About the CEii
To promote and advance equity, continuous improvement, and effective leadership by developing collaborative research-practice partnerships among faculty and local, state, regional, and national educational agencies and organizations.
For too long, policymakers have used mandates and top-down approaches to make changes in teaching and learning. Likewise, researchers have studied problems and shared evidence of what works without a full understanding of schools’ needs or the diverse contexts in which they operate. Too few have engaged schools and systems in identifying their specific problems and providing necessary support to help solve them. The Center for Educational Innovation and Improvement (CEii) at the University of Maryland seeks to change that paradigm.
CEii brings together the shared expertise of research and practice to develop leadership, improve schools, and advance equity. We foster collaborative partnerships for the purpose of promoting advancements in professional education, developing innovative solutions for current thorny problems of practice in education, and supporting collaborative research in public schools. Our aim is to ensure that faculty expertise meets the needs of the schools and districts while keeping equity at the center of our work.
Using an improvement science approach and an equity lens, we help school systems and their stakeholders build shared understandings about how their systems work and what actions can be taken to improve performance. Improvement science is a problem-solving approach centered on continuous inquiry and learning. Change ideas are tested in rapid cycles, resulting in efficient and useful feedback to inform system improvements.
We support leadership preparation and development through a number of programs offered at the College of Education, including the School Systems Leadership Doctoral Program and the School Improvement Leadership Certificate program to help Maryland school districts prepare and support high quality leaders. We also work directly with schools, school districts, and state education agencies to build the capacity of teacher leaders, school leaders, and district leaders through training and networked improvement communities.
We view partnerships as an important approach to building knowledge and tackling education problems within the context that they exist. Over time, we believe that research conducted through partnerships between universities and school systems will result in improved learning for that school system, and in new and better insights for improving K-12 education broadly. Our goal is to use the knowledge and expertise of researchers and practitioners to help solve real problems in schools; influence policy and practice; and improve education for students, educators, families, and communities.
Growth, Engagement, and Influence
The Center ambitiously pursues a growth and engagement agenda, including expanding partnership work at state and national levels. This work expands the University’s presence as a local and national leader in education policy, research, and practice and promotes collaboration among Institutes of Higher Education and state and local education systems to advance effective K-12 education improvement. With the support of university research, the Center strives to collaborate and work with national educational organizations, philanthropic foundations, and government agencies to champion, advocate, and advance the efforts of practitioners for the purpose of collective impact.