Our research tackles the most persistent issues relevant to school improvement: teacher capacity and expertise, equity, the ability of schools to serve at-risk students, and long-term improvement of the quality of schooling. Our trademark is that we do not pursue small studies that seek a quick fix, but rather we seek to develop knowledge and understanding that can assist decision makers who have the power to shape the priorities of schools, districts, and communities in the interest of children. We are gratified (though not particularly pleased) that issues we have been raising for years in Houston, based on the findings of our research, are now becoming more commonly accepted as critical issues for education – issues that require action. Most important among these is a loss of 135,000 youth from Texas schools every year.
We believe if this problem is to be effectively addressed, it must be understood at both the personal level (of the youth themselves) and at the systemic level, with solid documentation of the structural factors within the schools and within the economic and cultural circumstances affecting youth. And the “micro” and the “macro” analyses must proceed in tandem, not in isolation.
The researchers at the Center for Education bring a very wide range of experience in both research and educational practice to our team. We have been K-12 teachers and college professors, worked as school and district administrators, in social work and community organizations. Our academic expertise spans curriculum, educational psychology, and policy studies. Together, we have a strong record of influential publications that address critical issues central to the national education debate.