Thursday, January 9, 2020

CRPE launches nationwide study of school district policy and practice

Seattle, Wash. - The Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE), together with the RAND Corporation, Chiefs for Change, and Kitamba, announced they will collaborate on the American School District Panel, a study of the policies and practices of American school districts that will focus on district strategy, structure, and policy. The goal is to understand how districts help school leaders innovate and solve problems, and to learn what barriers they face. 

The study will be funded by a $4.8 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Over the course of three years, researchers will survey leaders and staff from a representative panel of school districts and charter school management organizations across the country. Surveys will explore a range of district functions, such as curriculum and instruction, professional development supports, and services for students with disabilities. A complementary set of in-depth qualitative studies will consider how politics and implementation influence district improvement efforts. 

The study will focus on information that can help districts support black and Latino students from low-income households more effectively.

The research team will disseminate findings through accessible reports, social media, and an annual State of the District event where practitioners and policymakers will discuss the findings and implications. A data portal and a visualization platform will allow practitioners and others to fully explore the research. 

“School systems have a critical role to play in making sure students, especially the most vulnerable, get the educational opportunities they so urgently need,” said CRPE Director Robin Lake. “We are honored to have the opportunity to learn from school districts and CMOs around the country to inform school system strategy, investment, and policy.”

About CRPE

Part of the University of Washington Bothell, the Center on Reinventing Public Education is one of the nation’s leading sources for transformative, evidence-based ideas to improve education. To ensure all students are prepared for the future, CRPE puts forward rigorous research and policy analysis to help educators, policymakers, civic and community leaders, parents, and students themselves reimagine education systems and structures. Learn more about CRPE’s current research here.


Travis Pillow, Editorial Director