New Education Research Center established in Houston

Investing in education is a cornerstone of the Kinder Foundation’s philanthropic vision. Most recently, the Foundation and Houston Endowment partnered to support three different education-related initiatives. These include Leadership ISD, Good Reason Houston, and the establishment of an Education Research Center (ERC) at the University of Houston.

University of Houston
University of Houston’s Student Center

In 2006, the Texas Legislature identified the need to connect educational information sources into a longitudinal data warehouse for the use of policy and practice. It authorized the creation of three ERCs to house Texas data and facilitate research that benefits all levels of education in Texas.

The ERCs are meant to provide access to high quality, student-level data from the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Texas Workforce Commission, and other sources of educational information for the state of Texas. Data resources are intended to span from the Pre-K level through higher education and into the Texas workforce.

Prior to 2017, two ERCs had been established at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas at Dallas, respectively. In November 2017, with $790,000 grants each from the Kinder Foundation and Houston Endowment, the third ERC was established at the University of Houston, providing local researchers access to the rich repository of data. 

In February 2018, the UH-ERC began receiving educational data from the State and soon after, began operations with a research project from Rice University. To date, eight Houston-based research studies are utilizing the UH-ERC, including four from Rice, three from the University of Houston, and one from Texas State University.

“Houston is home to world-class researchers and educators,” said Nancy Kinder, president and CEO of the Kinder Foundation. “By bringing an Education Research Center to our city, these groups can better draw data-based conclusions to inform decisions and policy-making, which directly impact students.”

Learn more about the UH-ERC here.