Organization and People

During the 2018-19 school year, BERC piloted a new organizational structure that will allow it to expand its work and support for youth in Baltimore and the state of Maryland. One of our goals is to build a sustainable research and practice community by opening the consortium to any university or college in Maryland interested in working with Baltimore City Public Schools. To that end, we have developed a new structure to increase opportunities to partner and disseminate and translate research findings into action steps for all partners. As part of that work, BERC has created three organizational structures.

The CEO-Deans Board is chaired by the chief executive officer of City Schools and the education deans of founder universities Morgan State and Johns Hopkins, with members to include the BERC executive director, BERC research co-directors, and the deans of partner colleges and universities. The group will facilitate communication about findings from current projects and how the district will implement changes to practice or policy. The group will hear district priorities from the CEO, and deans can share their special expertise and interest areas of their institutions. This opportunity to meet regularly will lead to deeper relationships and identification of more opportunities for local colleges to support City Schools. The group meets twice a year.

The Research Board is chaired by the City Schools research director and the research co-directors from founder universities Morgan State and Johns Hopkins. Membership will include one faculty member from each university, referred to as Institutional Leads. This Research Institutional Lead will serve as the liaison between any interested faculty members at their institution and BERC. The Research Board will review and approve all research projects and products. This board will collaboratively maintain a quality-control process to ensure that all work generated through BERC is of high scientific rigor and relevant to the mission and priorities of BERC and City Schools. The Research Board meets monthly, as needed, to ensure timely approval of projects.

The City Schools Leadership Team is chaired by the City Schools chief achievement and accountability officer and BERC executive director, and other City Schools Leadership Team. The group will include senior leadership from across the district office. It will focus on topics decided jointly by City Schools leadership. Specifically, BERC research co-directors, faculty and City Schools staff from offices such as Engagement, Schools, Whole Child Services and Support, Human Capital, New Initiatives, Career and College Readiness, and others will be invited to four meetings a year to discuss insights gained from research underway and to learn about district leadership’s priorities. Here, researchers will have the opportunity to disseminate research findings through conversation and describe what is known and discuss how the district can develop action plans that build on the findings. The group will identify what is not understood and define next steps for the research. Serving as thought partners and content experts, BERC faculty will listen to questions and concerns directly from district leaders to ensure that proposed research projects align with the district’s needs and that recommendations from work are implemented.

BERC also has a wide set of affiliated faculty.

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