Research and Evaluation

The Florida Institute of Education (FIE) engages in research and evaluation activities in conjunction with FIE-developed interventions designed to improve student outcomes and research that serves to inform decision making of both policy makers and practitioners. The projects are research-based and use evaluation activities to assess effectiveness and to improve the intervention. FIE research activities establish statewide partnerships and bring in national groups with similar interests. Additionally, FIE is a research partner with several community agencies and frequently serves these agencies as the evaluator for their initiatives.

Research Mission:

FIE researchers believe in conducting well-designed research to gain further insight into learning and education processes. FIE undertakes research that incorporates the use of newer experimental and quasi-experimental methodologies, that utilizes wide-ranging data including large nationally and locally collected data as well as locally designed data, and that fosters a community of scholars among the FIE-sponsored doctoral student research assistants. 

Research Methodology:

The FIE Research Team, led by Stephanie Wehry, draws upon traditional research methods such as regression, multivariate, and analysis of variance; quasi-experimental methods such as propensity score matching, time series, and regression discontinuity; and more contemporary methods such as hierarchical linear modeling, structural equation modeling, and data mining. The team is proficient in the use of SAS, SPSS, MPlus, and SAS Enterprise Miner. 


The FIE Assessment Team, led by Madelaine Cosgrove, can either directly conduct assessments or train others to so. The Assessment Team consists of highly-trained assessors with extensive experience in individually assessing young children’s abilities across school readiness domains. Additionally, FIE assessors are certified to quantify the quality of the learning environments, instruction, and interactions in young children’s classrooms using the Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale—Revised Edition, 2003; Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale—Revised Edition, 2003; Early Language & Literacy Classroom Observation, 2002: and Classroom Assessment Scoring System, 2007. 

Active Partners:

FIE active research partners include the Jacksonville Early Literacy Partnership (JELP), the Early Learning Coalition of Duval, Inc. (ELC of Duval), Jacksonville Urban League Head Start Program (JUL Head Start), United Way of Northeast Florida, the Don Brewer Early Learning and Professional Development Center, and Duval County Public Schools (DCPS).