Educational Success Studies

Posted by Russell Sage Foundation on June 20, 2016

Russell Sage Foundation Issues RFP for Educational Success Studies

The Russell Sage Foundation, in partnership with the William T. Grant Foundation, has issued a Request for Proposals for research projects that use data on academic achievement from the Stanford Education Data Archive to deepen our understanding of educational opportunity and success in the United States.

Using data on the results of more than 200 million standardized achievement tests taken by roughly 40 million public school students from 2009 to 2013, the archive comprises data files that provide estimates of the distribution of academic performance on a common scale in every public school district in the United States. Because the data include school district, county, and state identifiers, researchers can link them to any other source of school district data. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals using this new data resource in combination with other data sources.

Through its new Improving Education and Reducing Inequality in the United States: Obtaining New Insights from Population-Based Academic Performance Data program, the foundation will award grants of up to $20,000 for studies that utilize the archive. Examples of the types of research topics of interest include but are not limited to the effects of federal, state, or district education policies on educational achievement and the reduction of educational inequality; the effects of residential or school integration on educational achievement and the reduction of educational inequality; the role of school finance and funding in shaping achievement patterns (among states or districts, as well as within districts); the role of social policies and outside-of-school conditions in reducing inequality; the role of school choice, charter schools, and other market-based mechanisms in educational outcomes; the effects of achievement patterns and gaps on disparities in college enrollment and completion; and the effects of educational achievement and inequality on other social outcomes or aspects of social inequality.

Studies that are able to plausibly identify the effects of policies, practices, and conditions on achievement inequality or the effects of achievement gaps on other outcomes and forms of inequality will be preferred over descriptive or correlational studies. We are particularly, though not exclusively, interested in studies aimed at understanding how inequality (educational inequality or subsequent forms of inequality) in the U.S. can be reduced.

There will be two rounds of funding. Accepted proposals will receive up to $20,000 in funding for a faculty project (junior or senior) and up to $7,000 for a graduate student project. Applications may be submitted by teams of researchers. The maximum funding for a faculty project will be $20,000. If a graduate student project has multiple students, the foundation will consider funding up to $14,000.

Applicants can be doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, or faculty who received their Ph.D. on or after August 31, 2009.

For a description of program goals, eligibility criteria, and application guidelines, see the Russell Sage Foundation website.


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