H. Alix Gallagher, Principal Scientist, Center for Education Policy | SRI International

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H. Alix Gallagher

Associate Director, Center for Education Policy

H. Alix Gallagher, Ph.D., runs large-scale studies of teacher quality policies and programs using a range of methodologies including randomized trials, quasi-experimental designs and mixed-methods program evaluations. In particular, she leads studies on teacher preparation, professional development and human capital management.

Currently, Gallagher is leading studies of efforts to reform teacher preparation in the California State University system, the largest teacher preparation system in the world. The studies being evaluated, funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the Bechtel Foundation, address improving the integration of clinical experiences into teacher preparation, preparing teachers to teach in accordance with the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards, and data-driven continuous improvement. She has led studies of inservice teacher professional development focused on supporting improvement of teaching practices and developing teacher leadership. These studies have spanned the content areas of writing instruction, science instruction, mathematics instruction, and instruction to support the development of academic language skills for English Learners. Gallagher has led studies of educator evaluation and performance-based compensation. In 2015, she was selected to serve on the technical review panel for the National Teacher and Principal Survey (formerly Schools and Staffing Survey) as a national expert on teacher professional development.

Gallagher has led studies using a wide range of designs selected to best answer the research questions posed. She has been the co-principal investigator of five randomized controlled trials designed to estimate the impacts of interventions on teacher practices and student outcomes. Gallagher has also led quasi-experimental studies using matching strategies to create the best possible comparison group when randomization was not possible. Throughout, she has paid careful attention to program design and implementation, using a range of qualitative and quantitative data collection activities, such as interviews, observations, and surveys, so that a rich understanding of the inventions and the contexts in which they have been implemented inform inferences about program effectiveness. Gallagher has used case studies and other more descriptive approaches to describe program implementation and refine program logic models to support later large-scale impact analyses. Finally, Gallagher has provided technical assistance on using research to inform ongoing program improvement.

Before joining SRI, Gallagher worked for the Consortium for Policy Research in Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison focusing on school finance and innovative teacher evaluation and compensation systems. Before becoming a researcher, she taught for several years in the Houston Independent School District and in the Phoenix Elementary School District.

Gallagher received her Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Alix Gallagher, Associate Director, Center for Education Policy