Ohio Partners With Harvard On Rural Schools Initiative

February 7, 2019

WKSU 89.7 featured the National Center for Rural Education Research Networks and the work it will do to improve student outcomes in 30 rural school districts in Ohio.

Thirty rural Ohio school districts will partner with a Harvard research center to improve student outcomes. The districts will work with Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research, or CEPR, to reduce chronic absenteeism and promote college readiness and enrollment. 


Heather Boughton, a policy researcher with the Ohio Department of Education, says CEPR’s role isn’t to dictate solutions. Instead, they’ll help district officials try out different approaches and analyze data to determine how well they’re working.

"So while the focus right now is on absenteeism, and eventually it will expand to also look at college and career readiness, a district will really learn through this a process that they could apply to anything else,” Boughton explains.

The initiative expands on Proving Ground, a similar program that school officials in Canton and Maple Heights rolled out last year. Boughton says one of its benefits is how quickly researchers and school leaders can see if their plans are working.


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