The Education Research Alliance for New Orleans (Era-New Orleans) is convening two conferences for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to discuss results from studies conducted in the wake of significant school reform efforts in New Orleans.
Harris and his team are examining how changes in governance have affected parental choice, district autonomy, test-based accountability and educator quality, and how these reforms have influenced student outcomes. In addition to conducting this research, Era-New Orleans has begun to facilitate conversations among local practitioners, policymakers, and community groups to discuss their research agendas, findings, and the implications of the findings. The first conference will be held in New Orleans in summer 2015 and will bring together district leaders, policymakers, media, reform leaders, and interest and advocacy groups for a one and a half-day event. Sessions will cover topics such as parental choice, teacher quality, test-based accountability, and charter schools. The second conference in Washington, DC will include a smaller group of federal policymakers. The goal of these conferences is to use the New Orleans research to inform school reform policies, and to solicit feedback from local and federal decision makers in order to maximize the relevance of future research.