Professor López Turley directs the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University, which brings together data, research, engagement and action to improve lives. In 2011, she founded the Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC), a research-practice partnership between Rice University and 11 Houston area school districts, representing over 700,000 students. A program of the Kinder Institute, HERC works to improve educational equity by connecting research to policy and practice, working directly with district leaders. She directed HERC from 2011 to 2022, during which she raised over $30M so that school districts would not have to pay for research. She also founded the National Network of Education Research-Practice Partnerships, which connects and supports over 60 partnerships between research institutions and education agencies throughout the country. In 2022, President Joe Biden appointed her to the National Board for Education Sciences, which advises and approves priorities for the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education. She is a graduate of Stanford and Harvard and is originally from Laredo, Texas.
Texas State Board of Education, Long-Range Plan Steering Committee. 2018. Long-Range Plan for Public Education. https://tea.texas.gov/SBOE/long-range_plan/
Arce-Trigatti, Paula, Irina Chukhray, and Ruth N. López Turley. 2018. “Research-Practice Partnerships in Education.” Pp. 561-579 in Handbook of the Sociology of Education in the 21st Century, edited by Barbara Schneider. Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research. Springer.
Turley, Ruth N. López. 2016. “Connecting Research and Policy to Reduce Inequality.” The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 2(5): 272-285.
Turley, Ruth N. López and Carla Stevens. 2015. “Lessons from a School District-University Research Partnership: The Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC).” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 37(1S):6S-15S.