-term artist-teacher partnerships. Data were collected from individual and group interviews with twenty-three artists who had participated in the program for three or four years.


Changing Student Attitudes Toward Math: Using Dance to Teach Math

This paper describes results of a study that sought to answer the question, “How does integrating dance and math in an intense co-teaching model of integration affect student attitudes toward learning math?”. The goal of the dance/math project was to engage students in math in ways that reached students’ multiple intelligences and encouraged students to make complex connections and try new problem solving techniques. The classroom teachers, who designed and implemented the project, hypothesized that students who worked with a dancer once a week to learn math concepts would become more engaged in mathematics and have more successful and positive experiences with mathematics than students who did not work with a dancer.


The Problem of Reform in Urban High Schools: A Tale of Two Teams

This research was conducted as part of an Annenberg Foundation funded program. The purpose of the Annenberg Challenge is to trans form teaching and learning through partnerships between schools and artists and arts organizations. The theory of action underlying the initiative is that when teachers and artists collaboratively develop instruction that integrates arts and non-arts disciplines, instruction in non-arts disciplines becomes more effective and student achievement increases. The two teams involved in this analysis were assigned to work with general program ninth graders who had not enrolled in either of two magnet programs at the high school. Their students were at-risk of low achievement, poor attendance, and behavioral problems. The goals of the two teams arts initiative were to (1) help students feel more connected to their team and to school through participating in activities as a community, (2) increase students’ exposure to various arts forms, and (3) infuse arts activities into their classes to improve students’ engagement and understanding.


Arts for Academic Achievement: Arts Integration – A Vehicle for Changing Teacher Practice

Arts integration, a teaching approach that uses concepts integral to both arts and non-arts areas, is increasingly being used to reach disenfranchised learners while at the same time replenishing teachers and changing teacher practice. The purpose of this paper is to present evidence of teacher practice change from research on a large urban school district’s arts integration initiative by addressing the question, “What effect has arts integration had on teacher practice?”


Arts for Academic Achievement: Case Study Cross-Case Analysis

The overall goal for the Arts for Academic Achievement: The Annenberg Challenge in Minneapolis project (AAA) seeks to change the ways in which teachers teach and students learn in order to increase student achievement. In order to obtain a more detailed view of the activities that are occurring in the schools involved in AAA, the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota selected six schools, out of the 43 participating schools, as case study sites in order to study the process more fully. The schools selected as case sites include three elementary schools, one middle school, and two high schools. CAREI has been engaged with the members of the AAA teams at each of the six schools for the past two years, 1998-2000.

+ Culture, Diversity, & Equity

Global Literacy Through Mandarin Immersion and STEM: Year Three Evaluation Report (2011-2012)

In 2009, a Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to the Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative (MMIC) for the project Global Literacy Through Mandarin Immersion and STEM. The funding was expected to continue for a total of 5 years contingent upon annual renewal approved by Congress. However, in 2011, Congress voted to discontinue all FLAP funding. The 3 years’ of funding received by the MMIC supported early elementary immersion instruction in Mandarin Chinese that begins at the kindergarten level and the development of a curriculum that has a content focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The schools in the MMIC have added a grade level each year, with the intent of creating the capacity to continue Chinese immersion to grades 7-12. The MMIC contracted with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) at the University of Minnesota to serve as the external evaluator of the project. This report presents CAREI’s evaluation of the third year of the grant-funded project. The report includes enrollment and retention data as well as the results of a parent survey and a survey of English teachers (i.e., instructional staff whose positions were in the regular, non-immersion program).


FACETS: Focus on Arts, Culture and Excellence for Teachers and Students

In 2008, a 3-year Professional Development for Arts Educators (PDAE) grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) to support professional development for arts educators. The funded project was titled Focus on Arts, Culture and Excellence for Teachers and Students (FACETS). Project funding provided professional development opportunities for music and visual arts teachers in elementary and middle schools characterized by high poverty, where 50% or more of the students were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. FACETS had two primary purposes. One was to enhance music and visual arts teachers’ knowledge and skills related to providing effective instruction for students of the ethnic/cultural backgrounds present in their classrooms, especially African American, Somali, Hmong, Latino/Hispanic, and American Indian students. The second was to support the creation of on-going professional learning communities (PLC’s). MPS contracted with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) at the University of Minnesota to serve as the external evaluator of the project. This report presents an evaluation of the 3 years of the FACETS project, 2008-2011, including a description of the components, the modifications that were made from year to year, and the results of teacher surveys and teacher interviews.


Minneapolis Public Schools North Side Initiative: Year Two External Evaluation Report

Minneapolis Public Schools announced in April 2007 that it would close five schools on the North Side of the district to consolidate resources and improve academic programs in the remaining North Side schools. This was the first step in the North Side Initiative (NSI), the district’s multi-year effort with goals to increase achievement for all students, close the achievement gap, improve attendance, increase enrollment, and decrease suspensions in the North Side schools. Two North Side elementary schools, Lucy Laney and Nellie Stone Johnson, were selected for a fresh start, which included appointing two new principals to provide leadership for reform initiatives. The district contracted with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) to evaluate the year one (2007-2008) implementation of the NSI. In response to the year one evaluation findings, the district contracted with CAREI again to carry out a year two (2008-2009) process evaluation of the NSI. The year two evaluation focused on three major areas:
Family liaisons in North Side schools
Parent/guardian satisfaction with North Side schools
Implementation of a fresh start in two North Side Schools


Project Intersect: Year Two Evaluation Report (Cloquet Public Schools & Fond Du Lac Ojibwe School)

Project Intersect is funded by a Department of Education grant awarded to Cloquet Public Schools and the Fond du Lac Ojibwe School for a period of three years: July 1, 2006, to June 30, 2009. The primary purpose of the project is to help students increase their understanding and appreciation of visual and performing arts, language arts, math, and science and how American Indian culture intersects with these areas. The project is a collaborative effort of the American Indian community, the Ojibwe tribal college, the elementary and middle schools, University of Minnesota art education faculty, and the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration. Year one of the project was a planning year devoted to establishment of a design team and development of an intervention design to integrate American Indian arts content into grade 1-8 curriculum. Year two was the first implementation year. In addition to continuing implementation, year three will include creation of a replication manual and dissemination of print and Web-based materials. CAREI evaluated three aspects of Project Intersect: teacher participation, teacher professional development, and classroom implementation.


Arts for Academic Achievement: A Descriptive Report on the Development of an Embedded Course on Observational Drawing and Science

During the 2006-2007 school year Arts for Academic Achievement (AAA) established a work group of high school science teachers, district science curriculum specialists, a visual artist, and AAA staff to develop an embedded course on integrating observational drawing and science instruction. The new course would join the embedded courses on Readers’ Theatre and Tableau that were being offered by AAA for the first time during 2006-2007. The embedded courses were distinct in that they trained teachers in specific arts-integration strategies. As part of a larger study of AAA, program staff asked the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) to document the course development process. The purpose of this report is to describe: 1) the process AAA staff used to develop the course, and 2) how two teachers, who were involved in developing the course, integrated drawing into their science instruction.


An Evaluation of the Transitional Language Center Program in the Saint Paul Public Schools: Final Report

In anticipation of the arrival of approximately 1,000 Hmong newcomers from the Wat Tham Krabok refugee camp in Thailand, the Saint Paul Public School District in Minnesota, worked with the community to develop an education program that would specifically address the needs of these students. The resulting program, the Transitional Language Center (TLC), was established at five elementary schools during the 2004-2005 academic year as a temporary educational model for the newcomers. In spring 2005, the district contracted with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement to conduct an evaluation that compared the TLC model with the Language Academy (LA) model already in use by the district.


Project for Academic Excellence: Changes in Teaching and Student Achievement

Saint Paul’s Project for Academic Excellence was a comprehensive reform model that was implemented in phases throughout Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota. This report documents the implementation of the project through 2004-2005. The comprehensive reform model focused on 12 nationally-researched, proven education reform practices described in the report and recognized the importance of expert knowledge and technical assistance. There was evidence of substantial change in teaching and evidence of increased student achievement.


Traditional Native Culture and Resilience

This scholarly article by Iris HeavyRunner and Joann Sebastian Morris discusses native culture and spirituality in the context of resilience. This article was originally published in CAREI’s Research|Practice newsletter titled “Resiliency: A Paradigm Shift for Schools.”

+ Literacy

Neighborhood Bridges: 2012-2013 Evaluation Report

Neighborhood Bridges is a nationally recognized literacy program using storytelling and creative drama to help children develop their critical literacy skills and to transform them into storytellers of their own lives.In 2012-2013, a total of 640 students in grades three through six from twenty-three classrooms in eleven schools across the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area participated in the Neighborhood Bridges (Bridges) program of The Children’s Theatre Company (CTC). This report presents the results of an evaluation of the Bridges program. CTC contracted with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) to conduct the study. The purpose of the evaluation was to measure the quality of Bridges implementation and assess student learning in the areas of writing; knowledge and skills in theatre; retelling and dramatization and critical literacy.


Global Literacy Through Mandarin Immersion and STEM: Year Three Evaluation Report (2011-2012)

In 2009, a Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to the Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative (MMIC) for the project Global Literacy Through Mandarin Immersion and STEM. The funding was expected to continue for a total of 5 years contingent upon annual renewal approved by Congress. However, in 2011, Congress voted to discontinue all FLAP funding. The 3 years’ of funding received by the MMIC supported early elementary immersion instruction in Mandarin Chinese that begins at the kindergarten level and the development of a curriculum that has a content focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The schools in the MMIC have added a grade level each year, with the intent of creating the capacity to continue Chinese immersion to grades 7-12. The MMIC contracted with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) at the University of Minnesota to serve as the external evaluator of the project. This report presents CAREI’s evaluation of the third year of the grant-funded project. The report includes enrollment and retention data as well as the results of a parent survey and a survey of English teachers (i.e., instructional staff whose positions were in the regular, non-immersion program).


Minneapolis Public Schools Small Learning Communities: Final Evaluation Report

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) was awarded a 5‐year grant by the U.S. Department of Education for a Small Learning Communities (SLC) project that was implemented in its seven comprehensive high schools. The funding period began in July 2005 and ended in July 2010. Two main goals were established for the project. Goal 1 was to close the achievement gap between students of color and White students in reading and mathematics while raising the achievement of all students. Goal 2 was to increase the graduation rate and post‐secondary readiness of all students. This evaluation report describes MPS’s attainment of these two goals in the final year of the 5‐year project and across all 5 years.


An Evaluation of the Partners for Success Program for the School Year 2010-2011

The Partners for Success® (PFS) Program, serving Dakota and Scott counties, provides basic needs assistance (e.g., food, clothing, school supplies) to students and families. In addition, for over 15 years, Family Support Workers (FSW) have collaborated with teachers, principals and school staff in 39 schools to help boost students’ educational progress. The two main program goals of PFS are: 1) Establish a standard level of services across districts; and 2) Effectively partner with schools to ensure that all students reach proficiency in reading by third grade. During the 2009-2010 school year, CAREI evaluators focused on the formative aspects of the program. In the second evaluation (2010-2011), CAREI evaluators collaborated with PFS program staff to formulate three specific goals for the evaluation: 1) Determine the extent to which FSWs communicate and collaborate with parents/guardians and teachers to build relationships and improve students’ educational performance; 2) Continue to monitor PFS professional development processes and determine how 360 Communities can continue to support and strengthen program activities through capacity building within the organization; and 3) Identify how the program impacts students, families and teachers by focusing on observed changes from the perspectives of teachers, parents/guardians, FSWs, and from analysis of student data. The second year’s evaluation was implemented in 10 elementary schools located in six Minnesota cities: Burnsville, Farmington, Hastings, Lakeville, South St. Paul, and West St. Paul. This report summarizes the evaluation data collected from September 2010 through June 2011.


Neighborhood Bridges: 2010-2011 Evaluation Report

Neighborhood Bridges is a nationally recognized literacy program using storytelling and creative drama to help children develop their critical literacy skills and to transform them into storytellers of their own lives. In 2010-2011, students in twenty-five classrooms from eleven schools in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area participated in The Children’s Theatre Company’s Neighborhood Bridges (Bridges) program. The Children’s Theatre Company contracted with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) to evaluate Bridges in these classrooms. The purpose of the evaluation was to measure the quality of Bridges implementation and assess student learning in the areas of writing; knowledge and skills in theatre; retelling and dramatization; and critical literacy. Highlights from the results of the evaluation study are discussed below.


Project AIM 2009-2010 Evaluation Report

During the 2009‐2010 school year, Project AIM, a program of the Center for Community Arts Partnerships at Columbia College Chicago, worked with over nine hundred fifth through eighth grade students in five schools. Project AIM teaching artists collaborated with classroom teachers in these schools to develop residencies that offered students instruction in arts, literacy and/or math. Each residency included thirteen sessions in which the artist provided instruction in the classroom in collaboration with the classroom teacher. In addition to the residencies, Project AIM facilitated the development of learning communities within each school. Project AIM also convened the artists each month for professional development sessions focused on topics such as the emotional and social development of middle grades students and integrating instruction in math and visual art. This report summarizes the results of an evaluation study of Project AIM during the 2009‐2010 school year.


Arts for Academic Achievement Developing Readers Project

The Developing Readers Project is part of the Arts for Academic Achievement (AAA) program that has been implemented since 1997 in Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS). The mission of AAA is to increase student academic achievement and improve teacher practice by making arts-based and arts-integrated learning essential to classroom instruction through collaborations with artists and arts organizations. The primary goal of the project is to increase the reading achievement of students in the middle grades, with a concentration on working with students in grade 6. The students targeted for inclusion are struggling readers enrolled in schools that have a significantly large proportion of students in poverty as defined by their eligibility for free or reduced price lunch. MPS has contracted with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) to evaluate its implementation of the Developing Readers Project. This document is the year 2 evaluation report that addresses project implementation during the 2009‐10 academic year. The report includes descriptions of the participants and project activities and the results of student surveys, classroom video documentation, and teacher interviews. Also included are the results of analyses of attendance rates during the 2009‐10 school year and standardized reading test performance in spring 2009 compared to spring 2010.


Making the Body Visible through Dramatic/Creative Play: Critical Literacy in Neighborhood Bridges

This report describes and examines the meaning and use of critical literacy in The Children’s Theatre Company’s Neighborhood Bridges (Bridges) program. Critical literacy is an orientation to reading that includes an understanding of how texts (oral stories, books, media) position readers (listeners/viewers), how readers position texts, and how texts are positioned within social, cultural, historical, and political contexts. Critical literacy is central to the philosophy of Bridges, which involves elementary and middle school students in storytelling and creative drama. An important goal of the program is to develop in children the capacity to analyze and challenge dominant social and cultural storylines as they create new storylines through imaginative retellings and reenactments. Of particular interest in this report is how critical literacy is facilitated via various opportunities for drama/creative play and Teacher Artist interactions with students during the four phases of a typical Neighborhood Bridges session.


Critical Literacy in Neighborhood Bridges: An Exploratory Study

This report describes and examines the meaning and use of critical literacy in The Children’s Theatre Company’s Neighborhood Bridges (Bridges) program. Critical literacy is an orientation to reading that includes an understanding of how texts (oral stories, books, media) position readers (listeners/viewers), how readers position texts, and how texts are positioned within social, cultural, historical, and political contexts. Critical literacy is central to the philosophy of Bridges, which involves elementary and middle school students in storytelling and creative drama. An important goal of the program is to develop in children the capacity to analyze and challenge dominant social and cultural storylines as they create new storylines through imaginative retellings and reenactments.


Anoka-Hennepin Compensatory Education Pilot Program, Year 4 Report

The purpose of the Anoka‐Hennepin Compensatory Education Pilot Program was to determine how the reallocation of funds affects program structure, changes instructional delivery, and provides opportunities for intense professional development in schools. The reallocation allowed the district to change program structure in reading and math instruction at three pilot site schools that were selected for this project because of their proportions of learners at risk. It was at those schools that a number of best practices components were added over four years of programming. Annual evaluation reports have been written every year of the program. This report looks specifically at the components in place in Year 4 of the program. The goals of the program were to have all students: 1) reach high standards; 2) attain proficiency in literacy and mathematics; and have all teachers: 1) vary instruction; and 2) use assessments to guide instruction for diverse learners. The CAREI team collected data using protocols and rubrics while observing classroom teachers and staff at the three pilot schools and 18 extension sites. Data were also drawn from district Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) and Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments – Series II (MCA‐II) test databases.


Arts for Academic Achievement: Integrating Tableau Evaluation Report

This report focuses on AAA’s efforts to provide professional development opportunities to teachers using a school-based planning approach for integrating Tableau during the 2008-2009 school year. Tableau is a theater arts strategy in which students interpret stories using dramatic techniques. The Arts for Academic Achievement Program (AAA) has incorporated Tableau in Minneapolis Public Schools’ classrooms as a strategy to supplement reading and writing instruction.


Arts for Academic Achievement Evaluation Report

This report focuses on Arts for Academic Achievement’s efforts to provide professional development opportunities to teachers using a school-based planning approach for integrating Tableau during the 2008-2009 school year. Tableau is a theater arts strategy in which students interpret stories using dramatic techniques. The Arts for Academic Achievement Program (AAA) has incorporated Tableau in Minneapolis Public Schools’ classrooms as a strategy to supplement reading and writing instruction. The main goal for students participating in Tableau is to use their bodies and facial expressions to portray the meaning of a reading passage, in a “frozen picture.” The strategy allows students to “bring thinking and reading to life.”


Looking More Deeply: Fidelity of Implementation as a Critical Component in Evaluating Intervention Impacts

This study investigated the use of fidelity of implementation measures in concert with standardized tests in a matched-pairs, quasi-experimental design for evaluation of a pilot intervention program that was designed to increase second and third graders’ mathematics and reading achievement. Although students in pilot classrooms characterized by high fidelity generally performed at the same level as control students , students in low fidelity pilot classrooms performed at a significantly lower level compared to both control students and students in high fidelity pilot classrooms. We found that the fidelity measures allowed more in depth analysis of the intervention’s component parts and increased the confidence with which the project’s major questions could be addressed, thereby providing more useful information to school district personnel.


Arts for Academic Achievement: A Brief Review of Research on Readers’ Theatre and Tableau in Literacy Instruction

This review of the literature seeks to identify and summarize scientific research on the use and effectiveness of Readers’ Theatre and Tableau in literacy education. These programs integrate theatre activities into the classroom and are intended to enhance literacy skills. This review will also define key terms, address the use of drama techniques in the context of current standards- and evidence-based educational practices and policies, including Reading First, and discuss the nature of the relationship between the use of drama techniques in the classroom and literacy achievement.


Neighborhood Bridges Program Evaluation Report 5

This report is the fifth in a series of reports from a three-year evaluation study of the Neighborhood Bridges (Bridges) program of the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minnesota. CTC contracted with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement to evaluate Bridges as part of a grant CTC received from the Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Program of the U.S. Department of Education. The evaluation was designed to measure the extent to which Bridges accomplishes the outcomes specified in the grant proposal, and provide information that CTC and Bridges staff can use to strengthen the program. The intended program outcomes are as follows: Increase student achievement in reading, Increase student achievement in writing, Increase student achievement in theatre, and Broaden classroom teachers’ instructional strategies to include elements of storytelling and theatre as arts and as a support to learning in other core content areas.


Arts for Academic Achievement: Perspectives of Long-Term Teachers and Principals

This report summarizes perspectives of teachers and principals who have been involved in Arts for Academic Achievement (AAA) for multiple years. Through teacher focus groups and telephone interviews with principals, the study participants talked about the benefits of AAA that they had observed for students and teachers, and what they had learned over the years about integrating the arts and partnering with artists.


Neighborhood Bridges Program Evaluation Report 4

This report is the fourth in a series of reports from a three-year evaluation study of the Neighborhood Bridges (Bridges) program of the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minnesota. CTC contracted with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement to evaluate Bridges as part of a grant CTC received from the Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Program of the U.S. Department of Education. The evaluation was designed to measure the extent to which Bridges accomplishes the outcomes specified in the grant proposal, and provide information that CTC and Bridges staff can use to strengthen the program. The intended program outcomes are as follows: Increase student achievement in reading, Increase student achievement in writing, and Increase student achievement in theatre.


Neighborhood Bridges Program Evaluation Report 3

This report examines the relationship between student participation in Neighborhood Bridges and their reading achievement as measured by the spring 2006 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA-II) in reading. The report is the third in a series of reports from a three-year evaluation study of the Neighborhood Bridges (Bridges) program of the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minnesota. CTC contracted with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement to evaluate Bridges as part of a grant CTC received from the Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Program of the U.S. Department of Education.


Bloomington/Richfield Early Reading First: Get Ready Centers of Excellence (Year 2 Report)

The purpose of this report is to summarize results for Year 2 of the Early Reading First Get Ready Centers of Excellence project in the Bloomington/ Richfield Minnesota Public Schools. Funded by the federal Department of Education through an Early Reading First Get Ready Centers of Excellence grant, the project seeks to improve the language and early reading skills of at risk and limited English pre-school children so that they will be competitive academically when they enter kindergarten and can maintain their achievement through 2nd grade. The Bloomington/Richfield Get Ready program evolved because of a nation wide concern with the achievement gap, beginning in Kindergarten, between children at risk, i.e., students of color, English language learners, students in poverty and those children without those risk factors. The questions raised by the project are these: “What kind of academic, social and emotional intervention is needed for children at risk to make them ready for kindergarten? To keep them on track throughout their schooling? What classroom circumstances, teacher training, amount of time and staffing ratios are optimal? When should interventions begin?


Anoka-Hennepin Compensatory Education Pilot Program Year 1 Report

The Year 1 Report of the Anoka-Hennepin Compensatory Education Pilot Progam reviews student achievement results from the pilot schools and a matched set of control students, levels of implementation of the project in classrooms, impact of strategies on outcomes and changes in teacher and staff attitudes toward the project. Shifting the traditional allocation of funds allows the district to provide a major intervention in three schools with high populations of at-risk students. The intervention includes program structures for mathematics and reading, changing instructional delivery methods in math and reading, providing intense professional development for teachers in math and reading, coaching follow-up at each site, and significant oversight


Neighborhood Bridges Program Evaluation Report 2

This report is the second in a series of reports from a three-year evaluation study of the Neighborhood Bridges (Bridges) program of the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minnesota. CTC contracted with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement to evaluate Bridges as part of a grant CTC received from the Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Program of the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of this report is to summarize additional data gathered since the initial report and present recommendations for program improvement based on a synthesis of all the data collected to date. The next report in the series will include data from the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA-II) reading test that students took in spring 2006.


Neighborhood Bridges Program Evaluation Report 1

This report is the first in a series of reports from a three-year evaluation study of the Neighborhood Bridges (Bridges) program of the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minnesota. The study is funded through a grant to CTC from the Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Program of the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of this report is to summarize results from surveys completed by teaching artists and classroom teachers who participated in Bridges during the 2005-2006 school year and make preliminary recommendations for how the program could be improved. A subsequent report will summarize data collected through interviews with classroom teachers and teaching artists and include final recommendations based on a synthesis of the survey and interview data.


Implementation of the Quality Compensation program (Q Comp): A Formative Evaluation

The report describes the range of implementation strategies and activities early adopter districts and sites have used in the implementation of the Quality Compensation Program (Q Comp), which is the alternative pay initiative enacted by the Minnesota Legislature. It also summarizes successes and concerns of those pilot sites, since their experiences can be highly informative for other districts and charter schools moving forward to create their own Q Comp plans.


Project for Academic Excellence: Changes in Teaching and Student Achievement

Saint Paul’s Project for Academic Excellence was a comprehensive reform model that was implemented in phases throughout Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota. This report documents the implementation of the project through 2004-2005. The comprehensive reform model focused on 12 nationally-researched, proven education reform practices described in the report and recognized the importance of expert knowledge and technical assistance. There was evidence of substantial change in teaching and evidence of increased student achievement.


Project for Academic Excellence: Overview of the Comprehensive Reform Model

Saint Paul’s Project for Academic Excellence was a comprehensive reform model that was implemented in phases throughout Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota. This report documents the implementation of the project through 2004-2005. The comprehensive reform model focused on 12 nationally-researched, proven education reform practices described in the report and recognized the importance of expert knowledge and technical assistance. There was evidence of substantial change in teaching and evidence of increased student achievement.


Project for Academic Excellence, Evaluation Report

Saint Paul’s Project for Academic Excellence was a comprehensive reform model that was implemented in phases throughout Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota. This report documents the implementation of the project through 2004-2005. The comprehensive reform model focused on 12 nationally-researched, proven education reform practices described in the report and recognized the importance of expert knowledge and technical assistance. There was evidence of substantial change in teaching and evidence of increased student achievement.


Project for Academic Excellence: Building Capacity and Going to Scale

Saint Paul’s Project for Academic Excellence was a comprehensive reform model that was implemented in phases throughout Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota. The initial cohort of schools helped build the district’s capacity to provide essential demonstration
classrooms–modeling standards-based curriculum, instruction, and assessment–and put into practice
Learning Walks–modeling shared instructional leadership. Additionally, the first cohort of schools has
been the testing ground for how the comprehensive reform would look given sufficient resources to take
the reform to scale within a school. This report documents the implementation of the project through 2004-2005. The comprehensive reform model focused on 12 nationally-researched, proven education reform practices described in the report and recognized the importance of expert knowledge and technical assistance. There was evidence of substantial change in teaching and evidence of increased student achievement.


Bloomington/Richfield Early Reading First: Get Ready Centers of Excellence (Year 1 Report)

The purpose of this report is to summarize results for Year 1 of the Early Reading First Get Ready Centers of Excellence project in the Bloomington/ Richfield Minnesota Public Schools. Funded by the federal Department of Education through an Early Reading First Get Ready Centers of Excellence grant, the project seeks to improve the language and early reading skills of at risk and limited English pre-school children so that they will be competitive academically when they enter kindergarten and can maintain their achievement through 2nd grade. The Bloomington/Richfield Get Ready program evolved because of a nation wide concern with the achievement gap, beginning in Kindergarten, between children at risk, i.e., students of color, English language learners, students in poverty and those children without those risk factors. The questions raised by the project are these: “What kind of academic, social and emotional intervention is needed for children at risk to make them ready for kindergarten? To keep them on track throughout their schooling? What classroom circumstances, teacher training, amount of time and staffing ratios are optimal? When should interventions begin?


21st Century Community Learning Centers: Pathways to Progress, Saint Paul Public Schools (Final Evaluation Report)

Saint Paul Public Schools, like most large, urban districts, is faced with educating an increasingly diverse student population at a time when resources are dwindling. In order to confront these challenges, the district sought and received a three-year, federally funded grant to establish community learning centers in Saint Paul Public Schools, known as Pathways to Progress.
This report is a summative evaluation of the Pathways to Progress 21st Century
Community Learning Centers grant, which operated at eight sites in Saint Paul Public Schools for three years between June 2000 and May 2003. It is intended to provide Saint Paul Public Schools with empirical data on student performance and program outcomes, including discrepancies among student populations commonly known as the “achievement gap,” over the entire grant period so that district officials can better assess the value of expanded day programs.


Arts for Academic Achievement: Summative Evaluation Report

The purpose of this report is to summarize findings from our longitudinal evaluation of the Arts for Academic Achievement program. The strength of the evidence for our findings varies, but these distinctions are not elaborated in this summary report. Detailed descriptions of the study design, data collection methods, and further exploration of the study results are located in the individual reports listed at the end of this document.


Linking Authentic Instruction to Students’ Achievement Using Peer Coaching: Social Studies Best Practices Grant

In an effort to improve teaching and learning and to assist teachers in implementing the graduation standards, the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning sponsored a project called Linking Authentic Instruction, which provided a group of predominantly secondary social studies teachers in the Minneapolis School District the opportunity to participate in a series of professional development seminars. The goals of the seminars were for teachers to be able to: 1) Translate the theoretical framework that links the Minnesota High Standards and authentic pedagogy (instruction and assessment) into practice; 2) Create peer-coaching teams to embed the authentic instruction criteria into daily practice at each participating site; 3) Implement model lessons and score their own students’ work. This report is a result of an evaluation done to answer these questions.


21st Century Community Learning Centers: Pathways to Progress Project, Saint Paul Public Schools

Saint Paul Public Schools, like most large, urban districts, is faced with educating an increasingly diverse student population at a time when resources are dwindling. In order to confront these challenges, the district sought and received a three-year, federally funded grant to establish community learning centers in Saint Paul Public Schools, known as Pathways to Progress.
Pathways to Progress is a three year, federally funded grant that establishes community learning centers at each of the eight Saint Paul Public School sites. These community learning centers are designed to provide coordinated expanded day and year community learning activities for students, families and community members in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

+ Math

Minneapolis Public Schools Small Learning Communities: Final Evaluation Report

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) was awarded a 5‐year grant by the U.S. Department of Education for a Small Learning Communities (SLC) project that was implemented in its seven comprehensive high schools. The funding period began in July 2005 and ended in July 2010. Two main goals were established for the project. Goal 1 was to close the achievement gap between students of color and White students in reading and mathematics while raising the achievement of all students. Goal 2 was to increase the graduation rate and post‐secondary readiness of all students. This evaluation report describes MPS’s attainment of these two goals in the final year of the 5‐year project and across all 5 years.


Project AIM 2009-2010 Evaluation Report

During the 2009‐2010 school year, Project AIM, a program of the Center for Community Arts Partnerships at Columbia College Chicago, worked with over nine hundred fifth through eighth grade students in five schools. Project AIM teaching artists collaborated with classroom teachers in these schools to develop residencies that offered students instruction in arts, literacy and/or math. Each residency included thirteen sessions in which the artist provided instruction in the classroom in collaboration with the classroom teacher. In addition to the residencies, Project AIM facilitated the development of learning communities within each school. Project AIM also convened the artists each month for professional development sessions focused on topics such as the emotional and social development of middle grades students and integrating instruction in math and visual art. This report summarizes the results of an evaluation study of Project AIM during the 2009‐2010 school year.


Math Readiness of Incoming Students at Normandale Community College

More than 70% of students who enrolled at Normandale Community College in 2009 tested into a remedial level math class. The high percentage of students testing into developmental math is a concern for several reasons. Because students must complete these remedial classes before continuing on with other degree program courses, it prolongs their degree program. It is also an additional cost to students as they must pay for these remedial courses like any other program course. Finally, according to Normandale Community College staff, 50% of the teaching being conducted in the math department at the college is currently focused on developmental mathematics. The staff time and resources spent on planning, preparing, and teaching remedial math courses could be redirected to college level courses or electives if the percentage of students needing remedial instruction decreased.
The purpose of this study was to analyze student data to better understand the contributing factors to the high percentage of incoming students testing into remedial level math courses. CAREI researchers found statistically significant correlations between high school performance and MCA II test results, as well as with ACCUPLACER scores. Not surprisingly, the last course taken and the year it was taken are important factors. Full details are available in the report.


Anoka-Hennepin Compensatory Education Pilot Program, Year 4 Report

The purpose of the Anoka‐Hennepin Compensatory Education Pilot Program was to determine how the reallocation of funds affects program structure, changes instructional delivery, and provides opportunities for intense professional development in schools. The reallocation allowed the district to change program structure in reading and math instruction at three pilot site schools that were selected for this project because of their proportions of learners at risk. It was at those schools that a number of best practices components were added over four years of programming. Annual evaluation reports have been written every year of the program. This report looks specifically at the components in place in Year 4 of the program. The goals of the program were to have all students: 1) reach high standards; 2) attain proficiency in literacy and mathematics; and have all teachers: 1) vary instruction; and 2) use assessments to guide instruction for diverse learners. The CAREI team collected data using protocols and rubrics while observing classroom teachers and staff at the three pilot schools and 18 extension sites. Data were also drawn from district Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) and Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments – Series II (MCA‐II) test databases.


Looking More Deeply: Fidelity of Implementation as a Critical Component in Evaluating Intervention Impacts

This study investigated the use of fidelity of implementation measures in concert with standardized tests in a matched-pairs, quasi-experimental design for evaluation of a pilot intervention program that was designed to increase second and third graders’ mathematics and reading achievement. Although students in pilot classrooms characterized by high fidelity generally performed at the same level as control students , students in low fidelity pilot classrooms performed at a significantly lower level compared to both control students and students in high fidelity pilot classrooms. We found that the fidelity measures allowed more in depth analysis of the intervention’s component parts and increased the confidence with which the project’s major questions could be addressed, thereby providing more useful information to school district personnel.


Anoka-Hennepin Compensatory Education Pilot Program Year 1 Report

The Year 1 Report of the Anoka-Hennepin Compensatory Education Pilot Progam reviews student achievement results from the pilot schools and a matched set of control students, levels of implementation of the project in classrooms, impact of strategies on outcomes and changes in teacher and staff attitudes toward the project. Shifting the traditional allocation of funds allows the district to provide a major intervention in three schools with high populations of at-risk students. The intervention includes program structures for mathematics and reading, changing instructional delivery methods in math and reading, providing intense professional development for teachers in math and reading, coaching follow-up at each site, and significant oversight


Implementation of the Quality Compensation program (Q Comp): A Formative Evaluation

The report describes the range of implementation strategies and activities early adopter districts and sites have used in the implementation of the Quality Compensation Program (Q Comp), which is the alternative pay initiative enacted by the Minnesota Legislature. It also summarizes successes and concerns of those pilot sites, since their experiences can be highly informative for other districts and charter schools moving forward to create their own Q Comp plans.


Project for Academic Excellence: Changes in Teaching and Student Achievement

Saint Paul’s Project for Academic Excellence was a comprehensive reform model that was implemented in phases throughout Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota. This report documents the implementation of the project through 2004-2005. The comprehensive reform model focused on 12 nationally-researched, proven education reform practices described in the report and recognized the importance of expert knowledge and technical assistance. There was evidence of substantial change in teaching and evidence of increased student achievement.


Project for Academic Excellence: Overview of the Comprehensive Reform Model

Saint Paul’s Project for Academic Excellence was a comprehensive reform model that was implemented in phases throughout Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota. This report documents the implementation of the project through 2004-2005. The comprehensive reform model focused on 12 nationally-researched, proven education reform practices described in the report and recognized the importance of expert knowledge and technical assistance. There was evidence of substantial change in teaching and evidence of increased student achievement.


Project for Academic Excellence, Evaluation Report

Saint Paul’s Project for Academic Excellence was a comprehensive reform model that was implemented in phases throughout Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota. This report documents the implementation of the project through 2004-2005. The comprehensive reform model focused on 12 nationally-researched, proven education reform practices described in the report and recognized the importance of expert knowledge and technical assistance. There was evidence of substantial change in teaching and evidence of increased student achievement.


Project for Academic Excellence: Building Capacity and Going to Scale

Saint Paul’s Project for Academic Excellence was a comprehensive reform model that was implemented in phases throughout Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota. The initial cohort of schools helped build the district’s capacity to provide essential demonstration
classrooms–modeling standards-based curriculum, instruction, and assessment–and put into practice
Learning Walks–modeling shared instructional leadership. Additionally, the first cohort of schools has
been the testing ground for how the comprehensive reform would look given sufficient resources to take
the reform to scale within a school. This report documents the implementation of the project through 2004-2005. The comprehensive reform model focused on 12 nationally-researched, proven education reform practices described in the report and recognized the importance of expert knowledge and technical assistance. There was evidence of substantial change in teaching and evidence of increased student achievement.


21st Century Community Learning Centers: Pathways to Progress, Saint Paul Public Schools (Final Evaluation Report)

Saint Paul Public Schools, like most large, urban districts, is faced with educating an increasingly diverse student population at a time when resources are dwindling. In order to confront these challenges, the district sought and received a three-year, federally funded grant to establish community learning centers in Saint Paul Public Schools, known as Pathways to Progress.
This report is a summative evaluation of the Pathways to Progress 21st Century
Community Learning Centers grant, which operated at eight sites in Saint Paul Public Schools for three years between June 2000 and May 2003. It is intended to provide Saint Paul Public Schools with empirical data on student performance and program outcomes, including discrepancies among student populations commonly known as the “achievement gap,” over the entire grant period so that district officials can better assess the value of expanded day programs.


Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation (CETP) Evaluation, 2001-2002

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has played a major role in the attempts to improve science and mathematics education. According to the NSF, the Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation (CETP) program was designed to significantly improve the science, mathematics, and technology preparation of future K-12 teachers and their effectiveness in these areas. The NSF funded the Core Evaluation Project to design and develop a data collection and reporting system for the CETP program. The CETP Core Evaluation developed surveys, a classroom observation protocol, and a teacher artifact scoring rubric to gather information on the impact of the CETP program. The Core Evaluation collected a variety of data in 2001-2002 derived from open ended and scaled survey items and classroom observations and artifacts. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were necessary to provide a complete picture of the CETP collaboratives.


Changing Student Attitudes Toward Math: Using Dance to Teach Math

This paper describes results of a study that sought to answer the question, “How does integrating dance and math in an intense co-teaching model of integration affect student attitudes toward learning math?”. The goal of the dance/math project was to engage students in math in ways that reached students’ multiple intelligences and encouraged students to make complex connections and try new problem solving techniques. The classroom teachers, who designed and implemented the project, hypothesized that students who worked with a dancer once a week to learn math concepts would become more engaged in mathematics and have more successful and positive experiences with mathematics than students who did not work with a dancer.


Charting a New Course: A Study of the Adoption and Implementation of Standards-Based Mathematics Curricula in Eight Minnesota School Districts: Final Report to Sci MathMN (Fall 2001)

Across the state of Minnesota, school districts have adopted a variety of new mathematics curricula developed in the 1990s with the support of the National Science Foundation. As of spring 2000, more than 100 districts in Minnesota were using one of these standards-based curricula at the elementary, middle and/or high school levels. This is the final report of the multi-year study of implementation and impact of standards-based curricula in Minnesota in several district settings.


21st Century Community Learning Centers: Pathways to Progress Project, Saint Paul Public Schools

Saint Paul Public Schools, like most large, urban districts, is faced with educating an increasingly diverse student population at a time when resources are dwindling. In order to confront these challenges, the district sought and received a three-year, federally funded grant to establish community learning centers in Saint Paul Public Schools, known as Pathways to Progress.
Pathways to Progress is a three year, federally funded grant that establishes community learning centers at each of the eight Saint Paul Public School sites. These community learning centers are designed to provide coordinated expanded day and year community learning activities for students, families and community members in Saint Paul, Minnesota.


Supporting Standards-Based Teaching and Learning in Mathematics and Science: Lessons from the Minnesota TIMSS Data

More and more school districts are consciously collecting and using a wide variety of data to inform their decision- making processes. This report is an effort to support Minnesota school districts in using data from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) to assess the extent to which they are engaging in and supporting standards-based education in these two subject areas. This report is intended for teachers, curriculum coordinators, school and district administrators, and policy- makers who wish to systematically examine how we educate our children in science and mathematics. It is It is not possible to look at our educational practices and outcomes as cause and effect. Rather, the data are intended to highlight the relationships between how we educate our children and what they learn. Introduction Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement 3 organized into five main sections, each of which begins with a summary of the Minnesota TIMSS data on key issues in science and mathematics education at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. At the end of each section are questions to guide educators in reflecting upon their practices at the classroom, school, and district levels and the extent to which these practices promote standards-based teaching and learning.


Technology in the Mathematics Classroom: Helping Students Make Connections

The Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM, 1989) recommend that high school students should be able to do the following: “represent and analyze relationships using tables, verbal rules, equations, and graphs; translate among tabular, symbolic, and graphical representations of functions; recognize that a variety of problem situations can be modeled by the same type of function; and analyze the effects of parameter changes on the graphs of functions” (p. 154). The teaching of functions by emphasizing the tabular, symbolic and graphical representations and the connections between them became known as “The Rule of Three.” Functions can also be represented by real-world situations themselves so “The Rule of Three” later was called by some as “The Rule of Four”. These representations should not be learned in isolation and that true learning of the concept of function occurs when a person can easily make connections between the various representations and see how changes in one representation effects the other three.

+ Science

Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures Evaluation: 2012

The Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures (UWCA) Program provides a continuum of experiences for youth and families that are designed to engage all participants in a life‐long relationship with the outdoors and also encourages environmental awareness and leadership development. The UWCA seeks to fill a gap in the outdoor industry by reaching, engaging, and serving underserved, low and middle income urban youth and families.
Researchers from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) have collaborated with Wilderness Inquiry and its partners since spring 2010 to evaluate the UWCA. CAREI evaluators collected data from an array of sources in 2012. We reviewed more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, conducted in‐depth interviews with young adults with long term involvement, and analyzed the responses of more than 1,100 students, teachers, and youth leaders to prepare this report.
The 2012 UWCA Evaluation investigated the outcomes of three UWCA activities this year:
1) The Minneapolis Public Schools’ Summer School Mississippi River trip; 2) Washburn High School’s at‐risk students’ involvement with one UWCA trip; and, 3) AVID student’s participation in three UWCA trips.
Our findings consistently demonstrate that regardless of the specific program or modification the participants received numerous personal, social, and academic benefits through UWCA trip participation. Many of the variables that influenced these benefits have been identified during our data analyses. The research we initiated before the 2012 evaluation supports findings we observed in earlier evaluations, whether the data was collected from students, teachers, or former youth participants.


Global Literacy Through Mandarin Immersion and STEM: Year Three Evaluation Report (2011-2012)

In 2009, a Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to the Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative (MMIC) for the project Global Literacy Through Mandarin Immersion and STEM. The funding was expected to continue for a total of 5 years contingent upon annual renewal approved by Congress. However, in 2011, Congress voted to discontinue all FLAP funding. The 3 years’ of funding received by the MMIC supported early elementary immersion instruction in Mandarin Chinese that begins at the kindergarten level and the development of a curriculum that has a content focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The schools in the MMIC have added a grade level each year, with the intent of creating the capacity to continue Chinese immersion to grades 7-12. The MMIC contracted with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) at the University of Minnesota to serve as the external evaluator of the project. This report presents CAREI’s evaluation of the third year of the grant-funded project. The report includes enrollment and retention data as well as the results of a parent survey and a survey of English teachers (i.e., instructional staff whose positions were in the regular, non-immersion program).


Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures Evaluation

According to Wilderness Inquiry (WI), the ultimate goal of the Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures (UWCA) program is to engage youth in a series of deepening wilderness experiences that will result in a percentage of these youth becoming environmental leaders. The intermediate goal of Wilderness Inquiry is to improve student academic performance through an innovative classroom/fieldwork curriculum that uses environmental educational experiences to teach science, social studies, and language arts. The purpose of this initial evaluation was to assess the impact of the UWCA Program and the Mississippi River field trips on the attitudes and behaviors of fifth through eighth graders in Minneapolis Public Schools’ summer school program. While the ultimate goal of the Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures (UWCA) program is to improve student academic performance, we limited the scope of the initial evaluation to five key objectives. We wanted to determine the extent to which the Program: (a) positively influenced students’ attitudes about the river, the environment, and science; (b) improved student attendance during the summer session; (c) advanced the learning objectives of a River‐based curriculum; (d) increased students’ interest in the natural environment; and, (e) increased students’ awareness of the river and their personal connection to it. We also wanted to assess teachers’ level of engagement and the extent to which they believed the UWCA program affected students.


Minnesota Science Teachers Education Project (MnSTEP)

The Minnesota Science Teachers Education Project (MnSTEP) was a series of rigorous, content-focused, summer science institutes offered regionally throughout Minnesota for K-12 teachers of science. Institutes were provided in biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, and scientific inquiry – addressing the Minnesota Science Standards in each area – with at least one K-5 and one 6-12 institute offered in each of five regions each summer. MnSTEP completed the third and final year of summer institutes and school year follow-up for Minnesota K-12 science teachers, including licensure programs in both high school physics and chemistry. Over three years, MnSTEP delivered 47 standards based science content institutes involving 914 teachers, who then taught more than 85,000 students. This report presents information on performance outcomes for year three of the project including results of pre- and post-assessment data for the year two cohort of teacher participants in the summer 2008 institutes. We presented an evaluation of the year one cohort in the 2008 MnSTEP Evaluation Report. We provide performance outcomes for the year one cohort in this report as a supplement to the 2008 report and for comparison purposes to the year two cohort.


Minneapolis Public Schools Observational Drawing Evaluation Report

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) was awarded a grant by American Honda Foundation to implement observational drawing in 20 elementary classrooms in 2010. Minneapolis Public Schools used observational drawing to teach skills of observation and apply them in the context of scientific investigation. Classroom teachers and the teaching artists had varying levels of experience with observational drawing. Minneapolis Public Schools contracted with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) to assess the impact of implementing this technique in a sample of MPS classrooms.


Global Literacy Through Mandarin Immersion and STEM: Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative Year 2

In 2009, a 5-year Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to the Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative (MMIC) for the project Global Literacy Through Mandarin Immersion and STEM. The grant supports immersion instruction in Mandarin Chinese that begins at the kindergarten level and the development of a curriculum that has a content focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The schools in the MMIC will add a grade level each year, with the intent of creating the capacity to continue Chinese immersion to grades 7-12. The MMIC has contracted with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) at the University of Minnesota to serve as the external evaluator of the project. This report presents CAREI’s evaluation of the second year of the grant-funded project. The report includes enrollment and retention data as well as the results of principal interviews, teacher interviews, and a parent survey.


The Minnesota Children, Youth, and Families at Risk Project: Impact Report 2011

The Minnesota CYFAR Sustainable Communities Project is focused on strengthening the ability of middle school aged youth to set and achieve short and long-term educational goals by using an innovative and organic afterschool program model that is highly experiential. The aim of the program is to help youth own their learning by igniting their interest in education to to work with parents and guardians to support them in their role as their child’s first educator. This reports presents the evaluation results and demonstrates the impact that the Minnesota CYFAR Sustainable Communities Project has had on youth participants during its third year.


Global Literacy Through Mandarin Immersion and STEM: Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative Year 1

In 2009, a 5-year Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to the Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative (MMIC) for the project Global Literacy Through Mandarin Immersion and STEM. The grant supports immersion instruction in Mandarin Chinese that begins at the kindergarten level and the development of a curriculum that has a content focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The schools in the MMIC will add a grade level each year, with the intent of creating the capacity to continue Chinese immersion to grades 7-12. The MMIC has contracted with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) at the University of Minnesota to serve as the evaluator of the project. This year 1 evaluation report presents enrollment and retention data as well as the results of a teacher survey, teacher interviews, principal interviews, and a parent survey.


Bringing Resources, Activities, & Inquiry in Neuroscience (B.R.A.I.N.) to Middle Schools

The Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) funded Bringing Resources, Activities, & Inquiry in Neuroscience to Middle Schools (BrainU) sought to involve teachers to create and establish innovative content, creative teaching methods for implementing experiments, and increased communication among teachers, students, scientists, parents and their communities. The project planned to (1) create an expert cadre of teachers who integrate neuroscience concepts, activities, demonstrations and experiments into their classrooms, (2) increase teachers’ use of inquiry-based teaching, (3) develop educational experiences and materials that connect the study of neuroscience to students’ lives and increase student enthusiasm and interest for science and (4) partner with students and teachers to inform other students, teachers, parents and the general public about neuroscience research and its potential impact on their own lives. The Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) in the College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota, conducted the external evaluation. The CAREI evaluators gathered data for assessing the project’s success with pre- and posttests of neuroscience knowledge, a teacher survey, and classroom observations. Brain U staff administered the pre- and posttests of neuroscience knowledge in BrainU 101 summer workshops in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2005. CAREI evaluators conducted teacher surveys every year from 2004 through 2008 and conducted classroom observations from fall 2003 through winter 2009.


The Minnesota Children, Youth, and Familes at Risk Project: Impact Report 2010

The Minnesota CYFAR Sustainable Communities Project is focused on strengthening the ability of middle school aged youth to set and achieve short and long-term educational goals by using an innovative and organic afterschool program model that is highly experiential. The aim of the program is to help youth own their learning by igniting their interest in education to to work with parents and guardians to support them in their role as their child’s first educator. This reports features the impact from the second year of the project whereby sixty-nine youth and seventy-one parents and guardians participated.


The Minnesota Children, Youth and Families At Risk Project: Impact Report 2009

The Minnesota CYFAR Sustainable Communities Project is focused on strengthening the ability of middle school aged youth to set and achieve short and long-term educational goals by using an innovative and organic afterschool program model that is highly experiential. The aim of the program is to help youth own their learning by igniting their interest in education and to work with parents and guardians to support them in their role as their child’s first educator. This impact report describes the program model and the educational resources we used to develop it. It also highlights some of the promising early results, along with the resources developed during the project’s first year. There are also descriptions of the communities, youth, and parents this project serves.


Arts for Academic Achievement: A Descriptive Report on the Development of an Embedded Course on Observational Drawing and Science

During the 2006-2007 school year Arts for Academic Achievement (AAA) established a work group of high school science teachers, district science curriculum specialists, a visual artist, and AAA staff to develop an embedded course on integrating observational drawing and science instruction. The new course would join the embedded courses on Readers’ Theatre and Tableau that were being offered by AAA for the first time during 2006-2007. The embedded courses were distinct in that they trained teachers in specific arts-integration strategies. As part of a larger study of AAA, program staff asked the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) to document the course development process. The purpose of this report is to describe: 1) the process AAA staff used to develop the course, and 2) how two teachers, who were involved in developing the course, integrated drawing into their science instruction.


Implementation of the Quality Compensation program (Q Comp): A Formative Evaluation

The report describes the range of implementation strategies and activities early adopter districts and sites have used in the implementation of the Quality Compensation Program (Q Comp), which is the alternative pay initiative enacted by the Minnesota Legislature. It also summarizes successes and concerns of those pilot sites, since their experiences can be highly informative for other districts and charter schools moving forward to create their own Q Comp plans.


Project for Academic Excellence, Evaluation Report

Saint Paul’s Project for Academic Excellence was a comprehensive reform model that was implemented in phases throughout Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota. This report documents the implementation of the project through 2004-2005. The comprehensive reform model focused on 12 nationally-researched, proven education reform practices described in the report and recognized the importance of expert knowledge and technical assistance. There was evidence of substantial change in teaching and evidence of increased student achievement.


Project for Academic Excellence: Building Capacity and Going to Scale

Saint Paul’s Project for Academic Excellence was a comprehensive reform model that was implemented in phases throughout Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota. The initial cohort of schools helped build the district’s capacity to provide essential demonstration
classrooms–modeling standards-based curriculum, instruction, and assessment–and put into practice
Learning Walks–modeling shared instructional leadership. Additionally, the first cohort of schools has
been the testing ground for how the comprehensive reform would look given sufficient resources to take
the reform to scale within a school. This report documents the implementation of the project through 2004-2005. The comprehensive reform model focused on 12 nationally-researched, proven education reform practices described in the report and recognized the importance of expert knowledge and technical assistance. There was evidence of substantial change in teaching and evidence of increased student achievement.


21st Century Community Learning Centers: Pathways to Progress, Saint Paul Public Schools (Final Evaluation Report)

Saint Paul Public Schools, like most large, urban districts, is faced with educating an increasingly diverse student population at a time when resources are dwindling. In order to confront these challenges, the district sought and received a three-year, federally funded grant to establish community learning centers in Saint Paul Public Schools, known as Pathways to Progress.
This report is a summative evaluation of the Pathways to Progress 21st Century
Community Learning Centers grant, which operated at eight sites in Saint Paul Public Schools for three years between June 2000 and May 2003. It is intended to provide Saint Paul Public Schools with empirical data on student performance and program outcomes, including discrepancies among student populations commonly known as the “achievement gap,” over the entire grant period so that district officials can better assess the value of expanded day programs.


Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation (CETP) Evaluation, 2001-2002

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has played a major role in the attempts to improve science and mathematics education. According to the NSF, the Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation (CETP) program was designed to significantly improve the science, mathematics, and technology preparation of future K-12 teachers and their effectiveness in these areas. The NSF funded the Core Evaluation Project to design and develop a data collection and reporting system for the CETP program. The CETP Core Evaluation developed surveys, a classroom observation protocol, and a teacher artifact scoring rubric to gather information on the impact of the CETP program. The Core Evaluation collected a variety of data in 2001-2002 derived from open ended and scaled survey items and classroom observations and artifacts. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were necessary to provide a complete picture of the CETP collaboratives.


Monarch Monitoring: A Teacher/Student/Scientist Research Project. Final Report

The Monarch Monitoring Project was a field research experience designed to enhance the capacity of middle and high school teachers to incorporate active research into classroom teaching. Active research was defined as students involved in formulating questions and/or designing research protocol, collecting and interpreting data, and reporting results.


Evaluating the Long Term Effects of Teacher Enhancement: Final Report (2001)

This is the culminating report of an in-depth, six- year study of science education reform. The reform included teacher enhancement activities as well as curricular materials and was designed to help science students achieve the National Research Council’s Science Standards (NRC, 1995). The longitudinal evaluation project was quite complex, used several data gathering methods and sources, and produced several reports and articles. The evaluation effort had two major components. The first component was designed to compare students who had participated in the reform effort with students from the same site who had not participated in the reform. The second component was to follow a subset of the sites to identify the long-term effects of the reform effort. For all six years of the evaluation effort both qualitative and quantitative data were gathered from principals, teachers and students through extensive site visits and assessment of student outcomes. The purpose of this report is to summarize and condense the findings from the subset sites. It presents the data gathered throughout the course of the evaluation effort by discussing the data from all of the sites as a set and by providing detailed information about each site individually. Furthermore the data are synthesized into a theoretical model for teacher enhancement and curricular implementation, and recommendations for future implementation and evaluation efforts are provided.


21st Century Community Learning Centers: Pathways to Progress Project, Saint Paul Public Schools

Saint Paul Public Schools, like most large, urban districts, is faced with educating an increasingly diverse student population at a time when resources are dwindling. In order to confront these challenges, the district sought and received a three-year, federally funded grant to establish community learning centers in Saint Paul Public Schools, known as Pathways to Progress.
Pathways to Progress is a three year, federally funded grant that establishes community learning centers at each of the eight Saint Paul Public School sites. These community learning centers are designed to provide coordinated expanded day and year community learning activities for students, families and community members in Saint Paul, Minnesota.


Achieving the Science Standards: A National Study of Inquiry-Based Instruction in High School Science

The National Science Teachers Association’s SS&C(Scope, Sequence & Coordination)project created a new high school science curriculum that coordinated the content in the four basic sciences (life, earth, physics and chemistry) to allow students to study every science every year. The curriculum sequenced activities to encourage teachers to use inquiry-based instruction where students engage in hands-on activities before teachers define concepts.To examine the impact of SS&C, researchers at CAREI designed a comprehensive study comparing students who took SS&C science in 9th and 10th grade to students who did not take the new course. The study used a time-lag design which compares the prior year’s science students to the present year’s science students. The purpose of the study was to closely examine the effect of the standards-based curriculum on both the classroom learning environment and on students’ achievement in the sciences. Thirteen schools implemented the new science course. The schools were located in California, Iowa, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Texas and the District of Columbia and included more than 4,000 ninth graders and 2,500 tenth grade science students.


Evaluating the Long Term Effect of Teacher Enhancement

Although the ultimate goal of teacher enhance projects is to improve student outcomes, the causal path from teacher enhancement projects to changes in student outcomes is difficult to verify. Therefore this evaluation was designed to examine the long term effects of a teacher enhancement project on classroom activities and student outcomes at five different schools through case studies. The longitudinal approach is necessary to determine not only what happens initially but what remains after the funding and “newness” wears off. The enhancement effort was part of the Scope, Sequence and Coordination Project (SS&C) and consisted of two summer workshops, during the year contact, and curricular materials matched to the instructional philosophy presented at the workshops. The measure of persistence is the effect of the teacher enhancement on the schools, as demonstrated by teacher classroom performance and achievement of ninth grade students year after year. This report presents information gathered over four years, 1995-1998, from the five teacher enhancement sites.


Museums: They’re Not Just for Field Trips Anymore

Although both museums and schools are learning environments, their strategies for reaching learners are very different. It is these differences that can be valuable for schools trying to implement science standards and improve their overall level of science instruction. Based on research about how students learn best, the new national science standards emphasize the need for teachers to provide students with more hands-on, real world experiences related to science topics and to act as a facilitator of student learning rather than a dispenser of knowledge. By working together, museums and schools have found numerous ways to benefit from each other’s expertise in teaching and learning.


Scope, Sequence & Coordination: 10th Grade Science (Evaluation Report)

Scope, Sequence & Coordination (SS&C) is a national teacher enhancement and curriculum development project committed to developing activities that help students become more scientifically literate as defined by the National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1995). The SS&C project is guided by the following principles: 1) every student should study every science subject every year, 2) science should explicitly take into account students’ prior knowledge and experience, 3) students should be provided with a sequence of content from concrete experiences and descriptive expression to abstract symbolism and quantitative expression, 4) concepts, principles, and theories should be revisited at successively higher levels of abstraction, and 5) learning should be coordinated in the four science subjects so as to interrelate basic concepts and principles. SS&C was funded by the National Science Foundation to develop and implement the first year of a four year set of activities and this evaluation was designed to document the effect of the SS&C project in relation to the NRC standards. The purpose of this evaluation was to ascertain the effectiveness of the Scope, Sequence, and Coordination project on tenth grade student achievement of the National Science Education Standards.


Scope, Sequence & Coordination: 9th and 10th Grade Science (Synthesis)

The purpose of this report is to synthesize the 9th and 10th grade evaluation reports ascertaining the effectiveness of the SS&C project on ninth and tenth grade student achievement of the National Science Education Standards. Scope, Sequence & Coordination (SS&C) is a national teacher enhancement and curriculum development project committed to developing activities that help students become more scientifically literate as defined by the National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1995). The SS&C project is guided by the following principles: 1) every student should study every science subject every year, 2) science should explicitly take into account students’ prior knowledge and experience, 3) students should be provided with a sequence of content from concrete experiences and descriptive expression to abstract symbolism and quantitative expression, 4) concepts, principles, and theories should be revisited at successively higher levels of abstraction, and 5) learning should be coordinated in the four science subjects so as to interrelate basic concepts and principles. SS&C was funded by the National Science Foundation to develop and implement the first year of a four year set of activities and this evaluation was designed to document the effect of the SS&C project in relation to the NRC standards.


Scope, Sequence & Coordination: 9th Grade Science (Evaluation Report)

Scope, Sequence & Coordination (SS&C) is a national teacher enhancement and curriculum development project committed to developing activities that help students become more scientifically literate as defined by the National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1995). The SS&C project is guided by the following principles: 1) every student should study every science subject every year, 2) science should explicitly take into account students’ prior knowledge and experience, 3) students should be provided with a sequence of content from concrete experiences and descriptive expression to abstract symbolism and quantitative expression, 4) concepts, principles, and theories should be revisited at successively higher levels of abstraction, and 5) learning should be coordinated in the four science subjects so as to interrelate basic concepts and principles. SS&C was funded by the National Science Foundation to develop and implement the first year of a four year set of activities and this evaluation was designed to document the effect of the SS&C project in relation to the NRC standards. The purpose of this evaluation was to ascertain the effectiveness of the Scope, Sequence, and Coordination project on ninth grade student achievement of the National Science Education Standards.

+ Social Studies

Implementation of the Quality Compensation program (Q Comp): A Formative Evaluation

The report describes the range of implementation strategies and activities early adopter districts and sites have used in the implementation of the Quality Compensation Program (Q Comp), which is the alternative pay initiative enacted by the Minnesota Legislature. It also summarizes successes and concerns of those pilot sites, since their experiences can be highly informative for other districts and charter schools moving forward to create their own Q Comp plans.


Linking Authentic Instruction to Students’ Achievement Using Peer Coaching: Social Studies Best Practices Grant

In an effort to improve teaching and learning and to assist teachers in implementing the graduation standards, the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning sponsored a project called Linking Authentic Instruction, which provided a group of predominantly secondary social studies teachers in the Minneapolis School District the opportunity to participate in a series of professional development seminars. The goals of the seminars were for teachers to be able to: 1) Translate the theoretical framework that links the Minnesota High Standards and authentic pedagogy (instruction and assessment) into practice; 2) Create peer-coaching teams to embed the authentic instruction criteria into daily practice at each participating site; 3) Implement model lessons and score their own students’ work. This report is a result of an evaluation done to answer these questions.


Toward Authentic Assessment AND Instruction: A Framework for Educators

Toward Authentic Assessment AND Instruction: A Framework for Educators is a handbook for teachers interested in developing more meaningful teaching and learning experiences in their classrooms. It was developed as part of a project entitled Authentic Pedagogy in the Social Studies (APSS), a collaborative effort between three Minnesota school districts (La-Crescent- Hokah, Minneapolis, and West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Public School Districts) and the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. The APSS Project, funded by the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning, brought middle and high school social studies teachers from each of three districts together for monthly seminars during the 1998-99 academic year. The day- long seminars focused on how the principles of authentic pedagogy could be translated into classroom practice. Specifically, the goals were that teachers be able to: 1. Translate the theoretical framework that links the Minnesota High Standards, authentic assessment tasks, and authentic instruction into practice; 2. Create meaningful assessments and corresponding rubrics that address the Minnesota High Standards; and 3. Evaluate Minnesota High Standards performance packages and teacher-designed assessment tasks, student work, and one’s own teaching in terms of authenticity. This guide describes the content and structure of the seminars, so that others may learn from our experiences.

+ World Language

Global Literacy Through Mandarin Immersion and STEM: Year Three Evaluation Report (2011-2012)

In 2009, a Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to the Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative (MMIC) for the project Global Literacy Through Mandarin Immersion and STEM. The funding was expected to continue for a total of 5 years contingent upon annual renewal approved by Congress. However, in 2011, Congress voted to discontinue all FLAP funding. The 3 years’ of funding received by the MMIC supported early elementary immersion instruction in Mandarin Chinese that begins at the kindergarten level and the development of a curriculum that has a content focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The schools in the MMIC have added a grade level each year, with the intent of creating the capacity to continue Chinese immersion to grades 7-12. The MMIC contracted with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) at the University of Minnesota to serve as the external evaluator of the project. This report presents CAREI’s evaluation of the third year of the grant-funded project. The report includes enrollment and retention data as well as the results of a parent survey and a survey of English teachers (i.e., instructional staff whose positions were in the regular, non-immersion program).


Saint Paul Public Schools Chinese Articulation Project

In 2006, Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) received grant funding from the Department of Education’s Foreign Language Assistance Program to support its Chinese Articulation Project (CAP). The three-year funding period started on September 15, 2006, and ended on September 14, 2009. SPPS established four main goals for the project: 1. Expand the Chinese program. 2. Articulate and align the Chinese language curriculum and instruction to provide continuity of student experience, standards-based programming, and district-wide structure. 3. Enrich the Chinese language program to provide a comprehensive rigorous academic experience. 4. Develop a national model and demonstration site of the articulated Chinese language program. CAREI was asked to evaluate the project’s impact in each of these areas.


Global Literacy Through Mandarin Immersion and STEM: Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative Year 2

In 2009, a 5-year Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to the Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative (MMIC) for the project Global Literacy Through Mandarin Immersion and STEM. The grant supports immersion instruction in Mandarin Chinese that begins at the kindergarten level and the development of a curriculum that has a content focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The schools in the MMIC will add a grade level each year, with the intent of creating the capacity to continue Chinese immersion to grades 7-12. The MMIC has contracted with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) at the University of Minnesota to serve as the external evaluator of the project. This report presents CAREI’s evaluation of the second year of the grant-funded project. The report includes enrollment and retention data as well as the results of principal interviews, teacher interviews, and a parent survey.


Global Literacy Through Mandarin Immersion and STEM: Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative Year 1

In 2009, a 5-year Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to the Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative (MMIC) for the project Global Literacy Through Mandarin Immersion and STEM. The grant supports immersion instruction in Mandarin Chinese that begins at the kindergarten level and the development of a curriculum that has a content focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The schools in the MMIC will add a grade level each year, with the intent of creating the capacity to continue Chinese immersion to grades 7-12. The MMIC has contracted with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) at the University of Minnesota to serve as the evaluator of the project. This year 1 evaluation report presents enrollment and retention data as well as the results of a teacher survey, teacher interviews, principal interviews, and a parent survey.


An Evaluation of the Transitional Language Center Program in the Saint Paul Public Schools: Final Report

In anticipation of the arrival of approximately 1,000 Hmong newcomers from the Wat Tham Krabok refugee camp in Thailand, the Saint Paul Public School District in Minnesota, worked with the community to develop an education program that would specifically address the needs of these students. The resulting program, the Transitional Language Center (TLC), was established at five elementary schools during the 2004-2005 academic year as a temporary educational model for the newcomers. In spring 2005, the district contracted with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement to conduct an evaluation that compared the TLC model with the Language Academy (LA) model already in use by the district.


Project for Academic Excellence: Overview of the Comprehensive Reform Model

Saint Paul’s Project for Academic Excellence was a comprehensive reform model that was implemented in phases throughout Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota. This report documents the implementation of the project through 2004-2005. The comprehensive reform model focused on 12 nationally-researched, proven education reform practices described in the report and recognized the importance of expert knowledge and technical assistance. There was evidence of substantial change in teaching and evidence of increased student achievement.


Project for Academic Excellence, Evaluation Report

Saint Paul’s Project for Academic Excellence was a comprehensive reform model that was implemented in phases throughout Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota. This report documents the implementation of the project through 2004-2005. The comprehensive reform model focused on 12 nationally-researched, proven education reform practices described in the report and recognized the importance of expert knowledge and technical assistance. There was evidence of substantial change in teaching and evidence of increased student achievement.