Fall Technical Assistance & Training Conference

Home | Events | 2016 TATC Designing for Sustainability

Monday, October 10 @ 10:55 AM

Breakout Session
Federal AB

Strategic Opportunities

Magnet Coordinators | School Administrators | District Administrators

Your Magnet School Model: Where's the Evidence? Moving Forward from the June 2016 Competition to ESSA

To improve the effectiveness of MSAP projects, the USDOE revised the selection criteria for the June, 2016 MSAP competition to increase its emphasis on desegregation, renew its focus on academic rigor and add a new focus on the use of evidence.  These significant changes will impact district and school level magnet program planning and design decisions.  This presentation will briefly review the MSAP section of ESSA and the June 2016 MSAP selection criteria and priorities, and explore how the use of evidence, including the creation of logic models and the use of research, might influence the selection of specific programs and strategies that will be part of the next MSAP project and application.Understanding that the use of evidence, levels of evidence and evidence of promise may be confusing, the presenters will discuss the relative quality of studies and evidence and how evidence of promise and other research can and should inform MSAP design decisions.  How evidence of promise can be used in a proposal and influences decision making will also be explored.Lastly, we will discuss the need for rigorous evaluation studies on student academic performance after briefly reviewing the status of the existing research on magnet school effects, present findings from our previous meta-analysis study of magnet school effects and program implementation, and share the upcoming studies we will conduct on the magnet schools funded in the 2014-2017 cycle.

*Please click on the image above to access the presentation

Elaine Rosales & David Kikoler, American Education Solutions
Elaine Rosales and David Kikoler are the principal officers of American Education Solutions, Inc. (AES), a consulting firm that provides proposal development and evaluation services to school districts. AES teams, headed by Elaine and David, have helped districts secure over $750 million in competitive grants including the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP), Voluntary Public School Choice Program (VPSC), Smaller Learning Communities Program (SLC), Teaching American History Program (TAH), 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, and Title VII Bilingual and Foreign Language Assistance Programs. 

From 1995 through 2013, AES helped districts win 53 MSAP grants.  For the 2013 – 2016 cycle, the U.S. Department of Education awarded grants to 27 school districts.  AES wrote or provided technical assistance to nine school districts that received funding and is providing evaluation services for these projects. For the 2010-2013 funding cycle, the U.S. Department of Education awarded grants to 38 districts.  AES wrote or provided technical assistance to ten school districts that received funding and provided evaluation services for these projects.  Similarly, for the 2007 – 2010 MSAP funding cycle, the U.S. Department of Education awarded grants to 41 districts.  AES wrote or provided technical assistance for ten MSAP projects and evaluated 12 projects.  AES is collaborating with the National Center for Research and Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) at UCLA on survey development and test score analysis for MSAP grantees.


Dr. Jia Wang, Research Scientist, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (CRESST)
Dr. Jia Wang is senior researcher and Project Director at UCLA CRESST.  Her work focuses on applied educational measurement including designing and managing research studies to evaluate the effectiveness of multi-site intervention programs; investigating how school, teacher, and student factors affect student achievement; and developing, validating, and evaluating assessment systems.  Since 2010, she has been the lead researcher working with American Education Solutions, Inc. on Magnet Schools Assistance Program projects, in nine school districts across the country in the 2013-2016 grant cycle.  Additionally, Dr. Wang directs a resident teacher training program (five-year program) and a five-year evaluation of an i3 validation grant for Literacy Design Collaborative funded by the U.S. Department of Education.  She has recently completed a four-year statewide evaluation study for California of the state's after school programs and a five-year study of turnaround charter schools in Los Angeles.


Dr. Anna Kucaj, Consultant, American Education Solutions
Dr. Anna Kucaj is a consultant with American Education Solutions, Inc. and helps to support both magnet evaluation and grant writing initiatives. She also currently works for the Tennessee Achievement School District (ASD) as Charter Authorization and Special Projects Manager, where she leads the continuous refinement and implementation of the ASD’s annual charter authorization process. 

Previously, Anna served as Project Director for the 2013 MSAP grant to Metro Nashville Public Schools and supported the implementation of thematic magnet programs at six Nashville sites. Prior to that position, she acted as Transformation Facilitator at Cameron Middle School, the first phase-in charter conversion in Tennessee.  Anna has also held teaching positions in the Los Angeles and San Jose Unified School Districts.