The group of Fellows was organized as a cohort that continued to function as such throughout the program.
The original proposal to the DOD, funded at $5 million, included two cohorts of teaching Fellows, 20 participants in the first cohort, 40 in the second. In order to accommodate the increase in number of participants, a request for proposals was to be issued to all colleges and universities in the Los Angeles area. However, in FYI 1996, the DOD, because of governmental budget reductions, declined to fund support for a second cohort of Fellows. Funding for the support systems for the first cohort of Fellows remained intact, however. During this time, which was the first two years of teaching, the Fellows attended monthly meetings throughout the academic year and were provided with opportunities for summer workshops and travel to professional teachers meetings. The total cost of the program over the period of four years and two months was $1,778,000.
The continuity of the evaluation process by an external evaluator was maintained for the duration of the program. Regular formative evaluations were provided so that changes could be made when necessary. The yearly assessments and reports were submitted to staff and the Advisory Board and the Evaluator’s Final Report includes the major findings from the whole of the project. The Final Report from the external evaluator is available as Appendix D. It should be noted that the external evaluator was directly involved in the program at various stages. For example, the evaluator had several private meetings with the Fellows together as a group as well as individually, he attended the DRI Advisory Board meetings, and had telephone calls and email correspondence with the NRC staff. In the statement of work to DOD, the external evaluator was to provide both a formative and summative evaluation of the project. The feedback of the evaluator during the project helped the Advisory Board and staff make changes that would help improve the Fellows as they progressed through the project.
DEFENSE REINVESTMENT INITIATIVE ADVISORY BOARD
The Defense Reinvestment Initiative Advisory Board (DRIAB) was formed to provide guidance for the project. The majority of DRIAB members were from the Los Angeles area and had experience in science and mathematics education at a state and national level. For example, membership included the President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Acting Director of the California State Systemic Initiative, and the Co-Principal Investigator of the Los Angeles Urban Systemic Initiative. There were also representatives of teacher preparation programs; mathematics and science teachers; school, state, and district administration; scientists and mathematicians; and the community at-large. Appendix E is the roster of appointments to DRIAB for the duration of the project.
From February 1995 through September 1998, seven DRIAB meetings were held. Attendance at the meetings ranged from 55 percent to 80 percent of the membership. Attendance varied according to the time of the year of the meetings, with fall meetings being attended more than mid-winter meetings, and according to the length of notification about the meeting. Guidance from DRIAB was also sought between meetings through consultation with the Chair and Vice-Chair and through e-mail and fax with the entire committee.