Dr. Corinne Alfeld
Dr. Katina Stapleton
REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS: FY 2019 84.305A (PDF: 1.6 MB)
The Improving Education Systems: Policies, Organization, Management, and Leadership (Systems) topic supports research on system-level improvements of K–12 education at the school, district, state, or national level1. Systems projects 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. Examples include school reorganization, accountability systems, school choice, data use and cost accounting, early warning systems, and teacher incentive programs.
Between 2004-2017, NCER has invested approximately $84,000,000 in the Systems program to support 61 research projects.
The Systems topic was introduced in 2004 as the Education Finance, Leadership, and Management topic. In 2007, the name was changed to Education Policy, Finance, and Systems. In 2012, the name was changed to Improving Education Systems: Policies, Organization, Management, and Leadership. The following topics were also competed in previous years and are now consolidated into the Systems portfolio (and are therefore included in the grant numbers in the previous section): High School Reform, Middle and High School Reform, and Education Leadership.
Systems researchers have explored, developed, and tested for efficacy a number of policies and programs intended to improve education outcomes for large numbers of students, schools, or districts.
Example: Using district administrative data to develop algorithms (called “early warning systems”) that identify students at risk for failure, used to target additional supports to help them succeed.
Why is Systems Unique?
The Systems program focuses on broad, systems-level interventions at the school, district, state, and national levels. Research supported under the Systems topic has the potential to identify the types of policies and systems that are beneficial for large numbers of students, the necessary conditions to support systemic improvements, and the factors that may enhance or impede systems-level change.
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. The outcomes of Systems research are especially important under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which requires education leaders to make evidence-based decisions when selecting policies and programs to implement in their states and districts.
RELATED PROJECTS and PROGRAMS
Research and Development Centers
Regional Education Lab (REL) Programs
National Center for Education Statistics Programs
RELATED IES PUBLICATIONS
1 Policies and programs in early childhood education are included in the Early Learning Programs and Policies topic, while programs and policies at the postsecondary level are in the Postsecondary and Adult Education topic.