The Texas Center for Educational Research (TCER) is an independent, nonprofit, educational research organization established to study major issues affecting all levels and areas of Texas public education. TCER's objective is to design and produce original research and provide high-quality information resources for those who make, influence, and implement education policy in Texas. TCER frequently works in partnership with other research organizations and higher education institutions to enhance the quality of Texas education by promoting the interchange of academic research and knowledge.
What We Do
TCER provides original, nonpartisan research
TCER provides original, nonpartisan research and evaluation to policymakers, state agencies, nonprofit education organizations, and school districts. TCER staff ensures that research projects, reports, presentations meet the unique need of the client. TCER strives to provide results that educators can readily use to improve educational programs and district activities. Our research agenda includes the following areas of interest:
- Emerging Issues. TCER identifies and analyzes issues that will affect education in the future. Studies explore educational programs or problems to inform policy options.
- School Finance. TCER conducts studies of public education revenue and expenditures and school finance equity and adequacy.
- Management and Governance. This area of inquiry focuses on studies of public education governance, including innovative approaches to school and district organization, such as charter schools. TCER also undertakes studies of the roles of schools and districts in budgeting, administration, and instruction.
- Teaching and Learning. TCER studies curriculum policy, student achievement, and the effectiveness of instructional programs and practices.
- Economics of Education. This area of inquiry includes studies of the economic returns on education investments as well as education productivity and cost-effectiveness.
TCER was created to meet the need for an independent research facility that would provide unbiased information to a wide constituency of Texas educators, interest groups, policymakers, and taxpayer groups. The need for such an organization became critical in April 1987 when Texas's system of school finance was declared unconstitutional. In 1988, the trustees of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) and the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) established TCER to examine systems of financing public education. In its early years, TCER focused primarily on the problems related to school finance. As the organization evolved, however, its focus widened to include a broad range of issues, including dropout prevention, the education of at-risk students, charter schools, special education, school size, teacher turnover, and the use of technology in the classroom.
TCER is governed by an independent Board of Trustees which sets the organization's research agenda. TCER's Board is comprised of five appointees from the President of the Texas Association of School Boards; five appointees from the President of the Texas Association of School Administrators; and five appointees from the Chair of the State Board of Education.