The Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk at Johns Hopkins and Howard universities has been renewed by the U.S. Department of Education for a second five-year period, 1999-2004. Funding for the center will be $6.6 million this year and will amount to approximately $36.5 million over the five-year span of the contract.
Created in 1994, CRESPAR designs, develops, implements and evaluates comprehensive school reform models. Four programs will constitute CRESPAR's research and development efforts in the next five years:
Early and Elementary Studies will focus on such matters as the development and evaluation of early-intervention literacy programs for students at risk, development and evaluation of the Talent Development elementary whole-school reform model, continued development of the Success for All and Roots & Wings curricular reforms, bilingual and English-as-a-second-language literacy programs, and summer-school and afterschool programs for increased academic achievement.
Middle and High School Studies will focus on the development, evaluation and dissemination of the Talent Development secondary school reform models. Other studies will look at retention, dropout prevention and dropout recovery.
School, Family and Community Partnerships will develop, evaluate and disseminate models of school, family and community partnerships that help students succeed in school, achieve at high levels and develop social and emotional competencies. The partnership development initiatives will be closely linked to CRESPAR elementary, middle and high school reform efforts.
Systemic Supports for School Reform will advance research and development in the support of teachers, schools, reform designs and school districts in improving the achievements of students placed at risk. A particular emphasis will be the development of a High-Reliability School District model to support effective implementation of comprehensive reform efforts and a Talent Development Professional Development Program.
Hopkins and Howard universities will work with the Department of Education's Office of Educational Research and Improvement on the implementation of the CRESPAR programs. Ron Pedone of OERI said, "CRESPAR's research and development work in both elementary and secondary school reforms will be, I believe, highly beneficial to our nation's schoolchildren."
Programs developed and evaluated during the first five-year contract for CRESPAR are in use in more than 1,500 schools across the nation. CRESPAR's renewal as an education research center funded by the U.S. Department of Education is a first in the history of OERI's system of research centers, which goes back to the 1960s.