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ERA-New Orleans announces new partnership in early education research

August 28, 2019

We've established the New Orleans Early Education Research Alliance (NOEERA), a partnership with representatives from the New Orleans Public Schools, and the New Orleans Early Education Network.

NOEERA’s goal is to help improve student outcomes in New Orleans by identifying factors that enable families to access their desired preschool programs, and factors that maximize the benefits of those programs. NOEERA is co-directed by Lindsay Weixler (ERA-New Orleans), Jen Roberts (NOEEN), and Thomas Lambert (NOLA-PS).

Early education, from birth through third grade, lays the foundation for success in school and later in life, making it essential that states and districts provide access to high-quality early childhood education programs and elementary schools. NOEERA’s initial work will explore how New Orleans families apply to early childhood programs and kindergarten and how application behaviors are associated with child outcomes.

“Improving access to quality early childhood education has been a priority for all partners,” said Lindsay Weixler, ERA-New Orleans’ Associate Director for Research and Co-Director of NOEERA. “This partnership is the first of its kind to bring together policy makers, practitioners, and researchers in New Orleans to better understand how the early childhood education application and enrollment processes are serving our city.”

New Orleans’ centralized enrollment system (OneApp) is the first of its kind in the country to unify K-12 public education, school-based pre-K, and Head Start programs in one application system. NOEERA’s initial projects will identify factors that enable families to access their desired early childhood programs and elementary schools, while partners work to build a long-term research agenda to examine program, school, and system characteristics that maximize long-term academic and developmental benefits.

NOLA Public Schools is excited to partner with NOEEN and ERA-New Orleans to identify ways to improve how our enrollment system serves New Orleans families,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr.

“We are delighted to co-found this initiative,” said Jen Roberts, Executive Director of the New Orleans Early Education Network (NOEEN) at Agenda for Children. “Our organization uses research to guide our practice, strategy, and resources to partners who work with and on behalf of young children. NOEERA will help us continue to deliver on our goals of elevating the quality of learning and care for early learners.”

NOEERA’s work is funded by a $399,988 grant from the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, as well as $36,852 in non-federal support.

“The generous support of the Institute of Education Sciences provides us with an incredible opportunity to positively impact the short- and long-term outcomes of New Orleans’ students,” said Weixler.

“We are thrilled to expand our work in this important direction and support the work of our partners serving New Orleans’ youngest students,” said ERA-New Orleans Director Douglas Harris.