STEM Learning Opportunities Providing Equity (SLOPE): An Investing in Innovation (i3) Project

The federal i3 grant program was established in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This competitive grant program provides funds to support innovative practices that are demonstrable in improving student achievement and closing achievement gaps. The i3 program’s goal is to identify and document best practices that can be shared and taken to scale based on demonstrated success.

The SLOPE i3 Project was designed to encourage students to pursue and succeed in STEM-based fields by improving performance by eighth graders in Algebra and building on a college-going culture in schools that serve low-income and underrepresented students. The SLOPE Project included a multi-faceted approach to increase enrollment, proficiency, and success in Algebra I at the eighth grade level.

Project Elements
  • 1. Project-based mathematics curriculum for Pre-Algebra summer program and Algebra I units
  • 2. College and Career Awareness Curriculum (CAC) for Pre-Algebra and Algebra I
  • 3. Coaching and collaboration using the Responsive Teaching Cycle (RTC) to focus on student work and Common Core support

Evaluation Design
The purpose of this research study was to evaluate the effect of the SLOPE Project on math achievement for eighth grade students. WestEd directed a two-year randomized controlled trial (RCT) in which teachers from across California who volunteered to participate were randomly assigned to either the treatment or control condition. The primary research questions for the evaluation focused on the impact of this intervention on students.

Project Developers
A project-based mathematics curriculum was provided by ConnectEd, The California Center for College and Career. The College and Career Awareness Curriculum (CAC) was developed by RT Fisher Educational Enterprises, Inc. Coaching and teacher collaboration was coordinated by Ivan Cheng, a professor of Education at California State University, Northridge.

Website: http://arches-cal.org/i3/

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