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Past Projects

NYCDOE Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) Evaluation (2012 - 2013)

The Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) project focused on improving literacy of New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) (schools.nyc.gov) middle school students by incorporating the Five Pillars of the MSQI program into middle school practices: (1) Using the Degrees of Reading Power (DRP) literacy assessment to determine students’ instructional needs; (2) Providing reading instruction in a small group format to enhance learning; (3) Implementing robust literacy instruction that incorporates reading, writing, listening, and speaking strategies into core content subjects; (4) Fostering collaboration between middle school teachers through teaming activities focused on instructional approaches; and (5) Promoting continuous team training and leadership through professional development. Hezel Associates, LLC was contracted by the NYCDOE to act as third party evaluators for this project.

The evaluation plan developed by Hezel Associates addressed five main research questions. These questions were answered through a mixed-method evaluation approach. Hezel Associates developed and implemented four instruments for this evaluation: an educator questionnaire, a teacher group-interview protocol, an administrator interview protocol, and a site-visit classroom observation protocol. Hezel Associates also used extant data collected by the NYCDOE from the multiple administrations of the DRP assessment to assess student progress in literacy resulting from the MSQI program. Data from all sources was analyzed and synthesized in order to provide NYCDOE with a better understanding of the strengths and potential areas for improvement of this program.