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Deborah Gurke

Deb Gurke, Ph.D., is a senior researcher at AIR. Some of her current work is based in AIR’s collaborative research practice area, in particular contributing to the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest. Much of her work focuses on improving research-practice partnerships and understanding the social and organizational conditions both in school districts and the external context and the role communication plays in creating those conditions. 

She has worked on a William T. Grant Foundation-sponsored project focused on understanding how research is used by practitioners. Her publications include articles in Educational Policy and Argumentation and Advocacy.

Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Gurke was director of research and development for the Milwaukee Public Schools. In that work, she focused her team on developing research-practice partnerships, highlighting these efforts in monthly research reviews. Between 2008 and 2013, as the director of governance and leadership development at the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, Dr. Gurke led a group of consultants, working with school board members throughout the state to improve their leadership skills, team building, and conflict resolution.