Title

Title I Schools Exceeding Expectations: Identifying Schools with Exceptional Learning Gains and Disseminating Promising Practices

Location

Ballroom F

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

Like educators from across the nation, Florida educators are working to close the achievement gap. East Coast Technical Assistance Center has spearheaded a project focused on identifying Title I schools who are exceeding expectations in terms of student achievement. This presentation is relevant for this conference as it will focus on Title I success stories and how the Florida Exceeding Expectations (E2) project promotes recognition, networking and relationship building between E2 Award Schools and those striving to reach a higher level of student achievement. This presentation will describe and discuss how this project is designed to identify and recognize Title I schools in Florida who are showing significant growth in student achievement. Schools are selected based on criteria developed by a team of ECTAC members with expertise in program evaluation. Schools are then visited by a team comprised of ECTAC staff and members to confirm that there are practices in place that can lead to sustained achievement.

Brief Program Description

This presentation highlights an innovative approach to identify and disseminate exemplary strategies in high-poverty Title I schools that demonstrate exceptional learning gains. This session will explain the achievement criteria, selection process, verification site visits, school recognition conference, and networking opportunities. Findings and promising practices from three years of examining identified schools are discussed along with recommendations for future efforts.

Summary

This presentation describes a collaboration that involved program evaluators, regional resource consultants, federal program coordinators, and school based administrators and staff in identifying, recognizing and promoting promising practices in high-achieving, high-poverty Title I schools. Based on a previous effort to identify and recognize such schools in Florida, the East Coast Technical Assistance Center (ECTAC) brought together a group of resource staff, federal program coordinators and evaluators to develop a plan to identify Title I schools with exceptional learning gains, examine exemplary practices and provide opportunities for other Title I schools to network and benefit from these practices. In the first phase of the "Exceeding Expectations (E2)" project, a team of Title I evaluators worked with ECTAC staff to develop a process for identifying high-achieving schools. Criteria for the most recent selection involved a review of three years of data that reviewed learning gains in Reading and Mathematics on the state assessment test for the total school and each subgroup, including the lowest quartile students. Schools were selected in each category: elementary, middle school, high school, charter, and alternative school. After an initial pool of schools was selected, procedures and protocols were developed for a site visit team to verify that each selected school exemplified high standards of achievement and to identify exemplary practices and strategies. Teams included Title I representatives such as coordinators, resource staff, evaluators, as well as ECTAC staff. Teams were briefed on procedures and protocols and met onsite prior to beginning the visit, then met immediately following the school visit to summarize findings. Each school in the final selection was invited to complete a description of their school success and to present one or two of the practices that led to their school's achievement gains at a conference for Title I and other interested schools. A group of evaluators and ECTAC staff are currently working to summarize three years of data from this project and will present results such as common factors, practices and strategies. Plans for extending future efforts based on the findings will also be presented.

Evidence

The relationship between poverty and low achievement has a long established research history (Coleman, 1966; Reardon, et al., 2011). Although attempts to address this disparity have often found school wide reforms have had limited success (Borman et al., 2000; Hess, 2012). Some high-poverty schools have challenged this trend by providing evidence of high achievement (Johnson, 1999; Carter, 2000). Consequently, numerous efforts have been made to identify the characteristics of high-performing, high-poverty schools (Kannapel , 2005; Tilley et al., 2012) and the strategies used to "turn around" low-performing schools (Kowal et al., 2009; Turnbull and Arcaira, 2012).This project is an attempt to add to existing efforts to more accurately identify high-performing, high-poverty Title I schools (Hansen and Choi, 2012) for the purpose of networking successful schools with other schools to share effective strategies that can be replicated and increase learning gains of academically at risk students in high-poverty schools. References: Borman, G., Rachuba, L., Datnow, A., Alberg, M., Mac Iver, M., Stringfield, S., Ross, S., (2000). Four Models of School Improvement: Successes and Challenges in Reforming Low-Performing, High-Poverty Title I Schools. Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed At Risk, Baltimore, MD. (ED 447238) Carter, S., (2000). No Excuses: Lessons from 21 High-Performing, High-Poverty Schools. Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC. Coleman, J., Campbell, E.Q., Hobson, C.J., McPartland, J., Mood, A.M., Weinfeld, F.D., & York, R.L. (1966). Equality of educational opportunity. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Hansen, M., & Choi, K. (2012). Chronically Low-performing Schools and Turnaround: Evidence from Three States. Policy Studies Associates, Inc., Washington, DC. (ED 535509) Hess, F. (2012). Making sense of school turnarounds. In “States: The Main Act in Education Reform.” Policy Innovators in Education Network: 14-17. Johnson, J., & Asera, R., (1999). Hope for Urban Education: A Study of Nine High-Performing, High-Poverty, Urban Elementary Schools. Policy Studies Associates, Inc., Washington, DC. (ED 438362) Kannapel, P., & Clements, S. (with Taylor, D., & Hibpshman, T.) (2005). Inside the black box of high-performing high-poverty schools. Lexington, KY: Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. Kowal, J., Hassel, E. A., & Hassel, B. C. (2009). Successful school turnarounds: Seven steps for district leaders. Washington, DC: Public Impact for The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement Reardon, S. (2013). Faces of Poverty: The Widening Income Achievement Gap. Educational Leadership, 70(8), 10-16. Tilley, B., Smith, S., & Claxton, R., (2012). Success Despite Socioeconomics: A Case Study of a High-Achieving, High-Poverty School. Faculty Publications and Presentations. Paper 219. Liberty University: Lynchburg, VA. http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/educ_fac_pubs/219 Turnbull, B., & Arcaira, E. (2012). Implementation of Turnaround Strategies in Chronically Low-Performing Schools. Policy Studies Associates, Inc., Washington, DC. (ED 535511)

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Courtney Zmach, a recipient of the Alumni Graduate Fellowship award, completed her doctoral studies at the University of Florida in Gainesville. From 2005 – 2010, she worked as a researcher at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) in Washington, DC and coauthored several reports including three for the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. In August 2010, she made a career shift from working as an external evaluator and researcher at AIR to working as an internal evaluator for Collier County Public Schools, a school district in southwest Florida. In 2012, Courtney and her colleagues were recipients of the International Reading Association Albert J. Harris Research Award for their study published in Reading Psychology entitled “Ameliorating summer reading setback among economically disadvantaged elementary students”.

Kathi Harmon was a National Board Certified Teacher in Title I schools before becoming a district instructional data coach. She joined the East Coast Technical Assistance Center in 2011 as a Program Specialist and oversees the Exceeding Expectations Project.

Dr. Richard Janiak is the Title I Evaluator for Charlotte County Public Schools in Port Charlotte, Florida, holding a doctorate in research and measurement from the University of South Florida. He has been a classroom teacher, curriculum specialist, and adjunct professor and has worked with Title I programs for over 25 years as teacher, coordinator and evaluator. He has presented at various national conferences and authored a number of articles on at-risk students and families, including “Head Start and Hurricane Recovery: Using a Family Outcomes Measure to Assess the Impact of Services” in Dialog, a journal of the National Head Start Association. He has served on state level committees in Florida on research and evaluation for Title I, Head Start, and Even Start.

Keyword Descriptors

Title I Success Stories, poverty, student achievement

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 8:30 AM

End Date

3-3-2015 9:45 AM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Mar 3rd, 8:30 AM Mar 3rd, 9:45 AM

Title I Schools Exceeding Expectations: Identifying Schools with Exceptional Learning Gains and Disseminating Promising Practices

Ballroom F

This presentation highlights an innovative approach to identify and disseminate exemplary strategies in high-poverty Title I schools that demonstrate exceptional learning gains. This session will explain the achievement criteria, selection process, verification site visits, school recognition conference, and networking opportunities. Findings and promising practices from three years of examining identified schools are discussed along with recommendations for future efforts.