Debra Shaver, Senior Researcher, Center for Education and Human Services | SRI International

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Debra Shaver

Principal Education Researcher, SRI Education

Debra Shaver, Ph.D., has more than 25 years of experience in education and social science research and evaluation. She has developed research plans, designed data collection instruments, conducted quantitative and qualitative analyses, and written reports and publications for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. She has also provided state agencies, schools, and nonprofit organizations with technical assistance on evaluation design, analysis, and interpretation for policy and practice. Much of her work has centered on improving learning and the quality of life for children and youth with disabilities.

Shaver uses her deep expertise in research methods as a certified reviewer for the What Works Clearinghouse, a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). She has reviewed approximately 100 research studies to evaluate the scientific merit of their research designs and the strength of their evidence for educational interventions. Recently, Shaver was co-principal investigator on a grant from IES, leading SRI’s work in examining factors associated with high school and post-high outcomes of deaf and hard-of-hearing students. She and her team applied propensity score matching techniques to data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) to identify factors associated with outcomes in the academic, social/behavioral, vocational, and functional domains. Shaver also served on the leadership teams of NLTS2, conducted by SRI, and its predecessor, the National Longitudinal Transition Study of Students with Disabilities.

Shaver studies and provides technical assistance on effective implementation of evidence-based practices and methods for continuous quality improvement. As co-principal investigator for the Model Demonstration Coordination Center, she directed the center’s work with model demonstration and technology implementation projects intended to improve outcomes for students through evidence-based educational programs, practices, and tools. This work focused on identifying the characteristics of an effective implementation and model refinement process—one that moves from early testing to full implementation and sustainment. For the IDEA Data Center and the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems, Shaver provides state agency staff with technical assistance on how to collect, analyze, and use high-quality data for systemic improvement efforts. Through these and other projects, she has developed tools and resources to help organizations and individuals build capacity in using data for ongoing improvement work.

Shaver received a Ph.D. in sociology of education from Stanford University.

Key Projects

  1. Model Demonstration Coordination Center
  2. Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems
  3. National Longitudinal Transition Study-2
  4. What Works Clearinghouse
  5. Factors Associated with Outcomes for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

Selected Publications

  1. Shaver, D., Cox, M., Ruggiero, R. A., & Kutaka, T. (2018). Strengthening SSIP evaluations with qualitative methods. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.
  2. Marschark, M., Shaver, D. M., Nagle, K. M., & Newman, L. A. (2015). Predicting the academic achievement of deaf and hard-of-hearing students from individual, household, communication, and educational factors. Exceptional Children, 81(3), 350–369.
  3. Nimkoff, T., Shaver, D., & Schroeder, K. (2018). Data Meeting Protocol. IDEA Data Center. Rockville, MD: Westat.
  4. Shaver, D. M., Marschark, M., Newman, L., & Marder, C. (2014). Who is where? Characteristics of deaf and hard-of-hearing students in regular and special schools. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 19(2), 203-219. doi:10.1093/deafed/ent056
  5. Wei, X., Yu, J. W., & Shaver, D. (2014). Longitudinal effects of ADHD in children with learning disabilities or emotional disturbances. Exceptional Children, 80(2), 205–219.
Debra Shaver