Housed within Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC) is a research-practice partnership established in 2011 between Rice and Houston Independent School District. The collaboration aims to improve the connection between education research and decision-making, with the ultimate goal of closing socioeconomic gaps in achievement and attainment. HERC’s research agenda is shaped by the needs of local education leaders, and the decisions of these leaders are informed by the research produced by HERC and its affiliates.
In April 2017, the Kinder Foundation awarded HERC a $10.7 million grant to expand its work to additional school districts in the Greater Houston region. In doing so, HERC will focus on issues of regional importance such as segregation, effective curriculum and programs, and bilingual education. Along with school district leadership, HERC will develop a regional research agenda, facilitate data sharing, and disseminate research findings that benefit the region.
Dr. Ruth López Turley, director of HERC, believes “there are many issues that can’t be addressed through a single school district, but using research to collaborate across districts within the same region is promising. This is truly a meaningful gift to children in the Houston metropolitan area.”kinder.rice.edu/herc/