Dan Potter, Ph.D.

Dan is currently the Associate Director of Regional Research at the Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC), a program of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University. HERC is a research practice partnership between Rice University and 11 public school districts in-and-around the Houston area. Utilizing the RPP model, Dan has launched four large-scale studies focused on education in the Houston area. These studies focus on student mobility, long-term English learners, Career & Technical Education, and COVID-19 response and recovery. With all of HERC's research, the ultimate goal is to provide information and research to decision makers, working with them to development, design, and enact policy aimed at equitably addressing educational inequality, closing gaps, and improving the futures of students and families in the Houston community and beyond. Dan's background is in sociology, with a focus on education and the family.


At the risk of stealing a reading from the class, an article on research-practice partnerships: https://srcd.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/j.2379-3988.2017.tb00089.x


The long-term English learner project currently underway at HERC. In this study, HERC is working with its local partners to examine the reclassification patterns of students who start school (in first grade) as English learners. English learners who reclassify in a timely manner (3-5 years) go on to succeed on par with students who were native English speakers; however, English learners that take more than 5 years to reclassify have much worse educational outcomes. They are more likely to be retained a grade, drop out, and not enroll in college. Over the last decade, the percent of English learners becoming long-term English learners has doubled in the state of Texas. Currently, around 67% of students who start first grade as English learners in Texas public schools, will not be reclassified within 5 years. This is an educational emergency in the making.