2019 was a successful year at SPR filled with lots of collaboration, hard work, and a little bit of fun. This year we welcomed six new brilliant and talented staff, presented at APPAM, AEA as well as other conferences and meetings, successfully completed multiple long-term evaluations, and started new client relationships and partnerships with WestEd, the Washoe County School District, and the National Disability Institute, among others. Below is a more detailed look at some of our accomplishments from 2019.
SPR staff presented at a variety of AEA sessions including a workshop on using Twitter for a frame analysis, a conversation about responsive approaches to evaluating complex initiatives, and a panel that reflected on the role of evaluation in arts education.
SPR created a series of reports for the Foundation for California Community Colleges which profile multiple apprenticeship programs throughout the state and how community colleges are integral to their development.
In January, SPR produced a learning paper that shares the story of the Colorado Trust’s Health Equity Advocacy efforts to live into its commitment to put race at the center of its health equity advocacy field-building work.
SPR recently submitted its first Annual Report for The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Local Proof Points Initiative, which brings together school, district, and community partners in networks in order to close achievement gaps in elementary math proficiency. (Report not publicly available; see link for our case study of Renton’s history of improvement work.)
In September, SPR submitted an impact evaluation report on Solution Tree’s PLC at Work model in Washoe County School District in Nevada. Solution Tree has been working with twelve of the district’s schools to create professional learning communities and improve student outcomes, and our report showed promising early results.
Using the learnings from SPR’s regional scan, the Bush Foundation has made significant investments in intermediary organizations working to build the capacity of more schools in the region to do student-centered learning. SPR staff also co-wrote a journal article in the Learning Professional highlighting findings from the scan.
SPR recently submitted the final evaluation report for the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA:RISE) an enhanced transitional employment program which serves individuals with high barriers to employment.
In March, Senior Associate Laura Pryor presented alongside parents at the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Care and Education hearing to discuss parent recommendations on reforming California’s child care system.
In October, SPR published results of a study, with funding from Lumina Foundation, that examined the impact of intrusive advising on academic outcomes for older students without a prior college degree enrolled in 8 community colleges in Michigan.