Fall 2011 Addendum to reportIncreasing the Effectiveness of School-Based Professional Development.Funding to the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) from the National Science Foundation (NSF) insupport of research on the professional Development model, Observing for Evidence of Learning(OEL) extended from 2005 through 2011. Implementation of the OEL professional developmentmodel in Puget Sound region middle schools took place over 4 years – 2006 through 2010.Initial data from the project reported changes in student science achievement through 2010.RMC Research, the project’s research partner has recently continued analysis of student scienceachievement – to now include Grade 8 students who achieved science standard on Washington’sMeasurement of Student Progress (MSP) in 2011. Although the project-lead implementation ofOEL had completed in 2010, project staff analyzed these data as they were interested in knowingwhether the OEL model had sustained in OEL Schools.Exhibit 1 shows the average percentage of students who met the Grade 8 MSP science standardin OEL schools [color], comparison schools [color], and the subset of OEL school in SeattlePublic Schools [color]. Prior to the project, the achievement of students in the OEL schools wassporadic relative to the comparison schools. Once the OEL project began, the OEL schoolsdemonstrated steady improvement in student science achievement at a rate that exceeded that ofthe comparison schools. By the end of the project in 2010, Grade 8 students in OEL schoolswere significantly outperforming their counterparts in the comparison schools. One year aftercompletion of project-lead implementation of OEL – 2011 – OEL Schools, specifically SeattlePublic Schools’ OEL Schools continue to make gains and outperform comparison schools. Exhibit 1 Demographic Comparison of OEL and Comparison Schools Comparison Category OEL Schools Schools N 21 21 Enrollment 15,268 14,315 PercentAsian 24.30% 17.10% PercentIndian 1.50% 1.70% PercentBlack 13.20% 12.60% PercentHispanic 13.70% 11.50% PercentELL 7.90% 4.90% PercentFRL 36.20% 37.20%To analyze the results with respect to socioeconomic status (SES), RMC Research used thepercentage of students who qualified for Free-and-Reduced Lunch (FRL) as a proxy for the SESof the community served by each OEL school. To explore this relationship, RMC Researchdivided the OEL schools into 2 groups according to the average percentage of students whoqualified for FRL between 2004 and 2011. If less than 40% of the students qualified for FRL, theschool was classified as a high-SES school; and if more than 40% of the students qualified forFRL, the school was classified as low-SES.
Exhibit 2 illustrates the comparison of low-SES OEL schools [color], low-SES comparison schools[color], low-SES Seattle schools [color] and the state average [color]. Prior to the project, Grade8 students in the low-SES OEL schools scored well below their counterparts in the low-SEScomparison schools, and both groups scored well below the state average. At the beginning ofthe OEL project, the participating schools began to close the gap. By 2009 Grade 8 students inOEL schools outperformed their comparison school counterparts and the gap continued to widenin 2010. By 2011, Grade 8 students in low-SES OEL schools come within 2 percentage points ofclosing the science achievement gap to the state average; and, Grade 8 students in low-SESOEL schools in Seattle surpass the state average by 7.5 percentage points. Exhibit 2 OEL Schools Compared to a Matched Set of Nonparticipating Schools OEL Schools Comparison Schools Seattle OEL Schools 75 73.37 70 69.35 65 62.09 63.58 Percent Meeting Standard 60 55.75 60.95 55 51.64 54.95 54.99 52.47 50 47.59 50.26 45.74 47.12 48.32 45 41.40 38.81 45.21 42.78 40 40.97 Cohort 2 37.59 37.18 35 36.75 34.32 30 Cohort 1 Begins 25 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Note.OEL Schools: n = 21, Comparison Schools: n = 21, Seattle OEL Schools: n = 11The information included in this addendum is important because it suggests that the OELprofessional development model has been sustained in OEL schools beyond the allocation offunding provided by the NSF.