CAREI facilitates the use of data and evidence. We partner with those who propose, develop, adopt or implement programs and policies to optimize outcomes. Investments in ongoing research, evaluation and assessment ensure programs are effective and achieve the intended outcome. Those that are ineffective can be eliminated or improved with the use of data.

With an approach customized for client needs, projects are often an involved process, each telling a unique story of collaboration.

Featured Collaborations

Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System (SLEDS)

CAREI serves as a SLEDS Network member for three regions of the state. Stakeholders in the Northeast, Central, and Southeast portions of Minnesota have access to training and support in using SLEDS through CAREI. More information about SLEDS can be found on Minnesota’s SLEDS site and by contacting Rob Vagi at

Greater Twin Cities United Way Social Innovation Fund

CAREI is the external evaluator for an extensive education initiative of the Twin Cities’ Generation Next in partnership with the Greater Twin Cities United Way. The United Way and Generation Next received a $5 million grant to support a portfolio of replicable, evidence-based youth programs designed to improve kindergarten readiness, third-grade reading proficiency, ninth-grade readiness for upper-level math, four-year graduation rates, and college enrollment rates for between 1,500 and 2,000 low-income youth each year. CAREI provides evaluation services for the overall project, as well as for each of the awarded subgrantee programs housed within the following organizations: AchieveMpls, College Possible™, ServeMinnesota, Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation, Way to Grow, Wilder Foundation

Special Education Services Audit for Anoka-Hennepin Schools

The Anoka-Hennepin School District has requested a comprehensive audit of their special education programming, communication systems, and academic outcomes for students with disabilities, and staffing. They would like information that will help them prioritize, plan, and implement special education services that align with best practice research and the needs of the students. The audit will be conducted under the framework of the continuous improvement model. It does not try to determine what is good or bad, but rather will create road map to help move the district to the next level of performance. This process acknowledges that all systems can improve and that opportunities for improvement are built upon the district’s current strengths, history, structure, and resources. The audit outlines a plan to answer the questions using systematic data collection and analysis processes across the five areas of continuum of services, staffing, academic outcomes, communication, and professional development.

The Association Between Elementary School Start Time and Students’ Academic Achievement in Wayzata Public Schools

CAREI conducted two analyses with the purpose of examining the association between elementary school start time and students’ academic achievement in mathematics and reading in Wayzata Public Schools. The first analysis examined the association between elementary school start time and students’ academic achievement in elementary school. The second analysis examined the association between elementary school start time and students’ academic achievement in middle school. The results suggest that the association between school start time and elementary students’ academic achievement is small to non-existent, particularly when controlling for student demographic characteristics, grade, and school. Non-statistically significant interactions indicated that the small effect of school start time was the same for all student subgroups examined. Similarly, the results suggest that there is no association between elementary school start time and middle school students’ academic achievement.

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Transforming Education through the Arts and Media (TEAM): Final Evaluation Report

Transforming Education Through the Arts and Media (TEAM) is an arts integration program that was implemented in seventh- and eighth-grade classrooms in Chicago Public Schools over a period of four years, beginning with the 2010-11 school year. TEAM is based on the concept of the 21st century transliterate learner and is designed to increase teacher capacity to integrate media arts and technology in classroom practice and to increase student motivation and achievement. To evaluate TEAM, surveys were administered to participating teachers and students. In addition, the performance of TEAM students on standardized reading and mathematics tests was compared to that of control students. This report presents the results of a four-year evaluation of TEAM and discusses the successes and challenges that were encountered.

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Minnesota State Teacher Development, Evaluation, and Peer Support Model Evaluation Report

Minnesota Statutes 122A.40, Subdivision 8 and 122A.41, Subdivision 5, require that all districts evaluate teachers beginning in the 2014-2015 school year. In response to the statutes, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) convened a work group in early winter 2011 to consult with the MDE Commissioner to develop a state model for teacher growth and development. In winter 2013, MDE released the Minnesota State Teacher Development, Evaluation, and Peer Support Model and began planning for a pilot of the Model during the 2013-2014 school year.

The Model consists of three components for evaluating teacher performance: 1) teacher practice, 2) student engagement, and 3) student learning and achievement. Sixteen school districts and one charter school from across Minnesota agreed to participate in the Pilot. Six of the sites implemented the full Model (all three components) and 11 implemented one or two components. Fourteen of the 17 districts are located outside of the Twin Cities metro area. Total enrollments ranged from 202 to 7,510 students.

In August 2013, the Joyce Foundation funded the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) in the College of Education and Human Development to conduct an evaluation of the Pilot implementation. CAREI conducted surveys and interviews with participating teachers and summative evaluators and with MDE staff responsible for the development and implementation of the pilot. This final report summarizes results of surveys and interviews conducted from March to June, 2014, when the pilot year was concluding.

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