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Research Alliance 2023 Year in Review


2023 saw transitions in leadership at the Research Alliance, with the appointment of Cheri Fancsali as Executive Director and Kathy Hill as Research Director, and with Jim Kemple stepping into the role of Senior Fellow. Collaboration continued to be at the heart of our work—including partnerships with NYC Public Schools, CUNY, the United Federation of Teachers, #DegreesNYC, ExpandEd Schools, UCLA’s Center X, MDRC, and Urban Assembly, among others. We launched new projects designed to improve computer science education, illuminate the impact of the COVD-19 pandemic, and help more college students successfully transfer from two- to four-year programs. Meanwhile, ongoing multi-year studies produced important findings that informed the work of school and district leaders, educators, and community-based organizations across New York City.

Through all of these projects, we remained committed to advancing equity and excellence in education by providing rigorous, nonpartisan evidence about the City’s public schools. Below we share some highlights from our year. As always, we welcome any questions or feedback you may have about our work. Thanks to everyone, including the generous funders, who helped make our efforts possible!

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season, and a happy, healthy new year,

The Research Alliance for New York City Schools Team

In Print

In 2023, the Research Alliance produced a variety of reports, briefs, and Spotlight posts, drawing on our own work, as well as that of a dynamic group of research affiliates. These publications covered a wide range of topics, from Computer Science and Career and Technical Education, to strategies for supporting homeless students, high school enrollment patterns, and English Learners’ experiences and outcomes. 

A new report from this study will be released in 2024.

In Conversation 

Council Member Nantasha Williams speaks to a group of experts gathered in Pless Hall.

Research Alliance Executive Director Cheri Fancsali (left) and Council Member Nantasha Williams (right) at the first equity-focused roundtable conversation in a new series held on December 14, 2023.

The Research Alliance seeks to engage stakeholders through small-group briefings and meetings, conference presentations and public events. One notable example from 2023 was “An Equity-Centered Approach to Meeting the Educational Needs of Newcomer Immigrant and Asylum Seeker Youth in NYC Public Schools”—part of a series of equity roundtables convened in partnership with City Council Member Nantasha Williams; NYU’s McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research; the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools; the Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law at NYU School of Law; and the Vera Institute of Justice. Research Alliance Executive Director Cheri Fancsali and Metro Center Executive Director Fabienne Doucet planned and moderated the education panel discussion, featuring Selcuk Sirin and Sumie Okazaki (NYU Steinhardt); Lara Evangelista (Internationals Network for Public Schools); Asenhat Gomez (El Puente); Khanh Le (CUNY Queens College) and Prerna Arora (Columbia University Teachers College). Also in attendance were City Council Member Williams, Council Member Rita Joseph (Chair of the Education Committee), Council Member Farah Louis, and Council Member Althea Stevens. 

Other events from 2023 included:

  • Cheri Fancsali’s keynote address, "You Can't Do It Alone: Trends & Insights from NYC's CS4All Journey," at the #CSForNY State Summit (see the video here);
  • Clare Flack’s presentation about CTE program costs at the Association for Career and Technical Education Research’s annual conference; 
  • A presentation about racial and gender disparities in K-12 computer science education by Xia Li, Janice Lee, and Rishika Jain at APPAM;
  • Jim Kemple’s overview of findings and lessons from our CTE study at #SREE2023;
  • Presentations from our evaluation of NYC’s CS4All initiative at the Conference on Research in Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology (RESPECT), at the SIGCSE Conference, and at the AERA virtual symposium;
  • Cheri Fancsali’s participation in the AERA session “Reading Apprenticeship: Lessons from Impact Studies Over Time and Across Contexts,” together with colleagues form WestEd and AIR;
  • Jim Kemple’s appearance at the ACTE National Policy Seminar, with Katherine Hughes from the CTE Research Network; and
  • Kathy Hill’s presentation about students experiencing homelessness as part of AIR's COVID-19 and Equity in Education Initiative.