The National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, & Teaching (NCREST) is a research and development organization at Teachers College, Columbia University. Founded in 1990 by Linda Darling-Hammond and Ann Lieberman, NCREST is currently co-directed by Jacqueline Ancess and Thomas Hatch. NCREST is affiliated with Teachers College Department of Curriculum and Teaching.
Since its inception NCREST has conducted research in the critical areas of school reform such as assessment, accountability, standards, restructuring elementary, middle, and high schools—including their organization, governance, instruction, curriculum, and teacher learning—small schools, new-school creation, big school conversions, school leadership, professional development, teacher education, professional development schools, learner-centered classrooms and schools, multi-cultural education, equity, new-English language learners, under-served and under-performing students, the minority achievement gap, technology, state and local policy, and systemic reform. NCREST has collaborated with school systems, districts, school networks, and non-profit organizations on the development of standards and assessments, interventions for students at risk, technology integration, and professional development and pedagogy for diversity and equity. NCREST has promoted the practice to policy trajectory to encourage policies that support effective practice. Reseach projects conducted by NCREST include a four year study of the Regional Minority Consortium's work on remedying the racial achievement gap in 11 New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut suburban districts, a seven year study of the New York City's Coalition Campus Schools high school reform, the CollegeEd Curriculum Evaluation for the College Board, and the Eiffel Project, a Federal Technology Challenge Grant.
NCREST has always sought to bring together many voices--those of practitioners and researchers; parents, teachers and students, policymakers and teacher educators, and funders
and journalists—in multiple forums including conferences, seminars, meetings, and work groups and creates opportunities for them to collaborate. As a network of networks, NCREST has convened national conferences on topics such as authentic assessment, accountability, school restructuring, and high stakes testing, that examine critical issues and showcase promising, on the ground practices and policy alternatives.
The NCREST team includes senior and junior researchers with extensive experience in basic and applied research, formative and summative evaluation, and employing both qualitative and quantitative methods. Current staff members’ expertise includes, but is not limited to, school restructuring, organizational learning and leadership, curriculum design and implementation, teacher preparation and in-service professional development, constructivist, learner-centered instruction, alternative assessment, and instructional technology.