Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kansas City Area Educational Research Consortium: Collaborative Research for Educational Improvement

Researchers from UMKC, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Kansas, the Kansas State University and Washington University in St. Louis are partnering with Kansas City area school districts to form a Kansas City Area Educational Research Consortium (KC-AERC). Modeled after a similar consortium in Chicago (, KC-AERC's aim is to bring additional research capacity to area public schools, using data to answer research questions that the districts have identified as important for school improvement. A kickoff event for key stakeholders will be held on September 25th and will feature John Easton, current head of the Institute for Educational Sciences (IES) and former research director of the Chicago Consortium. Invitees include representatives from the State Departments of Education, Superintendents and Research Directors from K-12 districts, teacher’s union representatives and interested faculty and administrators from the partnering universities.

The consortium has received one year startup funds of approximately $850,000 from the Ewing Kauffman foundation to build infrastructure and complete three demonstration research projects on topics that KC area school districts have identified as important: alignment of curriculum and assessment in mathematics education; predictors of successful transition to higher education, and trends in teacher workforce retention and mobility. Current faculty researchers come from departments housed within Arts and Science, Schools of Education and Schools of Business. Faculty from any disciplinary background with an interest in K-12 education may participate. If any faculty on UMKC’s campus think they may be interested in being involved with the consortium, please contact Tamera Murdock in the Department of Psychology or Carolyn Barber in the the School of Education for more information. Further details about the consortium and the kick-off event can be found on the KC-AERC website:

-Written by Tamera Murdock, Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology

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