NGSS Teacher Training Grant Win & Impact Assessment

We are pleased to announce that the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Teacher Training Program has been awarded $50,000 from the Community Investment Act (CRA) grant program at City National Bank.  This additional funding will enable us to train up to 25 teachers in the Crenshaw neighborhood, to be rolled out this fall to high potential K-9 teachers.

The NGSS Teacher Training is a professional development training we piloted in the spring of 2018 in partnership with the Center for Innovation in STEM Education (CISE), headed by Dr. Kamal Hamdan at CSUDH.  Teachers learn how to shift their current curriculum to the NGSS through a dynamic combination of in-person classroom training, real-time feedback, group collaboration, and the integration of fabrication technology into the curriculum.  

This win is particularly exciting in light of the success we have had training over 150 teachers to date in LAUSD Local District South and Compton Unified School District, both of which serve low income students and have had very limited teacher training on the new standards.  To put the program’s impact in perspective, the Goldhirsh Foundation recently published an update from the most recent training cohort of 57 teachers:

“While we are still a few years away from being able to measure and evaluate the impact on college and community college completion and matriculation rates, we feel confident about the impact our program has had on increasing students’ immersion in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math content. In context, each one of the 57 teachers who completed our program teaches about 150 students each year, hence impacting over 8,550 students in one year who will benefit from their teachers’ new knowledge and enthusiasm. 

Over five years, these 57 teachers will reach 42,750 students! That means 42,750 more students excited and inspired about STEM and fabrication technology. That’s 42,750 more individuals who will contribute to making Los Angeles not just a better place, but the best place to learn, create, play, connect, and live by the year 2050!”

Also of note is the program’s progression to the 2019 Goldhirsh Foundation LA2050 Grant Final Round and the Phase I application at the Keck Foundation.  While we did not ultimately win these grants, competition was intense and advancement to these late stage rounds demonstrate how compelling the program is, as well as its importance to the community.

To ensure we are reaching a high standard of quality and ultimately impacting student learning, a focus group of veteran teacher trainees was conducted over the summer.  Consistent with the evaluations completed immediately after the training, teachers continued to report that they found the training to be incredibly valuable. A key takeaway moving forward is that, given the magnitude of the change the new standards require in terms of curriculum and teaching style, an additional follow-up training would be helpful to focus on addressing challenges that have arisen during implementation.  Grants that could fund follow-up training are being identified.