For Immediate Release
October 9, 2012 - LOS ANGELES, CA :: The Los Angeles Education Research Institute (LAERI) today announced that it has signed a unique data sharing agreement with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), launching a new partnership built on using research to improve student learning.
"LAERI aims to improve student outcomes by working directly with districts in the Los Angeles community to infuse research and evidence into decision making processes," said Kyo Yamashiro, LAERI Executive Director. "The data archive facilitated by the data agreement provides the backbone for our efforts. Along with additional data that LAERI will collect on the ground, this will help us identify promising practices that merit further testing and scaling throughout the district."
Under the terms of the data agreement, LAUSD will provide LAERI with linked student, staff, and school data going back to 2000-01, including demographic, program, testing, grades, and course taking data, with annual updates in subsequent years. The district will also provide information gathered through surveys of students, parents, teachers, and staff about school or classroom environments. LAERI will use the data to conduct independent analyses to help the district improve education policy and practice.
"One of our first focal areas is algebra," said Yamashiro. "With more than ten years of data in the archive, LAERI researchers will identify the precursors to algebra success and pinpoint pockets of success, where students who start out behind accelerate their progress. By identifying skills and behaviors that are most related to preparing students for this critical gateway subject, we can target those skills and behaviors for further intervention by teachers and administrators."
"The Los Angeles Unified School District is committed to using evidence-based strategies to improve student achievement," said LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy. "Our partnership with LAERI will provide an important, independent, external perspective that will help our district continually improve our efforts to prepare students for successful futures." LAUSD is the first district partner for LAERI. LAUSD is the second largest district in the country, serving approximately 670,000 students and operating more than 900 schools.
"Los Angeles County alone educates about a quarter of the students in the state of California," said Meredith Phillips, LAERI's research advisor, and a public policy professor at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. "In our global, knowledge-based economy, investments in education are crucial for the future livelihood of our region and state. But such investments should be based on high quality, objective information about student progress and the effectiveness of educational programs and policies. I look forward to LAERI's research informing education policy and practice in Los Angeles for many years to come so that more of today's kindergarteners will grow into tomorrow's college graduates."
"The LAUSD/LAERI partnership promises to help ensure that all Los Angeles children have the educational opportunities they deserve because it will shine a light on what is working and what is not," said Carl Cohn, chair of the LAERI Board of Directors, member of the California State Board of Education, and former superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District. "This historic agreement is an exciting milestone, allowing L.A. to join the ranks of other major cities, like New York and Chicago, that already have the support of district-research partnerships like this."
LAERI is an independent non-profit research organization dedicated to promoting continuous educational improvement in Los Angeles by integrating research into practice. The California Community Foundation and JPMorgan Chase have provided seed grants to establish LAERI. Additional funding is needed to support priority areas of research.
"With adequate fiscal support LAERI will become an essential community resource for improving our schools, our students' academic achievement, and Los Angeles as a whole," said John E. Kobara, chief operating officer of the California Community Foundation. "We urge others to join us in providing critical funding needed to support LAERI's research"
For more information about LAERI, visit http://www.laeri.org.
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