Consortium for Policy Research in Education

About


The Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) brings together education experts from renowned research institutions, including Teachers College, Columbia University; the University of Pennsylvania; Harvard University; Stanford University; the University of Michigan; the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Northwestern University. CPRE was created in 1985 as the first national federally funded research and development center for state and local education policy. Since then, CPRE has studied the design, implementation, and effects of hundreds of policies and programs intended to improve elementary and secondary education, and is widely considered to be among the premier university-based research organizations focused on education policy and evaluation in the world. CPRE researchers and staff at Teachers College (CPRE-TC) are continuing this long tradition by conducting rigorous research and evaluation that aims to improve education through increased effectiveness, equity, and access.

Over the past several decades, CPRE’s research has been supported through generous funding from many sources, including the U.S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, William T. Grant Foundation, Spencer Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Goldman Sachs Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Joyce Foundation, Merck Institute for Science Education, National Center on Education and the Economy, Pew Charitable Trusts, Rockefeller Foundation, Student Achievement Partners, General Electric Foundation, SRI International, American Museum of Natural History, the Robin Hood Foundation, Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fund for Strategic Innovation, Fundação Lemann, and Itaú Social. 

Our Approach to Research  

CPRE-TC engages with a diverse portfolio of research topics and partners. Our work spans grade levels, outcomes and disciplines, domestic and international settings, and the non-profit, for-profit, and government sectors. Given the array of projects we undertake, we are by necessity question-focused, rather than methods-focused, and we bring a broad set of analytic and epistemological tools to our work. CPRE-TC researchers are experts in designing and conducting experimental, quasi-experimental, mixed-methods, and qualitative studies. Common across this work is our determination to apply the most rigorous and systematic techniques available and to tailor our methods to the particular demands of each project. Ultimately, our aim is to ask informed questions and apply sophisticated analytic tools to determine whether policies and programs are fulfilling their intended aims, and are working in the best interest of students, families, schools, and communities.

We are also committed to disseminating our findings to diverse audiences and to advancing the knowledge base for practitioners, policymakers, and researchers. In addition to these general approaches and characteristics, we also seek to be:

  • Collaborative: We design our studies with considerable input from program designers, implementers, and funders.
  • Non-partisan: We are impartial and independent, with the ultimate aim of improving schooling and enhancing social and economic opportunities for youth.
  • Equity-focused: We care deeply about how programs and policies uniquely affect traditionally underserved and overlooked student populations.
  • Flexible: Given the ever-changing conditions that accompany real-world research settings, we remain reflective and adaptive throughout the course of each study.
  • Cost-efficient: As a university-based research organization, we are non-profit and operate with low direct and indirect costs.
  • Practice-focused: With a staff that includes many experienced educators, we consider policies and programs from the standpoint of the students and practitioners who will actually experience them, and reflect on how their daily work in classrooms will be affected.

Team


Douglas Ready

Douglas Ready

Director, CPRE-TC & Associate Professor of Education and Public Policy

Douglas Ready is the Director of the Consortium for Policy Research and Education and an Associate Professor of Education and Public Policy at Teachers College, Columbia University. He currently serves as Principal Investigator (PI) of CPRE’s five-year evaluation of the Robin Hood Learning + Technology Fund’s blended literacy approach in New York City which is supported by the Robin Hood Foundation, Overdeck Family Foundation, and the Siegel Family Endowment. He also leads CPRE’s five-year implementation study of Brazil’s National Common Curricular Base (Base Nacional Comum Curricular), funded by Fundação Lemann and Itaú Social. Additional principal investigator roles include CPRE’s multi-year study of Teach to One: Math, a middle-school blended learning platform, which was awarded a U.S. Department of Education i3 Development Grant, and the CPRE evaluation of Breakthrough School’s teacher retention and development program in Cleveland, Ohio, funded via a U.S. Department of Education Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Read More

Jennifer Sallman

Deputy Director

Jennifer Sallman specializes in K-12 education policy with a focus on policy or program evaluation. She completed her Ph.D. in Politics and Education in May 2018.  Her dissertation research evaluated the impact of the standards-based accountability (SBA) provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) on the retention of teachers of color.  Simultaneously, Jennifer worked at Teach For America as Managing Director of Strategy and Research, where she lead the organization's internal research portfolio. Prior to attending Teachers College and working at Teach For America, Jennifer earned an MPA, specializing in public policy analysis, from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service. While at NYU, she performed education policy research in the economics department and at NYU’s Institute for Education and Social Policy. At NYU, her research focused on the impact of the recent NYC high school reforms including the small schools movement and high school choice on student outcomes and on the segregation of students, respectively. Jennifer's passion for urban education reform was sparked by her teaching experience. Jennifer taught 7th-grade science in the South Bronx through the Teach For America program.  Prior to teaching, Jennifer earned an MS/BS in Organic Chemistry from Emory University.  

Read More
Thomas B. Corcoran

Thomas B. Corcoran

Senior Research Scientist

Thomas (Tom) Corcoran is a Senior Research at CPRE. Previously, Corcoran served as the Co-Director of CPRE, as the Policy Advisor for Education for New Jersey Governor Jim Florio, Director of School Improvement for Research for Better Schools, and Director of Evaluation and Chief of Staff of the New Jersey Department of Education. He has served as a consultant to urban school districts and national foundations on improving school effectiveness and equity and on two National Research Council study committees addressing K-8 science and the framework for Next Generation science standards.

Tom’s interests include strategies for improving instruction, the use of research findings and clinical expertise to inform instructional policy and practice, the effectiveness of different approaches to professional development, knowledge management systems for schools, and the impact of changes in work environments on the productivity of teachers and students.

Read More
Katharine Conn

Katharine Conn

Senior Research Scientist

Katharine Conn is a Senior Research Scientist at CPRE. Her current research focuses on issues of quality and access in primary and secondary education, teacher retention, teacher professional development, school-to-work transitions in developing countries, and the use of meta-analysis in education research. Her current projects at CPRE include evaluations of the following programs: a teacher incentive program in Ohio, a teacher residency program in NYC, a personalized instructional model in New Jersey, and a teacher pre-service program in Thailand.

Katharine’s prior experience includes working as an evaluation consultant for The World Bank’s education research group, coordinating impact evaluations in education and public health for Innovations for Poverty Action in Kenya, conducting evaluations of education reforms for the Ministry of Education in Rwanda and UNICEF India, and serving as a high school mathematics & biology teacher for the Peace Corps in Guinea, West Africa.

Katharine holds a B.A. in Political Science (International Relations) from Duke University, an M.A. in Public Administration in International Development (MPA-ID) from Harvard Kennedy School, and a Ph.D. in Economics and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Read More
Wakasa Nagakura

Wakasa Nagakura

Senior Research Scientist

Wakasa Nagakura is a Senior Research Scientist with CPRE. Her current research focuses on issues of effective mathematical instruction, writing instruction for non-native students, professional development for teachers, school-to-work transitions in developing countries, and the use of mixed design of quantitative and qualitative research in education. Her current projects at CPRE include evaluations of the following programs: a teacher residency program in NYC (Teacher Residence at Teachers College), a teacher pre-service program evaluation in Thailand, professional development of STEM teachers in Thailand, and professional development of Japanese teachers who teach English. She also spends time supporting Japanese-English bilingual students to develop literacy skills that are required in American schools.

Wakasa holds a B.A. in Journalism from Sophia University in Japan, an M.S. in communication from Boston University and Ph.D. in Cognitive Studies from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Read More
Shani Bretas

Shani Bretas

Researcher

Shani Bretas is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis at Teachers College, Columbia University. Additionally, Shani has worked as a Researcher at CPRE since 2016. Her research interests include examining the sociological conditions that create educational inequality and evaluating policies and programs designed to address inequality, particularly those targeted to reach the technical core of teaching and learning in K-12 schools. At CPRE, Shani assists in conducting mixed-methods evaluations focused on a range of topics including teacher training and retention as well as incorporating educational technologies into the classroom.

Prior to beginning her doctoral studies and joining the CPRE team, Shani spent eight years as a social studies teacher, program assistant, and testing coordinator at a public high school in Brooklyn, NY. She earned an M.A. in Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University and a B.A. in Education and History from Vanderbilt University.

 

Read More
Leana Cabrai

Leana Cabral

Researcher

Leana Cabral is a Ph.D. student in the Sociology of Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University, and a researcher at CPRE. She is also affiliated with The Public Good, a public school support organization. Her research interests include school segregation, educational inequality and the racial politics of public education. Prior to attending Teachers College, Leana worked as a consultant for a large-scale education nonprofit, the Philadelphia Education Fund, and served as the Director of the City of Philadelphia's Mayor's Office of Education's college access initiative. Prior to those positions, Leana worked in the youth development field. She holds a B.A. in Comparative Women's Studies from Spelman College.

Read More

Carolina Campos

Researcher

Carolina is a researcher at CPRE and is based in Brazil. Prior to joining CPRE, Carolina has worked at MIT-Brazil and has been the head of the Education Sector at the Consulate General of Brazil in Boston. Subsequently, Carolina became the Pedagogical Director of ESFAPEGE, the teacher training school of Sobral, Ceará. Carolina was also the Municipal Education Secretariat in Gravatá, Pernambuco. She later became a UNESCO consultant, advising the Ministry of Education in Brazil. Carolina earned a law degree from the Catholic University of Brasilia and a master's degree in Public Policy from Centro Universitàrio Unieuro. Carolina also holds a Professional Certificate in Learning Design and Technology from Harvard University. 

Read More
Iris Daruwala

Iris Daruwala

Researcher

Iris Daruwala is a researcher at CPRE and a Ph.D. candidate in the Sociology and Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests include cross-sector collaboration, school segregation and the organizational sociology of education systems. Prior to joining CPRE, she worked on large-scale, mixed methods policy and program evaluations in Education and International Development at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). Iris also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA supporting the implementation of a district-wide reform effort in Oakland, California. She earned her B.A. in International Development Studies with a minor in Education from the University of California at Berkeley.

Read More
Melissa Arnold Lyon

Melissa Arnold Lyon

Researcher

Melissa Arnold Lyon is a Ph.D. student in the Politics and Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests include education politics, federalism, and the interest group dynamics of social and educational policy. Melissa’s work has been published in Urban Affairs Review and Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Prior to attending Teachers College, Melissa was a middle school teacher in Houston, Texas.

Read More
William Powers

William Powers

Researcher

Billy Powers is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis at Teachers College, Columbia University and a Researcher at CPRE. He has a strong interest in how early childhood systems foster (or hinder) innovation and meaningful community engagement. Prior to his doctoral studies, Billy was a Senior Associate at Sorenson Impact at the University of Utah, where he managed several feasibility studies examining the potential for using outcomes-based financing to expand access to early childhood services. Before Sorenson Impact, Billy taught preschool in a Head Start on the South Side of Chicago and earned his M.P.P. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Read More
Danilo Fernandes Lima de Silva

Danilo Fernandes Lima da Silva

Researcher

Danilo Fernandes Lima da Silva is a Researcher at CPRE and a Ph.D. student in the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis at Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to beginning his studies, Danilo spent five years at the Inter-American Development Bank, working in Brazil, Mexico and Washington, D.C. He was also a consultant for several institutions (Unesco, World Bank, ILO, Omidyar Network, Instituto Natura) and the public policy director of CIEB (Innovation Center for Brazilian Education). He earned an M.A. in International Affairs from Sciences-Po Paris, an Ed.M in International Education Development from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a B.A. in International Relations from PUC-SP in Brazil.

Read More
Carolina Snaider

Carolina Snaider

Researcher

Carolina Snaider is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching with a concentration in Early Childhood Policy, at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a Research Assistant at the National Center for Children and Families and a Researcher at CPRE. Her research interests relate to the design and implementation of high quality, equitable early childhood programs and policies for all young children and their families.

Formerly a preschool teacher, Carolina worked on educational policy and program evaluations at the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI). She also served as a consultant of the Argentinean committee of the World Organization of Early Childhood Education (OMEP). Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, she was working at the Ministry of Education of the City of Buenos Aires as an assistant to the Director of the Department of Educational Evaluation. Carolina holds an M.A. in Educational Administration from Universidad Torcuato Di Tella and a B.A. in Psychology from Universidad de Belgrano.

Read More

Filomena Siqueira

Researcher

Filomena Siqueira is a researcher at CPRE and a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy program at the School of Business Administration of São Paulo, Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil). As part of her Ph.D. she spent a semester as a visiting scholar at Stanford University School of Education. Her research interests include system coherence in education, designing and implementating education policy, and effective schools. Prior to joining CPRE, she worked in the third sector on design and evaluations of educational programs and policies. She holds a Master Degree in Public Policy with a focus in education from School of Business Administration of São Paulo, and a B.A in International Relations from ESPM (São Paulo, Brazil).

Read More
Isabel Linacre

Isabel Linacre

Research Associate

Isabel Linacre is currently a Research Associate at CPRE working on the implementation study of Brazil’s National Common Curricular Base (BNCC) and the evaluation of Robin Hood Learning + Technology Fund’s Blended Literacy Program in New York City. She spent three years as a secondary school French and German teacher in London. She holds a B.A. in French and German from Bristol University, a PGCE from University College London, and an M.A. in Sociology and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Read More

Heidi Booth

Research Assistant

Heidi Booth is a research assistant at CPRE. She is also pursuing an MA in education policy at Teachers College and is specializing in data analysis and research methods. Heidi holds a BA in political economy with a minor in education from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to coming to Teachers College, she worked at the Institute for Educational Leadership on projects supporting transition pathways for students with disabilities and disconnected youth.

Read More

Melissa Gutwein

Research Assistant

Melissa Gutwein is a research assistant at CPRE and is pursuing a master's degree in education policy at Teachers College, Columbia University.  Prior to joining CPRE, Melissa worked as a research assistant at Michigan State University's Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC) and as a teacher in Chicago Public Schools.  Her research interests include teacher labor markets and racial and socioeconomic segregation.  Melissa holds a B.A. in Special Education from Michigan State University.

Read More

Christy McDaniel

Research Assistant

Christy is currently pursuing a master's degree in Sociology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Before joining the CPRE team, she taught fourth grade reading and social studies as a Teach for America corps member in Jacksonville. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Duke University. 

Read More
Emma Zorfass

Emma Zorfass

Research Assistant

Emma is currently pursuing a master's degree in Education Policy at Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to joining CPRE as a Research Assistant, Emma worked at the University of Michigan's Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center. She holds a B.A. in Public Policy from the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

Read More

Alumni


Anna Moyer

Anna Moyer

Alumna

Anna Moyer was a Research Assistant at CPRE from 2017-2019. During this time, she worked on the implementation study of Brazil’s National Common Curricular Base (BNCC), the evaluation of Robin Hood Learning + Technology Fund’s Blended Literacy Program in New York City, and the i3 evaluation of Teach to One: Math in Elizabeth, N.J. 

Prior to moving to New York, Anna taught middle school social studies and literacy for five years and served as the Chief of Staff to the London Director at Teach First in the United Kingdom. She will begin her Ph.D. in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University in Fall 2019. 

She earned a B.A. in Urban Studies from Wellesley College and an M.A. in Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Read More
Leslie Shellito

Leslie Shellito

Alumna

Leslie was a Research Assistant at CPRE from 2018-2019. In this role, she worked on a Randomized Control Trial of Cignition's FogStone Isle. Additionally, she supported The American Museum of Natural History in analyzing data and developing more systemic data collection practices.

Prior to CPRE, she was a 4th and 5th grade teacher in Seattle, Washington. Currently, she is the ELA Content Lead with Instruction Partners in Indianapolis. There, she applies the data analysis skills she honed at CPRE to better support the students and teachers in Indianapolis Public Schools.

She earned a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in Sociology and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Read More

Recent and Ongoing Projects


CPRE is engaged in a five-year study of the implementation of Brazil’s National Common Core Curricular Base (BNCC). Our initial work is focused on understanding the national landscape of BNCC design and implementation through document analysis and interviews with policymakers, practitioners, and politicians across multiple sectors and governmental levels. In addition to ongoing stakeholder interviews, subsequent years will include qualitative fieldwork in 18 elementary schools across three states to better understand how the BNCC is being interpreted, perceived, and implemented in practice. This work is supported by Fundação Lemann and Itaú Social.

The Robin Hood Learning + Technology Fund seeks to leverage the potential benefits of a content-rich literacy strategy with a technology-enhanced blended learning approach that also personalizes student learning. The program will be implemented in 15-20 New York City schools serving substantial proportions of low-income students. CPRE-TC will document the processes schools develop in service to the blended literacy framework, the instructional approaches that evolve from those processes, and the impact these processes and approaches ultimately have on student outcomes. The study is funded by the Robin Hood Foundation, the Overdeck Family Foundation, and the Siegel Family Endowment.

The Robin Hood Learning + Technology Fund is supporting three pre-service teacher training institutions in developing a computational thinking approach to K-5 pre-service teacher training. CPRE-TC will document the processes and models that Relay Graduate School of Education, CUNY Queens College and Hunter College develop in service to Computational Thinking teaching and learning practices. Researchers will follow pre-service teachers into K-5 classrooms and carry out a rigorous mixed methods evaluation of the potential impact of Computational Thinking training on teacher and student outcomes. The study is funded by the Robin Hood Foundation, the Overdeck Family Foundation, and the Siegel Family Endowment.

Itaú Social launched a two-year pilot program in 2019 aimed at improving educational planning and delivery processes in eight mid-sized Brazilian municipalities. The program matches municipalities with partner organizations in an effort to improve outcomes in several areas, including access to quality schooling, teachers training, student academic performance, student retention and graduation, and strategic planning of the local department of education. CPRE is conducting an implementation evaluation of the pilot program. The study seeks to understand what factors facilitate or hinder the implementation of education reforms led by Itau's external partners. This work is supported by Itaú Social.

Over the years, Blue Engine has worked in partnership with schools and teachers to test innovative uses of human capital and create classroom conditions that seek to empower every student to succeed. CPRE is engaged in a fully-integrated, quantitative-dominant mixed-methods evaluation of Blue Engine's AmeriCorps and Co-Teaching Models. The study comprises a methodologically rigorous quantitative study of Blue Engine’s causal impact on student performance and a collaborative qualitative analysis of Blue Engine's implementation processes.

Instituto Singularidades, a school of education and a center for professional development located in São Paulo, Brazil, was designed with an explicit focus on developing teachers through stressing the importance of deep immersion of its students into real-world classrooms and schools. CPRE is engaged in a one-year content and process evaluation of Instituto Singularidades, exploring the extent to which the undergraduate Singularidades program is meeting these ideals, both programmatically and practically.

Teacher Residency at Teachers College is an 18-month graduate-level teaching residency program that aims to recruit academically talented individuals from diverse backgrounds and prepares them to teach children and youth attending high-needs, urban schools in New York City. CPRE is conducting an independent evaluation of the program to document and evaluate its effects on teacher retention and classroom practice. This work is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

CPRE is a partner in the STEM Capacity Building component of the Kenan Institute Asia’s Enjoy Science Project. The project is a five-year, public-private partnership to strengthen Thailand’s competitiveness by improving STEM and technical vocational education and training for workforce development across the country. Experts from CPRE and the Enjoy Science Project are conducting trainings in mathematics and science instruction in Samut Prakan, Khon Kean, and Songkhla. This work is funded by Chevron.

CPRE is conducting a randomized control trial (RCT) to evaluate the effectiveness of Cignition’s FogStone Isle, a game-based platform focused on mathematics instruction for grades 4-8. The study, which will take place in 10 schools during the 2018-19 school year, is being funded by the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fund for Strategic Innovation.

 

CPRE is assisting the Museum in its efforts to understand the socio-demographic characteristics of the students and schools it serves via its education programs. The partnership between the Museum and CPRE is particularly interested in whether this programming reaches audiences that are typically underserved by New York City educational and cultural institutions. 

New Classrooms Innovation Partners was awarded an Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the U.S. Department of Education to expand its Teach to One: Math model in grades 5-8 in three schools and grades 6-8 in two schools in Elizabeth, NJ. CPRE is engaged in a four-year evaluation of these efforts. The evaluation has two primary strands: (1) a methodologically rigorous quantitative study of Teach to One’s causal impact on student mathematics performance and (2) a systematic qualitative analysis of Teach to One’s implementation processes, combined with staff interviews and classroom observations in each of the five Teach to One schools. This work is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Click here to read the final impact results.

Breakthrough Charter Schools in Cleveland, Ohio was awarded a five-year Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) Grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2012. Through these funds, BCS designed and implemented the “GRO” Program (Growth, Recognition, Opportunities) which aimed to increase teacher retention rates through four avenues: improved performance evaluation processes, performance-based compensation, differentiated career pathways, and improved professional development. The mixed-methods study combines an analysis of administrative data, responses to an online survey of former and current teachers, and qualitative interviews to explore four key outcomes: (1) GRO implementation, (2) relationships between GRO and teacher retention, (3) relationships between GRO and the teaching and learning environment, and (4) other non-GRO factors influencing teacher satisfaction and retention. The study is supported by the U.S. Department of Education, Teacher Incentive Fund.

Back to skip to quick links