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2018 MERC Conference

Each year the MERC Conference brings together hundreds of stakeholders from educationa research, practice, and policy to advance public schools in metropolitan Richmond. Scroll down to explore the program, podcast, and information from last year's event and stay tuned for information about the 2019 MERC conference.


15th Annual MERC Conference





Public education is built on connections. Teachers promote cooperation between students in their classrooms. Counselors foster relationships to help students develop and reach future goals. Administrators bring together faculty, staff, and students to build a nurturing school culture. School division leaders consider the unique needs of the broader community they serve when making decisions about the schools they oversee. Community non-profits connect donors and volunteers with schools and students in need of support. Educational researchers draw connections between ideas and solicit input from key stakeholders to help inform policy and practice. Policymakers work together to draft legislation based on research, data, and the evolving needs of school divisions in Virginia. At the heart of it all, students connect with each other every day to learn, grow, and build their collective future. Although many work to advance public education in metropolitan Richmond, our voices are not always connected.  

The 15th Annual Conference of the Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium (MERC) brought together stakeholders from educational research, practice, and policy to promote the power of connection in public education. Among its core principles, MERC believes in the importance of relationships and incorporating multiple perspectives in community engaged research. The strength of our partnership is built on relationships with MERC school divisions, and we believe that the relevance, impact, and rigor of our research is enhanced when multiple stakeholder groups contribute their experiences, perspectives, and unique knowledge bases. This conference offered opportunities to learn from collaborative, community-engaged research and to make connections with others invested in advancing public education in metropolitan Richmond. The goals of the conference were:

1. Promote collaborative, community-engaged research
that is locally relevant and impactful

2. Celebrate the importance of relationships in education

3. Provide opportunities to build connections between
educational stakeholders in metropolitan Richmond

4. Engage with critical questions and draw together big ideas
that can help further public education 



2017 MERC Conference - Public Education at a Crossroads