The CEA facilitates sustained improvements in education, advancing research, moving organizations and communities toward evidence-based decision-making, and publicly advocating for progressive modifications in policies and practices to support educational outcomes. Our large body of work includes instruments, technical reports, white papers, guidebooks, and journal articles. Learn more about our recent work by clicking the icons below.

promote sustainability measure educational answer important
support health inform institutional help communities

The CEA has a library of publications and presentation materials.  To ensure the confidentiality of our clients is protected, we do not typically post full reports on our website.  If you are interested in any of our studies or materials, please email our Program Director, Lawrence H. Moose at

promote sustainability smPromote Sustainability of Innovations

Many of the initiatives the CEA works with have been sustained for multiple grant cycles, several for more than a decade.  The CEA has played a pivotal role in helping those projects establish an evidence base for their work.  For example, the CEA has served as the external evaluator for several projects at the University of Mississippi Center for Mathematics and Science Education (link).  The CMSE’s work with teachers has received national acclaim and the CEA’s evaluation of the CMSE’s work has helped to secure ongoing funding from the National Science Foundation for teacher professional development in the state.  Similarly, the Greater Birmingham Mathematics Partnership is entering its second decade of nationally- and state-funded initiatives in schools throughout the Birmingham metropolitan area.  The CEA has led GBMP’s research and evaluation efforts since its inception, participating in all stages of the work, from proposal writing through annual reporting of progress toward goals.
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measure educational smMeasure Educational Progress

Monitoring change in individuals and groups is an important component of the work of the CEA. The CEA is currently involved in a longitudinal study of preschool programs in Alabama, in partnership with the Alabama Office of School Readiness. We also have a long history of longitudinal tracking of educational progress at the regional, state, and local level, including studies of Early Reading First, Lousiana’s LA-4 program, Alabama’s Alternate Assessment program, and Birmingham City Schools’ initiatives such as the Arts Integration program, Career Academies, AP programs, and a Teaching American History initiative.  See the infographics below for illustrations of some current CEA projects in this area.

gbmpThe Greater Birmingham Mathematics Partnership 

GBMP was formed in 2004 to involve all stakeholders in the education community in providing quality mathematics education.  After a three-year pilot, GBMP received a $9.96 million Targeted Math Science Partnership award from the National Science Foundation to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics at the middle school level.  The CEA led GBMP’s research and evaluation efforts. The results of that research showed that when teachers implemented inquiry-based pedagogy at a high level, there was a significantly greater increase in student achievement than for teachers who implemented at a low or moderate level.  That seminal finding resulted in additional funding for the work.  The partnership continues its work today.

PrIME piktochartProject PrIME:  Promoting Innovation in Mathematics Education

The CEA worked with Project PrIME to develop and assess measurable outcomes for mathematics teachers in Mississippi who participated in summer professional development institutes. The goal of the work was to improve teaching and learning in mathematics.  One of the critical aims of the evaluation was tracking of changes in teacher content knowledge over the life of the project. After a review of the literature and analysis of the PrIME curriculum, the CEA selected a validated assessment of teacher content knowledge in mathematics that best aligned with the content of the summer institutes, administered the instrument, and tracked change in scores based on exposure to course content.  Data like this helped to shape the direction of the work in subsequent years.

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support health smSupport Health and Wellness

The CEA has worked with a number of health and wellness initiatives in the region to help them comb the professional literature, determine measurable outcomes, review practices and procedures, make mid-course modifications to implementation based on data, and disseminate lessons learned from successful programs through scholarly publications and presentations.  CEA work in this area has been funded by diverse and well respected entities such as the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, the Cancer Research Foundation of America, and various school systems in the southeast.  For example, a CEA researcher is currently engaged in a collaborative NIH study with colleagues at UAB and the Mayo Clinic to refine a measure of financial capacity for elderly individuals with dementia and discern whether there are physiological correlates for performance declines on that measure.
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answer important smAnswer Important Questions

Researchers at the CEA are engaged in studies with colleagues across the country to address challenging and important questions that will not only influence education but will transform the way people learn in a variety of fields. The research that we do brings together experts from many fields of study to solve some of society’s most pressing current issues, from the impact of SES, health, and wellness on student achievement to the use of simulation and virtual reality technologies in the classroom and beyond.  For example, CEA methodologists are collaborating on a multi-site Department of Defense study to discern the effects of simulators on the training of combat medical personnel in the delivery of life-saving procedures.
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inform institutional smInform Institutional Policy and Practice

The CEA is involved in several projects in the higher education and beyond that will influence the way those organizations serve the public. Current projects in this area include the evaluation of an NIH-funded program to train postdoctoral scholars to be instructors as well as researchers, the evaluation of a federal scholarship program at Tuskegee University, and the gathering of baseline information related to the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for the regional accreditation of UAB. Core to all efforts is the CEA’s focus on identifying factors that mediate growth and development so the stakeholders are able to target improvements and assess return on their investments.
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help communities smHelp Communities Thrive

The CEA uses the most progressive data collection and analysis techniques to help inform the processes and people involved in community work.  Our past and current projects have helped community organizations track initiatives and resources, attract funding, build partnerships with businesses, build leadership capacity, and educate the public.  For example, the CEA worked with the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham to help them develop a grant-funding model, deliver training in evaluation to potential applicants, and assist with grant proposal evaluations.  The CEA maintains an ongoing research and evaluation relationship with other local foundations, such as the Woodlawn Foundation and the Birmingham Education Foundation.  See the infographics below for illustrations of some current CEA projects in this area.

The Southern Education Desk

The Southern Education Desk is a partnership of 8 public radio and television stations in 5 southern states covering relevant local, regional, and national educational issues across the domains of radio, television, and, internet. The CEA worked with the SED at its inception and through its first year to help the partners understand the quality of coverage, the level of audience engagement, and the impact of coverage on public discourse.  Data-based recommendations by the CEA staff led to numerous programmatic modifications and shifts in direction that have resulted in more powerful content coverage and a more cohesive consortium.

southern education desk

The Woodlawn Foundation

The CEA is working with the Woodlawn Foundation to assess a number of community initiatives.  One involves the planning and development of an early learning center to be located in the Woodlawn neighborhood.  The CEA recently designed a survey for neighboring community parents to gauge their interest in the learning center, understand what they are looking for in childcare and early learning, and determine their willingness to send their children to an early learning center in Woodlawn.  The CEA’s analysis of these survey results will help shape the programming and personnel at the center as well as the manner in which the center is marketed to the community.

what parents want
what parents say

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