Center for Research in Educational Policy (CREP): Center of Excellence; College of Education. (Research Centers at University of Memphis)

By McDonald, Aaron J. | Business Perspectives, Spring 2003 | Go to article overview

Center for Research in Educational Policy (CREP): Center of Excellence; College of Education. (Research Centers at University of Memphis)


McDonald, Aaron J., Business Perspectives


The Center for Research in Educational Policy (CREP) is funded by the State of Tennessee as one of five Centers of Excellence located at The University of Memphis. The mission of the Center is to implement a research agenda associated with educational policies and practices in the pre-K-12 public schools of Tennessee and the nation and to disseminate research findings so that they inform decisions made by educational practitioners and policy makers. Since 1989, the Center has served as a mechanism for mobilizing community and university resources to address educational problems and to meet the University's commitment to primary and secondary schools. The Center seeks to accomplish its mission through a series of investigations conducted by Center personnel, University faculty, and graduate students. The Center's research agenda is developed through analysis of both ongoing and emerging issues in schools and their communities, changes occurring in teacher education programs, and recommendations from education al authorities. Research outcomes are intended to provide insight into the complexities of educational phenomena and to offer recommendations for action.

Through more than a decade of work in schools, the Center has contributed to Tennessee policy decisions regarding teacher preparation and licensure, school governance and site-based decision-making, and public school reforms. Additionally, the Center has gained national recognition for its contributions to the discussion of issues such as teacher education reform, educational equity, educational technology, school reform and restructuring, urban and multicultural education, interventions for at-risk students, and the use of formative evaluation methods for school improvement decision-making.

A major focus for CREP is to address the educational mission and scientific standards of the No Child Left Behind legislation. To accomplish this, CREP is planning and conducting high-quality studies to determine "what works" in schools across the nation. Such studies are designed to achieve the highest internal validity possible by using randomized experimental designs where feasible and, in other instances, highly controlled matched treatment-control group quasi-experimental designs. …

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