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.
SERP works with numerous districts to conduct randomized controlled 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:
Baltimore City Public Schools, Public Schools of Beloit, Chicago Public Schools, Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District, District of Columbia Public Schools, Everett Public Schools, Fort Madison Independent School District, Jackson Public Schools, Leominster Public Schools, Los Angeles Unified School District, New York City Department of Education, Oakland Unified School District, Penns Valley Area School District, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Santa Fe Public Schools, 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.