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Executive Director, Center for Learning and Development
Shari Golan, Ph.D., has 25 years of experience helping improve education, social, and health programs and policies for young children and their families. Her expertise includes working with policymakers, funders, and program leaders to identify desired outcomes, strategies to achieve them, and ways to collect and use high-quality data to monitor progress.
Golan has worked on programs to build early learning systems in Florida, Minnesota, Washington, and California, and has developed dissemination products for a wide range of audiences.
For Florida Ready Schools, she facilitated the development of an early childhood system logic model that is guiding systems-change efforts through case studies and program planning and accountability through analysis of school and agency data. This work led to a second study to evaluate the impact of the Florida Master Teacher Initiative, an Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund development grant, on preschool through third-grade teachers and their students.
In Minnesota, Golan is evaluating a preschool through third-grade early literacy initiative for The McKnight Foundation using extant educational data, teacher observations, and direct assessments of children.
For the Washington State Department of Early Learning, she developed a summary of the literature on best practices in the assessment of young children and summarized the results of a statewide stakeholder survey to identify kindergarten assessment priorities.
In 2007, Golan completed a five-year evaluation of a statewide early childhood program in California that included reporting on outcome data on children and families; development of a web-based data system; development of a summary report of key educational, health, and social population-based indicators; and the creation of attractive fact sheets, policy and practitioner briefs, and annual reports for the California Legislature and public. In addition to her work with states and foundations, Golan is leading a study on the implementation of kindergarten entry assessments in four states for the U.S. Department of Education.
Golan also conducts studies on family engagement and welfare and on family-school partnerships. She worked with the RAND Corporation on the statewide evaluation of the Prevention and Early Intervention Initiatives funded by the California Mental Health Services Authority. She co-directed an evaluation of GreatSchools’ College Bound, an online parent involvement program that offers a web-based curriculum and coaching to help parents raise their children to be college ready.
Golan evaluated the Santa Clara County Family Wellness Court, which offers coordinated services to families affected by methamphetamine and other substance abuse. She also co-directed a study using Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-birth cohort (ECLS-B) data to determine the impact of transition activities on children’s transition to kindergarten and school readiness outcomes.
She also conducted a three-year study of the Parent Institute for Quality Education program, which was designed to help new immigrant parents better support their children’s academic, social, and emotional growth at home and through school involvement, as well as a three-year evaluation of the California's Healthy Start School-Linked Services initiative.
Golan received her Ph.D. in education from the University of California, Los Angeles.