Principal Senior Researcher, SRI Education
Kyra Caspary, PhD, researches the education pathways that support youth in realizing their career and life goals. She studies programs and initiatives designed to improve postsecondary education access and outcomes for youth from underserved communities. These include college and career pathways that integrate academic preparation with career technical education, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) preparation and pathway programs. Her work also examines the skills and dispositions youth need to transition successfully to the workforce and postsecondary education. Her deep and varied methodological expertise incudes evaluation design, survey development and analysis, causal inference, and qualitative data collection and analysis.
Caspary integrates quantitative and qualitative data to provide clients with actionable formative feedback for program improvement. In her research on college and career pathways for underserved youth, Caspary leads several projects that leverage survey data, interview and focus group data, document review, and analysis of student record data to provide funders comprehensive feedback on the progress and impact of education initiatives. Caspary co-leads SRI’s evaluation of the Barr Foundation’s Engage New England, a multiyear undertaking to create innovative school models designed to meet the needs of students who are off track to graduate. SRI is providing formative feedback for continuous improvement and ultimately will assess whether these innovative strategies are helping students graduate with the competencies needed for a changing workforce. In addition, Caspary co-led a multiyear evaluation of ConnectEd’s California Linked Learning District Initiative, an effort to transform high schools through programs of study that integrate rigorous academic instruction with a demanding technical curriculum and work-based learning.
In other research, Caspary examined initiatives to increase access to advanced coursework and postsecondary education for traditionally underrepresented student groups. This work includes SRI’s evaluation of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Bridging the Equity Gap project and SRI’s study of the University of California’s Early Academic Outreach Program. Further, Caspary’s research on preparation for STEM careers includes a mixed-methods study of a program at Los Angeles City College designed to increase Hispanic and low-income students’ participation and success in STEM disciplines.
Before joining SRI, Caspary conducted research on undergraduate admissions policy for the University of California system and managed the University of California Undergraduate Experience Survey, an online survey of all enrolled UC undergraduates. As a researcher at PACE (Policy Analysis for California Education), she led a qualitative study of professional development and retention programs for early childhood educators in two California counties. She began her career in education running a volunteer-based tutoring program for the Austin Independent School District Office of Community Education.
Caspary earned her PhD in education from the University of California, Berkeley and holds a master’s degree from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy.
- Evaluation of the Barr Foundation’s Engage New England Initiative
- Evaluation of Los Angeles City College’s Hispanic Serving Institution STEM and Articulation grant
- Evaluation of the California Linked Learning District Initiative
- Developmental Study of the National Writing Project’s SEED Science Writing Inquiry
- Evaluation of International Baccalaureate’s Bridging the Equity Gap Project
Recent publicationsmore +
This report summarizes the findings from SRI’s retrospective evaluation of the Hewlett Foundation’s Deeper Learning + Diffusion of Innovation and Scaled Impact Initiative, an ambitious effort to learn how fundamental…
Transforming High Schools to Serve Students Who Are Off Track to Graduate: Lessons Learned from the Engage New England Initiative
This brief presents lessons learned about school transformation from the Barr Foundation’s Engage New England initiative, an effort to catalyze high school innovation by developing exemplary schools that support the…
Scaling Deeper Learning for Equity Lessons Learned from the Deeper Learning + Diffusion and Scaled Impact Initiative
This research brief summarizes six lessons from the Hewlett Foundation’s Deeper Learning + Diffusion of Innovation and Scaled Impact Initiative.
This research study provides confirmatory evidence that six YouthTruth student experience scales are associated with key school-level student academic and behavioral outcomes, including math and reading proficiency rates, chronic absences…
Study of the Engage New England Initiative Cross-Site Learning Brief 4: Early Insights from Academic Case Conferencing
The Barr Foundation launched the Engage New England Initiative in 2017 to support the development of innovative schools to serve students who are off track to graduate from high school.
This report presents findings from three quasi-experimental studies estimating the impact of program participation overall, as well as STEM Learning Center participation and SI participation, specifically on STEM course success…