The Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium (MERC) was established at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1991 in collaboration with the school divisions of Richmond and surrounding counties. The founding members created MERC to provide research-based information to help resolve education problems identified by practicing professional educations. MERC currently provides services to over 12,000 teachers in seven school divisions.
MERC provides tangible material support to enhance the practice of educational leadership and the improvement of teaching and learning in metropolitan educational settings. MERC’s research and development agenda is built around 5 goals:
- To improve educational decisions-making through joint development and dissemination of practice-driven research.
- To anticipate significant, reasonable educational issues and needs.
- To identify proven strategies for improving instruction, leadership, policy and planning.
- To enhance the effective dissemination of research to practitioners.
- To provide research-oriented professional development opportunities for school practitioners.
In addition MERC conducts program evaluations for school systems, universities and other agencies.