The Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences has awarded a $10 million grant to fuel research surrounding policies in an effort to better understand the impacts of school choice and voucher programs. In order to accomplish this, the grant will fund the creation of the National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice (REACH) at Tulane University. Temple’s Dr. Sarah Cordes will be among the researchers working to better understand how policies such as these affect the achievement gap among disadvantaged students.
Dr. Cordes will join experts from a variety of universities in order to better understand which school choice systems work, who benefits from them, and why some are beneficial while others are not. Researchers will likely look at five main policy domains: transportation, communication strategies, enrollment systems, oversight, and teacher supply. To best capture the landscape of these policies, Dr. Cordes and her colleagues will examine how these policies impact students in states such as Louisiana, Michigan, Florida, Oregon, Denver, New Orleans, New York City, and Washington, D.C. as these states are rich in school choice data.
In an effort to represent all perspectives and interests, REACH will work in collaboration with the Council of Chief State School Officers, Council for Exceptional Children, National Association of Public Charter Schools, National Association of Charter School Authorizers, National Association of Independent Schools, National School Boards Association, Great Schools, Public Impact, and The Shanker Institute. Researchers on this project come from a variety of universities including Michigan State University, the University of Southern California, and Syracuse University. The goal is to learn more about the programs in order to make more informed policy decisions across states.