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Betsy Davies-Mercier

Senior Education Researcher, SRI Education

Betsy Davies-Mercier, Ph.D., supports initiatives that promote children’s early learning and their social-emotional development from preschool through the secondary school years. Her work has addressed policies concerning early literacy and most recently early intervention and early childhood special education. Her background is in quantitative and qualitative research design and analysis, and she has extensive experience disseminating research and evaluation findings for a wide range of audiences.

Currently, Davies-Mercier provides technical assistance on program evaluation for the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy Center). She participates in data analysis and reporting for the Virginia Preschool Initiative Plus (VPI+) Comprehensive Evaluation and is collecting data on redesigning high schools to support students off track to graduate for the Barr Family Foundation’s Engage New England Initiative. DaviesMercier supports the production and dissemination of resources for the DaSy Center and for the Regional Educational Laboratory – Appalachia. She participates in a learning community exploring the potential of the Pay For Success funding model to support programming for young children with disabilities and their families.

Recently completed projects are case studies of the implementation and use of kindergarten entry assessments by early adopters of statewide assessment programs and a case study of an early education funding collaborative. Other recent work includes reporting on qualitative findings from the McKnight Foundation Education and Learning Initiative and identifying promising early literacy initiatives for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Davies-Mercier published findings about trauma exposure in Asian American middle school students as part of a study of the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools program. She previously oversaw the analyses for and production of the Statewide Evaluation of First 5 California annual report to the State Legislature. She also analyzed findings and made recommendations from the National Survey of America’s Families, identifying characteristics of young children and families living in the California counties served by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Davies-Mercier was an evaluator of Housing for Emancipated Youth, a community collaboration convened by the United Way of the Bay Area dedicated to empowering young adults in transition from San Francisco foster care to become self-sufficient. At Westat, Inc., she collaborated on questionnaire design, analysis, and report writing for the National Household Education Survey, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

Davies-Mercier holds a Ph.D. in applied social psychology from The George Washington University.

Key Projects

  1. Regional Educational Laboratory—Appalachia
  2. Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy)
  3. Virginia Preschool Initiative – Plus (VPI+) Comprehensive Evaluation

Selected Publications

  1. Davies-Mercier, E., Woodbridge, M. W., Sumi, W. C., Thornton, S. P., Roundfield, K. D., Lee-St. John, T., … Yu, J. (2017). Traumatic experiences and associated symptomatology in Asian American middle school students. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 8(3), 209–223.
  2. Golan, S., Woodbridge, M. W., Davies-Mercier, E. (2016). Case studies of the early implementation of kindergarten entry assessments. Prepared for Policy and Program Studies Service, U.S. Department of Education. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. Retrieved from
  3. Gaylor, E., Wei, X., Ferguson, K., Williamson, C., Davies-Mercier, B., Fikes, A., & Spiker, D. (2016). Independent evaluation of the Midwest CPC Expansion Project: Final report. Menlo Park, CA. SRI International.
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