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Deepa Patel

Senior Researcher, SRI Education

Deepa Patel is a senior education researcher in SRI Education’s Center for Education Research and Innovation. Patel conducts K–12 education research with a focus on studying charter school systems and efforts to strengthen teaching quality. She has experience managing medium- and large-scale mix-methods studies and developing a range of data collection instruments, including classroom observation rubrics, instructional artifact assessments, interview protocols, and surveys. She brings a strong background in working with organizations to examine program implementation and providing formative feedback for system improvement.

Patel’s portfolio of work includes studies funded by the Charter Schools Program Grant for Replications and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools that examine scaling, replication, and expansion of three charter management organizations (CMOs): IDEA Public Schools (IDEA), Rocketship Public Schools (Rocketship), and Voices College-Bound Language Academies (Voices). The study of IDEA centered on their human capital management strategy during a period of rapid system expansion. The studies of Rocketship and Voices focus on studying the implementation of their school program across schools in their networks during a period of growth. Patel collaborates closely with clients to understand their most pressing concerns related to expansion and then leads qualitative data collection efforts to ensure the study will yield data that supports the CMO’s continuous improvement efforts. In addition, Patel is deputy director of a Department of Education’s project to develop and disseminate profiles of selected innovative practices of charter schools, networks, and authorizers, and Task Lead for the implementation and outcomes study of the Gates Foundation’s CMO Networked Improvement Community for Students with Disabilities pilot initiative.

Previously, Patel managed two multiyear studies that employ randomized controlled trials across multiple districts, a role which required a unique ability to translate the technical aspects of research for practitioners. The Investing in Innovation grant-funded Evaluation of Education Connections studied an online professional development program for secondary teachers of English learners developed by the Center for Applied Linguistics. The Evaluation of the New Teacher Center (NTC) Scale-Up Grant evaluated NTC’s beginning teacher supports and mentoring model across five geographically diverse districts.

Prior to joining SRI, Patel taught middle school social studies in New York City and worked for the Office of Innovation and Incubation (formerly the Office of New Schools) at Chicago Public Schools. Patel holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy and a master’s degree in teaching from Fordham University.

Key projects

  1. Study of IDEA Public Schools Grant for Replications and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools
  2. Evaluation of Education Connections
  3. Evaluation of the New Teacher Center (NTC) Scale-Up Grant
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