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Improving Teacher Quality

Core-Area Literacy and Academic Success for Students (CLASS)

Grant Number: 10-707

Grant Award: $920,395

Duration of Project: Thursday, September 30, 2010 - Monday, September 01, 2014

Project Subject Areas: History/Social Science and English

Grade Band: Open

Institutes of Higher Education:

  • California State University, Long Beach

Local Education Agencies:

  • Long Beach Unified, Long Beach


  • The History Project at CSU Long Beach and CSU Dominguez Hills

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



  • Teacher participants will receive training from historians and English scholars that will enable them to reorganize their existing curriculum around engaging problems that make content meaningful, relevant, and coherent for students
  • Teacher participants will become knowledgeable about the challenges ELLs face and trained in the use of ELL instructional strategies. They will receive training from experts that is both general, to facilitate cross-curricular collaboration, and subject-specific, to apply to the particular needs of the respective disciplines
  • Third, and most important, all teacher participants will receive training in literacy strategies. They will learn how to teach reading comprehension in subject-appropriate ways, how to create effective writing assessments, and how to grade these assignments efficiently with targeted feedback for students


CLASS provides 18 months of professional development for teachers in two overlapping cohorts. The training combines summer institutes and released days in a hybrid PD model that includes assessing a variety of teacher and student data, providing integrated training in pedagogy and course content, offering substantial time for teachers to collaborate within and between participating departments, and building iterative measures into the process for ongoing assessment and improvement.

Anticipated Outcomes:

Teachers will modify their instruction to reflect problem-based inquiry, the consistent use of EL strategies, and content-area literacy. There will be measureable annual growth in studentsí performance on California Standards Tests in both the English-Language Arts and History-Social Science and in passing the California High School Exit Exam on the first attempt.


Project: Simon Kim, Research Director,
Institute of Higher Education: Dave Neumann, Project Director,
Institute of Higher Education: Carol Zitzer-Comfort, Co-Director,
Local Education Agency: Linda Mehlbrech, LEA Co-Director,

Questions, Comments, Corrections?

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