ChildrenplayingArbor is committed to using research and evaluation to support the strengthening of educational programs and policy. From our work with teacher training programs to our research on early education teachers and policy to our work in arts education, we have supported numerous educational programs and their practitioners, using research and evaluation tools. Most importantly, our work on poverty, housing and homelessness, and health care issues frame our understanding of education policy and practice.

In our evaluation of teacher training programs, we bring a deep understanding of the national and statewide standards debate, and the controversies around how to overcome the achievement gap. We have extensive experience working on early care and education policy and programs, including those aimed at promoting career development among teachers of young children. We have evaluated state universal pre-kindergarten programs and programs intended to ensure high quality education.

Edison2.09bWe bring in-depth experience to evaluating arts and arts education programs. We strongly believe that the arts can strengthen communities and the economy. We also believe in the value of educational programming that integrates the spectrum of art modalities, including visual arts, theater, dance and music into core curriculum. Our knowledge and experience in the arts informs our evaluation of arts-based initiatives in elementary and middle-school education, including resident artist programs as well as in model programs that integrate the arts into core curriculum.

Finding adequate funding, attracting and retaining qualified employees, and staying on mission can be difficult. We value working collaboratively with leadership and staff to fully understand the problem an organization is trying to overcome and the solutions they are pursuing. We take into account the context in which organizations work. We listen to the voices of key stakeholders, in order to best understand the challenges and potential solutions organizations face. And we have a large toolkit of research and organizational skills to foster an organization’s progress. While we are often brought in to evaluate a program or policy, we are able to share our knowledge of larger systems that advance or impede progress. Collaboration is at the center of our work, as we help organizations figure out how to maximize their potential for success.