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Education Researcher, Center for Education Policy
Deepa Patel, an education researcher in SRI International’s Center for Education Policy, focuses on K–12 education research with an interest in studying charter school systems and efforts to strengthen teaching quality. Patel has extensive experience managing medium- and large-scale mix-methods studies and developing a range of data collection instruments, including classroom observation rubrics, instructional artifact assessments, interview protocols, and surveys.
Patel is currently the Project Director for the Evaluation of IDEA Public Schools Charter School Program Grant, a study examining the implementation of the IDEA school model during a 4-year period of expansion. She spent the first phase of the project working with the client to understand their most pressing concerns related to expansion and leading qualitative data collection efforts to ensure the study will yield data that supports the charter network’s continuous improvement efforts.
Patel also currently manages two multi-year studies that employ randomized controlled trials across multiple districts, a role which requires a unique ability to translate the technical aspects of research for practitioners. The Investing in Innovation (i3) grant-funded Evaluation of Education Connections studies an online professional development program for secondary teachers of English learners developed by the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL). Surveys, interviews, and the online site’s backend user data inform implementation fidelity. The Evaluation of the New Teacher Center (NTC) Scale-Up Grant evaluates NTC’s beginning teacher supports and mentoring model across five geographically diverse districts. The study uses classroom observations to examine teacher practice, student achievement data to assess the impact of mentoring on students, and surveys and mentor reports of their interaction with teachers to inform implementation fidelity.
Previously, Patel’s portfolio of work has included technical assistance. At Crescent Girls’ School in Singapore, Patel led a workshop and developed an action research manual to support teachers in identifying a research focus, crafting research questions, developing data collection protocols, and conducting focus groups for department-led action research projects. She also worked directly with action research teams to provide timely and targeted feedback and guidance on their development of data collection instruments.
Patel’s interest in education reform stems from teaching middle school social studies in the Bronx as a Teach for America corps member and her experience supporting new school principals at Chicago Public Schools. In addition to domestic K–12 education reform, she has an interest in international education and worked on a UNICEF project to better understand the implementation of Quality Basic Education in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Patel holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy, a master’s degree in teaching from Fordham University, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan.