Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) is a proud partner of the Multnomah County Partnership for Education Research (MCPER), established in 2013 with the University of Portland (UP). The partnership supports research that informs educators and policy makers on issues related to student learning and teacher practice. More specifically, the collaborative efforts provide real-time research and program evaluation services to six public Multnomah County school districts. Additionally, MCPER provides long-term research support and builds capacity for sustained research by the preparation of UP’s doctoral candidates.
Here are some recent highlights from this partnership:
- The coalition has completed 19 research projects so far, with several more in progress, addressing topics such as culturally relevant pedagogy, early learning, English Language Learners, parental involvement in schools, Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), and high school and college readiness.
- Two multi-district studies are underway. The first compares achievement measures for full-day and half-day kindergarten students. The second study examines the implementation fidelity of Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) and compares student outcome measures of AVID participants and similar non-participant peers. Results of these studies will equip district leadership in research-based decision making and inform strategic planning.
- This March, UP faculty members Dr. Nicole Ralson and Dr. Jacqueline Waggoner are presenting their breakout session, Universities and Districts: Collaborating for School Improvement at the Oregon Association of Teacher Educators (ORATE) annual conference. This presentation will highlight how school improvement research questions can be answered with a new model of collaboration between a university, a non-profit organization, and six high-needs school districts. Two MCPER Doctoral Fellows, Zuly Naegele and Rebecca Smith will also present their posters Culturally Relevant Pedagogy: a Literature Review and Peer Teacher Evaluation: A Literature Review at ORATE.
MCPER is an opportunity for NWEA to honor our beginning as a Portland-area research effort, to help kids in our home county, to advance our research agenda, and to leverage the research efforts of local university researchers and doctoral students. Over a period of six years, NWEA will make a grant of $250,000 a year – for a total of $1.5MM. The partnership highlights how place-based long-term approaches to educational change occur through the sustained efforts of multiple stakeholders. NWEA is honored to contribute to such local endeavors.