Research Partnerships

Research Partnerships and Collaborations at SFUSD

SFUSD partners with researchers at many organizations in the region and nationwide. We embrace ongoing partnership as a key strategy for the successful design, production, and use of research conducted in practical settings. That is, we value research that is done with us, not to us or merely on us. This page features some of our major local institutional partnerships.

REL-West (WestEd)

In addition to SFUSD’s partnerships with multiple individual research teams at WestEd, SFUSD has been identified as the anchor partner for WestEd’s recently renewed 5-year contract (2022-2027) with the Institute of Education Sciences as the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) for the western region (REL-West). The aim of the partnership is to reduce racial disparities in discipline for Black students in SFUSD. Key partnership activities will encompass three strands of work: continuous improvement coaching, applied research to evaluate the implementation of evidence-based practices in new settings; and activities to spread and scale successful practices. Connections to the nationwide network of RELs also offer further benefits through access to additional resources and opportunities.

Other past and ongoing collaborations between SFUSD and WestEd have investigated a wide range of topics in STEM assessment, pedagogy, and professional learning. Selected other projects have examined socioemotional learning, wellness, and college affordability.


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Strategic Education Research Partnership

UC Berkeley

SFUSD's partnerships with researchers at UC Berkeley extend over twenty years, spanning diverse topics such as science assessment, high school trajectories, nutrition services, and school transportation. These collaborations range across multiple schools and disciplines, including education, public health, social welfare, psychology, information, law, and public policy. In early 2017, SFUSD sought to formalize these relationships through an institutional-level partnership between the district and UC Berkeley. These efforts are now being supported by a William T. Grant Foundation Institutional Challenge Grant, which is also jointly funded by the Spencer Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, from 2020 to 2023. The joint research agenda builds on existing partnerships with San Francisco Peer Resources and SFUSD’s School Health Programs in service of SFUSD’s equity and social justice goals, converging on interventions to support wellness, reduce absenteeism, address homelessness, and mitigate racial bias. The work includes a strong emphasis on promoting recognition and value of community-engaged research at each respective institution. The partnership seeks to establish a robust foundation for supporting the wide range of research projects conducted in partnership between SFUSD and UC Berkeley.

Please visit UC Berkeley's Innovations for Youth (i4Y) "School and District Partnerships" webpage for more information and ongoing updates about selected projects. 


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Additional partnerships

SFUSD has also maintained multiple long-term partnerships with researchers at numerous other organizations. These include major firms such as AIR, Digital Promise, RAND, SRI, and Westat, as well as many more universities both within and beyond the Bay Area.

This page was last updated on September 11, 2022