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California Mathematics & Science Partnership (CaMSP) Statewide Evaluation: Year Twelve Report, Cohort 10-12, Through September 30, 2016

Abstract

The California Mathematics and Science Partnership Program (CaMSP) was established in the 2001 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as part of Title II Part B of the Improving Teacher Quality Grant Programs of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. CaMSP is administered by the California Department of Education (CDE) Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) office.

The CaMSP program is designed to impact student learning in mathematics and science by enhancing the content knowledge and teaching skills of classroom teachers through professional development activities. Partnerships developed between high-need Local Education Agencies (LEAs), defined by 40% or higher participation in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and the mathematics, science and engineering faculty of Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) are core to the improvement efforts sought by the CaMSP program. County Offices of Education (COEs), technology partners from both K-12 and postsecondary levels, and other organizations concerned with mathematics and science education may also participate in partnerships. Individual partnerships that are part of the CaMSP program are designed to serve as models that can be replicated in educational practice to improve the mathematics and science achievement of California students.

Within the CDE application guidelines, each funded partnership was developed to meet local needs and take advantage of opportunities for collaboration with IHEs while at the same time meeting statewide goals for the program. In their applications for funding, partnerships determine the number of districts, schools and teachers targeted, and must serve a cohort of a minimum of 30 teachers for the duration of funding in order to maintain the CaMSP grant. Through a request for application process that has evolved over time, CDE funded partnerships under separate cohorts based on available funding.

This evaluation report focuses on implementation during 2015-16 and includes analysis of qualitative data, teacher content assessments and student outcome data collected from Cohort 10, 11 and 12 partnerships. Cohorts 10 and 11 were directed by the STEM Office to include a focus on integrated STEM professional development models for elementary, middle and high school teachers. Cohort 12 partnerships had more of a focus on discipline-specific approaches to professional development for elementary, middle and high school teachers in mathematics and/or science.

This report has been prepared by Public Works (PW), a nonprofit corporation based in Pasadena, California, which was selected by CDE through request for proposal as the statewide evaluator. The statewide evaluation incorporates both process measures focused on how the program is implemented and outcome measures focused on the results of the program and interventions as designed by individual partnerships funded by CaMSP. Using both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods, the evaluation includes site visits, telephone interviews, observations of professional development, statewide partner and teacher surveys, analysis of teacher demographic and participation data, and a student outcome study designed to evaluate the effect of CaMSP on student achievement in mathematics and science.

Under the statewide evaluation, CDE has incorporated the additional role of technical assistance to partnerships and support of the local evaluation, a federally required component of the grant program. For each partnership funded under the federal MSP program, a local evaluation must be conducted, which includes annual and summative evaluation reports and the completion of an Annual Performance Report (APR) online. Each partnership must also report on two Government Performance Reporting Act or GPRA measures: (1) state assessment results for students of participating teachers, and (2) participating teacher pre- and post-content knowledge assessment results.

Under Cohort 10 and subsequent Cohort RFAs, CDE centralized implementation of the local evaluation under PW to include all required elements and a customized local evaluation design to support implementation and communication with partnership stakeholders at the local level. Under PW, local evaluations were also designed to support partnership reporting at the state level and to measure impact on the key features of the program provided below.

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