Skip to: Content | Footer

California Postsecondary Education Data Home Page

Improving Teacher Quality

Getting to the Core of the Content: Organizing Learning to Close the Gap

Grant Number: 09-608

Grant Award: $1,000,952

Duration of Project: Friday, September 25, 2009 - Monday, September 30, 2013

Project Subject Areas: History/Social Science and Science

Grade Band: 6-8

Institutes of Higher Education:

  • University of California, Los Angeles, School of Education and Information Studies

Local Education Agencies:

  • Los Angeles Unified, Los Angeles, Local District T


  • Partnership for Los Angeles Schools (PLAS)
  • University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles
  • University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, School of Social Sciences (History)

School Sites:

  • Gompers Charter Middle, San Diego
  • Stevenson Lower and Middle, Carmel

Number of teachers/principals/highly qualified paraprofessionals participating in the project:



  • Improve PLAS teachers' abilities to identify, plan, and implement curriculum that supports learning for their diverse student population
  • Improve PLAS teachers' abilities to assess student learning to drive instruction and provide appropriate interventions based on student data
  • Support PLAS teachers and staff in the establishment of Professional Learning Communities (PLC's) at each school site by encouraging intra-and interdepartmental collaborations


A variety of professional development structures from site and off-site meetings, lesson study, classroom observations and coaching, to an intensive summer institute will provide teachers with the opportunity to learn content and strategies to meet the needs of their students while simultaneously developing collaboration among peers across grade levels and departments. Teacher leadership will develop as teachers deprivatize theory practice and share strategies, resulting in teacher ownership of the instructional program, longevity of the work of this project, and greater student achievement.

Anticipated Outcomes:

  • Gains in CST scores for history and science will be present for all of these students, and the achievement gap between English Learners, students with disabilities and the larger student population will close as a result of this project.
  • Stronger professional learning communities at the two sites will also develop with peer coaching, vertical teaming, classroom observations, and sharing of best practices


Project: Marv Alkin, Research Director,
Project: Lisa Dillman, Assistant Research Director,
Institute of Higher Education: Ronald Mellor, Co-Director,
Institute of Higher Education: Carrie Usui, Project Director,
Local Education Agency: Christine Shen , LEA Co-Director,

Questions, Comments, Corrections?

Send an e-mail to .