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Local Systemic Change through Teacher Enhancement Year Two Cross-Site Report

author: Iris R. Weiss, Kathleen A. Rapp, Diana L. Montgomery
description: "In the spring and summer of 1995, the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the first cohort of eight projects in a new initiative, the Local Systemic Change through Teacher Enhancement Program (LSC). The following year, 18 additional projects were funded, for a total of 26 projects in Cohorts 1 and 2. ...The LSC solicitation indicated NSF's plan to "provide a framework for data collection (including a set of instruments and procedures) that will allow the Foundation to evaluate individual projects, aggregate data and information across projects, and produce a cross-project analysis" (NSF 94-73). NSF contracted with Horizon Research, Inc. (HRI) of Chapel Hill, NC to design the data collection framework, provide technical assistance in its implementation, and prepare a cross-site analysis of the evaluation results."
published in: Horizon Research, Inc.
published: 10/01/1997
posted to site: 02/10/1998
Core Evaluation Question II
What is the extent of school and teacher involvement in LSC activities?

Teacher Participation

Based on project reports, as of January 1996 a total of 3,980 teachers had participated in LSC professional development. These teachers teach science and/or mathematics to an estimated 99,500 students each year.

Table 6 shows the percent of teachers indicating on core evaluation questionnaires that they had participated in various kinds of professional development activities in the targeted subject area (not limited to LSC activities) in the previous 12 months. In each cohort, teachers were more likely to have participated in school- or district-level professional development activities than in individual activities such as coaching or formal action research projects.

Table 6
Teachers Reporting Participation in Various Types of
Professional Development Activities in the Past 12 Months

Percent of Teachers
Cohort 1 Science Cohort 2 Science Cohort 2 Mathematics
District-level institutes/seminars755272
School-level workshops/study groups726281
Individual activities, e.g. coaching534350
One or more types of structured professional development activities 877689

The percentages of teachers participating in various numbers of hours of professional development are shown in Table 7. It is interesting to note that fairly large percentages of Cohort 2 teachers participated in professional development in the previous year, even though the LSC projects in those districts were just getting underway. Assuming that teachers participate in about the same number of hours of professional development each year, after 5 years roughly half of the Cohort 2 teachers targeted for mathematics and more than a quarter of those targeted for science would have received the designated 100 hours of professional development even without the LSC. The challenge of the LSC projects is to reach the teachers who are not participating in science/mathematics professional development on their own accord, to make sure all teachers in these districts experience high-quality professional development, and to do so in a coordinated fashion.

Table 7
Teacher Participation in Various Numbers of
Hours of Structured Professional Development

Percent of Teachers
Cohort 1 Science Cohort 2 Science Cohort 2 Mathematics
0 Hours132411
1-6 Hours132220
7-15 Hours141617
16-35 Hours211317
36-50 Hours16913
51-75 Hours959
76-100 Hours646
>100 Hours867

School Involvement in Reform

Principals of schools targeted for participation in the LSC were asked about the extent to which their schools were involved in reform in each of a number of subject areas. As can be seen in Figures 21 and 22, Cohort 1 schools stand out as being more likely than others to be heavily involved in science reforms and more likely to be 'well along' in improving their science programs. Data collection in future years will help determine whether Cohort 1 schools happen to be ones more actively involved in science reforms, independent of participation in the LSC, or if this is an impact of involvement in LSCs.

Schools Heavily Involved in Reform in Each Subject

Figure 21

Schools "well-along" in Improving their Program

Figure 22

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