This month, SEG launches a pilot study with its partner DevTech Research Group at Tufts University in elementary schools in Arkansas and Minnesota. DevTech is leading development and implementation of Coding as Another Language, a comprehensive, high-quality integrated Computer Science curriculum for students K-2. The curriculum is based on the popular ScratchJr app, the first programming language explicitly designed for children 5-7 that utilizes block programming to allow children to create their own imaginative stories and games. SEG is monitoring fidelity of implementation and assessing students for improvements in computational thinking and coding skills, math, and language development. The full-scale study will be launched in 2022 as a randomized controlled trial study in Norfolk Public Schools and is designed to meet What Works Clearinghouse standards for educational research.
We stand with our Black colleagues and friends against racism. The recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless more victims are a consequence of the historic structural and systemic racism that is a foundational building block of the United States. Racism has been allowed to grow and flourish in this country dating back to Jamestown in 1619, when the first enslaved women and men were brought shackled to these shores. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to highlight the effects of systemic racism on the health and well-being of Black and Brown communities. Shaffer Evaluation Group follows the American Evaluation Association's guiding principles, which address systematic inquiry, competence, integrity, respect for people, and common good and equity. These principles include honoring the dignity, well-being, and self-worth of individuals and acknowledging the influence of culture within and across groups; and striving to contribute to the common good and advancement of an equitable and just society. Following these principles, we pledge to hold ourselves accountable for revealing systems and structures of bias and work toward a future where Black Lives Matter and our society truly celebrates, respects, and protects Black people, Indigenous people, and all people of color.