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IES Grant

Title: Massachusetts Institute for College and Career Readiness (MICCR): Creating Working Alliances among Researchers, Policy Makers and Education Officials
Center: NCER Year: 2014
Principal Investigator: Solberg, V. Scott Awardee: Boston University
Program: Training in Education Use and Practice      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3 years (7/1/2014 - 6/30/2017) Award Amount: $1,000,000
Type: Training Award Number: R305B140043

Co-Principal Investigators: Chad díEntremont (Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy) and Benjamin Forman (MassINC)

The Massachusetts Institute for College and Career Readiness (MICCR) will promote working alliances between researchers and policymakers in the use and interpretation of data and evidence to guide decision-making and improve student outcomes. The MICCR is collaboration between Boston University, the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Educationís College and Career Readiness unit.

During the three year training grant, MICCR will recruit a national cohort of established education researchers to form working partnerships with teams of local decision-makers in Massachusettsí Gateway Cities, defined as historically thriving manufacturing communities with 50,000 to 250,000 residents, which lack the college educated workforce needed to compete in the knowledge-based economy.

Each working group will consist of a Gateway City team representing the school district, city administration, and the local community, as well as a national education researcher selected by MICCR to provide technical/research assistance to the Gateway team members. MICCR will select and partner the local teams and researchers based on the local teamís specific research interests within the broader topic of career and college readiness (e.g., early warning systems, academic remediation, individualized learning plans, workforce readiness, and whole school reform) and the researcherís expertise.

The working groups will each identify a specific research question that addresses the local teamís needs. MICCR trainers will support the working groupsí research goals by providing different types of scaffolding. This scaffolding will consist of content knowledge (e.g., information about early warning systems), practical knowledge (e.g., helping researchers to communicate with non-researchers), and continuous research support. After the working groups determine their research question(s) of interest, the Gateway City teams will collaborate on a research project with the assistance of their education research partner and MICCR staff.

Key programmatic features include: locally-determined research projects, annual two-day conferences to facilitate networking and collaborations across Gateway City communities; a webinar symposia to support project implementation through continued explorations of best practices; and bimonthly project meetings to discuss progress. Supplementary activities, such as quarterly policy forums and the publication of new research and policy briefs, will communicate the MICCRís work to the broader policymaking community.

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