K-12 Public Education Evaluations

Active Projects


Pueblo Innovation Schools

Evaluation Dates: May 2014 – On-going

Three middle schools in the Pueblo City Schools system have “innovation status” in accordance with the guidelines from the Colorado Department of Education. Evaluators are examining the extent these schools are implementing 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 guide 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 include: 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.

    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


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