Texas Schools Project was founded in 1992 by John F. Kain, while he was a professor of economics at Harvard University. During an early 1990′s visit to Texas, Kain learned about the State’s accountability system that required annual testing in core subjects of all public school students in the State. His initial interest centered on using these data to investigate factors affecting the outcomes of minority and low-income students. Ultimately, Kain, in collaboration with Eric Hanushek, established a database of administrative level education data from Texas that was unequalled in the world and showed how it could be used to investigate fundamental education issues. Furthermore, this longitudinal data base provided a model to other states of the quality of education research that could be conducted using such data.
In 1997, Professor Kain joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Dallas and moved the project to the University where he, Hanushek, and Steve Rivkin led a variety of innovative research efforts with what became known as the Texas Schools Microdata Panel.
With the inception of the Texas Education Research Center program in 2007, the Texas Schools Project developed an approach to turning administrative data into a broad education research platform. The UTD Education Research Center continues to host a multitude of research projects informing policy and practice using the comprehensive collection of restricted microdata made available to local and national researchers under the program.
Improving the quality of education provided to low-income and minority students continues to be a particular focus of the Texas Schools Project.
Research at the Texas Schools Project is conducted through the following entities: