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Teacher-based Reform Pilot Project


The Teacher-based Reform (T-BAR) Pilot Project (2009-18) provided access to teacher selected professional learning that was both flexible in its design, embraced by site administrators, and embedded trusted intermediaries (institutions of higher education, county offices of education, California Subject Matter Projects, and other external partners) in the localized implementation model. Early findings showed that T-BAR project sites were building the instructional capacity of their participating teachers (i.e., increased confidence of teachers, improvements in curricula, and improved leadership skills).

The T-BAR sites were augmented, referred to as TBAR 2, to pay specific attention paid towards the conditions and resources that are needed to improve teaching and instructional leadership. One remaining T-BAR site remains active and funded with ITQ SAHE support to build upon TBAR 2 for the purpose of refining and piloting capacity-building prototypes. The University of California, Davis, Resourcing Excellence in Education (REEd) Center is working with several districts and county offices of education to ensure that the support of teachers is an integral component of every professional growth system in California, using research-based strategies known to lead to instructional excellence and student learning. The REEd Center incorporates three design principles for designing and implementing integrated systems of professional growth in collaboration with their partner districts: 1) targeting the instructional shifts needed for implementing the California Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to provide a laser-like focus for instructional improvement; 2) cultivating local teacher leader community in driving instructional change; and 3) creating the conditions necessary for ensuring continuous improvement in teaching and learning.

Referred to as Resourcing Professional Learning Systems (RPLS), the REEd Center initiative offers a common vision for a system of professional growth and provides an opportunity for LEA partners to, individually and collectively, build local capacity to identify, generate, and implement the full spectrum of resources available to improve student outcomes. One such strategy is the implementing the Strategic Observation and Refection (SOAR) Teaching Frames. SOAR is intended to help teachers, coaches and administrators drive student learning by focusing on the most effective teaching practices aligned with Career and College Readiness Standards, including CCSS. To implement this vision, the REEd Center is collaborating with the following districts:

  • The Los Angeles Unified School District Multi-lingual and Multi-Cultural Education Department to implement the Strategic Observation and Refection (SOAR) Teaching Frames. In the 2017-2018 academic year, the grant supported professional learning sessions for 192 teachers, 43 administrators, 53 coaches across 37 schools in Local District East, and another 150 teachers and instructional leaders across 10 schools in Local District Central.

  • Robla School District to continue building a professional growth system that includes formalized teacher review (teacher evaluation). Robla has taken numerous steps to build its professional growth system and is currently piloting the formal review process which includes the use of multiple growth measures. As a district-wide initiative, this component of the grant directly impacts approximately 170 teachers and 20 instructional leaders across six schools.

  • Riverside and Tulare County Offices of Education to develop a context driven approach for integrating SOAR into programs for teacher interns and beginning teachers. During academic year 2017-2018, 105 instructors, coaches, and instructional leaders were trained and now support pre-service and beginning teachers throughout several counties in using the SOAR materials. In addition, a customized suite of SOAR-based professional learning modules that the LEAs served by Riverside COE have been developed and are being used to enhance and refine their practices, and to on-board new teachers.

To disseminate newly generated resources more broadly in support of LEAs across the state, REEd is also working with content partners to develop a suite of on-line professional learning modules and make them available through the Canvas Learning Management System. The open-source series of SOAR-based instructional practices modules can be used by individual educators, as well as professional learning communities, to enhance and refine their practices. For more information, visit the project Web site External link opens in new window or tab..

Questions:   Teacher and Leader Policy Office | itqsahe@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-7331
Last Reviewed: Thursday, May 3, 2018