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Policy, Research, and Evaluation Staff

Center for Policy, Research, and Evaluation

The Center for Policy, Research, and Evaluation (PRE) conducts applied research and evaluation studies focused on promoting positive educational outcomes for youth, and understanding the influence of both schools and communities on those outcomes. Its goal is to use research to inform educational policies and practices at federal, state, local, and programmatic levels.


Our mission is to make research and evaluation for education that is action-oriented, liberating, accessible, and results in more equitable systems, policies, and practices.
Recognizing that research is often used as a tool of domination, we believe in the reclamation of research tools to illuminate marginalized truths, stories, and experiences.
We pursue our mission:

  • in solidarity with youth, parents, educators, and communities that have been historically marginalized by oppression;
  • collaboratively with researchers and practitioners from universities and community-based organizations;
  • using a critical lens in our work and in our own personal development;
  • with culturally responsive quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods;
  • through rigorous and thoughtful work that affirms humanity.


Our Team

Joanna Geller

Assistant Director of Research

Leah Q. Peoples

Assistant Director of Community Research & Research-to-Practice Partnerships

Elise Harris

Assistant Director of Evaluation

Wendy Y. Perez

Senior Research Associate

Hui-Ling Malone

Graduate Research Assistant

Current Projects

Culturally Responsive Mastery-based Education Research Project

Seeks to understand how culturally responsive mastery-based practices influence historically marginalized students’ learning capacities, school engagement, and academic outcomes.

Evaluation of Academic Parent Teacher Teams

An evaluation of Academic Parent Teacher Teams (APTT) in New York City middle schools.

Florida Atlantic University High School

FAUHS is the only high school in the country where students concurrently work towards a high school diploma and a bachelor’s degree.

High School Characteristics and Postsecondary Success among Boston Public School Graduates

The college enrollment rate of Boston Public School graduates may be relatively high (66.2% for the class of 2011), but there is significant variation by race, income level, disability status, and English proficiency.

Parent Leadership Indicators Project

With access to high-quality leadership training and development, parents can become powerful advocates for greater opportunities for children, and the family becomes a vital constituency for improved child and community outcomes.

Parent Leadership Training Institute Evaluation

A program that enables parents to become advocates for children and focuses on parents as partners with agencies and leaders.

Youth Organizing Trajectories Study

A study to understand the trajectories of young people who participate in youth organizing (YO)

The Exploring Leadership Councils Study

A four year, three-cohort, mixed methods study that examines whether and how youth leadership councils (YLCs), foster developmental competencies and critical consciousness.

Past Projects

Real Parent Power

Current national and local education policies often pit teachers and parents against each other. But in one Minneapolis community, parents and teachers decided to work together with great results. This is their story.

Read More


A Unique Opportunity for Integration, Inclusion, and Equity | 2018

The gentrification of urban neighborhoods across the country has attracted notice since at least the 1970s. However, in the most recent decade in the “return to the cities,” gentrification has become much more common.

Until the Bright Day of Justice Emerges: Reclaiming Dr. King and the Imagination that Gave Birth to a Dream | 2018

Each year on the Monday of (or immediately following) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, many in our nation and, undeniably, throughout the globe gather to commemorate the story of freedom for which Dr. King lived and...

Marching Closer to Our North Stars: Notes on Education for Liberation | 2017

Too many of us educators have been given a pass in relation to our obligation to help end the suffering of hurting women, men, and children languishing across the globe.

Puerto Rico Uprooted: The story of mi gente y la suya | 2017

Today marks 75 days since Hurricane Maria hit my home island of Puerto Rico. I just returned last night from visiting and much of the island looks as if the storm hit yesterday, while other parts appear relatively untouched.

Fighting Our Fear With Valor: A Powerful Lesson From A High School Student on How to Transform Schools | 2018

Fear is a dangerous thing. It is the source of everyone's problems. Many people in society are afraid of being at the bottom of the hierarchy.

Civic Education for a Civil Society | 2018

Martin Luther King, Jr. famously wrote about the critical linkage between intellectual rigor and personal character in an essay titled, “The Purpose of Education.”

Why Is Public School Curriculum Still Whites Only? | 2018

Do an internet search for children’s books by or about people of color, and you will find dozens of lists with hundreds of books, including the 1,000 Black Girl Books compiled by 13-year old Marley Dias.

A Framework For Integration Rooted In Racial Justice | 2018

Dr. King’s remarks remain deeply relevant in today’s integration debate. His words represent real concerns advocates for and against integration have had for years.

Articulating a Strength-Based Agenda of Advocacy for Young Immigrant Children and Families | 2018

What would it mean to view young immigrant children and their families through lenses of strength, courage, promise, and possibility, instead of deficit, need, risk, and remediation? What if we, as educators, administrator...

Reform elite high schools, but the real equity fight is much broader | 2018

At long last, the big policy issues related to race, educational equity and access in New York’s public schools are finally on the front burner. However, many of the most important issues remain obscured.

The Costs of Equity, The Bill We Refuse to Pay: Why Integrating NYC’s Specialized High Schools Is the Right Thing to Do? | 2018

On Saturday, June 2nd, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his plan to “fix” the “diversity problem” plaguing the city’s specialized high schools.

Teacher Leadership and Advocacy for Policy, Equity & Justice | 2018

“We’re fired up! Can’t take it no more!” This, one of the energizing rally cries for many of us who have taken to the streets to demand change, is what comes to mind when we think about the wave of recent teacher strikes...