Office of Research
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Our Mission: Our mission is to provide scientifically rigorous, independent, and objective research and program evaluation services to the offices that make up the West Virginia Department of Education. In so doing, we work to assist Department staff in using data during both program planning and implementation phases to maximize effectiveness. We use our position as an internal entity to provide more timely and cost-effective services than would be possible using outside evaluators.

Our Philosophy: We believe program staff understand the contexts and challenges of their work better than any outsider. That’s why we subscribe to a participatory evaluation philosophy that engages these individuals as active partners throughout the entire research/evaluation process. This approach ensures our program evaluations and research studies are targeted toward meeting program needs and yield actionable recommendations that program staff will value and use to improve outcomes.

Our Goals: Our goals include the following:

  • Establish an institution-wide expectation that formative and summative program evaluation will be a necessary component of educational programming.
  • Establish an institution-wide expectation that the results of research and evaluation studies should inform appropriate audiences in a timely manner and impact organizational decision-making.
  • Provide for the adequate protection of human subjects who participate either directly or indirectly in research and evaluation activities conducted by Department staff or external researchers.
  • Establish a comprehensive sustainability roadmap for the Office of Research.
  • Build the capacity of Department program staff, district, and school staff to engage in self-evaluative activities.
  • Support the continual improvement of the capacity of Office of Research staff to provide high quality research and evaluation services to the Department.
  • Meet the research and evaluation needs of the Department and other clients.

The WVDE Office of Research provides a range of services to support data-driven decision making, research-based planning, and funding compliance reporting including the following:

  • Focused reviews of the research literature
  • Needs assessment
  • Demographic, student achievement, and other trends analyses
  • Formative and summative program evaluations

The Office of Research operates as an independent agency within the Division of Teaching and Learning Services, by providing objective and rigorous data collection and reporting. It also serves as a clearinghouse for all WVDE internal, external, and joint research and evaluation projects.