About Us

Founded in 1992, the Center on Educational Governance (CEG) researches the linkages between policy, educational governance, and the improvement of urban schools and systems. Situated within the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education, CEG aims to improve policy and practice through research.

CEG’s interdisciplinary approach offers policy solutions to the educational challenges posed by an increasingly global society. The Center develops basic research about what works, uses action research to improve practice, and partners with the field to develop products and services.

Initially, CEG focused on decentralized decision-making, then known as site-based management. Some of CEG’s earliest studies examined the theory that those closest to students – principals, teachers, and parents – could better tailor school decisions to their community’s needs than could a centralized district office. Although research topics have evolved over CEG’s history, the fundamental aim remains the same: to build a knowledge base that provides educators, policymakers and researchers with new research, tools and strategies for improving policy and practice.

CEG’s current research includes education reform, school and district governance and public-private partnerships, improving the quality of school systems, increasing accountability, and spreading innovation across states, districts, and between traditional public and charter schools.

CEG is led by Founder and Director Dr. Priscilla Wohlstetter, the Diane and MacDonald Becket Professor of Educational Policy at USC and Assistant Director Dr. Joanna Smith, an Assistant Research Professor at USC.

The main activities of the Center are:

  1. Engaging in rigorous quantitative and qualitative research studies of policy problems;
  2. Building a knowledge base to provide researchers, educators, parents and policy makers with new tools and strategies for improvement; and,
  3. Working in partnership with educators and policy makers to use research to improve policy and practice.

Key research areas include:

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