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UR professor wins grant to study high school outcomes

A professor at the University of Rochester has been awarded a grant to study how low-performing schools use research evidence to improve outcomes.

Kara Finnigan, an assistant professor in the department of educational leadership at the Warner School of Education, was awarded a $342,246 grant through the William T. Grant Foundation.

Along with colleague Alan Daly, an assistant professor at the University of California, San Diego, Finnigan will conduct the research at secondary schools in San Diego and Rochester, officials said.

The funding will help the team research how urban systems and high schools in need of improvement diagnose problems, identify strategies and use research evidence to improve under No Child Left Behind. The pair plans to examine how social networks support or constrain these school improvement efforts.

In 2007-08 alone, 30,000 schools across the country failed to make adequate yearly progress. 

“Our study will not only impact school improvement efforts in Rochester and San Diego, but it also has the potential to inform other urban districts across the nation as the number of schools in need of improvement continues to multiply,” Finnigan said.

 (c) 2009 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.

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