learn / 2020
Center For Powerful Public Schools
The Center’s work focuses on strengthening the capacity of teachers and school leaders, so they can better prepare students to reach their full potential in school, in postsecondary education, and in 21st-century careers, while closing the equity gaps existing for our most underserved students. By working directly with teachers and administrators, the Center empowers schools and school districts in Los Angeles County to improve education for public school students of color and those living in poverty, creating impactful system change.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- County of Los Angeles
- LAUSD (please select only if you have a district-wide partnership or project)
In what stage of innovation is this project?Expand existing program
What is the need you’re responding to?
The primary goal of K–12 education should be to empower young people to reach their full potential. Meeting this goal requires an inclusive and supportive learning environment designed to meet the promise for each and every child. Unfortunately, data show that historically underserved youth— including youth of color, those with disabilities, and those from low-income families—frequently fail to receive the attention, information, and high-quality supports they need and deserve within the education system. As a result, these students are often left disempowered by the process. According to the Learning Policy Institute, this marginalization is most evident in disparate rates of graduation, incarceration, and unemployment.
A higher level and quality of education means increased earnings, better health, and a longer life. Equity in education requires putting systems in place to ensure that every child has an equal chance for this success.
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
The Center has a proven history of helping schools develop the equitable educational environments their underserved students desperately need. Since 2003, the Center has partnered with LAUSD and five other school districts to build powerful schools through the customization and implementation of a combination of professional development, coaching, evaluation processes, and technical assistance designed to build the capacity of teachers and school leaders. As a result of working with the Center, some of the region’s lowest-performing schools have improved their ability, to ensure students are well-known, valued, and challenged, and engage parents in their children’s learning. The Center is widely acknowledged as a leader in achieving systems-level impact. Our guidance led to LAUSD’s adoption of the Zones of Choice model, which offers students and their families increased choice in determining the type of instruction and the type of school focus that best match their needs.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
Those who provide education in our public schools are critical to the success of their students and to the outcomes of our education system as a whole. Our evidence-based approach responds to the critical needs of schools by leveraging best practices from applied research and collaborative partnerships with leaders in the fields of business, philanthropy, and the public sector. By focusing on strengthening the capacity of teachers and school leaders, we are empowering them to better prepare students to reach their full potential in school, in postsecondary education, and in 21st-century careers, while closing the equity gaps existing for our most underserved students.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
The Center’s goals is that underserved students receive equitable opportunities to support their success both now and as adults. Qualitative and quantitative metrics evaluated at the schools with which the Center is working include:
- 85% of students who are attending schools in the pilot school network will be college or career ready;
- 90% of participating instructional leadership team members will report that they are able to set clearer instructional outcomes;
- 90% of participating instructional leadership team members will report that they are comfortable using a variety of protocols and engagement strategies to aid students; and
- 90% of participating instructional leadership team members will report that they regularly use student work and formative assessments to guide instruction;
To ensure our work has a measurable impact on students served, the Center compiles and analyzes data surrounding student outcomes on an ongoing basis. We track multiple college and career-readiness measures for all schools we serve, which includes: A-G completion, 11th grade English and math standardized test scores, attendance and graduation rates, and other California Department of Education data, including the College/Career Indicator.
Over the past year, the Center’s team has been developing evaluation tools to measure the qualitative impact of its work. Our recently developed Powerful Educator rubric is a scoring guide designed to gather impact on teacher, leader, school, and district support. The rubric is given at the beginning, middle, and end of our intensive support. In addition, the schools with which we work complete surveys directly connected to the service they received.
To date, we have helped improve the practice of more than 3,500 educators, impacting the lives of more than 500,000 students.
Which of the learn metrics will your submission impact?
- High school graduation rates
- Student proficiency in English & Language Arts
- Proficiency in STEM
Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?
- LA is the best place to CONNECT
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
- Access to the LA2050 community
- Host public events or gatherings
- Communications support
- Capacity, including staff
- Strategy assistance and implementation