About Our Partnership Building teacher and school
readiness for change

Research-Practice Partnerships What are they?

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation stipulated that only Research Practice Partnerships were eligible to apply for funding through their program. Their working definition of an RPP is “intentional, purposeful, mutually-beneficial, long-term collaborations between practitioners (or those who administer education) and researchers (or those who study education) that investigate problems of practice and solutions for improving schools and school systems.”

Simply put, a research-practice partnership (RPP) is formed when researchers and practitioners come together to accomplish their shared goals. These partnerships help build capacity and support for the long-term working relationship between members of the research team and their practitioner colleagues. RPPs represent a promising approach when it comes to improving educational practices by solving different challenges linked to education reform.

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Our Partnership

Outlier Research & Evaluation within UChicago STEM Education and Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) formed our partnership in Fall 2014. Both parties had a mutual interest in finding time in the elementary school day for computer science instruction. This led to our collaboration on a National Science Foundation grant which created the “Time4CS” project. Building on this work, the partnership grew to include new goals and ways to continue to make sure that all students in the BCPS district were reaching their highest potential.

Through the generous support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, BCPS and Outlier are now working together to act on the belief that Every Student can DIG Deeper to Learn by supporting teachers’ use of instructional practices that facilitate critical thinking. By focusing on the spread of these practices across all (approximately 6,000) teachers, BCPS is able to carry out its district-wide mission, which seeks to educate “all students to reach their highest potential.”

The DIG Deeper Team

Outlier Research & Evaluation

Outlier Research & Evaluation resides within UChicago STEM Education, a Center at the University of Chicago devoted to improving pre-K to higher education. Outlier is a cross-disciplinary group committed to applied research and evaluation that directly informs educators and policymakers who are working to bring about equitable education. Outlier aims to ensure that all of its products have meaningful, useful application.

Broward County Public Schools

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS), located in Broward County, Florida, is the sixth largest school district in the U.S. and the second largest district in the state. BCPS serves over 271,000 students, and it is the largest fully accredited K-12 and adult school district in the United States. Students attending BCPS are racially and ethnically diverse, come from 204 different countries, and speak 130 unique languages. Sixty-one percent of the students qualify for free and reduced priced lunch, an indicator of low-income status. In BCPS, students have the chance to interact with peers with diverse life experiences within their classrooms.