Dr. Corinne Alfeld
Telephone: (202) 245-8203
The Improving Education Systems (Systems) topic supports research on system-level improvements of K–12 education at the school, district, state, or national level. Systems projects can explore, develop, measure, or evaluate specific practices, programs, and policies intended to improve education at the system level or to improve the system's ability to implement reforms (e.g., whole school reforms for low-performing schools; reallocation of resources across schools/districts based on student need).
Because of the multiple actors and complexities involved in education systems, the Institute is especially interested in understanding the processes underlying the successful implementation of programs and policies to better understand how and why they may or may not impact student academic outcomes. To this end, the Institute encourages applicants to be actively engaged with stakeholders (e.g., practitioners, students, parents) when planning research. By actively working with education stakeholders, research supported under the Systems topic has the potential to clarify the types of policies and systems that are indeed beneficial for students, the necessary conditions to support systemic improvements, and the factors that may enhance or impede systems-level change. The Institute encourages work that explores heterogeneity within and across schools and/or districts and to examine potential variation in outcomes of different policies.
The long-term outcome of research under the Systems topic will be an array of practices, programs, and policies that improve the operation of districts and schools in ways that improve student academic outcomes.