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Speaker Series: Dr. Steve McGee – The Learning Partnership

A causal model to measure the impact of RPPs within large urban school districts: The case of CAFÉCS.

Abstract: Between 2016 and 2020 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) saw a 500% increase in students who complete at least one high school computer science course. This study analyzes the impact of the Chicago Alliance for Equity in Computer Science (CAFECS) Research Practice Partnership (RPP) in supporting the achievement of goals of the CPS Office of Computer Science (OCS), leading to the increase of CPS students completing at least one high school computer science course. This study adds to the existing literature on the effectiveness and impact of RPPs through a mixed-methods, meta-synthesis of research and evaluation findings from the past 11 years of the work of the RPP. This study draws on the RPP literature, as well as the computer science education research literature, and presents a 4 dimensional causal model of how RPPs impact policy, programs, research, and funding. The findings from this study will help other RPPs understand how to effectively leverage their working structure to make meaningful impacts within large urban school districts.

Bio: Steven McGee is the president of the Learning Partnership. As one of the first learning scientists in the nation, he studies how to support learning from an individual cognitive perspective as well as from the perspective of systems and social contexts. He has three decades of experience fostering partnerships with teachers and school districts to achieve equity and excellence for all students. He works in collaboration with the Vice President to oversee research operations and set vision for the organization. He has formerly served as a Northwestern University faculty member in the School of Education and Social Policy, Director of Technology and Assessment at Loyola University, and Chief R&D Officer for the NASA Classroom of the Future. As an entrepreneur, he has launched two educational companies.