Research

The Pathway to Academic Success: A Cognitive Strategies Approach to Text-Based Analytical Writing to Improve Academic Outcomes for Secondary English Learners

Principal Investigator: Carol Booth Olson

Partners: University of California, Irvine Writing Project (UCIWP); Norwalk La-Mirada Unified School District; Hacienda La Puente Unified School District; Santa Barbara Unified School District; North County Professional Development Consortium; South Coast Writing Project; California State University, Los Angeles Writing Project; California State University, San Marcos Writing Project

Funding: $11,122,902 - U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement: Investing in Innovation Project (i3)

Project Description: The Pathway intervention is a cognitive strategies approach to text-based analytical writing to help English Learners (ELs) to successfully complete courses in core academic subjects and meet the rigorous California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. The project will involve 240 Grades 7-12 teachers and their students in four school districts across the Southern California region. We will conduct a randomized field trial with 46 hours of professional development (PD) in Years 1-2; 46 hours PD for control-turned-treatment teachers in Year 3; and district institutionalization in Year 4.

Project Objectives and Expected Outcomes: The project aims to close the achievement gap for EL students by providing high-quality professional development to teachers in the Pathway intervention, thereby improving teaching quality to help secondary ELs successfully complete courses in core academic subjects and become college-bound. Student outcomes will include improvements in writing as measured by an on-demand pre/post assessment of analytical essay writing and State and district assessments, ELA standardized test scores, and high school graduation rates. 

Target Number of Students to Be Served: 105,000