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Senior Education Researcher
Megan E. Cox, Ph.D., has 13 years of experience leading early childhood research and technical assistance projects designed to support educators’ development and implementation of data-driven continuous improvement efforts and the application of results to improve all children’s outcomes. Cox has expertise in cross-sector early childhood program quality and professional development, quantitative and qualitative analysis, system and program evaluation, action research design, and formative assessment. She specializes in using data and evidence for continuous improvement, particularly in classroom practice and child assessment. Currently, Cox is a technical assistance specialist for the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy) and Regional Educational Laboratory–Appalachia (REL AP), where she works with state staff to enhance data quality and effective use of data to improve programs and early childhood systems. Cox currently is leading a U.S. Department of Education-funded study to examine the feasibility of using pay for success to scale evidence-based preschool practices in one state. Cox has contributed to other projects including a U.S. Department of Education Enhanced Assessment Grant K-3 formative assessment, on which she provided leadership on validity studies related to the K-3 assessment tool.
Before joining SRI, Cox was the early learning assessment specialist at the Minnesota Department of Education, where she conceptualized and led feasibility studies of the birth to third grade comprehensive assessment system. This work included leading alignment studies, examining the technical adequacy of multiple preK-3 performance-based assessments, and working with contractors to explore the empirical alignment and relative difficulty of four kindergarten entry assessments related to the standards. As an evaluation expert, she has led statewide program and impact evaluations for program quality initiatives, enhanced data collection systems, and evaluated the feasibility of implementing new assessment systems in schools.
Cox holds a Ph.D. in family studies with a focus on early childhood workforce from the University of Kentucky and an M.A. in sociology from Marshall University.