Middle Grades Partnership Evaluation
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The Middle Grades Partnership offers academically promising Baltimore middle school youth the opportunity to gain entrance to and excel in the city''s most challenging high schools. Funded by a partnership among the Baltimore funding community and Baltimore area public and independent schools, colleges, and universities, the MGP identifies potential scholars during their sixth grade year and provides them with intensive summer programs bolstered by additional sessions during the school year. The focus of the extended educational programs is on math and algebra skills, and all participants are expected to have mastered the equivalent of Algebra I at the end of three years. The ultimate goal of MGP is that its graduates leave the program equipped to excel in an advanced high school program, to flourish in college and to enter the workforce prepared for demanding and rewarding professions. The Morton and Jane Blaustein Foundation, one of the principal funders of MGP, is interested in evaluating this innovative program to see if the expected benefits are realized. As a first step in the design of the evaluation, a process evaluation will be undertaken where the funders, MGP staff, school personnel, and students will be interviewed about how the MGP program was implemented, whether participants value the program, and how the program is reaching its goals and objectives. In addition, a logic model will be developed to help clarify program priorities and educational strategies for the program’s managers and staff. The end products will be a report about how the program was implemented, recommendations for making improvements (if needed), and a proposal for evaluating the impact of the MGP on school engagement, attendance, academic achievement, health, and emotional well-being of Baltimore middle-school students.