Completed Projects       Current Projects

Basic School National Project

College Board: CollegeEd
The College Board has commissioned the creation of the CollegeEd curriculum for middle school students. Its vision was to offer students, parents/guardians, and school staff with a tool that will assist students to develop high educational aspirations, as well as to provide them with information that will enable them to make informed decision about their future and chart their path towards those goals at an age when they still have time to prepare academically and financially. As part of the curriculum development plan, the College Board has contracted the NCREST to conduct both formative and summative evaluations of the curriculum. NCREST's evaluation research consists of three phases. During the first phase we examined the content, organization, and pedagogical suitability of the curriculum materials for the intended student populations prior to implementation and offered suggestions to curriculum developers. Phase Two consisted of documenting the implementation process of the curriculum during the piloting stages and providing feedback to curriculum developers and implementers. Presently we are engaged in the third phase of the research which has a two-prong objective; we study and document implementation issues emerging during the nationwide, large scale roll-out of the curriculum and examining initiative's ability to achieve its objectives of facilitating a school culture where all students are given the encouragement to pursue post-secondary educational aspirations, as well as are provided with information that will enable them to make informed decision about their future and chart their path towards those goals

CollegeEd Curriculum Evaluation
Funded by the College Entrance Examination Board, NCREST has been commissioned to conduct both formative and summative evaluations of the Board's "Middle School College Awareness Curriculum" that is to be used with seventh grade students in a large number of schools nationally. NCREST will study the content and pedagogical suitability for the intended student population and use ten designated sites to identify aspects of the program that are most effective. In working collaboratively with the College Board program leadership and consultants who are overseeing the development of the curriculum, NCREST will identify measurable and attainable objectives as well as key decision points in the life of the program where data from the evaluation could help shape future development.
Principal Researcher: Veronika Denes, Senior Researcher, NCREST, Teachers College
Advisor: Betty Lou Whitford, Professor, Teachers College and Director, NCREST

Comparative Study of APEC Members

Cultural Interchange in Four Urban Schools
Cultural Interchange in Four Urban Schools, a federally funded ethnography, explores cultural barriers between home and school that prevent students outside the middle-class mainstream from learning. Collaborating with study participants in producing case studies and a video, Cultural Interchange will illuminate the process by which students, family members, and school staffs come to see the world through each other’s eyes.
More about the project. . .
Order Between Home and School: Cultural Interchange in an Elementary Classroom , by Kathe Jervis, 1999.

Diversity and Excellence in Education

Documenting Networks

Ernest L. Boyer Technology Submits for Educators
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, in collaboration with the National Council on the Accreditation of Teacher Education, is implementing a two-and-a-half-year national effort to increase the effective use of educational technology in high school classrooms and teacher education institutions. The project, The Ernest L. Boyer Technology Summits, is being evaluated by NCREST, with particular attention paid to the influence on participants of four regional two-day conferences and support for follow-up activity by teams of teachers and college professors. The evaluation focuses on participants’ perceptions of the quality of the conferences, the degree to which the follow-up team work influences classroom and program practice, the influence of selected context features on participants’ use of educational technology, and participants’ perceptions of the influence of technology on student attitudes and behavior.

Following-Up the Coalition Campus Schools Project-Small Schools
Six years ago, the Center for Collaborative Education, the Coalition of Essential Schools, and the New York City Board of Education piloted a new model for transforming failing urban high schools. Two failing high schools, Julia Richman in Manhattan, and James Monroe in the Bronx were phased out, and nine new small schools were founded to take their place. The large buildings were reconceived as multi-purpose, multi-age campuses, housing several autonomous small schools, as well as other agencies related to education. At the time, NCREST studied the launching of this project which is recorded in a publication titled, “The Coalition Campus Schools Project: Inching Toward Systemic Change in New York City.” Six years later, the Julia Richman Campus housed four autonomous high schools, one K–8 school, a special education program for autistic children, a vocational/technical program, an infant-toddler center, a professional development teacher center, and a medical clinic. The Monroe Campus housed four autonomous high schools and is planning an elementary school. Both schools are governed by a building council of representatives from each of the schools/programs. How are the students doing? How are the campuses doing? How viable is this model for successfully transforming failing urban high schools? NCREST conducted a study to find out.

Four Season Project

Goldman Sachs Foundation Institutes for School Redesign, Teaching, & Leadership
In June 2000, the Goldman Sachs Foundation awarded a two-year grant to Teachers College, Columbia University to support a project designed to improve the quality of teaching in New York City schools and to strengthen a small cohort of newly redesigned high schools. The project is being coordinated by National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching (NCREST) and the National Commission on Teaching & America's Future (NCTAF). NCREST and NCTAF use two strategies to ensure that New York City students have access to high-quality education:
1. Facilitating and documenting collaboration with the Goldman Sachs Institutes for School Redesign, Teaching and Leadership-- a professional development initiative that involves 20 small New York City high schools--and the New York City Board of Education. Using an apprenticeship model, the Institutes support the development of quality teaching in small high schools in New York City. Three mature, high performing, innovative small high schools--International High School, Middle College High School, and Urban Academy Laboratory High School--partner with 17 newer small high schools to strengthen their organizational, instructional, and leadership practices for the purpose of achieving higher standards for student and school performance. The three Institutes develop and disseminate effective organizational, pedagogical, and leadership practices across schools. Activities include on-site professional development, curriculum workshops, study groups, inter-school visits, assessment development, inquiry pedagogy, new leadership development meetings, principals' networks, and critical friends reviews for whole school improvement and accountability. The Office of the Deputy Chancellor has supported the Institutes with a grant of $100,000. Goldman Sachs Foundation funding enabled NCREST to produce a videotape on the Institutes professional development, and 2. Convening and advising a policy group, consisting of representatives of diverse New York City education stakeholder organizations, including the New York City Department of Education, institutions of higher education, the United Federation of Teachers, the business and foundation communities, and other key organizations, to improve teacher quality in the New York City schools.

High Stake Testing Conference

Images of Restructuring: Using Video for a Formative Evaluation

The Lucent Project
The Lucent Peer Collaboration Initiative Project, funded by Lucent Technologies Foundation, was a three year project located in four school districts: Albuquerque, New Mexico, Broward County, Florida, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Seattle,Washington. As part of the project, NCREST documented the development and functioning of peer collaboration groups--called Lucent Learning Communities--in the four districts. The project was designed to support teachers and school and district administrators in creating professional community structures and norms for examining and improving their practice so that student learning improves. NCREST staff coordinated the research and documentation component of the project, which aimed at informing both the project participants and the world of practice at large about the processes and outcomes of the work. The research team had four goals for the documentation:

1) collecting information about project progress and emergent issues that can inform annual funder, school and district decision making;
2) documenting what teachers, principals, schools, and districts are doing to improve the quality of their practice and how they are doing it;
3) collecting evidence about how the project's efforts to create collaborative school cultures have influenced individual and collective teacher practices; student learning opportunities; and school and district wide policies and practices; and
4) disseminating the research finding to educators and policy makers.

Principal Investigator: Betty Lou Whitford, Professor, Teachers College and Director, NCREST
Research Team Members: Ann Lieberman, Senior Scholar, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Visiting Professor, Stanford University; Jon Snyder, Dean, Bank Street Graduate School of Education; Diane Silva, Assistant Professor, School of Teaching and Learning, University of Florida.
Program Manager: Heidi Fisher, NCREST

National Partnership for Excellence and Accountability in Teaching (NPEAT)
NCREST, through Teachers College, is a member of the National Partnership for Excellence and Accountability in Teaching (NPEAT), a national coalition of universities, professional associations, research and development institutes, and other education related organizations. The Partnership’s work over five years, funded by the US Department of Education, is an examination of teacher preparation and professional development; the nature and consequences of partnerships in collaborative research and development; the use of standards and assessment in teaching and teacher education; and the role of educational technology in teacher education. NCREST is engaging in research and development work focused on experienced teachers’ opportunities to continue to grow professionally as a consequence of their membership in nontraditional educational contexts (Professional Development Schools, charter and restructuring schools, teacher networks, and mentoring and induction programs). The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) is leading the NPEAT strand devoted to the study of standards and assessment. In addition, the NCTAF-led standards and assessment work will be done in collaboration with a number of organizations, including the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

New York Network Project

New York State New Assessments Project: The Elementary Literacy Program
This project is working with the New York State Education Department and New York State teachers to develop, pilot-test, and research the Elementary Literacy Profile, a classroom-based assessment instrument that gathers evidence about progress in literacy learning. The information that the Elementary Literacy Profile provides can be useful for instruction and reporting to parents and the public. The project involves 1,500 students in 25 districts. The studies of the Profile in these districts aim to examine its psychometric properties, provide understandings about its feasibility for use across the state, and assess its impact on teaching practice and student learning.

PDS Technology Integration Project
The PDS Technology Integration Project is a collaborative research and development project with four local elementary schools that are part of the District 3-Teachers College PDS School Partnership,and the Center for Technology and School Change and NCREST. As a research and development project, it has two goals: 1) to support four PDSs to develop their capacity for technology integration in classrooms, schools, teacher education, and the PDS partnership for the purpose of better enabling students to perform to high standards and 2) to document the conditions and variables that facilitate and constrain technology integration in these different venues. The purpose of our research is to contribute to the knowledge-base on and deepen our understanding of the conditions and variables that support the successful integration of technology in schools, classrooms, teacher education, and PDS partnerships so that technology is used to help students perform to high standards. The project is funded through a Technology Challenge grant awarded to the National Institute for Community Innovations (NICI).
See a list of projects created by teachers participating in PDS Technology Integration Project.
View an integrated project on Japan from a 3rd grade class.
See a list of resources for educators and policymakers interested in technology use and access in schools.

Professional Development Schools Network

Promoting Children Achieving Through Targeted Support
The purpose of the William Penn Foundation grant was to support improvements in teaching, schooling and student achievement through the two clusters, in pursuit of the goals of Children Achieving. The district and foundation identified three key areas for improvement-(1) purchasing new books, materials, instructional resources and computers; (2) creating extended-day support programs for students; and (3) providing professional development. NCREST's focus in data analysis and writing has been on the use of the William Penn Foundation funds to improve teaching and learning, how teaching has changed over the years of the grant, and how student achievement has improved.

Research on Successful Teacher Education Programs

Restructuring the Comprehensive Neighborhood High School Project

Restructuring Teacher Education for Restructured Schools: Creating a Network of Leading Edge Professional Development Schools
The Leading Edge Professional Development School Network is a research and development project designed to bring together six teacher preparation programs around issues of teaching standards. These programs explicitly prepare teachers to meet new teacher performance standards and assessments and support preservice and inservice teacher development through Professional Development School models. The project, now in its second year, will disseminate its work in the fall of 1999 in a set of case studies. These studies will provide detailed descriptive evidence about the approaches, the content, and the processes they use to respond to the call for high standards. The Leading Edge Network sites are the University of Louisville, University of Southern Maine, University of California at Santa Barbara, Wheelock College in Boston, Teachers College in New York, and the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. They are engaged in preparing prospective and beginning teachers in sites that are connected to major school reform networks and that are actively involved in the mutual restructuring of schools and schools of education.

The Rockefeller Foundation, Regional Minority Consortium (RMC)
NCREST documented and supported the development of the RMC's efforts to remedy the racial, ethnic and language-minority student achievement gap in 10 New York City Area districts.

School Quality Review Project

Spencer Foundation Planning Grant for Research on School Reform

Study of Exemplary Teacher Education Programs

TC Innovations New Teacher Academy

The New Teacher Academy was a program designed to educate and support teachers in their first two years of teaching. The Academy offered thirty hours of instruction to teachers entering the profession. The instruction was customized to the needs of each individual school district and was designed to help teachers achieve the knowledge, skills, guidance and support necessary for them to be effective in their classrooms, grow as educators, and remain committed to the teaching profession.   National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching (NCREST) conducted both formative and summative evaluations of the New Teacher Academy in the three school districts where this work was sponsored by the Kellogg Foundation. The goal of the evaluation was to provide a solid foundation of information that can be used to determine the degree to which Project's objectives are met and to provide explanations of how and why the purposes of the Project are realized.

Teacher Education Case Studies
This study focused on TeachNet, a professional development network in New York City designed to support teachers' use of the Internet and other new media to enhance teaching and student learning. Directed by the Teachers Network (formerly IMPACT II), TeachNet encourages teachers to create and transform curriculum they have used with their own students into digital form so that other teachers can have access to this work via the Internet. The project facilitates an on-line and off-line network of teacher mentors and mentees to support the curriculum work. The New York Teachnet Project brings together 35 teachers in six New York City public schools—IS 24 in Staten Island; PS 101 and Franklin K. Lane HS in Brooklyn; Murry Bergtraum and University Neighborhood High Schools in lower Manhattan; PS 88 in Queens. They are part of a national network of TeachNet project sites. The two research questions guiding the study over three years were:
1. What is the impact of the TeachNet Project and its use of the Internet on teacher learning, teaching, and teacher leadership?
2. What observable student learning outcomes can be documented in the physical and virtual classrooms of TeachNet Project teachers?

Technologies in Teaching (Eiffel Project)
The Eiffel Project is a Technology Challenge Grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to the Center for Collaborative Education (CCE), the Institute for Learning Technologies at Columbia University (ILT), and the New York City Board of Education. The objective of the grant is to influence achievement of under-served children and youth in 67 schools in New York City through the introduction and use of advanced digital information systems. NCREST is serving as an external evaluator.

Using Technology to Support Education School Reform and Teaching

Video Program: “Images of Learner-Centered Practice”


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