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Texas Districts, Scholars Form Research Consortium

Researchers and practiioners from Dallas, El Paso, Houston, and 16 other Texas school districts got together last month to formally kick off the formation of the Texas Consortium on School Research.

Modeled after the 19-year-old Consortium on Chicago School Research, the new group enlists university academics, local educators, and administrators to work together on research projects that address the common, real-world problems that school districts have. Over time, they hope to create a "community of practice" for sharing findings and strategies. The Texas consortium's research partners are the University of Texas at Dallas Education Research Center, the Regional Education Laboratory-Southwest, which is one of the 10 regional education laboratories funded by the federal government, and the Chicago consortium.

The Texas group is the latest of several district-university research partnerships to get off the ground: Recall that similar efforts have been launched in Baltimore, Newark, N.J., and New York City. And the Chicago group hosted a conference over the summer to help nurture some of those burgeoning efforts across the country, which you can read more about here.

Do I spot a trend?

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