Researcher Receives $1.8 Million USAID Grant for
Groundbreaking Study of Latin American Elementary
Contact: Lisa James Goldsberry (518) 437-4980
ALBANY, N.Y. (January 16, 2004) -- University
at Albany Professor Gilbert Valverde has been
awarded a $1.8 million grant from the U.S Agency
for International Development (USAID) for a first-of-its-kind
study of Latin American educational opportunities
and progress. The grant, will enable him to conduct
a four-year study tracing students in the Dominican
Republic as they progress from grade four to grade
seven, measuring what they learn in math and reading
in each grade.
Two Dominican universities, the Instituto Tecnologico
de Santo Domingo (INTEC) and the Pontificia Universidad
Catolica Madre y Maestra, will assist him in carrying
out the research.
"Latin America, with a handful of exceptions,
has only recently begun conducting national evaluations.
These are almost never assessments of learning
- that is, the growth in abilities and knowledge
that takes place during a particular grade - and
they do not include measures of educational opportunities
for purposes of modeling," said Valverde.
He and his research team will "attempt to
explain variations in what is learned by measuring
the specific learning opportunities students are
provided - for example, what sorts of textbooks
they use, their teachers' instructional practices
and resources, the schools' resources and policies."
Valverde, who has a primary appointment to Educational
Administration and Policy Studies (EAPS) in UAlbany's
School of Education, is on the core faculty of
the Comparative and International Education Policy
Program. An affiliated member of the Nelson A.
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy,
he also is member of the Department of Latin American
and Caribbean Studies. He earned his Ph.D. at
the University of Chicago and joined the UAlbany
faculty five years ago after serving as associate
director of the U.S. National Research Center
for the Third International Mathematics and Science