November 13 Monday 02:22 PM
In addition to educating students in the classroom, faculty at the Martin School also publish research that impacts current public policy. In fact, Education Week recently published a blog series featuring the research of Dr. Ron Zimmer, Director (and an alumnus) of the Martin School. The series reflects on a recent publication titled “Lessons from Five Years of Research on State Turnaround Efforts” from the Tennessee Education Research Alliance (TERA). As a part of the Peabody Research Institute at Vanderbilt University, TERA has a mission “to provide evidence based from research to inform education policy.” Dr. Zimmer, along with other researchers, has partnered with TERA to analyze Tennessee’s recent school turnaround efforts
In the first post of this series, members of TERA present their perspectives on the research, including a discussion of the outcomes of two primary reform programs, a synthesized retrospective look at previous research, and a plan for future research. According to Dr. Zimmer, the biggest success of this research has been its ability to produce “information that has helped refine Tennessee’s policy to turn around low performing schools.” TERA’s research brief indicated areas of success for these programs as well as various challenges that have impaired the progress of the programs.
The second post features Nate Schwartz, the Chief Research and Strategy Officer for the Tennessee Department of Education. He discusses the successes and challenges of following Tennessee’s school initiative as well as the implications of the findings of Dr. Zimmer and his colleagues. The perspective Schwartz presents highlights the sometimes difficult transition process between research and policy. Yet he also demonstrates how working with TERA and the researchers on this analysis has bettered Tennessee’s education department and its programs. Tennessee’s education department and Dr. Zimmer and his colleagues will continue to monitor the progress of the state’s school initiative.
The original blog posts can be viewed here: