Redefining Student Academic Success During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic led to dramatic shifts in the way that most, if not all, educational institutions in the nation operate. The shift to distance learning sent a shock wave through the field of education, making even more visible how our current system is failing many of our students, particularly students of color, and their families. It led educational institutions to pause conventional activities built on long-held (and often harmful) assumptions, such as equating “seat time” with learning and an over-reliance on the results of Continue reading →

How REACH Supports First Gen Students’ Transition to College

This blog post was written by Sengsouvanh (Sukey) Leshnick of Social Policy Research Associates. SPR released a report highlighting outcomes of an experiential education program funded by the Orfalea Foundation. REACH (Resilience, Education, Adventure, Community and Health) is a four-year program for motivated low- to middle-income students from California’s Santa Barbara County. The program worked to establish a foundation for thriving adulthood by supporting youth in their development as “whole people” and aiding them to lead “lives of purposeful action, continuous learning and courageous pursuit Continue reading →

Top Lessons for Conducting Needs Assessments in Migrant Education Programs (MEP)

By Sengsouvanh (Sukey) Leshnick and Hannah Diaz from Social Policy Research Associates What Is a Needs Assessment? A needs assessment is a thorough examination of the needs, interests, and objectives of a program. Information collected through a needs assessment can inform and drive decisions about program design and planning. Results from a needs assessment can help program planners gain critical insight into what program participants and communities need and can also help identify any gaps in services. What Are Migrant Education Programs? Migrant Education Programs Continue reading →

Join Us at AEA 2016!

Join  SPR at the 2016 American Evaluation Association Conference! This year, SPR will be hosting presentations on collaboration between internal and external evaluators and capturing a powerful theory of change for field-building. This year’s AEA conference looks at the design governing all aspects of evaluation and fosters conversation about how evaluators can use design to make the world a better place. For more information, please check out our sessions listed below. 2697: Who Does What? Best Practices for Collaboration Between Internal and External Evaluators Oct 27, 2016 (01:00 Continue reading →

Building a “Smart” Talent Pipeline

Although research consistently points to the pivotal role that talented teachers play in student learning, school districts and charter management organizations (CMOs) face immense challenges in attracting and retaining high quality teachers. For instance, teacher turnover in many high-need schools is significant, in part, because young, energized teachers feel that they lack a voice within the school or the authority to bring about real change. Other obstacles to teacher retention include lack of meaningful professional development, limited opportunities for career advancement, and lack of recognition—in Continue reading →