CORE develops high-quality research that links to practice and evaluation in classrooms, schools and school systems, and community organizations that provide services to improve the well-being of children and families. CORE also actively collaborates with Simmons faculty/staff, community organizations, and researchers from other universities.

CORE's former research projects include the following:

West Dallas STEM School

CORE serves a critical operations and support role for the West Dallas STEM School project, a signature collaboration between Simmons School of Education and Human Development, DallasISD, and the Toyota Foundation to plan, implement and support a PreK-8 STEM School in West Dallas. This work is supported by grants from Toyota USA Foundation, the Truist Foundation, the Constantin Foundation, and Carter Creech.  CORE’s Executive Director has served in a strategic leadership role, helping to shape the collaboration from its inception.  CORE’s primary role on WDSS is supporting data access and data collection, ensuring that the research, evaluation and continuous improvement activities of the partnership are supported.


CORE serves as a data partner to multiple early childhood organizations utilizing the CLASS tool to improve classroom instruction. CORE trains observers on the CLASS™ observation system, maintains secure data, and develops formative reports and presentations for the district, feeder patterns, individual schools and individual teachers as well as non-profit partners and funders. Partners on this multi-faceted project include DallasISD, RichardsonISD, MesquiteISD, Early Matters Dallas/the Commit partnership specific to the TEA RECESS grant, Child Care Group, Child Care Associates, the Early Learning Alliance and Ft. Worth ISD, Uplift Charter Schools, and the Community Action Corporation of South Texas. CORE serves as a data partner to community organizations using the CLASS tool, and is also conducting federally funded research about the effects of high-quality instruction on student outcomes and on effective strategies for achieving high quality instruction at scale.


CORE is the evaluator for the NSF-funded Noyce Scholarship Program, which is in the process of establishing a Dallas-area mathematics teacher pipeline with a novel, community-focused approach to teacher recruitment, preparation, and induction. This addresses a critical shortage and attrition of math teachers in the high-need communities. The program works in close partnership between three large Dallas-area educational institutions including the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD).

Measuring Oral Reading Fluency

This is a 4-year project funded by the Institute of Education Sciences through the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of this project is to develop a new computer-based assessment system for measuring oral reading fluency for students in grades 2-4. The new assessment system incorporates a speech recognition engine for automated scoring, as well as a new psychometric model for improved estimation of reading speed. It is anticipated that the new assessment system will substantially improve currently available oral fluency measures, both from efficiency and accuracy perspectives.