AEFP 43rd Annual Conference Program
Chair:, University of California - Irvine
Chair:, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Chair:, School District of Philadelphia
Chair:, University of Chicago
Chair:, Santa Fe Public School
Chair:, New York University
Chair:, U.S. Census Bureau
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) now requires state and local education agencies to report on expenditures per pupil at the school level, not just the district level, and to disaggregate these data by source of funds. This requirement is meant to shine a light on potential inequities in the distribution of school funding across and within school districts. However, compliance may be challenging for states and districts whose data and accounting systems are not designed to collect and report on finance data at this fine-grained level.
This policy talk will explore the policy and practical issues around the new requirement and the broader issue of how funds are distributed within and between school districts. Panelists will share an overview of the new “expenditures per pupil” provision set forth in ESSA, as well as highlights from previous research about the equity of funds distribution. They will describe the challenges inherent in collecting school-level finance data and the response of LEAs, SEAs, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Census Bureau to surmount those challenges. Finally, they will share lessons learned from piloting the School-Level Finance Survey (SLFS) from the National Center for Education Statistics.
Chair:, Bellwether Education Partners
Chair:, Brown University
In recent years, researcher-practitioner partnerships have proliferated around the country, largely engaging researchers to work in partnership with local urban school districts. State-level researcher-practitioner partnerships are much rarer. However, three years ago the Institute of Education Sciences funded Tennessee and North Carolina to build research-practice partnerships in service of studying scaling up well-formed educational interventions. The Tennessee partnership has studied the effectiveness and implementation of the Instructional Partnership Initiative (IPI), which aims to harness teacher expertise within schools to supplement the feedback that teachers receive through the evaluation system. The North Carolina partnership focuses on efforts to turn around the state’s lowest performing schools and to tailor services to groups of schools.
As the interest in building state-level partnerships grows, it is an opportune time to explore the opportunities and challenges that such partnerships present. This panel will be a conversation between researchers and practitioners from the Tennessee and North Carolina partnerships, exploring the following questions:
- How has the research developed in these partnerships and how has it informed policies, practices, and research for all partners?
- How and who decides what aspects of the interventions/programs/policies should be studied?
- How does the focus of scaling up of programs at the state level influence the nature of these partnerships?
- What are the limitations (from both the research and policy perspectives) of using rigorous causal designs to study fully-formed state programs at scale? What are necessary conditions for states to implement programs that can be studied with rigorous research methodologies?
- How could the design and implementation of state-university partnerships, and federal funding to support them, be improved?