The Johns Hopkins University School of Education's Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education (CDDRE) was established in 2004 as a research center on low-achieving schools. As its name implies, CDDRE carries out research, development, and dissemination of state, district, school, and classroom strategies that use data on student performance to direct reform efforts. The focus of CDDRE is low-achieving elementary and middle schools, especially those failing to meet adequate yearly progress (AYP) goals under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). CDDRE seeks to substantially expand knowledge about district organization and management strategies, intended to enable district leaders to identify and then fill gaps in student performance in all schools whose students are struggling to meet their state performance standards.
Intelligent, planful use of data is central to CDDRE’s theory of action. CDDRE partners with high-poverty urban and rural districts and state departments of education to use data for reform at three levels:
- Data on Student Performance: Detailed, technology-assisted reviews of state test data, quarterly benchmarks, and other key indicators to identify priority needs for each school, for each demographic group, and for the district as a whole.
- Data-based Solutions: In areas of need identified in the data reviews, districts will implement programs and practices supported by rigorous evidence of effectiveness, such as experiments using random assignment or well-matched comparisons.
- Data on Outcomes of Reform Efforts: Randomized experiments, interrupted time series, and multiple baseline experiments will evaluate both the overall district reform model and specific interventions designed to accelerate the achievement of students who are failing to meet state standards.
CDDRE is collaboration among researchers and educators at Johns Hopkins University, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the Success for All Foundation (SFAF), the
University of Wisconsin, the University of Memphis, leading providers of research-based professional development services to at-risk schools and districts, and several state departments of education and high-poverty districts. The Center works with CCSSO and state and district leaders to identify problems and policy issues and then carry out randomized experiments to evaluate an overall data-driven approach to state and district reform, as well as randomized experiments and correlational and descriptive studies to evaluate components of the overall approach.