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The schools in this group of case studies each made the commitment to improve student learning by implementing innovative pedagogical practices using technology. These innovations involved great investments in time and financial resources. Therefore, it is encouraging that the teachers say they will continue the innovations, and that teachers from all of the schools studied held this view. It appears that a change has occurred in teaching practices, not only at the school (meso) level, but also at the level of the individual teacher (micro). This level of change is important for sustainability because school- level changes may over time threaten the implementation of the innovations school-wide. Individual teachers, on the other hand, can continue the innovations to some extent within their own classrooms.

At the same time, there is reason for concern about the transferability of these reforms to other schools. The issues of funding, changes in local and state policies, changes in school leadership,teacher turnover, and teacher burnout all limit the transferability of these innovations to other schools.

In 2009, a 5-year Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to the Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative (MMIC) for the project Global Literacy Through Mandarin Immersion and STEM. The grant supports immersion instruction in Mandarin Chinese that begins at the kindergarten level and the development of a curriculum that has a content focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The schools in the MMIC will add a grade level each year, with the intent of creating the capacity to continue Chinese immersion to grades 7-12. The MMIC has contracted with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) at the University of Minnesota to serve as the external evaluator of the project. This report presents CAREI's evaluation of the second year of the grant-funded project. The report includes enrollment and retention data as well as the results of principal interviews, teacher interviews, and a parent survey.

The Minnesota CYFAR Sustainable Communities Project is focused on strengthening the ability of middle school aged youth to set and achieve short and long-term educational goals by using an innovative and organic afterschool program model that is highly experiential. The aim of the program is to help youth own their learning by igniting their interest in education to to work with parents and guardians to support them in their role as their child's first educator. This reports presents the evaluation results and demonstrates the impact that the Minnesota CYFAR Sustainable Communities Project has had on youth participants during its third year.

In 2009, a 5-year Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to the Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative (MMIC) for the project Global Literacy Through Mandarin Immersion and STEM. The grant supports immersion instruction in Mandarin Chinese that begins at the kindergarten level and the development of a curriculum that has a content focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The schools in the MMIC will add a grade level each year, with the intent of creating the capacity to continue Chinese immersion to grades 7-12. The MMIC has contracted with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) at the University of Minnesota to serve as the evaluator of the project. This year 1 evaluation report presents enrollment and retention data as well as the results of a teacher survey, teacher interviews, principal interviews, and a parent survey.

The Minnesota CYFAR Sustainable Communities Project is focused on strengthening the ability of middle school aged youth to set and achieve short and long-term educational goals by using an innovative and organic afterschool program model that is highly experiential. The aim of the program is to help youth own their learning by igniting their interest in education to to work with parents and guardians to support them in their role as their child's first educator. This reports features the impact from the second year of the project whereby sixty-nine youth and seventy-one parents and guardians participated.

The Minnesota CYFAR Sustainable Communities Project is focused on strengthening the ability of middle school aged youth to set and achieve short and long-term educational goals by using an innovative and organic afterschool program model that is highly experiential. The aim of the program is to help youth own their learning by igniting their interest in education and to work with parents and guardians to support them in their role as their child's first educator. This impact report describes the program model and the educational resources we used to develop it. It also highlights some of the promising early results, along with the resources developed during the project's first year. There are also descriptions of the communities, youth, and parents this project serves.

This report describes the results of an evaluation of the Stillwater Area Public Schools laptop initiative at Stillwater Junior High School (SJHS) and Oak-Land Junior High School (OLJHS). A major impetus for the laptop initiative was the need to increase junior high students' engagement in school. The district hoped to enhance students' interest in learning by increasing the use of technology in the curriculum. The district also identified a need to develop students' "21st century skills," such as critical thinking, problem solving, technology literacy, and to support teachers in meeting the needs of diverse learners.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has played a major role in the attempts to improve science and mathematics education. According to the NSF, the Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation (CETP) program was designed to significantly improve the science, mathematics, and technology preparation of future K-12 teachers and their effectiveness in these areas. The NSF funded the Core Evaluation Project to design and develop a data collection and reporting system for the CETP program. The CETP Core Evaluation developed surveys, a classroom observation protocol, and a teacher artifact scoring rubric to gather information on the impact of the CETP program. The Core Evaluation collected a variety of data in 2001-2002 derived from open ended and scaled survey items and classroom observations and artifacts. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were necessary to provide a complete picture of the CETP collaboratives.

Changes of every sort pose significant challenges to school districts today. It seems each day we are confronted with a new set of concerns, which force us to ponder again the best approach to schooling. Schools today, for instance, are under pressure from all sides to be fiscally efficient, rigorously accountable for student outcomes, and technologically advanced; while at the same time we demand that those schools be safer, more nurturing and also beautifully designed. These elements need not be mutually exclusive - that is to say - they may co-exist. The challenge for decision makers is to strike that perfect balance of benefits, both short and long term, with costs. This document is aimed at addressing seven topic areas in education. It is hoped that the document will stimulate questions, encourage discussion, and provide some guidance for decision making.

Many American schools have invested in computer access and technology support (Anderson, 2000) and have written technology plans that state their vision for the use of technology. At many schools there are individual teachers who make creative use of technology in their instruction. Through the site selection process for this study we encountered numerous instances of such schools and teachers; what was much harder to find were the sites where all or most teachers were incorporating creative approaches to technology and where the school's staff shared the vision for technology as a support to teaching, learning, and school improvement. The schools in the Exemplary Technology Supported Schooling Case Studies Project were selected, in part, because together their staffs were thoughtfully integrating technology into classroom pedagogy and had identified how it could support student achievement. A quality technology support program is key for teachers' uses of technology (Ronnkvist, Dexter & Anderson, 2000). So, it was not a surprise to us to learn that there were also considerable levels of technology access and strong technology support programs at these successful sites. The school's technology leaders had obviously taken efforts to make it easier for teachers to learn to use technology to enhance teaching and learning, and to make it a priority to do so. What emerged in the data was the contribution to the use of technology made through the professional community in the school.