The UW College of Education, Washington STEM, and School District Partners have been named a joint finalist in the inaugural Road Map Project Awards Program for our work to increase equity and eliminate opportunity gaps for students in South King County and South Seattle. The UW College of Education and 20 other finalists, including the University of Washington Dream Project, stood out from more than 60 nominations for getting excellent results, using data well for improvement purposes and collaborating to get more powerful results for students.
Our region’s economy is increasingly driven by science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) employers, and preparing students for these fields is the focus of work by the University of Washington’s College of Education, Washington STEM and school districts. Using research from the University of Michigan, this partnership is delivering a professional development curriculum that is real-time, driven by data and highly impactful. The curriculum has improved results at two local schools that have more than 80% low-income students. At Lakeridge Elementary School in the Renton School District, 3rd grade math scores increased 28% in one year when the learning model was put to work. Evergreen High School in neighboring Highline Public Schools saw end-of-course biology scores increase an average of 27% from 2012 to 2013.
The student-led, student-run Dream Project supports low-income and first-generation high school students in attaining higher education and fosters a college-going culture in high schools across the region. UW students are placed into high-need high schools as mentors, and the experiences spark discussion and awareness among the college students about educational opportunity and social mobility. The Dream Project has leapt from serving 100 students in 2007 to 1,600 students in 2013. Project mentors also participate in events at non-partner schools to further support students in completing steps toward college. As part of the region’s Race to the Top grant, the project has hired College and Career Readiness Assistants to maintain a regular school-day presence in high-need middle and high schools.
The Road Map Project is a community-wide effort aimed at dramatically improving student achievement from cradle to college and career in South King County and South Seattle. The Road Map Project Awards Program aims to advance equity and eliminate opportunity gaps by recognizing amazing efforts and encouraging the spread of that success across the region. The UW College of Education and the other finalists will be recognized at a March 4 awards ceremony at the Museum of Flight. A panel of 15 judges, comprised of local and national experts, is helping to determine several special recognition awards for overall excellence.
The event will feature the following guest presenters: Jackie Bezos, president and co-founder of the Bezos Family Foundation; State Supreme Court Justice Steve Gonzalez; Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust; Norman B. Rice, president and CEO of The Seattle Foundation; and Ralph Smith, managing director of the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and senior vice president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
“The Education Trust is excited to be part of this work and support the Road Map Project Awards Program. We need to spread the success seen in the Road Map Project region across the country to ensure all students enjoy equal opportunities. It’s an honor to participate in an award ceremony focused on closing opportunity gaps and increasing equity across the educational continuum. I believe this work will help improve the lives of children and strengthen communities in the Road Map Project region and beyond,” said Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust and guest presenter for the Road Map Project awards ceremony.
A full list of finalists can be found at the Road Map Project’s Award Program web page: www.roadmapproject.org/awards.