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SanDERA’s Guiding Principles

Shared Research Agenda

The SanDERA Executive Committee, in consultation with senior district leadership and the Board of Advisors, establishes and maintains a research agenda that is aligned with the district’s mission, goals, and strategic plan, is focused on high-priority issues of problems facing the district, and informs the work of educators and policymakers in San Diego and beyond.

Rigorous and Relevant Research

Research projects undertaken by SanDERA are methodologically sound, carefully conducted, and focused on significant issues or challenges faced by SDUSD and the broader education community.

Data Quality and Security

Both SanDERA and SDUSD staff make every effort to ensure that data used in the conduct of SanDERA research are current, correct, consistent, and appropriate – and immediately seek clarification or share concerns if questions or problems arise. SanDERA understands that access to SDUSD data is both a privilege and a serious responsibility. Data security is a top priority for SanDERA, and a range of safeguards is in place to ensure that data under SanDERA’s control are protected.

Effective Communication Among Partners

SanDERA and SDUSD staff are committed to maintaining open lines of communication. Monthly meetings of the Executive Committee serve as SanDERA’s primary communication mechanism with the district; periodic meetings with the SanDERA Board of Advisors and district leadership ensure that all parties are aware of SanDERA’s ongoing research activities and findings.


The SanDERA partnership is built upon a foundation of trust and a common desire to engage in academic research that impacts the quality of public education in San Diego and beyond. SanDERA has a “no surprises” policy: New research is not initiated prior to obtaining formal consent from SDUSD, and district leadership is briefed on research findings prior to publication or presentation to the public.

Dissemination of Research Findings

Dissemination of research findings is a key component of SanDERA’s mission. SanDERA shares all research findings with its Board of Advisors, as well as with SDUSD senior leadership and the Board of Education. Findings are also shared with the broader San Diego community at periodic public forums, and with the research community through publications, presentations, and the SanDERA website.