First Report on Groundbreaking Longitudinal Study of One City Schools Released!

Kaleem Caire, via a kind email:

Dear Community Members,

In November 2019, the Wisconsin Partnership Program, located within the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health, awarded One City Schools a five-year, $1 million grant to support the implementation of our education programs, and the design and launch of a long-term longitudinal evaluation of our organization and schools. We are pleased to share highlights from the first report of the longitudinal study, published by Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative and the Center for Research on early Childhood Education (CRECE).

Over the next several years, evaluators will assess the implementation process, outcomes and impact of One City’s organization and schools on children, parents/caregivers, teachers, community partners and systems. The evaluation began in January 2020 and is currently funded through 2024.

We encourage you to review the executive summary of the report, and the initial public announcement of the grant award. Together, they explain the purpose and goals of the evaluation.

The evaluation is designed to (1) inform One City Schools about its areas of strength and need for change and/or improvement, (2) inform the growth and expansion of its schools and educational strategies, and (3) inform the fields of early childhood and K-12 education, nationally and internationally, about the impact and efficacy of One City’s education models and strategies.

Elizabeth Beyer:

The report is a part of a four-year evaluation process, broken up into phases, which began in 2020 and is funded through 2024. UW-Madison researchers in partnership with the Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative interviewed teachers, staff, including leadership staff, and families between January 2021 and September; observed preschool and elementary classrooms; sent surveys to staff, teachers and families; and analyzed documents from One City Schools including reports, newsletters and administrative documents to compile the first phase of the report

Scott Girard:

The first recommendation, to “keep innovating, keep dreaming big,” also recognized “that One City has undertaken a critical task of lifting up all children, but particularly Madison’s Black children who have been long underserved by our community.”

“In a short time, One City has mapped a plan for success by thinking outside of the box to create a unique set of schools,” the report states. “These schools are vibrant places that exemplify innovation.”

The areas for improvement are also often challenges for traditional public schools. Staffing, for example, has become a nationwide challenge for schools exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.