Assessing the Effectiveness of Research Practice Partnerships at the District Level

This grant will help researchers and district leaders assess the effectiveness of research–practice partnerships and develop and establish processes to improve partnerships’ effectiveness.

The investigators will build on Foundation-funded work by Coburn, Penuel, and Geil (2013) which provided an initial set of key partnership characteristics and delineated a typology of partnerships. Henrick’s team proposes five dimensions of partnership effectiveness: 1) establishing researcher–practitioner relationships, 2) impacting partner districts’ improvement initiatives, 3) impacting improvement research, 4) building district capacity, and 5) building partnership research capacity. The investigators will first review the existing literature on research–practice partnerships to surface additional dimensions of partnership effectiveness and to identify approaches, strategies, and tools for assessing progress along those dimensions. Next, they will conduct and analyze interviews with a small group of researchers from three types of partnerships. The investigators will produce a white paper that provides guidelines for evaluating partnerships that can be used by researchers and practitioners engaged in partnerships and by funders. The findings will enable researchers and school districts to establish processes for monitoring their progress and develop more productive partnerships, and support funders in assessing the impact of their investments.

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