RFA will serve as the independent evaluator for Children’s Literacy Initiative’s five-year intervention, Integrating Curriculum Development and Professional Development for Kindergarten Readiness. Through this project, which is funded by the federal Education Innovation and Research program, CLI will (1) create a comprehensive, field-tested, high-quality curriculum and suite of implementation supports that will be free and publicly available on the CLI website; (2) implement the curriculum in 20 sites with a significant number of high-needs students in Elizabeth Public Schools and Newark Public schools; and (3) build the capacity of district leaders to sustain the work following the grant period.
Throughout the project, RFA will conduct three studies. The impact study will conduct a randomized control trial to examine the effect of the intervention, including job-embedded professional development for teachers and curriculum, on students’ kindergarten readiness as measured by early language and math skills. The mixed-methods descriptive implementation study will explore how CLI’s fidelity to the intervention relates to the quality of teachers’ implementation of the curriculum and how the quality of curricular implementation relates to student outcomes. The qualitative transfer and sustainability study will explore the quality of curricular implementation as CLI transfers implementation capacity to center leaders. In addition, RFA will develop and pilot a suite of instruments to measure the fidelity of CLI’s intervention and teacher use of the curriculum.