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What is the total budget for Study Circles? How are we evaluating the effectiveness of this program? Is there any data that demonstrates this program is having an impact on closing the achievement gap?

Question#: 7

ANSWER:

The FY 2017 budget for Study Circles is $391,444 which primarily represents salary inclusive of employee benefits.

The following are the current metrics used:

  • Number of school and office leadership teams that participate in the year-long Study Circles Process
  • Number of schools/office leadership teams who participated in Study Circles that changed practices and policies

These measures are intended to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of Study Circles in identifying and addressing issues of equity going forward. Currently, the Study Circles Program works with participating schools and offices to create goals based on the School or Office Improvement Plans. After each session, an evaluation is given to all participants to measure progress.

This year, the Study Circle goals are specifically linked to the school or office’s Equity Goal. Therefore, year-end evaluations will be connected to the identified Equity Goals.

In FY 2015, the Study Circles Program developed a framework for measuring the impact on closing the achievement gap. The framework includes six levels:

  1. Developing the capacity to engage in uncomfortable conversations
  2. Hearing diverse perspectives from different stakeholders
  3. Examining beliefs, practices, and policies that are barriers to success
  4. Engaging the rest of the staff in conversation and work
  5. Changing practices and policies
  6. Transforming school culture

There is evidence from all 24 Instructional Leadership Teams working with Study Circles that progress is being made based on the framework. A new end-of-year evaluation was piloted with six teams at the end of FY 2015 asking about their progress on each level of the Study Circles’ framework. The evaluation will be administered to all teams at the end of FY 2016.

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