Lauren Cassidy, Research Analyst, Center for Education Policy | SRI International

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Lauren J. Cassidy

Senior Education Researcher

Lauren Cassidy has more than 15 years of experience as an education researcher. She leads mixed-methods studies of programs to improve teacher preparation and quality and college and career readiness initiatives. Cassidy has particular expertise in qualitative data collection and analysis and writing for diverse audiences.

Cassidy’s research on teaching quality focuses on supports for preservice and beginning teachers as well as ongoing, embedded coaching for teachers at all stages of the profession. She is the co-principal investigator of the evaluation of the New Teacher Center’s (NTC) Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant that provides professional learning for the cooperating teachers of preservice teachers and job-embedded induction support for preservice teachers once they are hired for the classroom. The evaluation is a randomized controlled trial to determine the impact of NTC’s supports on teacher classroom practice, student achievement, and teacher retention and measures implementation fidelity. Cassidy is the project director for another study of an NTC SEED grant to examine the implementation and impact of NTC supports for school-based instructional coaches.

Cassidy’s college and career readiness work focuses on helping students traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education to transition to college and improving the alignment between high school career and technical education (CTE) programs and local workforce demand. She is the project director for the evaluation of the Barr Foundation’s Engage new England Initiative, which supports the development of innovative programs to serve students who are off track to graduate from high school. Through this mixed-methods evaluation, Cassidy and her team provide timely formative feedback to the foundation and technical assistance providers for continuous program improvement. Cassidy also supports program monitoring and improvement efforts of CTE programs in Texas. As the project director of the Statewide Evaluation of Career and Technical Education, she led the development of CTE program quality metrics to support the state education agency in gauging the quality of CTE programs across the state. Cassidy also has extensive experience studying early literacy and secondary writing instruction.

Cassidy earned her M.A. in English, with a concentration in professional writing and editing, from George Mason University and her B.S. in English and communication studies from Northwestern University.

Key Projects

  1. Evaluation of the New Teacher Center SEED Grant for Preservice Teachers
  2. Evaluation of the New Teacher Center SEED Grant for Instructional Coaching
  3. Evaluation of the Engage New England Initiative
  4. Statewide Evaluation of Career and Technical Education Programs
  5. Evaluation of the McKnight Foundation’s Pathway Schools Initiative

Selected Publications

  1. Cassidy, L., Golan, S., & Woodworth, K. (2018). Understanding where formative assessment fits in classrooms to improve instruction and student outcomes. Manuscript submitted for publication.
  2. Yarnall, L., Cassidy, L., Cox, M., Levin-Guracar, E., McMurchy, M., & Jonas, D. (2018). Policy and literature review for the Statewide Evaluation of Career and Technical Education Programs. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.
  3. Schmidt, R., Young, V., Cassidy, L., Wang, H., & Laguarda, K. (2017). Impact of the New Teacher Center’s New Teacher Induction Model on teachers and students. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. 
  4. Golan, S., Cassidy, L., & Woodworth, K. (2016). Improving early literacy in preK–3: Lessons learned. The McKnight Foundation Pathway Schools Initiative phase I report. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.
  5. Cassidy, L., Yee, K., Schmidt, R., Vasquez, S., Means, B., & Krumm, A. (2016). Classroom trials: A study of instruction with writing software. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.
Lauren Cassidy, Research Analyst, Center for Education Policy