The vision of the Madison Education Partnership (MEP) is to improve experiences and outcomes for all MMSD students and reduce gaps in opportunity and achievement.

About MEP

MEP brings together the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in a locally based, nationally relevant, research-practice partnership.  MEP joins research and practice by engaging in mutually defined, high-quality, problem-based research that contributes to policy, builds capacity, and strengthens practice. 

Collaborating on MEP are UW Madison researchers and faculty; MMSD administration, teachers and staff; and stakeholders from the broader Madison community. The partnership enables research to be conducted more quickly and results released more efficiently—to advance strategies that benefit Madison students, families, and schools.


Improving the transition to Kindergarten
May 2024

MMSD Research, Assessment & Improvement 4K Enrollment Brief
April 2024

Does Money Matter for the Production of Relevant Research? Incentivizing Researchers to Work on Research Relevant to Practice, Policy, and Communities
March 2024

Full Day 4K in Year Two: Examining Classroom Pedagogy in 4K and 5K (PDF)
March 18, 2024

Full Day 4K in Year Two: Understanding Learning Gains for Students (PDF)
March 18, 2024

Ongoing Research Topics

Early Education

Full-day 4K Evaluation: MEP worked with MMSD to measure 4K students’ skills at the start and end of the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years in both full-day and half-day 4K classes. In 2022-23 we extended this work to 5K. We also looked at the distribution of culturally responsive and inclusive pedagogical practices in 4K classrooms. MEP and MMSD are working together now to take these findings and use them to influence the full-day 4K program in 2023-24.

Postsecondary Enrollment and Success

MEP is partnering with MMSD’s Research, Assessment & Improvement (RAI) team (1) to understand how the odds of a student completing a postsecondary education shift as they progress in their K-12 education and (2) to identify school-based programs and practices in the district that significantly change the odds a student will enroll in college and complete a degree.

Mental Health

In a mixed-methods study using data from 12 middle schools currently engaging in the REST program in MMSD, MEP is seeking to help improve screening, referral, and access to mental health services in Madison schools. This work is done in collaboration with the MMSD Student & Staff Support team.

Middle School Math Tutoring

MMEP is partnering with MMSD’s Secondary Programs and Pathways; Engagement, Diversity Equity, and Inclusion; and Research, Assessment & Improvement (RAI) teams and UW-Madison partners to develop, implement, and evaluate a tutoring intervention focused on middle school math. We will pilot this intervention in Spring 2024 and scale it up in 2024-25.