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The San Diego Foundation Annual Report 2021

November 17, 2021

San Diego needed more help this year than it ever has in The Foundation's history. With needs ranging from food insecurity to childcare, from accessing the outdoors to supporting trauma-informed counseling, our donors and local nonprofits heeded the call to service. A record $104.1M was distributed in 6,989 grants to 1,992 nonprofits, with most serving San Diegans in need. This is compared to 6,353 nonprofit grants totaling $77.8 million in 2020 and $52.5 million granted in 2019.

What Education Leaders Can Learn About NGSS Implementation: Highlights From the Early Implementers Initiative

November 1, 2020

From 2014 through 2020, eight diverse school districts and two charter management organizations ran a substantial experiment with ways of implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in elementary and middle grades, called the California K - 8 NGSS Early Implementers Initiative. The Initiative certainly illustrated that a big financial investment can produce powerful change. However, even districts facing resource challenges may benefit from the lessons that were learned and the strategies that were developed by the Initiative.An external evaluation team has previously released a series of reports on what can be learned from the efforts of the Initiative districts. All reports are intended to be helpful to administrators at the school and district levels, education policymakers, and people charged with designing and/or delivering science professional learning. After briefly describing how the NGSS call for big shifts in science teaching and learning, this highlights report shares high-level, major learnings from the evaluation, distilled into only a couple dozen pages of main narrative. The report describes NGSS instruction as a powerful lever for equitable learning, explains how the Initiative made this kind of instruction happen, and describes the importance of the Initiative's ambitious professional learning for administrators.

NGSS in the Classroom: What Early Implementer Science Instruction Looks Like

September 1, 2020

This 13th report in WestEd's evaluation of the K-8 Early Implementers Initiative for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) provides an extensive response to the following question: What does NGSS teaching look like in the classroom? The report also briefly describes specific ways that teachers have advanced in their NGSS teaching over the years of the Initiative and how the Initiative prepared them for such teaching.The report draws most strongly from more than 50 classroom observations of, and interviews with, 24 teachers across six districts. It is also informed by multiple interviews with each district Project Director as well as results of an annual survey with high response rates from more than 500 K-8 science teachers.

Six Years of Scaling Up: Districtwide Implementations of the Next Generation Science Standards

August 1, 2020

Many educational initiatives are funded for only a couple of years. The California NGSS Early Implementers Initiative spanned an extraordinary six years, during which eight school districts worked toward districtwide implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which call for teachers to transform their instructional practice. This 12th report in our evaluation series for policymakers, school and district administrators, and professional learning specialists describes the Initiative's scale-up in its later years to reach all K-8 science teachers. Specifically, the report addresses the following questions:In contrast to focusing in Years 1-4 on developing Teacher Leaders, what strategies did districts use in Years 5-6 to reach all other K-8 teachers of science (called "expansion teachers" in this report)?What impacts has the Initiative had on expansion teachers?Which professional learning strategies have been most and least effective for influencing the practice of expansion teachers?What special attention was paid to providing administrators with professional learning to prompt their support of NGSS implementation?

Cross-Community Evaluation Findings 2019: for the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative

July 1, 2020

Four years into this collective effort to aggregate and analyze data of communities in the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative, we are beginning to yield some findings that are consistent year-over-year—and actionable. This report presents the findings of evaluation work completed during the 2018–2019 program year and homes in on those findings most ripe for appreciation and action.There is a strong correlation between teens' connection to Jewish values and and the influence those values have on the livesteens choose to lead. Substantive Jewish content creates a sense of belonging, a desire to do good in the world, and a platformfor teens to build friendships—these peer relationships also contribute to strong Jewish outcomes overall. Importantly, the report concludes with recommendations applicable beyond the 10 community-based teen initiatives, informing any organization committed to effective teen programs, professional development for youth professionals, and affordability of programs for parents.The report draws from a variety of sources to offer a snapshot of a moment in time, and evaluation alone cannot provide the full picture of tectonic shifts occurring on the ground in these 10 communities. Extremely complex efforts involving stakeholders, implementers, and the communities are making lasting and positive changes to the culture impacting teen engagement.We encourage you to read the complementary case studies documenting the work, along with previous reports, all found onthe Learnings page of TeenFunderCollaborative.com. 

NGSS Early Implementers: Bringing Science to Life as a Core Subject

July 1, 2020

With its long-standing commitment to STEM education, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation viewed California's 2013 adoption of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as an excellent opportunity to support educators and their students as they transition to these rigorous and engaging standards. This opportunity aligned with the Foundation's overarching emphasis on supporting adult leaders as the most effective way to achieve our goal of providing students with high-quality STEM education.The Foundation launched the six-year NGSS Early Implementers Initiative in 2014. It supports eight diverse California school districts committed to implementing NGSS in their K-8 schools. All districts are incorporating the state's preferred integrated course model for science instruction in middle school. The K-12 Alliance at WestEd, a highly respected provider of professional learning and technical assistance services to school districts, leads the Initiative. Two charter management organizations also participate through funding provided by other sources.The broad goal of the Initiative is to successfully support initial implementation of the science standards in a set of districts to inform state-level decisions and set the stage for statewide implementation. The experiences of the Early Implementers, as well as the tools developed through the Initiative process, are expected to make it easier for other California districts as they implement NGSS. A separate arm of WestEd documents the Early Implementers' approaches, successes, and lessons learned in a series of evaluation reports. The Foundation has invested approximately $25 million in service of this goal.

It’s About TIME: A Rigorous New Process for Selecting Instructional Materials for Science

June 1, 2020

California counties and school districts are implementing a critically needed change in how they evaluate science instructional materials before investing in local adoption. Past adoptions were often too superficial in nature, focusing on candidate materials' overall look and feel, use of graphical elements, and availability of ancillary materials while insufficiently attending to the substance of the materials for high-quality teaching and learning. In contrast, the California NGSS Toolkit for Instructional Materials Evaluation (hereafter referred to as TIME) process enables participants to use evidence-based measures to choose materials aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that meet their district's needs.This 11th report in the NGSS Early Implementers Initiative evaluation series is intended for school and district administrators, leaders of science professional learning, and state policymakers. It provides an overview of the full TIME process, including participants' perceptions, a detailed description of the statewide TIME trainings of 2018-19, and a vignette that illustrates a portion of the TIME process.

Evaluating Policing in San Diego

December 13, 2019

Campaign Zero evaluated the policing practices of San Diego Police Department (SDPD) and San Diego Sheriff's Department (SDSD).Our results show both departments to be engaged in a pattern of discriminatory policing. Both departments stopped black people at a rate more than 2x higher than white people and were more likely to search, arrest, and use force against black people during a stop. Both departments not only use force more often but also use more severe forms of force against black people than other groups, even after controlling for arrest rates and alleged level of resistance.We also found evidence of anti-Latinx bias, anti-LGBT bias and bias against people with disabilities in both departments' search practices.

Administrators Matter in NGSS Implementation (2019): Updated Findings on How School and District Leaders Are Making Science Happen

October 1, 2019

Administrators need learning opportunities if they are to adequately understand the substantial shifts of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and support teachers in implementing them. Accordingly, the K-8 NGSS Early Implementers Initiative has consistently expanded the professional learning it provides for administrators, particularly for site administrators, who generally have the most contact with teachers. This tenth evaluation report in the series, intended for site and district administrators and state leaders, highlights:- The professional learning strategies used by the Initiative to engage and empower administrators to support NGSS implementation (includes two district vignettes)- The impact of the professional learning on administrator understanding and actions- The challenges experienced by the Initiative in trying to involve administrators- Recommendations for increasing administrator help with science implementation

Collaborative Lesson Studies: Powerful Professional Learning for Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards

September 1, 2019

This evaluation report describes a central professional learning strategy that the California NGSS Early Implementers Initiative used to help teachers effectively transition to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The Initiative's approach to lesson study, called a Teaching Learning Collaborative (TLC), brings together teams of teachers who collaboratively plan, teach, critique, and then re-teach NGSS lessons. Trained facilitators ensure that participants feel professionally safe and supported to experiment with the substantial and sometimes daunting instructional shifts required by the NGSS. The especially strong emphasis on active collaboration is why the Initiative uses the term "TLC" rather than the more general, commonly used term "lesson studies."Initiative leaders chose to focus heavily on TLCs because, while teacher professional learning often takes place outside of the classroom, TLCs, like all lesson studies, provide true hands-on learning in a classroom setting where teachers can grapple with authentic instructional issues.All NGSS Early Implementer districts followed the same TLC model during Years 1 through 4 of the Initiative. In Year 5, when grant funding began to scale back and professional learning became less centralized, districts made a variety of modifications to TLCs to meet their local needs and circumstances.This report describes:- The original TLC model used Initiative-wide in Years 1-4, and its benefits- District modifications to TLCs in Year 5- Feedback from participants about what was gained and lost through those modifications- Recommendations for using TLCs as NGSS professional learningLike the entire evaluation series for the NGSS Early Implementers Initiative, this report provides useful information to school and district administrators, leaders of science professional learning, and state policymakers. The report is based on an extensive amount of data: evaluators' observation of 27 TLCs; responses from a dozen surveys; and over 100 interviews with teachers, administrators, district Project Directors, and K-12 Alliance Regional Directors.

Environmental Instruction Catalyzes Standards-Based Science Teaching: How Environmental Literacy Aids Implementation of the NGSS

September 1, 2019

This report describes how effective environmental literacy can be for catalyzing Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) teaching, and how the California K-8 NGSS Early Implementers Initiative has provided professional learning about environmental literacy to prompt and support this synergy. The report also outlines how the California Science Framework and the Human Impacts standards of the NGSS clearly call for such synergy.This is the ninth report in a series of evaluation reports about the Initiative, which are all intended for school and district administrators, leaders of science professional learning, and state policymakers. It draws on surveys, interviews, and observations of environmental literacy-focused lessons.

Investing in Science Teacher Leadership: Strategies and Impacts in the NGSS Early Implementers Initiative

February 1, 2019

While reports about teacher leadership are common, the story of leadership development in the California K-8 NGSS Early Implementers Initiative (known in short as the Early Implementers Initiative) has some unique aspects worth reading about.Many projects aiming to implement widespread changes in teaching use a train-the-trainers model. That is, some teachers participate in professional learning, and they, in turn, provide professional learning to other teachers.The Early Implementers Initiative strongly expanded upon this model. The Initiative deeply prepared teachers for the foundational role of being leaders in how to implement science teaching called for by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). However, the Initiative also explicitly prepared teachers to become catalysts for change in their districts.This seventh report in a series of evaluation reports about the Initiative is intended primarily for state and district leaders, including school principals, and leaders of teacher professional learning. Based on extensive observations, interviews, and surveys, the report describes teacher leadership development and its benefits in the first four years (2014-2018) of the six-year Initiative. The report describes how the Initiative prepared teachers for leadership in NGSS teaching, including how it created a culture of collaboration that produced change agents for science education and NGSS implementation; and how the leadership experience affected teacher leaders' actions and professional growth.Professional learning for close to 500 teacher leaders was led by WestEd's K-12 Alliance in collaboration with the Initiative's district Project Directors. The participants in each district included dozens of Teacher Leaders who experienced 9 days per year of professional learning. Additionally, about 9 Core Teacher Leaders1 per district received 12 days per year of further learning opportunities.The two main vehicles of professional learning every year, experienced by both levels of teacher leaders, were (a) weeklong, Initiative-wide Summer Institutes held centrally for teacher leaders from all districts; and (b) two two-day cycles of Teaching Learning Collaboratives (TLCs, a strong version of lesson studies) held during the school year.