New Study Finds City Year Schools 2 to 3 Times More Likely to Show Improved Student Performance

PSA recently completed a new study assessing the impacts of City Year’s Whole School Whole Child (WSWC) model on the performance of 150 schools—in 22 cities and 17 states—that partnered with City Year in 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14. City Year is an education-focused nonprofit organization that partners with public schools to help keep students in school and on track to graduate. See the full report here and its recent coverage in EdWeek here.

STEM Teacher Leader Program Analysis and Support

With SRI International, PSA is participating in a two-year project on teacher leadership in K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The project, for the U.S. Department of Education, will clarify the characteristics of teacher leader programs, identify challenges and opportunities for the field, and facilitate activity that moves the field forward. After analyzing programs and gaps in the field of STEM teacher leadership, the team will convene experts—including policymakers, researchers, program leaders, and practitioners—to define and advance strategies for improvement. The team will then facilitate Research Action Clusters of experts to investigate practical issues in STEM teacher leadership, identify lessons for the field, and develop action plans.

NAA Quality Conversations: Evaluation

PSA Managing Director Christina Russell was the featured speaker in a recent National Afterschool Assocation (NAA) Quality Conversation, discussing the role of evaluation in promoting program improvement with NAA President and CEO Gina Warner. In this podcast, Christina describes how a well-designed evaluation can help programs learn and improve at each stage of their development, by identifying strengths and areas for growth in implementation, intentional aligning measures with the program's mission and activities, and as part of a continuous reflection process. Listen to the podcast here.

PSA conducts high-quality evaluation, research, and policy analysis to improve decisions in education and youth development.

New Report on Educator Evaluation

While teacher evaluation garners headlines, systems of evaluation and support for principals have quietly begun to mature. Six urban districts are working with The Wallace Foundation to strengthen principal evaluation and support as part of a comprehensive pipeline for novice principals. A new PSA report on their work explores educator evaluation that is aligned to standards for school leadership and has been rolled out over time. The report highlights the changing role of principal supervisors in helping principals learn and grow. It is the latest in a series from the evaluation of the Principal Pipeline Initiative.

Evaluation of BGCA Great Futures in Science

Out-of-school time (OST) programs are well positioned to enhance students’ Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills, increase their interest in STEM fields, and increase their engagement in learning overall. Staff from PSA are currently conducting an evaluation of a component of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Great Futures in Science Programs. Through the use of Club member surveys, interviews with Club program and administrative staff, and observations of program activities, evaluation team members are assessing the implementation and outcomes of the Ready for Robotics and RoboTech programs in operation at approximately 20 Clubs nationwide. The study is intended to help BGCA understand which factors facilitate or impede the successful implementation of STEM programming in the Club setting.