PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Dr. Janet Chrispeels
The Effective Schools Initiative was designed to address comprehensive reform issues and develop professional leadership in school districts. The Gevirtz Research Center established a partnership with the Oxnard Elementary School District in June 2000 to implement the nationally validated Effective Schools Process to achieve equity and excellence through the continuous improvement of teaching and learning. Professional development and on-site coaching promoted the alignment of curriculum and instruction to academic standards. The Project has been implemented and researched for three years.
The objectives of the program were to:
The research design included both quantitative and qualitative methodology. Quantitative data included a teacher survey and an examination of students' standardized test scores. Qualitative data included teacher and administrative team interviews, video tapes from grade level meetings and training sessions, and field notes from school site observations.
Survey and interview data from teachers indicated changes were made in professional practice. Teachers’ perceptions in the school receiving leadership team training and regularly facilitated grade level meetings differed significantly from those in other matched district schools that did not receive this intense level of support for implementation of the standards-based practices.
Participating teachers reported being more knowledgeable regarding content standards and more comfortable in helping students master the standards. In addition, there were increases in the sharing of knowledge and instructional strategies among teachers, especially in regard to teaching reading comprehension. Another important finding was that all of the participating schools either achieved or exceeded their state established Academic Performance Index (API) growth targets. In contrast, three of the five schools not participating in the project dropped in their API scores.