Mission & History | Teachers College Columbia University

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Mission & History

NCREST works to advance education stakeholders’ understanding of the complex and challenging work of restructuring schools. To carry out this mission, NCREST conducts research, fosters connections, and shares expertise, resources, and images that help education practitioners, reformers, researchers, parents and community members to reimagine and create equitable and effective schools. 

Founded in 1990 by Linda Darling-Hammond and Ann Lieberman, NCREST’s current Co-Directors are Jacqueline Ancess and Thomas Hatch. NCREST is affiliated with the Department of Curriculum and TeachingTeachers College, Columbia University

Since its inception, NCREST has conducted research related to the restructuring of many different aspects of elementary, middle, and high schools. That work has addressed issues such as the design and development of small schools, new-school creation, high school conversions, school and teacher developed assessments, uses of instructional rounds, district-wide improvement, the high-school to college transition, and systemic reform.

NCREST has always sought to bring together many voices ­ those of practitioners and researchers, parents, teachers and students, policymakers and teacher educators, 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.

To hear Ann Lieberman talk about the origins of NCREST, listen to a podcast from 2010.