How it Began
Project Moving Forward started in Sacramento, California and in Moreno Valley California. It was started to address the achievement gap that exists for English learners and other diverse learners including economically disadvantaged students. The goal of Project Moving Forward was to increase academic achievement for students who were significantly behind in both reading and math. Project Moving Forward (PMF), was designed to close the achievement gap through systematic vocabulary development using the innovative RULE of 3 or RAP. The premise of PMF was that the achievement gap can be attributed to a word gap which means knowledge gap because words give students access to the core curriculum. Vocabulary development also has the highest correlation to school success.
Benchmarks and state test results were used to track students’ progress. A Sacramento Bee Education Extra article in the early 2002 highlights the success of the program using API state test scores in Sacramento schools.
The success of the Sacramento schools was followed by a national $1.9 million grant funded by the United States Department of Education to extend Project Moving Forward in both Northern and Southern California.
The first year of implementation in Southern California in Moreno Valley, was highlighted in the Press Enterprise 2013 news article entitled Education: Vocabulary Lessons Boost Learning, documented the gains made by students in Project Moving Forward School. RULE of 3 systematic vocabulary instruction written to the CCCS ELA standards implemented for 30 minutes a day resulted in the Academic Performance Index (API) catapulting for two Title I Moreno Valley Unified School District schools. African American students jumped a sizable 51 points on the STAR. Students’ 2013 scores increased from 36% proficient to 50.2% proficient. Students with disabilities gained 56 points. One of the most significant gains showed that the achievement gap for Title I students was closed from 12.2 to 1.9 points.
In a 2016 Press Enterprise newspaper article entitled: How Vocabulary Lessons that started in Moreno Valley are Helping Students, documented how Seneca Elementary, the demonstration school for Project Moving Forward, made the highest gains on the CAASP high stakes testing in Moreno Valley and in Riverside County for language arts. While other schools made single digit gains, Seneca made double digit gains. A University of California News Release entitled: Bridging the vocabulary Gap further documented the success of the program with English Learners on the California English Language Development Test. We continue to move forward to establish equity.