School Improvement


Alabama State Department of Education School Improvement Grant (SIG) Evaluations (2010-2013)

Under contracts with the Alabama State Department of Education, SERVE Center assisted in a variety of evaluation and reporting activities related to the state’s USED School Improvement Grant (SIG) funding from 2010 to 2013. In 2010-11, SERVE used an online reporting system to assist with monitoring implementation in schools awarded SIG grants. That is, SERVE collected and reported data entered quarterly by 13 SIG schools. In 2011-12, SERVE generated a second report for the ALSDE that summarized three years of publicly available state achievement data in reading and mathematics for 11 SIG funded schools in seven districts. In 2012-13, SERVE generated a third report that summarized four years of publicly available state achievement data in reading and mathematics for 12 SIG funded schools in seven districts. SERVE described the extent to which SIG-funded schools registered increases or decreases in reading and mathematics state test scores—from baseline to Year 1, from Year 1 to Year 2, Year 2 to Year 3, and overall from baseline to Year 3. Also in 2012-13, SERVE collected interview and other qualitative data on SIG schools’ perceptions of their use of external vendors in the school turnaround process.

Client: Alabama Department of Education
Funding Agency: U.S. Department of Education: Authorized under Title I section 1003(g) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and supplemented by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the SIG program targeted $3.5 billion toward the goal of turning around the nation’s lowest-performing schools. Each state’s allotment of SIG funds was determined by formula based on Title I allocations. Following US Department of Education guidelines, states, in turn, awarded SIG funds to LEAs and schools that met criteria established by the federal guidelines and in accordance with state determinations of LEA capacity and commitment to support school turnaround.
Topics: School Improvement
Contact: Wendy McColskey

South Carolina Department of Education School Improvement Fund Evaluation (2010-2014)

Under contracts with the South Carolina Department of Education, SERVE Center provided evaluation reports related to the state’s USED SIG funding from 2010 to 2014. In 2010-11, SERVE’s descriptive study summarized four sources of information: (a) SIG school applications; (b) quarterly reports generated by SIG schools (c) interviews with teachers, principals, and district staff in four schools; (d) and achievement data provided by the SCDE. In 2011-12, SERVE’s report summarized data collected on the implementation of the Transformation Model requirements in a sample of eight SIG funded schools and up to three years of publicly available state achievement data in English language arts and mathematics for 25 SIG funded schools. In 2012-13, SERVE reported on data relative to four evaluation questions regarding: a) similarities and differences in SIG-activities implemented across schools; b) teachers’ perceptions of the importance and implementation of key Transformation Model requirements, c) teacher satisfaction and plans to remain at their current school and d) student achievement trends across SIG schools. Finally, in 2013-14, SERVE’s report used two data sources (data from an online year-end report submitted by SIG schools at the end of the 2013-14 school year and up to four years of publicly available state achievement data for SIG schools).

Client: South Carolina Department of Education
Funding: U.S. Department of Education: Authorized under Title I section 1003(g) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and supplemented by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the SIG program targeted $3.5 billion toward the goal of turning around the nation’s lowest-performing schools. Each state’s allotment of SIG funds was determined by formula based on Title I allocations. Following US Department of Education guidelines, states, in turn, awarded SIG funds to LEAs and schools that met criteria established by the federal guidelines and in accordance with state determinations of LEA capacity and commitment to support school turnaround.
Topics: School Improvement
Contact: Wendy McColskey


University of North Carolina - General Administration Leadership for Turnaround School Training Evaluation

The purpose of this process evaluation was to examine participants’ reactions to the professional development training, understand the extent to which participants acquired the intended knowledge and skills, identify what organizational support is in place or currently being developed to support the use of knowledge gained, describe how participants are applying the new knowledge and skills gained from the professional development training, and assess the extent to which student achievement in the participating schools is improving. Each of these questions was explored for Elementary, Middle, and High Schools participating in the professional development training.

Client: Center for School Leadership Development
Funding Agency: University of North Carolina – General Administration
Topics: Elementary school; Middle school; High school; Leadership; Professional development; Student achievement


Winston-Salem Forsyth County (WSFC) Schools Rigorous Magnet Evaluation

The purpose of this rigorous evaluation was to examine the impact that magnet schools have on students and subgroups of students and to identify mediating factors. The external evaluation provided staff at WSFCS with useful information for formative project improvement as well as overall program outcomes. The evaluation design was a multi-site analysis based on (1) surveys with students and staff, (2) quantitative analysis of achievement data, and (3) focus groups with each magnet school.

Client: Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools, Magnet School Program
Funding: U.S. Department of Education
Topics: Magnet School; Rigorous; School Choice


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