Sustaining Partnerships for a Freedom School Vision: Assessing the Work of Education for Equity and Justice Programs in Champaign-Urbana

1/19/2022 5:04:00 AM

DREAAM: Driven to Reach Excellence and Academic Achievement for Males logoAcademic mentor: Jon Hale

Community partner: DREAAM House

Project description: 
This project seeks to evaluate the impact of justice and equity-centered educational programs in the Champaign-Urbana community that aim to support young people of color who face difficult circumstances, including challenges such as school suspension and the school-prison nexus, parental incarceration, or low academic achievement. This project will evaluate the impact of summer educational programming implemented by DREAAM House in partnership with the College of Education at Illinois. Specifically, this research will evaluate the Freedom School program, a six-week summer literacy program. This is one part of DREAAM's Hope for the Future model, which seeks to implement quality education programming across the region.

The project consists of developing and implementing a comprehensive evaluation model that assesses indicators related to literacy attainment, student motivation, student perceptions of literacy, teacher effectiveness, and parent and community engagement. The evaluation model will consist of a pre- and post-test, a quantitative survey, and semi-structured interview questions. The model will be administered to approximately 100 students and teachers. The evaluation model will be developed for use in the DREAAM program and will be applied to both the Freedom School and the Hope for the Future program.

Specific evaluation methods for this project will use pre- and post-literacy tests based on the Basic Reading Inventory, the Hemingway Measure of Child and Adolescent Connectedness, an end-of-the-summer Likert and short-answer survey, and semi-structured interviews. The scholar will assist in collecting and analyzing this data with the Executive Director of DREAAM and the Freedom School, Tracy Dace, and a faculty member in the College of Education, Jon Hale. In addition to the evaluation, the scholar will also help prepare a final report of the results for dissemination at the university and the wider Champaign-Urbana community.

Role of the Community-Academic Scholar:
The Community-Academic Scholar will work as part of the research team and will assist in designing, implementing, and analyzing data from the evaluation project, which is designed to assess the impact of the Freedom School and Hope for the Future models on approximately 100 students and teachers during the summer of 2022. The scholar will be involved with helping design questions, conducting interviews, distributing, collecting, and documenting the survey and pre/post-test results, and preparing and disseminating a final report.