Caroline E. Parker

caroline e parker bio pic
Senior Principal Researcher, SRI Education

Caroline (Carrie) E. Parker, EdD, leads research to improve learning for culturally and linguistically diverse students, with a particular interest in how language learning intersects with disabilities. She co-designs her research and technical assistance through an equity lens, recognizing the important opportunity for research to both reveal or hide inequities and opportunities for change. Parker has worked for more than 20 years with states and districts to improve programs for diverse learners, leading both quantitative and qualitative research studies on diverse topics including identifying disabilities among English learners, understanding patterns in the reclassification of English proficiency status, and identifying strategies for high-quality instructional practices.

Before joining SRI, Parker led multiple initiatives through the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands and the Regional Comprehensive Centers. In these positions, she collaborated closely with state and district leaders to design applied research studies in response to the specific needs of students and teachers in the region. These studies included working with state leaders to re-envision their statewide English learner programs and looking at district practices to improve learning experiences for English learners who may have learning disabilities. Parker’s work with students with disabilities includes multiple district reviews of special education programs as well as federally funded studies of programs for students with disabilities across K–12. She has led research studies funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, the Investing in Innovation program, and the National Science Foundation (NSF), examining the impact of literacy intervention on reading levels of students with significant cognitive disabilities and the role of an innovative program providing students with intellectual disabilities access to college courses, among others. She served for many years as co-principal investigator of the STEM Learning and Research Center, providing technical support to NSF-funded researchers of STEM programs for youth.

Parker has expertise in multiple research methodologies and statistical techniques, including survey development; secondary data analysis; descriptive and multivariate statistics; and randomized-control, quasi-experimental, mixed methods, and case study designs. She has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national conferences.

Parker received a BA in English literature from Williams College, an MEd from Framingham State College, and EdM and EdD degrees in administration, planning and social policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Previous to her career as an education researcher, Parker worked in Nicaragua as an educator, journalist, and translator.

Key projects

  • National Comprehensive Center
  • CRPE Barr Foundation Study of COVID

Recent publications

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