Stanford-SFUSD Partnership

Stanford University and San Francisco Unified School District partnership unites research and practice to shape educational practices and policies that maximize educational experiences for all students. The Partnership matches researchers from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education with SFUSD district leaders to address challenges and support improvements. Together, they create research projects that directly inform the school district’s work to transform teaching and learning for each and every child in the 21st century.

Laura Wentworth

Director of Research Practice Partnerships
California Education Partners
@StanfordSFUSD on Twitter

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What are the conditions under which research-practice partnerships succeed? by Caitlin C. Farrell, Laura Wentworth, and Michelle Nayfack in Phi Delta Kappan. March 22, 2021.

 A university and district partnership closes the research-to-classroom gap, by Laura Wentworth, Richard Carranza, and Deborah Stipek in Phi Delta Kappan. May 1, 2016.

The Stanford-SFUSD Partnership: Development of Data-Sharing Structures and Processes, by  Moonhawk Kim, Jim Shen, Laura Wentworth, Norma Ming, Michelle Reininger, and Eric Bettinger, in Handbook on Using Administrative Data for Research and Evidence-based Policy. 2020.


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Free Meals for All: Utilization of School Meals and Nutrition Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Lang, D. & Domingue, B.

This brief reports on a study of the utilization of the National School Lunch Programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, when onsite consumption and distribution requirements were relaxed. 

Ethnic studies increases longer-run academic engagement and attainment

Bonilla, S., Dee, T.S., & Penner, E.K.

This article highlights the longer-run impact of a ninth-grade SFUSD Ethnic Studies course, including: 1) a significantly increased probability of high school graduation among students near the eight-grade 2.0 GPA threshold used for assigning students to the course; 2) increased measures of engagement throughout high school; and 3) the probability of postsecondary matriculation. View link

Stress in Boom Times: Understanding Teacher’s Economic Anxiety in a High-Cost Urban District

Dizon-Ross, E., Loeb, S., Penner, E., & Rochmes, J.

This article highlights the findings of an SFUSD teacher survey revealing that San Francisco teachers have far higher levels of economic anxiety, on average, than a national sample of employed adults. Moreover, economically anxious teachers tend to have more negative attitudes about their jobs, have worse attendance, and are 50 percent more likely to depart […]

Racial Concentration and School Effectiveness in SFUSD

Newton, S., Darling-Hammond, L., & Kipnis, F.

From 2010, this brief explores SFUSD’s efforts to address the achievement gap between historically underserved and other students by investigating the relationship between the racial concentration of students and school effectiveness.

Resource- and Approach-Driven Multidimensional Change: Three-Year Effects on School Improvement Grants

Wentworth, L., Loeb, S., & Penner, E.

This brief describes the three-year effects of School Improvement Grants on the 10 persistently lowest-performing schools between the academic year 2010-11 and 2013. View link

More Than Just a Nudge Supporting Kindergarten Parents with Differentiated and Personalized Text Messages

Doss, C., Fahle, E.M., Loeb, S., & York, B.N.

This article describes the effects of a text-based program, for parents of kindergarteners, that personalizes messages based on their child’s developmental level, as opposed to a texting general message. Children whose parents received the personalized message were 63 percent more likely to read at a higher level and their parents reported engaging more in literacy […]

One Step at a Time: The Effects of an Early Literacy Text-Messaging Program for Parents of Preschoolers

York, B.N., Loeb, S., & Doss, C.

This article focuses on the effects of READY4K!, an eight-month-long text-messaging intervention for parents of preschoolers, that targets the behavioral barriers to engaged parenting. Effects include increased parental involvement at home and school, leading to child gains in early literacy.  View link

The Educational Success of Homeless & Highly Mobile Students In SFUSD

Hadar Baharav, Jacob Leos-Urbel, Jelena Obradovi, Sarah Bardack

From 2017, this brief describes a research partnership between SFUSD, the Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, and the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities to better track, understand, and support their homeless and highly mobile (HHM) student population. The research focused on; 1) the size, distribution, and heterogeneity of HHM students; […]

Resource-and Approach-Driven Multidimensional Change: Three-Year Effects of School Improvement Grants

Sun, M., Penner, E.K., & Loeb, S.

This article describes the program impacts of the three-year School Improvement Grant (SIG) award in an urban school district, including reduced unexcused absences, increased family preference for SIG schools, improved retention of effective teachers, and greater development of teacher professional capacity. View link

The Causal Effects of Cultural Relevance: Evidence From an Ethnic Studies Curriculum

Dee, T.S. & Penner, E.K.

This article describes the effects of a ninth-grade SFUSD Ethnic Studies curriculum, including large and statistically significant improvements in ninth-grade GPA, attendance, and credits earned for compliers at the 2.0 eighth-grade GPA threshold used for assigning students to the course. View link