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Who We Are

Mission icon

Mission

Accelerate improvement in the quality of and equity in educational experiences for K-20 students.

Purpose icon

Purpose

Strengthen decision-making by education leaders, practitioners, and policy makers through the use of evaluative inquiry, field knowledge, and improvement science approaches.

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Core Values

  • User-oriented: The focus of the work is driven by the decision needs of the users.
  • Diverse collaboration: The best teams are those that have a broad and diverse composition to examine issues from a range of perspectives.
  • Practical but rigorous: Providing usable information when it is needed requires a flexible and eclectic methodological approach, but quality is never compromised.
  • Silo-free: Innovative strategies from a range of disciplines strengthen our approach and methodologies-business, art, human-computer interaction to name a few!
  • No surprises! Ongoing and direct communication throughout a study so that all stakeholders are informed.

Our Team

Jennifer Iriti
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Jennifer Iriti

Director and Research Scientist

Dr. Iriti holds a doctoral degree in Developmental and Educational Psychology with a Minor in Research Methodology and a certificate in Interdisciplinary Policy and Evaluation from University of Pittsburgh in 2003. In addition to being the Director of Evaluation for Learning, she is also a Research Scientist at the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research and Development Center, an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Learning Sciences and Policy program and a Faculty Fellow with the Center for Urban Education. She has been providing evaluation and program development expertise for education-related organizations for over 17 years. She specializes in applying improvement science, utilization-focused evaluation, and developmental evaluation to support education systems in continuously improving.

Dr. Iriti's training and experience in evaluation includes a wide range of quantitative and qualitative approaches and methodologies that she draws upon to design and implement evaluation plans tailored to the specific needs of the project. Her content area expertise in professional development design and implementation, learning sciences, postsecondary access and attainment, and organizational learning brings field knowledge to study designs and program planning efforts.

Courtney Long
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Courtney Long, MS

Evaluation Specialist and Graduate Student

Courtney Long holds a Bachelor's degree in business from Michigan State University, a Master's degree in education from Drexel University, and is currently a PhD student in the Learning Science and Policy program at the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research & Development Center. Courtney spent four years in the classroom teaching secondary mathematics before coming to the Evaluation for Learning Group full-time. Her experience in evaluation includes a range of quantitative and qualitative methods, including survey development, descriptive and inferential data analysis, social network analysis, participant interviews, and focus groups. She has pioneered efforts on the team to improve data visualization and communication of findings to non-academic audiences.

Frequent Collaborators

Jennifer Russell
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Jennifer Russell, PhD

Research Scientist, LRDC

Jennifer Lin Russell is an associate professor of Learning Sciences and Policy in the School of Education and a research scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) at the University of Pittsburgh, where she leads the Partners for Network Improvement developmental evaluation team. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Her research examines policy and other educational improvement initiatives through an organizational perspective. Her recent work examines two primary issues: (1) how schools create social and organizational structures that support reform; and (2) how inter-organizational collaborations can be structured for educational improvement. In the first strand she has examined how teachers' social networks influence their implementation of reform mathematics practice and studied how coaches support instructional improvement. The second strand of research examines how organizations can productively collaborate to pursue educational improvement, including how networked improvement communities launch and develop.

Lindsay Page
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Lindsay Page, Ed.D

Research Scientist, LRDC

Lindsay Page is an assistant professor of research methodology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, a research scientist at Pitt's Learning Research and Development Center, and a faculty research fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Her work focuses on quantitative methods and their application to questions regarding the effectiveness of educational policies and programs across the pre-school to postsecondary spectrum. Much of her recent work has involved the implementation of large-scale randomized trials to investigate innovative strategies for improving students' transition to and through college. She holds a doctorate in quantitative policy analysis and master's degrees in statistics and in education policy from Harvard University. She earned her bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College.

Jennifer Sherer
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Jennifer Sherer, PhD

Research Associate, LRDC

Jennifer Zoltners Sherer is a Research Associate at the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research & Development Center and a member of the Partners for Network Improvement team. Her work includes the developmental evaluation of networks, offering evidence-based support of network leaders as they design, initiate, and develop networks that improve K-12 teaching and learning. Her research interests focus on distributed leadership, organizational change, and improving teaching and learning in K-20 systems through networks, tool design and implementation, professional development, and curriculum. She was an Instructional Design Fellow at The Institute for Learning. In addition to designing tools and learning environments, she supported the IFL's data and evaluation process. She co-designed and co-taught the IFL's Coursera course: Accountable Talk: Conversation that Works and co-developed the Process Engineering for Educational Results (PEER) project. Prior to receiving her Ph.D. in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University, she was a teacher in Oregon.

Danielle Lowry
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Danielle Lowry

Psychology in Education PhD Student, University of Pittsburgh

Danielle is currently a doctoral candidate in education administration and policy studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Before enrolling at Pitt, she worked for a nonprofit at Kent State University that assisted mostly first-generation, nontraditional students with admissions, FAFSA completion, and navigating the complex web of higher education administrative offices. She attended Ohio State University and completed a Master’s in Public Administration while working for an organization that provided professional development opportunities to adult education instructors and program administrators in Ohio. Her research focuses on financial aid policies and their effect on college access and completion of marginalized and underrepresented student populations.

Aaron Anthony
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Aaron Anthony

Postdoctoral Associate, LRDC

Aaron is a postdoctoral associate working as a data analyst with LRDC's Institute for Learning on a Gates Foundation Networks for School Improvement project aimed at improving English Language Arts performance in Dallas Independent School District. His graduate research emphasized quantitative research methods as applied to questions around higher education access and persistence.