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Kirby A Chow

Education Researcher, SRI Education

Kirby Chow, Ph.D., specializes in the academic achievement and social and emotional well-being of children from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. She uses qualitative and quantitative methods to research and evaluate education programs and interventions.

Chow is currently deputy director for the comprehensive evaluation of the Virginia Preschool Initiative – Plus (VPI+). Through funding from a federal Preschool Development Grant, VPI+ aims to expand quality preschool programs for at-risk four-year-olds in high-need communities in Virginia. Chow leads qualitative data collection and analyses, the objective being to understand program implementation by interviewing program coordinators and coaches. She also supports the analysis and dissemination of VPI+ program impact findings from a regression discontinuity study.

Chow also leads randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies of the efficacy of programs intended to improve school safety and positive approaches to behavior management. She is the director of an Institute of Education Sciences-funded efficacy study of Discipline in the Secondary Classroom, a classroom management program. She also managed the quantitative analysis and reporting for a National Institute of Justice-funded evaluation of the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District’s implementation of the Safe & Civil Schools Foundations Program in middle and high schools.

Chow is co-principal investigator for a Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Appalachia study examining the tools and approaches states use to measure implementation of response to intervention (RTI) and multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS). Findings from this descriptive study will support the Tennessee Department of Education in developing its own implementation assessment tool to better understand how schools and districts are implementing the state’s RTI framework.

Before joining SRI, Chow was a Society for Research in Child Development Executive Branch Fellow in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. As a fellow, she conducted research and policy analyses on early childhood homelessness, advised senior policy officials on these issues, and engaged in interagency collaboration with the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Education. Chow also was a researcher for the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Chow earned her Ph.D. in education (human development and psychology) from UCLA. She also holds an M.A. in education from UCLA and a B.A. in psychology and social welfare from UC Berkeley.

Key Projects

  1. Virginia Preschool Initiative – Plus (VPI+) Comprehensive Evaluation
  2. A Study of “Discipline in the Secondary Classroom”: A Positive Approach to Behavior Management
  3. Regional Educational Laboratory—Appalachia
  4. Study of the Title VI Indian Education Formula Grants Program
  5. Montana Continuous Improvement in Literacy Partnership

Selected Publications

  1. VPI+ Comprehensive Evaluation Annual Report – Year 3 (2017-2018)
  2. VPI+ Formative Evaluation Program Implementation Report – Year 3: Fall 2017
  3. Homelessness in the elementary classroom: social and emotional consequences
  4. Elementary School Children’s Reasoning About Social Class: A Mixed-Methods Study
  5. Increasing the Complexity of Young Adolescents’ Beliefs About Poverty and Inequality: Results of an 8th Grade Social Studies Curriculum Intervention
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