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Los Angeles District Launches Research Partnership

Los Angeles public schools have partnered with the L.A. Education Research Institute to open the district's vast longitudinal data system to identify successful practices which the district can expand.

The agreement will allow researchers open access to more than a decade of linked student, staff and school data, including demographics, programs, course-taking, and student achievement results from both tests and grades. It will also include school climate information from administrators, teachers, students and parents.

Kyo Yamashiro, the executive director of the research group, said in a statement that its first focus will be on identifying skills and behaviors in students that act as "precursors to algebra success," as well as "pinpoint pockets of success, where students who start out behind accelerate their progress."

The Los Angeles district, which with about 670,000 students is the second-largest district in the nation, is one of a growing number of districts choosing to develop long-term partnerships with research groups to build their own capacity, rather than waiting for individual researchers to come to them with one-off studies.

The federal education research agency, the Institute of Education Sciences, has been actively encouraging such partnerships. The latest iteration of the regional educational laboratory system, for example, now facilitates 70 different research alliances among various districts, states and researchers.

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