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Much of MERC’s research work is disseminated through published reports. This includes full reports on the findings of out empirical research studies, literature reviews, white papers, and research briefs.

Our most recent publications are available on our website, however, you may access all of MERC’s publications through VCU’s Scholar’s Compass.


Since 1991, MERC has produced several research reports a year addressing critical issues in PK12 education. These include empirical studies and literature reviews. Below is a list of recent reports.

Professional Development of Teachers

Opportunities to Personalize Teacher Learning: Innovative Approaches to Bridge Evaluation and Professional Development for Continuous Improvement by Laura Kassner, Ed.D., Educational Consultant (December 2014). The following seven innovative approac...

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Benchmark Testing: Phase 1 and 2

As School districts respond to test-based accountability requirements the emphasis on using data to drive decision making has most recently focused on using interim or benchmark assessment results. The use of these assessments to monitor student...

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Mix It Up With Blended Learning in K-12 Schools

The term “blended Learning” represents a wide spectrum of delivery options tools, and pedagogies, but conceptually refers to instruction that is a mix or blended of traditional face-to face (f2f) and online components...

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Project Based Learning at the Secondary Level

Project based learning (PBL) is a pedagogical approach designed to capture student interest by integrating a contemporary and relevant problem or issue with content standards. The expectation is that students who have not been successful under...

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Review of Literature: Teaching Evaluation

This review of the literature on teacher evaluation was developed at the invitation of the MERC Policy and Planning Council in context of the current focus on teacher evaluation in Virginia. Consequently, in this document, high priority was accorded...

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Online Learning in Virginia: Exploring the Landscape

As online learning in the K‐12 realm grows, so does the body of literature around it. Books, guidance documents and empirical research in the area are proliferating. What follows is by no means intended to be a complete review of the literature...

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Percentile Growth Modeling

In the following, I will commence by briefly considering the policy context from which the discussion of rewards and performance has emerged. I then touch on the emergence of the current emphasis on teacher quality, and some of the key issues involve...

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