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Mission and History

The National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER) was originally one of the National Research and Development Centers funded by the National Center for Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences to the Urban Institute in 2006 (CALDER 1.0), and to the American Institutes for Research in 2012 (CALDER 2.0). We are grateful to a consortium of foundations that are supporting CALDER 3.0 including Arnold Ventures, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, the Spencer Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation.

Led by Dan Goldhaber, CALDER 3.0 is a joint effort of the American Institutes for Research and scholars at Duke University, Georgia State University, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, Stanford University, University of Illinois, Chicago, University of Missouri, University of North Carolina, University of Texas at Dallas, and University of Washington.

CALDER research capitalizes on state and district individual level longitudinal administrative data files on student and teachers. These longitudinal databases allow us to examine the effects of real policies and practices on the learning gains of all students in a district or state over a number of years. Ultimately, CALDER’s interest is in student outcomes with particular attention to how these outcomes differ for different subgroups of the student population. CALDER 3.0 particularly focuses on issues related to (1) School choice and accountability; (2) Personnel policies and educator effectiveness; (3) Connections between K-12, college, and the workforce; and (4) Schools, communities, and social policy.

CALDER 3.0 also incorporates an expanded role for our Policymaker’s Council. Members of this council work with CALDER researchers to form a network of individuals with roles in state and national policy for the purpose of sharing ideas, practices, and research, and also help inform the CALDER research agenda so that it can be more closely aligned to the needs of policymakers. Council members participate in an annual conference that focuses on a specific issue (e.g. teacher preparation, school choice, principal effectiveness) and co-author policy briefs with CALDER researchers that target policymakers in order to help inform pressing policy decisions.