The Pathway to Academic Success: Enhancing Student Achievement Through the Common Core Standards
Principal Investigator and IHE Director: Carol Booth Olson, Associate Professor and Director of the UCI Writing Project
Project Coordinator: Catherine D'Aoust
California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC)
This project will serve all of the English/Language Arts and
History/Social Studies teachers in two large intermediate schools in the Santa
Ana Unified School District (SAUSD). In both schools approximately 98% of the
students are Chicano/Latino, 90% are eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch, and
60% are classified as English Learners.
Both schools improved
their API scores between 2009 and 2010, but neither school met requirements for
2010 Adequate Yearly Progress. The district’s 6-12 instructional focus is on academic
writing and the district is developing a 6-12 Writing Guide that will roll out
in grades 6, 7, and 8 from 2011-2013.
- To create a sustained partnership between the UCI Writing
Project (UCIWP), UCI School of Humanities (UCISH), Orange County Department of
Education (OCDE), and Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD), which draws
upon the expertise of each partner, to design and implement high-quality professional development (PD)
focused on the California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts
(CaCCSS-ELA) so that teachers can prepare students to meet these challenging new
- To improve the quality of literacy instruction in the
targeted intermediate schools by linking two existing district literacy
initiatives--the Pathway Project academic reading/writing strategies and
Thinking Maps--to the CaCCSS-ELA, thereby enhancing teachers’ research-based
content knowledge and pedagogical strategies.
- To develop and guide teachers in the implementation of
curricular materials that are aligned to the rigorous reading and writing
anchor standards delineated in the CaCCSS-ELA.
- To provide one-on-one coaching to encourage participating
teachers to enhance their classroom literacy instruction.
- To promote collaboration and shared responsibility for
literacy instruction between English/Language Arts (E/LA) and History/Social
Studies (H/SS) teachers to develop mutually reinforcing skills and exhibit
mastery of standards for reading and writing across a range of texts and
- To engage and train teachers in the development of their own
model Common Core-aligned text-based writing lessons for grades 6-8, augmenting
the forthcoming district Writing Guide for grades 6-8.
- To groom a cadre of teacher leaders to serve as role models
and trainers of other teachers as the Common Core Standards are implemented
district-wide in all nine intermediate schools.
The Evaluation Plan focuses on two research questions:
- To what extent will teachers’ involvement in the Pathway to
Academic Success Professional Development (PD) model enhance teachers’
self-efficacy and change observed teaching practices of interpretive reading
and text-based analytical writing in ways that meet the rigorous new CaCCSS-ELA
- To what extent will teachers’ implementation of the Pathway
to Academic Success Common Core intervention improve academic outcomes for
intermediate school students on measures of students’ reading and writing,
including an on-demand direct writing assessment, district benchmark
assessments, and standardized state assessments of English language arts?