Funding, Grants & Awards

Grants Support Joint Rice U and Houston School District Research

Two grants will enable Houston-based Rice University to expand education research within its local school system. The university's Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC) has a partnership with Houston Independent School District that involves doing research based on the needs of local education leaders, working together in data collection related to research projects and training new researchers focused on education.

The research consortium has received $2.2 million from two organizations, Houston Endowment and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. The funding is intended to support research that links education data with information from other sectors, including early childcare, criminal justice and the workforce.

Current projects include research into dropout indicators, school choice, college advising and various districtwide program evaluations. The most recent grants will support research to help educators and policymakers better understand the links between education and outcomes good and bad that affect society.

"The HERC research team and the district leaders we work with are highly committed to ensuring that this investment not only improves the connection between research and decision making but also ultimately leads to better outcomes for children," said Ruth López Turley, HERC director and Rice professor of sociology, in a prepared statement. She noted that the partnership goes beyond "simply handing over a research report." "Both researchers and district leaders are making significant changes to better align the timing of research production with the timing of decision-making."

"HERC helps build powerful relationships between researchers and practitioners by focusing on real-world problems and connecting research to solutions in the field," added Houston Endowment President and CEO Ann Stern. "This work will have a positive impact on students and families in greater Houston and has the potential for broader impact by serving as a model for other districts."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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