K-12 Public Education Evaluations


Active Projects


Englewood Public Schools – STEM Workforce Development

Evaluation Dates: May 2017 – June 2018

Englewood Schools is implementing a K-12 education program in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The goals of the program are to prepare a well-qualified pool of diverse applicants for careers in STEM and to promote school improvement. Through support from the Gill Foundation, The Evaluation Center is designing and implementing a comprehensive evaluation plan guided by nine questions:

  1. To what extent do teachers gain knowledge, skills, and dispositions to implement project-based learning in STEM education?
  2. To what extent do teachers implement the instructional and curricular models with fidelity?
  3. What evidence exists that teachers serve as effective facilitators providing students with technology-rich experiences in STEM content, skills, and career exploration?
  4. What evidence exists that students are engaged in STEM project-based learning?
  5. To what extent to students gain knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to STEM content and awareness of STEM careers?
  6. To what extent do students demonstrate academic persistence and achievement?
  7. What evidence exists that graduates will pursue STEM-related higher education and careers?
  8. What evidence exists that schools are transformed as a result of the implementation of project-based STEM education?
  9. To what extent does Englewood Public Schools (EPS) provide students with comprehensive K- 12 opportunities in STEM education? What are the essential elements for the success of this model?

Evaluators conduct surveys and site visits to measure teachers’ perceptions of their professional development and effective implementation of the model. The evaluation includes assessment of students’ interest in STEM careers and review of students’ achievement and academic progress. Evaluators interview school personnel to assess the systemic impact of the program.


Girls Athletic Leadership School (GALS)

Evaluation Dates: 2014 – On-going

Girls Athletic Leadership School (GALS) is a charter school system serving girls in grades 6 – 12 and boys in grades 6 – 8. With Locations in Denver and Los Angeles, GALS provides a college preparatory education in a supportive environment that fosters academic mastery and personal development. The Evaluation Center works with GALS to analyze an academic self-efficacy survey given to all students. This survey gives GALS an insight into how students relate to different subjects in school, how confident they are as students, and how capable they feel in taking on challenges in life. These results allow GALS to target student gaps in self-efficacy in order to provide an equitable education for all.

Past Projects


Denver Public School’s Innovation Schools

Evaluation Dates: July 2010 – 2013

Evaluators examined nineteen innovation or autonomous schools in the Denver Public School system to determine the extent to which innovation status had affected the effectiveness of these schools.  Specifically, evaluators were evaluating the impact on student achievement, school culture, and composition of workforce.  Evaluation methods utilized for the Innovation Schools project included: Review of existing achievement and school artifact data, surveys of faculty, and interviews with faculty, parents, and school leaders.

2012 – 2013 Innovation Schools Report – Full Report
Progress of Innovation Schools in DPS: Year Two of an Evaluation Study – Full Report
2010 – 2011 Innovation Schools Report – Full Report
2010 – 2011 Innovation Schools Report – Executive Summary

Denver Public Schools Professional Compensation System for Teachers (ProComp)

Evaluation Dates: May 2008 – August 2011

ProComp is the pay for performance system developed collaboratively by Denver Public Schools and the teachers union, Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA). Teachers receive incentives for increased knowledge and skills, satisfactory professional evaluations, and student achievement. There are also market incentives for working in a Hard to Serve school and Hard to Staff positions.

The evaluation of ProComp consisted of a multi-year study of the impact of ProComp on student achievement, recruitment and retention of quality teachers, and implementation of a sustainable, manageable, understandable compensation system. The evaluation of ProComp utilized mixed methods that included quantitative and qualitative analyses of surveys, interviews, and existing data bases including longitudinal demographic and student achievement data.

This was a collaborative project of The Evaluation Center and the Center for Education Policy Analysis.

Final Report:
Executive Summary: Making a Difference in Education Reform, ProComp External Evaluation Report
Final Report: Making a Difference in Education Reform, ProComp External Evaluation Report

Denver Public Schools Parent Engagement Measurement

Evaluation Dates: April 2011 – June 2011
Collected feedback from stakeholders concerning the merit of proposed indicators and actionable suggestions for improvement.

Aurora Lights

Evaluation Dates: 2009 – 2009
Evaluation of Program to support students seeking health careers funded by health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in the Aurora Public Schools

Learn & Serve Colorado

Evaluation Dates: 2006 – 2008
Study of impact of service learning on achievement (Colorado Department of Education)

Rocky Mountain Math Science Middle School Project (RM-MSMSP)

Evaluation Dates: 2005 – 2008
Data collection for evaluation of teacher professional development (National Science Foundation)

Aurora Public Schools

Evaluation Dates: 2006 – 2006
Data analyses on correlation of physical fitness and academic achievement

Elizabeth Public Schools

Evaluation Dates: 2006 – 2006
Survey of community members and Data analysis

Pueblo Innovation Schools

Evaluation Dates: May 2014 – June 2016

Three middle schools in the Pueblo City Schools system have “innovation status” in accordance with the guidelines from the Colorado Department of Education. Evaluators examined the extent these schools implemented the waivers allowed to them because of this status and the impact of the changes on student achievement, parental choice, efficiency and effectiveness, and perceived safety and security.

These evaluation questions guided the evaluation:

  • To what extent has Innovation status affected enrollment patterns?
  • How has increased time impacted Innovation Schools?
  • How as innovation status affected the stability of the workforce?
  • What are parent and staff perceptions of the school climate as related to safety and security?
  • What is the impact of Innovation status on student discipline and attendance?
  • How does Innovation status affect students’ academic growth and achievement?
  • To what extent are Innovation plans implemented with fidelity? What supports and challenges have surfaced during implementation of Innovation plans?
  • What changes do parents and staff perceive have occurred related to Innovation status of the schools?
  • What are parent and staff perceptions of the longer school days, increased time?
  • How satisfied are faculty with professional development? What are perceptions of learning? How has targeted professional development affected practice?

Evaluation methods utilized for the Innovation Schools project included: Site visits and interviews with staff and parents, review of student achievement and school data related to enrollment and discipline, and analysis of workforce data.


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