Welcome to the Texas Education Research Center - officially designated by the State of Texas.
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The Texas Education Research Center (Texas ERC) is a research center and data clearinghouse providing access to longitudinal, student-level data for scientific inquiry and policymaking purposes. Since its inception in 2006, the Texas ERC's goal has been to bridge the gap between theory and policy by providing a cooperative research environment for study by both scholars and policy makers. As part of its mission, the ERC works with researchers, practitioners, state and federal agencies, and other policymakers to help inform upon critical issues relating to education today.
The Texas ERC data warehouse itself is a State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) which contains a broad range of connected, student- and school-level data. These data include all public education information from P-12 schools from the Texas Education Agency (TEA), information from both public and private higher education institutions from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and post-education data from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The integrated nature of this database allows researchers to follow the educational trajectory Texas students take from elementary school through postsecondary institutions and into their careers. Additionally, several national datasets are also hosted by the ERC including those from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) and the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES). These data points allow for wider connections the beyond the state. The Texas ERC warehouse holds one of the largest and most complete SLDS in the nation.
Headquartered at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), The Texas ERC is established within a higher education setting unmatched in both its depth and diversity of resources. UT Austin is a leading provider of education and research in the state of Texas and the nation at large. Within this setting the Texas ERC has recently joined forces with the Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources. The research at the Ray Marshall Center focuses on a wide array of human resource development issues including education, labor markets, and intergovernmental planning. Together the Texas ERC and Ray Marshall Center maintain a full-time staff with a diverse set of experts to participate in research surrounding important education and workforce training issues.
In addition, as part of the new UT Austin ERC contract, there are plans for teaming up with other UT Austin research centers. One UT Austin center resource is the Charles A. Dana Center which works to improve minority and urban education and is currently working as advisers on several Common Core Standards projects. Another important resource at UT Austin is the Center for Health and Social Policy (CHASP) which links research between early starts in K-12 and maximizing potential in a healthy and industrious workforce. As such, the Texas ERC and the Ray Marshall Center have a wealth of experts to call upon and collaborate with, from a range of fields which address educational interests and outcomes. In addition, the Texas ERC has many partners outside UT Austin and collaborates with other university researchers, non-profit research organizations, and education collaboratives. The multitude of partners, experts, and resources located at UT Austin combined with the wealth of information within the Texas ERC data warehouse make it an ideal site for longitudinal research.
Past research completed at the Texas ERC has varied in topics.1 Some research has focused on transitions-middle to high school as well as critical transitions between high school and higher education. Other studies have focused on the achievement of special populations including Limited English Proficient (LEP) students or immigrant groups in high school as well as developmental education courses in higher education. Finally, a larger portion of studies have spoken to the growing demographic gaps in Texas, especially with the increasing Latino population in Texas. Current studies include evaluating the effects of private-public partnerships in education as well as a joint research and demonstration project by the Ray Marshall Center and the Texas Workforce Commission, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration. Studies completed at the ERC all take advantage of the increased data capacity and the longitudinal linkages allowing for more in-depth findings and outcomes which speak to the full scope of students' educational careers.
The University of Texas at Austin is dedicated to improving the quality of life of the people of Texas and the United States. Virtually unmatched in its depth and diversity of resources, The University of Texas at Austin is a leading provider of education and research in the state of Texas. The university contributes to the advancement of society through research, creative activity, scholarly inquiry, and the development of new knowledge.