Assessing Student Experiences


Dr. Sarah Bruch, Director of the Social and Education Research Program, is the principal investigator leading a research-practice partnership with the Iowa City Community School District. Using a research-practice model, this partnership leverages social science and education policy research and practitioner knowledge to more effectively address persistent problems of policy and practice and improve students’ educational opportunities and outcomes. The partnership provides a structure for long-term collaboration and provides an avenue to develop a research agenda together so that the questions asked are of direct interest to district decision-makers.

For more information about the Equity Implemented Partnership, click here.

Recent Work

2018 Report: Results from a survey administered to all 5th through 12th grade students in the ICCSD in February and March 2018.  LGBTQ Task Force Report: This details the results of a multi-stakeholder Task Force convened to gather feedback and prioritize recommendations directed at supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) students and creating safe and LGBTQ-inclusive schools.



In 2015, we began this research-practice partnership with the ICCSD to help them address the disparities in their District and work toward achieving their goal “that all students can achieve at high levels and that equitable classrooms are essential to their success.” The broad aim of this research partnership is to improve the equitability of school experiences for students in our local community school district by providing the ICCSD with the research expertise and capacity to conduct data collection and analysis, and to project, implement and design research-based solutions to existing disparities.



Student and teacher surveys are administered each year to assess experiences of school climate. See the following related publications:


Survey results are analyzed to identify areas of focus. Focus areas have included dimensions of school climate (specifically, teacher and mentor relationships, inclusive community, and disciplinary environment), and student subgroups, specifically, LGBTQ students.  See the following related publications:


A multi-stakeholder task force convenes to discuss strategies to improve student experiences and reduce disparities. The task force ensures that diverse stakeholder perspectives are used in the decision-making process.  See the following under Related Publications:



The ICCSD implements equity initiatives across selected schools, in alignment with task force recommendations. Programming includes implicit bias and restorative justice professional development. Equity programming initiatives are evaluated using results from surveys given to students, teachers, and professional develpment participants. Evaluation results are used to improve programming inititatives and inform District decision-making.