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Todd A. Grindal

Associate Center Director and Principal Senior Researcher, Center For Learning & Development, SRI Education

Todd Grindal, EdD, studies the impacts of policies and programs on young children and children with disabilities. He is the principal investigator of a Child Care Policy Research Partnership project examining how early childhood educators in Arkansas child care programs interpret and implement state policies designed to reduce the use of suspension and expulsion. Grindal recently completed evaluation and strategic planning activities focused on early childhood systems building for the Virginia Early Childhood foundation. In other Virginia focused work, Grindal conducted an evaluation of the Virginia Preschool Initiative Plus program which included a regression discontinuity design study that leveraged 4 years of test data to examine the causal impact of preschool enrollment on children’s early academic skills.

Before joining SRI, Grindal led a range of evaluation and technical assistance projects. For the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families, Grindal and colleagues used integrated administrative data to provide new insights into the participation of young Hispanic children in publicly funded early care and education programs. In other work conducted as part of the Secondary Analysis of Variation in Impacts of Head Start Center, Grindal and colleagues used innovative analytic methods to understand how the impacts of Head Start varied by the type of care children would have otherwise received. The article summarizing this work, on which Grindal is a coauthor, was awarded the 2016 Applied Research Award for Advances in Methodology by the American Education Research Association.

Grindal has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications, regularly presents his work at scholarly conferences, and has been an invited speaker at the United Nations. He is the coauthor of a paper examining methods for determining subgroup impacts that was awarded the 2018 journal article of the year from the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. He is the coeditor of a 2020 special issue of the Early Childhood Quarterly examining access, utilization, and impacts of early care and education among Latino families.

Grindal conducted his master’s and doctoral work at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where he was awarded a Julius B. Richmond Fellowship by the Harvard Center on the Developing Child. Before beginning his doctoral studies, Grindal worked for 6 years as an elementary and preschool teacher and school administrator.

Key projects

  1. Reducing Exclusionary Discipline in Arkansas Early Childhood Programs 
  2. Virginia Early Childhood Foundation
  3. Ready to Learn
  4. Survey of Head Start Disability Coordinators
  5. VPI+
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