Within the RESI-Business Analysis and Management (BAM) group is a team of business analysts, project managers and economists working on the CAIRE project. CAIRE stands for the Center for Application and Innovation Research in Education and the team is getting ready to move onto to Phase II of one of the most important projects in the State of Maryland.
This post will be the first in a series about BAM’s work with CAIRE. Throughout the series, I will catch you up on the newest developments and impacts the project is having on improving education in Maryland. I’ll inform you about this exciting project that crosses universities, Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), state, and federal government agencies.
CAIRE is a center of the University System of Maryland housed at Towson University (TU). It’s supported by faculty and staff from several Maryland universities including, BAM staff members and faculty from TU’s College of Education, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Loyola, and University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Our team, headed by TU College of Education Dean Dr. Ray Lorion, was created to assist the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) with evaluating the activities associated with the Race to the Top (RTTT) grant.
What is the RTTT grant?
The RTTT grant is a federal grant from the US Department of Education (USDE) that MSDE applied for and received. The RTTT grants funds are aimed at boosting student achievement, reducing gaps in achievement among student subgroups, turning around struggling schools, and improving the teaching profession. The RTTT grant funds are being used to support 54 projects over a four (4) year period (2010-2014) in meeting these objectives.
What is the purpose of these 54 projects?
All 54 projects were developed to meet the goals set in the RTTT program and are wide ranging. These projects are all centered on moving Maryland’s educational system to the Common Core State Standard. Some projects involve tracking student performances as to better fulfill individual students’ educational needs while others center on ways to improve teacher retention and training and yet there are others that are looking at new and innovative ways to incorporate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) into all aspects of the curriculum. Maryland has one of the best school systems in the country and the RTTT grant is assisting Maryland in solidifying this for years to come.
So what exactly is CAIRE (with BAM’s help) doing?
CAIRE‘s main function is to independently evaluate these projects by looking at process/product, utilization, and the impact the 54 projects are having on the education of Maryland’s students. The goal of CAIRE’s efforts is to assist MSDE with implementing the Common Core State Standards for Maryland.
I can’t wait to share how our evaluations progress and the innovative ways we are developing to quantify this information. Sounds like 2013 will be busy for the CAIRE team!