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IES Grant

Title: Partnering to Improve: The Denver Public Schools and CU-Boulder Teacher Workforce Collaborative
Center: NCER Year: 2019
Principal Investigator: Engel, Mimi Awardee: University of Colorado, Boulder
Program: Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships in Education Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2 years (07/01/2019-06/30/2021) Award Amount: $399,995
Type: Researcher-Practitioner Partnership Award Number: R305H190060

Co-Principal Investigators: Atteberry, Allison; Almy, Sarah; Scheppe, Tina

Partner Institution: Denver Public Schools (DPS)

Purpose:Partnerswill focus on closing achievement gaps and improve outcomes for DPS's historically underserved students by strengthening the teaching workforce. Specifically, the partners will (1) explore patterns of teacher retention within DPS schools and across DPS and (2) analyze Teacher Leadership & Collaboration (TL&C), DPS's innovative teacher career ladder initiative.

Partnership Activities: Partners will develop a memorandum of understanding and addenda addressing data protection and partnership work procedures, create a joint research agenda, and articulate research questions that are top priorities for DPS. Partners will meet regularly, create project working groups that will conduct the work to address the proposed research objectives and questions, and train data analysts in developing a joint data archive.

Setting: The research will take place in Denver, Colorado.

Population/Sample:The population includes over 90,000 pre-K through 12th grade students served by 5,956 DPS teachers across over 200 schools. Approximately 55% of students are Hispanic, 23% are White, 13% are Black, 3% are Asian, <1% American Indian, and 5% are other/mixed unknown. Over one-third of DPS students are English language learners, and over two-thirds are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

Data Analytic Strategy: Partners will conduct descriptive analyses exploring teacher retention within and across DPS schools. In addition, partners will use a comparative interrupted time series to explore the association between TL&C (which began in 2013 and was rolled out across five cohorts of schools) and student, teacher, and school-level outcomes.

Outcomes: In this project, products include increased DPS research capacity via training of DPS data analysts and development of a coherent, comprehensive data system for managing existing longitudinal data as well as for adding new information each year. This revised data system will enable DPS to more efficiently produce internal reports and to more easily access, maintain, and build on this data system over time. The partnership will lead to preliminary findings about patterns in teacher retention in, and exit from, DPS. The partnership will also describe the association between TL&C and student, teacher, and school-level outcomes. DPS and University of Colorado, Boulder will work together to identify future research opportunities.