RESEARCH

The UCLA Center for Community Schooling supports a portfolio of research-practice partnerships (RPPs) designed to address problems that are important to local community schools. These partnerships bring together UCLA researchers and school-based practitioners to engage in scholarship that:

  1. Frames local problems in a broader research context; 
  2. Collects and analyzes local data to understand the problem, and;
  3. Develops plans to address the problem and support ongoing improvement.

The goals of these RPPs are to inform practice, ensure accountability, and create generalizable knowledge. RPP findings are shared in research briefs and reports, dissertations, conference presentations, and a wide range of publications. (See below for recent releases and our Study Tour materials for a curated list of resources.)

There are also several artifacts associated with these RPPs that directly inform the work of the schools, including assessments, curriculum, frameworks, surveys, infographics, and dashboards.  Many of these artifacts are embedded in our online reports and briefs. 

2019-20 Portfolio of Research-Practice Partnerships 

@RFK UCLA Community School

  • The Road to Dynamic Multilingualism: A Longitudinal Study of K-12 Multilingual & Multicultural Program Development
  • Tools for Self-Assessment: The Reader Identity Self Assessment and the Multilingual Interdisciplinary Social Action Project Assessment
  • College for All: Supporting Students To and Through College 
  • Multigenerational Art Making at a Community School: A Case Study of a Culturally Sustaining Afterschool Arts Program 
  • Supporting Immigrant Students and Families: A Case Study of the UCLA Immigrant Family Legal Clinic 
  • Sustaining Community School Educators: A Study of Teacher Agency, Leadership, and Retention

@Mann UCLA Community School

  • Designing, Implementing, and Evaluating Integrated Student Supports at a Community School
  • Advancing Community-based Science Teaching and Learning: Reimagining a Just and Sustainable Climate Future for Los Angeles
  • Designing Local Data and Learning Infrastructures for Community Schooling
  • Universal Design for Learning: Building a Foundation for Special Education Inclusion

@UCLA Consortium of Community Schools

  • Documenting Key Community School Practices Across Five Sites
  • Mapping the Los Angeles Community Schools Movement 

The UCLA Center for Community Schooling also invites proposals for new research-practice partnerships at the RFK UCLA Community School and the Mann UCLA Community School, following the process for external research review established by the Los Angeles Unified School District. Prospective researchers are encouraged to attend a study tour and/or learn more about the schools before submitting a proposal. 

Research Reports & Briefs

The Power of Self-Assessment Report

This report chronicles how practitioners and a researcher piloted and designed a community-based self-assessment system for second- to twelfth- grade students over a five-year span. This report illustrates how self-assessment instruments and classroom routines, together, provided students with opportunities to take ownership of their assessment data, and evaluate their disciplinary-content knowledge and passions as multilingual community members. This report also explores how the design cycle and pilot helped teachers become more cognizant of the connection between local language ideologies, social justice, and multilingual language development and literacy. This report is an interactive roadmap. Each section includes hyperlinks and thumbnails to tables, figures, and real-life examples of the self-assessment instruments in practice in order to document instrument development.

UCLA Community School Longitudinal College-going Data Report

This data report is a companion to a research paper entitled, Framing, Supporting, and Tracking College-For-All Reform: A Local Case of Public Scholarship, published this month by the High School Journal. The paper describes the collective problem-solving process that unfolded over a decade, from 2007 to 2017, as researchers and practitioners worked together to expand access to college for traditionally underrepresented students. This data report provides methodological information about how the school tracks and measures college-going and describes college-going data for four cohorts of UCLA Community School graduates. Year-to-year results show a steady growth in the percentage of graduates enrolling in four-year institutions as well as higher rates of college persistence than state and national averages.

Nurturing Play: How Schools can Provide Powerful Opportunities for Children to Learn

A large body of research demonstrates the immense benefits of play for children’s academic learning and development. However, “playful learning,” a teaching approach that uses free-play as well as guided-play activities, is disappearing from many school settings, especially in schools located in underserved communities. In this brief, we discuss the value of play, highlight playful learning approaches at the UCLA Community School, and introduce organizations that advocate for play-based learning policies. We also provide suggestions and further reading for teachers and families.

Report in English and Spanish

Mann UCLA Community School 2017-18 Annual Report: Laying the Foundation for Change

A FEW HIGHLIGHTS

In 2017, the school added a 9th grade, reversing a 16-year trend of declining enrollment.

83% of 9th grade marks were “C” or better, compared with 68% districtwide.

UCLA students, faculty and staff contributed  more than 18,000 hours of service at the school.

“Mann UCLA-CS has established a solid foundation upon which they can effectively build.”  WASC Visiting Committee

Preparing Leaders of Change: RFK UCLA Community School 2017-18 Annual Report

A FEW HIGHLIGHTS

83% of 3rd graders are reading at grade level–61% in both Spanish and English

86% of the Class of 2017 enrolled in college and 85% of the Class of 2016 persisted from freshman to sophomore year

UCLA students, faculty and staff contributed 16,793 hours of service at the school–including 10 student teachers, 10 teaching artists, 13 BruinCorps tutors, 8 graduate student researchers, and 34 after-school program leaders

NEXT MONTH: Laying a Foundation for Change: Mann UCLA Community School 2017-18 Annual Report

A Decade of Innovation

On Friday March 16th, the UCLA Center for Community Schooling and the Center for Powerful Public Schools co-released a brief commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the LAUSD Pilot Schools movement–a community-based, teacher-led, student-centered reform introduced as an alternative to charter schools in 2007. Findings were presented at an anniversary celebration held in the historic Cocoanut Grove at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools. The UCLA Community School at RFK was one of the founding Pilot Schools in 2007. Today, there are 47 Pilot Schools across LAUSD, serving 27,046 students.

CONDUCTING RESEARCH

Researchers from UCLA or other agencies or universities who wish to conduct research at the UCLA Community Schools (Robert F. Kennedy UCLA Community School and/or Mann UCLA Community School) must complete an application. For more information, please contact Karen Hunter Quartz (quartz@ucla.edu). 

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