"An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people."
– Thomas Jefferson
When SERP and a school district enter into a field site partnership, a set of critical mutual commitments are made. SERP commits to follow the district’s lead regarding the focal problem for the partnership work. This reverses the typical relationship of district and researcher, where work often begins with the researcher and is then spread to districts. Once the district has identified the target problem, SERP recruits researchers with varying expertise related to that problem to contribute to framing. The match between the district’s interests and the interests of participating researchers determines who will constitute the research and development team for the project. Together, the team follows the contours of a problem in order to understand impact, and revise or expand the program of work in response to evidence.
In the spring of 2005, SERP launched its first field site in collaboration with the Boston Public Schools. The problem identified by the school district as most urgent was the inability of students to comprehend their subject-area textbooks when they reached high school, leading the team to focus on middle school literacy.
Products of the partnership include Word Generation, the Strategic Adolescent Reading Intervention (STARI), the Internal Coherence Assessment and Protocol (ICAP) and assessments such as the Reading Inventory and Scholastic Evaluation (RISE), the Core Academic Language Skills Instrument (CALS-I), the Social Perspective Taking Acts Measure (SPTAM), the Reflective Judgement Test (RFJ), and the Low-Inference Discussion Observation Tool (LIDO).
SERP began working in SFUSD in 2006. District leaders targeted middle school math and science achievement as areas for focus.
In 2006, SERP launched its first multi-district field site in collaboration with the Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN) and its member districts. MSAN districts are smaller urban or inner-ring suburban school districts that share a deep commitment to closing the achievement gaps among students from different races and ethnicities while ensuring all students achieve to high levels.
Products of the partnership include AlgebrabyExample and MathByExample (coming summer/fall 2017).
Partner districts: Ann Arbor Public Schools (MI), Arlington Public Schools (VA), Public Schools of Brookline (MA), Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Public Schools (NC), Evanston Township High School (IL), Evanston/Skokie School District 65 (IL), Green Bay Public Schools (WI), Oak Park Elementary District 97 (IL), Madison Metropolitan School District (WI)), and Shaker Heights School District (OH)
In 2010, SERP began a partnership with Oakland Unified School District to establish a strategic approach to improving middle school mathematics and elementary science.
In 2014, SERP established a field site partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools to focus on academic perseverance and other non-cognitive factors that contribute to academic success.
A product of the partnership is Focus 5.
Previously, Baltimore has participated in three SERP randomized controlled trials, and Baltimore City Schools’ widespread use of the RISE assessment in middle grades provided valuable data for establishing validity and reliability properties.
SERP works with numerous districts to conduct randomized control studies of teaching and learning to examine the effectiveness of educational products and interventions. For the sake of data privacy, participants in specific studies are not identified. A partial list of districts who have served as valuable partners are:
Public Schools of Beloit, Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District, Everett Public Schools, Fort Madison Independent School District, Penns Valley Area School District, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Leominster Public Schools, San Francisco Unified School District, Worcester Public Schools, and Pittsburgh Public Schools.
SERP's commitment to user-centered design requires that the organization enlist the aid of practitioners in the field to respond to prototypes, test usability, and offer feedback.
SERP supports districts that are interested in locally implementing or incorporating products that emerged from a field site.
Strategic Education Research Partnership
1100 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 1310 | Washington, DC 20036