Who We Are

The Center for Research and Evaluation (Metro-CRE) conducts research aimed at improving the learning, performance, and well being of all students, particularly under served in American schools. Its goal is to discover, develop, and disseminate best practices for nurturing academic and intellectual growth.

Metro-CRE Services

  • Educational program evaluation (e.g., Title I and III, 21st Century Community Learning Center, parent involvement programs)
  • Student, parent and teacher surveys of school climate - School Climate Assessment (SCA) Composite
  • Data analysis of student-level standardized exams - School Composite of Academic Excellence
  • Longitudinal data report on racial/ethnic disproportionality in special education and suspension
  • Training on utilizing data for improving instructional practices (e.g., Using Data with Instruction, Differentiated Instruction, and Formative Assessments)

Metro-CRE collaborates with various entities in conducting research and evaluation on substantive educational issues. These collaborations are premised on the understanding that applied research can and should assist in answering the questions persisting in educational practice.


David E. Kirkland
Director and Principal Investigator

Pedro A. Noguera
Principal Investigator

Roey Ahram 
Director of Research and Evaluation

Roey has led numerous evaluation projects including projects funding by the New York State Education Department and the National Science Foundation, and provides technical assistance and analysis on education policy and research to school districts. Additionally, he has taught research methods courses at Hunter College and has published various articles on special education disproportionality. Prior to joining Metro Center in 2006, Roey was a high school mathematics teacher in Worcester, MA and Chairman of the Worcester Public Schools Mathematics Curriculum Revision Committee (7th-12th grade). He earned his Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and his Master of Arts in Teaching at Clark University in Worcester, MA, and his Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning from New York University.

Joy Sanzone 
Research Associate 

Joy joined Metro Center in 2013. She most recently worked at the Fashion Institute of Technology as a Research Analyst in the Office of Institutional Research, where she analyzed data related to school climate, performance, and college enrollment. She also worked closely with FIT’s Office of Assessment to assist academic and administrative departments with developing research instruments and collecting data for periodic review processes. Prior to her time at FIT, she worked as a Research Associate at Policy Studies Associates in Washington, D.C. In this role she contributed to evaluations related to education and youth development programming, including a literacy intervention study with City Year New York, a case study of high-quality after-school programs in New York City with the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, and a three-year evaluation of nationwide STEM programming with 4-H. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Texas A&M University and a Master of Public Policy from Rutgers University.


Madelyn J. Boesen
Research Associate 

Madelyn joined the Metro Center as a Research Associate in 2015. She previously worked on the research and evaluation staff at the nonprofit organization GLSEN, and prior to that, served as an Evaluation Specialist at Girls Incorporated of Greater Indianapolis via the AmeriCorps VISTA program. Her research publications and interests include school climate topics, school staff professional development program evaluation, positive youth development, extracurricular activities, and crafting inclusive demographic questions for surveys. She has an M.A. in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences from Columbia University and a B.A. in Anthropology from Ball State University.


Margary Martin 
Reseach Affiliate

Margary has conducted evaluations for the New York City Department of Education, New York State Education Department, New York University, and various professional development grants. Previously, Dr. Martin worked as a middle and high school teacher, and as an Adjunct Professor at New York University. An SSRC research fellow, her research explores school contexts and academic engagement in the education and adaptation of immigrant origin youth and equity in educational policies and practices. She is also currently serving as a Visiting Professor at Brown University.

Research Assistants

Alexandra Aylward is a quantitative researcher and Ph.D. student in the Sociology of Education, studying how mass incarceration exacerbates educational inequalities and disadvantages. Additionally, she is examines special education disproportionality in New York State school districts and contributes to a project assessing the efficacy of professional development programs. Prior to coming to the Metro Center Alexandra worked as a research assistant at Stanford University in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and at the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (ISSI) of UC Berkeley. Her primary responsibilities in both of these roles were to collect, analyze and interpret quantitative and qualitative data. At Stanford, Alexandra worked on multiple projects, investigating rural access to health care, the refugee experience, and the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. At ISSI, she worked on projects researching peer networks in a poor urban community and school violence in large public high schools.

Alexandra Freidus is a doctoral candidate studying urban education in the department of Teaching and Learning.  Alex's research focuses on teaching and learning in schools with shifting student demographics; her dissertation uses ethnographic methods to examine school desegregation initiatives in gentrifying areas of New York City.  In addition to her work as an educational researcher, Alex works as a coach and consultant with several New York City schools, supports several local parent-teacher organizations with diversity-related initiatives, and serves on the socioeconomic integration work group for her community school district.  Previously, Alex led professional development initiatives focused on building professional learning communities in K-12 schools and she taught Social Studies and English Language Arts in Bay Area high schools between 2003 and 2009.  Alex has a BA in History from Brown University and an MA in Education from Mills College.

L. Trenton Marsh is a doctoral student at NYU's Steinhardt School in the Teaching and Learning department earned his B.Sc. in Business Administration, double-majoring in Marketing and Enterprise Management from American University. He earned his M.A. in Education with a concentration in Human Resource Development from the George Washington University. Prior to coming to NYU, he served as a Managing Business Consultant with IBM Corporation on the implementation team for the New York City Department of Education's Achievement Reporting and Innovation System. Responsible for 150 schools, he trained superintendents, principals, and teachers on the development and use of the tool. Marsh is also an author and avid public speaker on education, specifically academic and professional excellence. His book, (by Trafford Publishing in 2008), entitled From 1.0 to 4.0 highlights the strategies he used to transition from a struggling high school student to a successful student leader and consequently successful corporate employee. He serves on the Education Advisory Committee for Congresswoman Donna Edwards (District 4, Maryland); and is a founding member of CommitMEN, a virtual think-tank geared to providing scholarship and guidance to African American men from high school through college.

Nina Mauceri is a third-year doctoral student studying urban education in the department of Teaching and Learning. Her research interests include LGBTQ adolescents and schooling and teacher preparation, particularly as it pertains to diversity. Nina is a former New York City middle school assistant principal, literacy specialist and elementary teacher. Currently, Nina works with several schools and educational organizations as a literacy consultant and staff developer. Nina has a BA in English and American Literature from New York University, an MA in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and a certificate in Administration and Supervision from Bank Street College of education.

Jill Pierce worked for four years at a Brooklyn public school as a ninth grade English teacher and college counselor. Before that, she served as an environmental educator and education coordinator at a wildlife refuge and nature center in Rhode Island. Jill has a Masters degree in secondary English education and an undergraduate degree in comparative literature. Her research interests include urban school reform and pedagogy.

Marcela Rojas is Fulbright scholar and recipient of the Colciencias scholarship, from the Colombian government. Her current research focuses on understanding the gap in mathematics achievement by analyzing the influence of certain social and economic conditions. Rojas has done research on designing learning environments, which integrate social and cultural aspects from communities in order to promote learning in mathematics and statistics. From 2005 to 2007 Marcela was a classroom teacher in public schools in Bogotá, during which time she explored alternative ways to teach mathematics using the concerns and community necessities as sources to design learning activities and projects. In 2007 she joined the Universidad Distrital a as a faculty member, teaching in the Mathematics Education program. Prior to coming to Metro Center, she was a faculty member of the Center of Research and Instruction in Education at the Universidad de los Andes, studying the advances and impact of three educational programs implemented in five public high schools that have been affected by social and economic conditions. Marcela received a bachelors’ degree in Mathematics Education from the Universidad Distrital and earned a masters’ degree in Education from the Universidad de los Andes. She is currently a doctoral student in the department of Teaching and Learning with focus on Urban Education.


Metro-CRE clients throughout the United States include:

  • State education agencies (SEA), school boards and other responsible governmental agencies
  • Local education agencies (LEA) - districts and schools
  • Foundations

Over the past five years, Metro-CRE has partnered with the following organizations in conducting research and evaluation projects:

  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Ford Foundation
  • New York City Department of Education
  • Ossining School District
  • Winning Strategies Education Group
  • Donor's Education Collaborative



Mailing Address
Metropolitan Center for Urban Education
Center for Research and Evaluation
726 Broadway, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10003