Viki Young, Director, Center for Education Policy | SRI International

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Viki Young

Director, Center for Education Policy

Viki M. Young, Ph.D., conducts national, state, and local research and evaluation projects on K–12 policy and reform. She specializes in human capital development, college readiness for underserved youth, organizational supports for teachers’ use of data, charter school systems, and district leadership and reform. Young has expertise in case study and survey methods and leads projects to study implementation and impact using mixed qualitative and quantitative methods.

In examining human capital development in education, Young serves as principal investigator on the study of the Rio Grande Valley Center for Teaching and Leading Excellence, funded by a federal Investing in Innovation (i3) grant. The goal of the center is to strengthen the human capital pipeline for teachers, teacher leaders, and school leaders in one of the most impoverished regions of the United States. The study encompasses two randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental approaches to investigate the effects of training on teacher and student outcomes. Survey, interview, and observation methods inform implementation fidelity. Young is also co-principal investigator on the evaluation of the New Teacher Center’s i3 grant, which assesses the implementation fidelity and impact of NTC’s mentor-driven new teacher support model. Young also directed a study explored district reform efforts to improve teaching by creating more coherent local teacher development systems integrating teacher recruitment, induction, professional development, and evaluation. The effort was one of three Race to the Top-funded human capital management initiatives in Massachusetts.

Young has also developed a deep portfolio of projects investigating school reforms aimed at improving outcomes for underrepresented youth. She is the principal investigator for an independent evaluation of IDEA Public Schools’ Race to the Top-District grant, examining a variety of targeted interventions to create individualized learning opportunities for students. She served as principal investigator for the federal study, Strategies for Preparing At-Risk Youth for Postsecondary Success. Using case studies drawn nationally, the study generated lessons from the field on successful strategies to prevent high school dropout and to prepare at-risk youth for postsecondary education. Young is also co-principal investigator for a National Science Foundation-funded study on the relationship between inclusive STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) high school program features and postsecondary STEM education and career interests.

Young directed the four-year longitudinal evaluation of the Texas High School Project (THSP). Using qualitative and quantitative methods, the evaluation team followed high schools implementing reforms according to models that included Texas Science; Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (T-STEM); Early College High School; High Schools That Work; and other high school redesign. The team examined the outcomes of THSP schools compared with matched comparison schools using a quasi-experimental design.

Previous work includes studies on the Renaissance Schools Fund-supported Renaissance 2010 schools in Chicago; state policy influences on local dual-enrollment programs for the U.S. Department of Education; teacher development for the Teaching and California’s Future initiative; standards-based reform in urban school districts for the Pew Network for Standards-Based Reform; and Global Lab Curriculum, a middle school inquiry-based earth science curriculum developed by TERC.

Young holds a Ph.D. in education administration and policy analysis from Stanford University. Before pursuing education policy research, she was a strategy consultant with The Monitor Company.

In 2013, Young was awarded SRI's Mimi Award in recognition of her mentoring and leadership skills.

Viki Young