Conducting Research in the Dallas Independent School District
The Dallas ISD supports high quality research that addresses well-formed research questions of educational importance. At the same time, the district has moral and legal obligations that require oversight of research activities that make use of district resources such as data, facilities, employee time, or access to students.
In order to conduct research in the Dallas ISD, a proposal must be submitted to and reviewed by the district's Research Review Board (RRB). The RRB is housed within the Department of Evaluation & Assessment, and draws on the expertise of district researchers and program evaluators, as well as the professional knowledge of staff from the departments of Teaching and Learning, Student Services, School Leadership, and Legal Services, among others.
External research proposals must demonstrate clear and direct educational value to the district and not just to the profession of education in general, be minimally disruptive to the educational process, manifest a sound research methodology, and comply with current privacy laws. The potential direct benefit to Dallas ISD must outweigh demands on district resources, particularly on staff and student time. Dallas ISD strongly encourages and gives priority to external research projects that contribute to or complement the district's research agenda and strategic plan.
If you are planning a research study or evaluation that will use secondary data, you must complete a Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) after your research proposal is approved by the Dallas ISD RRB. School or network staff cannot provide data to external researchers. Researchers need to request a DSA template after the RRB has approved their research proposal.
We strongly encourage researchers to first explore the school-level data already publicly available. Researchers wishing to use publicly available data do not need to submit a research application to the district.
For additional information, contact:
Larry Featherston, Ph.D.
Chair, Dallas ISD Research Review Board
NOTICE: [Effective June 1, 2020: On campus and in-person data collection activities by external, non-Dallas ISD organizations will NOT be allowed during the 2020-21 school year. All primary data collection activities such as participant recruitment, completion of consent and assent forms, surveys, assessments, interviews, or focus groups MUST be conducted virtually. Consent and assent forms should be updated to reflect virtual data collection and should include language addressing the restrictions and considerations below.
To ensure the online safety of our students, student interviews and focus groups:
- MUST have at least two adults present that are at least 18 years or older,
- SHOULD be conducted when a parent or adult is present in the household (but the parent or adult does not have to be on the call),
- MUST be conducted after normal school hours (i.e. after 4 pm CST) and before 7 pm CST on weekdays, SHOULD last no longer than 45 minutes to an hour if being conducted during the week,
- MUST be conducted using a secured connection and password protected meeting (i.e. most virtual conferencing systems allow for password enabled virtual conference calls),
- Connection URL and password must NOT be posted publicly, and
- Recordings MUST be made available for safety compliance audits by Larry Featherston, Ph.D., Dallas ISD Research Review Board Chair.]
NOTICE: [Effective June 1, 2019: Graduate research – The district will NOT be accepting non-employee graduate research request. The district is committed to supporting our employees and due to the high demand of employee graduate research requests, the district does not have the capacity to support non-employee graduate research at this time.]
The Research Review Board meets monthly to review proposals. Researchers should submit their proposal at least 60 days in advance of the date they plan to begin research activities.
2020-2021 RRB Calendar Submission Deadline Start of Review Cycle August 12, 2020 August 26, 2020 September 9, 2020 September 23, 2020 November 11, 2020 November 18, 2020 January 13, 2021 January 27, 2021 March 10, 2021 March 24, 2021 May 12, 2021 May 26, 2021 July 14, 2021 July 28, 2021
- Applications for research proposals requiring primary data collection involving students for the 2020-21 school year must be submitted on or before a blue date. Primary data collection proposals involving students submitted on a green date will only be accepted for the 2021-22 school year.
- Complete proposal, including the application fee (money order or cashier's check), must be received by 12 noon on the deadline date. Proposals sent on the deadline date and received the next week will be reviewed during the next cycle.
- Allow one full review cycle for board decision.
- Deadlines are firm – there are no exceptions.
- All efforts will be made to adhere to these time frames for review. However, this schedule is subject to change at any time due to overriding district priorities.