Chula Vista Senior High School, in southern California near the Mexican border, was the site of a one-year program of intensive QTEL pilot testing (spring 2002 — spring 2003). At the time, the school, with a large population of immigrants in need of academic language development, was classified by the state as an under-performing school requiring immediate intervention. The QTEL professional development design involved working with all teachers to varying degrees — from two days with the entire faculty to more substantial work with content area departments, including intensive coaching with core teachers in those departments.
Evaluation of the QTEL implementation revealed a direct and consistent relationship between instructional change and intensity of the professional development support provided. These relationships were statistically significant across all indicators, with teachers receiving the most support implementing the greatest changes.
By the end of QTEL’s year working with Chula Vista High, the school met its target growth on the California Department of Education’s Academic Performance Index (API) for the first time in three years. The school moved from a base of 587 in 2002 (target growth: 11) to a score of 613 in 2003 (actual growth: 26), achieving 236% of its growth target and leaving behind its classification as an under-performing school.