Districts set to up the ante on research

Print More

The Consortium on Chicago School Research will host a forum next week for school districts that are interested in creating similar research institutions in their cities. Teams of district officials are expected from New York; Baltimore; Newark; the Kansas City metro area; Louisville; Providence; Boston; Dallas; California, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Fresno and Garden Grove; Detroit; Denver; Milwaukee; Washington, D.C.; and Philadelphia.

The Consortium on Chicago School Research will host a forum next week for school districts that are interested in creating similar research institutions in their cities.

Teams of district officials are expected from New York; Baltimore; Newark; the Kansas City metro area; Louisville; Providence; Boston; Dallas; California, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Fresno and Garden Grove; Detroit; Denver; Milwaukee; Washington, D.C.; and Philadelphia.

The program is the brainchild of outgoing Consortium Executive Director John Easton, recently nominated by President Barack Obama to be director of the Institute of Education Sciences at the Department of Education. The Obama Administration is providing financial incentives to school districts to come up with better systems for data collection and analysis, and organizing a research institution could give these districts access to millions of dollars in incentive grants.

Consortium spokesperson Tracy Dell’Angela says more districts are seeking guidance on the research front, and the forum was organized so that districts can learn from the Consortium’s experience and begin to collaborate on their own initiatives. But she warns that districts still have a long road ahead, and most are just in the early planning stages.

New York, Baltimore and Newark, however, have already set up university partnerships, with New York University, Johns Hopkins and Morgan State, and Rutgers, respectively.

Developing the relationships needed between researchers, district administrators and funders is something that can take years, says Dell’Angela. The forum is scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday at the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center.