Todd A. Grindal | SRI International

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Todd A. Grindal

Principal Senior Researcher, SRI Education

Todd Grindal, Ed.D., studies the impact of policies and programs on young children and children with disabilities. Grindal uses quantitative and qualitative methods to build evidence bases on how to support children at home, in schools, and their communities.  He is currently leading the design and analyses of experimental examinations of PBS digital media interventions on young children’s skill development. For the Virginia Department of Education, Grindal is conducting a regression discontinuity study of the impact of the Virginia Preschool Initiative on children’s school readiness. Grindal is the co-principal investigator on the Institute of Education Sciences Continuous Improvement Research in Education partnership grant with the Montana Office of Public Instruction and four schools in Montana. The objective is to support lower performing students struggling with reading through improvement science methods. Grindal is also leading a project for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, designing formative and summative evaluations of the foundation’s early childhood grant program.

Before joining SRI, Grindal led a range of evaluation and technical assistance projects. For the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families, Grindal and colleagues used integrated administrative data to provide new insights into the participation of young Hispanic children in publicly funded early care and education programs. For the Food and Nutrition Service, Grindal examined how the food retailer environment shapes nutritional outcomes for low-income children and families. In other work conducted as part of the Secondary Analysis of Variation in Impacts of Head Start Center, Grindal and colleagues used innovative analytic methods to understand how the impacts of Head Start varied by the type of care children would have otherwise received. The article summarizing this work, on which Grindal is a coauthor, was awarded the 2016 Applied Research Award for Advances in Methodology by the American Education Research Association.

Grindal has published his work in numerous peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Public Policy and ManagementJournal of Research in Educational EffectivenessApplied Economic Perspectives, and Children and Youth Services Review. He regularly presents his work at scholarly conferences and has been an invited speaker at the United Nations, the Clinton Global Initiative/Hult Prize, and several policy think tanks. Grindal has been recognized as an Emerging Education Policy Scholar by the Fordham Foundation and American Enterprise Institute.

Grindal conducted his master’s and doctoral work at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where he was awarded a Julius B. Richmond Fellowship by the Harvard Center on the Developing Child. Before beginning his doctoral studies, Grindal worked for six years as an elementary and preschool teacher and school administrator.

Key Projects

  1. VPI+
  2. Ready to Learn
  3. Montana Partnership project
  4. Kaufman Foundation

Selected Publications

  1. Silander, M., Grindal, T., Hupert, N., Garcia, E., Anderson, K., Vahey, P. & Pasnik, S. (2018). what parents talk about when they talk about learning: a national survey about young children and science. New York, NY, & Menlo Park, CA: Education Development Center, Inc., & SRI International. https://www.edc.org/sites/default/files/uploads/EDC_SRI_What_Parents_Talk_About.pdf
  2. Dougherty, S. M., Grindal, T., & Hehir, T. (2018). The impact of career and technical education on students with disabilities. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 1044207318771673.
  3. Grindal, T., Bowne, J., Yoshikawa, H., Schindler, H., Magnuson, K., Duncan, G., & Shonkoff, J. (2016). The added impact of parenting education in early childhood education programs: A meta-analysis. Children and Youth Services Review70, 238–249.
  4. Feller, A., Grindal, T., Miratrix, L., & Page, L. C. (2016). Compared to what? Variation in the impacts of early childhood education by alternative care type. The Annals of Applied Statistics10(3), 1245–1285.
  5. Grindal, T., West, M., Willet, J., & Yoshikawa, H. (2015). Impact of home‐based child care provider unionization on the cost, type, and availability of subsidized child care in Illinois, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 34(4), 853–880