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Gates Foundation Invests in APS

Two researchers from the Gates Foundation and Harvard will work with district on data analysis

June 17, 2010

The Albuquerque Public Schools will join the Denver, Los Angeles and Philadelphia school districts as members of the Strategic Data Project (SDP), which is funded by the Gates Foundation and administered by the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) at Harvard University, APS administrators announced Wednesday night.

In a presentation to the APS Board of Education Wednesday evening, RoseAnn McKernan, executive director of instructional accountability for APS, said that two SDP data analysts or fellows will work with staff from the APS’ Research, Deployment and Accountability Department to analyze data and work to bring that data to bear on strategic management and policy decisions.

“We will analyze data to look at three specific areas of interest,” McKernan told the board. “The first is effective instructional strategies for Hispanic students. The second is teacher effectiveness and the third is the impact of the state’s three-tiered licensure system on student performance.”

McKernan added that the second part of the data project is a deeper analysis by the SDP and CEPR staff at Harvard of teacher effectiveness and college readiness.

“The Gates Foundation is primarily interested in large urban districts with high minority enrollment and with the challenges of high poverty,” McKernan said.

Superintendent Winston Brooks said that part of the criteria for selection to be part of the Strategic Data Project was that the local board of education and the superintendent must work well together.

“Our selection by the Gates Foundation and Harvard for this project speaks well of our work together,” Brooks told the board.

He noted that participation in the project over the next two years could open the door to other work with both the Gates Foundation and Harvard.

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