September 14, 2023

EDC Leads Evaluation of High-Quality Instructional Materials Initiative Focused on Equity

With a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), EDC is leading an evaluation study of DESE’s High-Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM) Implementation Grant initiative. The initiative is working to address systemic disparities and racial inequity in student access and learning outcomes by promoting a consistently high set of grade-level expectations for all students through the use of high-quality materials.

The HQIM Implementation Grant initiative builds on DESE’s commitment to support evidence-based, culturally responsive instruction through a strong foundation grounded in high-quality instructional materials. The grant allows school districts to select and implement high-quality mathematics, English language arts, science, and digital literacy curricula.

A team of EDC evaluators led by principal investigator Dr. Andresse St. Rose and project director Neil Schiavo is examining implementation progress and the factors related to the successful implementation of HQIM across 52 grantee districts and schools. Some of the factors of interest include changes in teacher mindset, knowledge, and practice, as well as school and district structures and activities that support robust implementation.

Key activities in EDC’s evaluation of the initiative include the following:

  • Designing an implementation framework to investigate how variations in school districts—such as size, design, and historical, racial, and ethnic contexts— influence the implementation of HQIM in a range of settings
  • Providing formative feedback to district teams and their implementation consultants to guide design of effective implementation plans and ensure optimal support for school districts
  • Applying a racial equity lens to all phases of the evaluation that reflects the importance of this goal in the initiative
  • Designing and collecting multiple forms of data from different sources involved in the initiative to reflect the range of perspectives—district and school administrators, consultants, and teachers—on the implementation of HQIM 

The findings from EDC’s evaluation will provide early evidence of factors that influence effective implementation of HQIM across a range of district and school contexts in Massachusetts. The findings will also serve to illuminate educator outcomes—including shifts in teachers’ attitudes, beliefs, and practices—laying the groundwork for future summative studies.

“We are honored to be DESE’s evaluation partner for this important initiative,” said Dr. St. Rose. “We are committed to conducting an evaluation that centers racial equity so findings can be used in the service of promoting equity.”

Learn more about EDC’s Evaluation work.