Faculty and staff from the Adrian Dominican School of Education (ADSOE) have partnered with Broward County Public School (BCPS) and the South Florida Education Research Alliance (SFERA) for a multi-year investigation known as the Black Male Success Initiative (BMSI) to better support Black male students and reduce disproportionality. Professors Lauren Shure, PhD, and Gerene Starratt, PhD are supporting Barry’s involvement with the project.
Using an education research lab model, Starratt and Shure are engaging Barry students in community-based research that provides valuable hands-on investigation experience. Presently, Broward’s Black Male Success Initiative (BMSI) lab includes three PhD students from Barry; Stephanie Auguste, Carmen Bolivar, and Ivanna Fredotovic, and two of Barry’s MS in counseling students: Mirsha Alexandre and Sashay Goodletty.
The students are assisting in the analysis of risk-ratio data and disproportionality and will assist in capturing data through interviews and focus groups. The SFERA collaborative includes education research faculty from nearby universities, as well as other Barry faculty, including professors Mirlenda Noelliste, PhD, Mehmet Türegün, PhD, and Arleezah Marrah, PhD.
The evaluation of BMSI is a mixed-method study where risk-ratio data is being collected for every public school in Broward County. In the first year, data reports were analyzed from the different innovation zones to identify the components of the initiative that would be the focus of study. Year two will focus on the fidelity of implementation of BMSI interventions, which will be a component of the analyses of outcomes.
The long-term goal is for the documentation of these policies, practices, and interventions to be utilized in developing plans for scale-up and training efforts that might also be valuable to other district schools, as well.
In a community-based research model, university researchers assist the school district in building their research capacity on projects that are decided by the district. For this project, Shure, with expertise in ethnic/racial disproportionality and cultural competence, will also offer professional development opportunities.