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NYU Metro Center Awarded Major Grant to Study Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education (CRSE), Racial Identity Formation, and Student Academic Success

NYU Metro Center is very pleased to be awarded a $1,000,000 new study grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to be used to study the interconnected relationships of culturally responsive-sustaining education (CRSE), racial identity formation, and student academic success. 

Students Working Together with a Common Purpose of Building and Creating


One of the things we hope to accomplish through this project is the exploration of what it means for CRSE to be a dimension of quality for academic solutions (i.e., in order for a solution to be deemed effective in improving the academic experiences of Black, Latinx, and students impacted by poverty, a solution must include some element of CRSE). In this light, we think of CRSE as a dimension of quality education; thus, funding will be used to codify CRSE approaches and elements that are solutions based and that emerge out of important lessons that might be learned in the course of this project. Through this investment, NYU Metro Center will work with and study a cohort of organizations committed to improving student racial identity to better understand their approaches, harness the components of their programs that are central to their approaches, determine how each organizations measures impact, and explore current identity development measurement frameworks to see whether they can be applied to programs focused specifically on racial and cultural identity. We are deeply grateful to our generous benefactors, for placing their faith in us to do this vital work in the pursuit of racial equity in education.

Our Impact 

Over the years, NYU Metro Center has built an established relationship working with BIPOC students. In 2006, the Gates Foundation funded NYU Metro Center’s landmark, three-year study on Black and Latino males in single-sex schools. The study led to several publications, including a Harvard University Press book. It challenged the way that we thought about education for young men and boys of color, offering a forum for rethinking gender and integration, the promises of heterogeneity in education, while exposing the null effects of single-sex schools for boys and young men of color. Some of this research has informed the Gates Foundations ongoing interests in disproportionality and racial equity in U.S. schools. 

NYU Metro Center has ranging expertise on questions of disproportionality, particularly through its Innovations in Equity and Systemic Change (IESC) formerly known as Technical Assistance Center on Disproportionality (TAC-D) project. Its goal has been to develop, implement, and assess a process of providing comprehensive technical assistance and professional development trainings to New York State School Districts that are addressing issues of disproportionality.

Furthermore, NYU Metro Center houses the NYS Statewide Language RBE-RN, which is funded by the New York State Education Department Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages. RBE-RN provides support for the education of limited English proficient/English language learners (LEP/ELLs), and students of languages other than English. Districts and schools statewide are offered technical assistance, professional development and resource materials, including information that strengthens the teaching and learning of students of English as a new language, and students of languages other than English. 

NYU Metro Center has been able to leverage rigorous research findings to provide tactical support, applied research, and collaborative problem-solving to schools in the United States and abroad as well as agencies outside education. The central focus of our work has been to help organizations to implement strategies that close equity gaps and lead to the improvement of BIPOC student outcomes. We have worked to enhance the capacity of schools, districts, and other agencies through the co-construction of policies and practices, research and theory, that are designed to both meet the specific learning needs of BIPOC students and respond to environmental challenges that impact child.

We recognize the importance and sensitivity of the work we do at NYU Metro Center, therefore we take pride in the fact that our staff is majority (70%) BIPOC, our advisory groups are 90% BIPOC, and the community that our projects represent are also overwhelmingly BIPOC communities.