Research and Evaluation Conducted in SFUSD

Research reports, briefs, and presentations

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Teaching and learning

Educators and leaders

School systems

Evaluations of programs and policies

This section includes selected reports summarizing the results of evaluations conducted by SFUSD’s Research, Planning, and Assessment division.

Pandemic learning recovery

  • Summer learning programs
    • Summer ’21 Programs successfully prioritized focal populations and served at least 13,374 students in grades PK-12. When matched by demographic characteristics and prior academic performance, SFUSD summer program participants demonstrated no difference in literacy gains compared to non-participants, but significantly higher gains on the Math Milestone Task (by 8.3% vs. 7.2%). These effects were driven by participation in ExCEL and Out-of-School Time summer programs (average gain scores of 9.4% for participants vs. 6.6% for matched non-participants). Summer program participants learning English showed significantly higher growth in math (3.9%) relative to English learners who did not participate (1.4%). Majority (73%) of families responding to a survey believed their child enjoyed the summer program a lot. Results from a districtwide PK-5 survey show that equitable access is an area of growth for the district, with 20% of respondents who did not enroll in an SFUSD summer program indicating that they did not know about them. 
    • For more details on the implementation and impact of Summer ‘21 Programs, see full report and summary slides.

Superintendent's Equity Initiative: PITCH

Rising to the Equity Challenge in SFUSD”, 2017 Nov 14 (see pp. 13-35, for analyses and research underpinning the initiative)

  • As part of the initiative, school leaders and teams created theories of improvement aligned to the five PITCH essentials, received targeted funding to implement those theories, and engaged in monthly professional learning communities for coaching and support of their continuous improvement efforts. Communities of practice were organized around shared problems of practice, such as shifting the cognitive load from teachers to students, developing individualized learning plans, building staff professional capacity, or strengthening school connectedness and belonging. These communities of practice provided opportunities for shared discourse between central office and school leaders, building a common language and understanding around equity. They also reinforced leaders’ autonomy and agency through a regular structure in which they presented results from the implementation and impact of their improvement efforts and shared reflections and feedback through small-group consultancies.
  • In Year 1 of implementation (2017-18), reading lexile growth for African-American students at PITCH schools was 16 points higher compared to African-American students at non-PITCH schools. However, these gains were not sustained in subsequent years, when lexile growth became similar between the two groups. Across five years, the equity gap has narrowed at the 10 High Equity Gap schools, with pre-pandemic RI growth (W1-W2) for African-American students exceeding growth of non-African-American students at these schools. In ’20-’21, reading lexile growth for African-American students at High Equity Gap PITCH schools was lower than non-African-American students at the same school, which may be explained by differential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and its related disruptions to learning. For more details on outcomes of the PITCH initiative, see summary slides.
  • A qualitative analysis of schools' PITCH theories of improvement (TOIs) from 2017-2018 through 2021-2022 reveals common practices and strategies of supporting students to become independent learners, building teacher capacity, and integrating whole-school instructional strategies. Potential implications include developing greater clarity and coherence in articulating who is responsible for enacting change and whom that change serves.


Evaluations of Implementation of CCEIS Plans

In February 2020, the California Department of Education (CDE) notified San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) that it was significantly disproportionate in the number of Black/African American students (a) found eligible for special education in two disability categories, Emotional Disturbance and Other Health Impairment, and (b) in the incidence, duration, and type of disciplinary actions, including suspensions. Subsequently, SFUSD developed a Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CCEIS) plan that included identifying students to receive intervening services to interrupt these disproportionalities. These reports evaluate SFUSD's implementation of its CCEIS plans starting in 2020; the focus of each report varies depending on the priorities identified in that cycle's CCEIS plan.

This page was last updated on March 11, 2024