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Principal Researchers and Staff:

Barbara Neufeld is the President and founder of Education Matters, Inc. Dr. Neufeld began her career in education as an elementary school teacher in the South Bronx and also taught in New Haven. She received her Ed. D from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and was a part-time Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education from 1985-1997 teaching courses about qualitative methods for research in schools and school districts, and the links between research, policy and practice in urban schools. Dr. Neufeld has served as principal investigator for numerous evaluations over the last nineteen years. These include evaluations of 1) the Effective Schools Programs in a sample of Connecticut elementary schools; 2) Dr. James Comer's School Development Program in New Haven and in Hartford, CT; 3) professional development programs associated with the Coalition of Essential Schools; 4) middle school reform in districts funded by the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation (for example, San Diego, Corpus Christi, Louisville, and Minneapolis); and, 5) the Boston Annenberg Challenge, now called Whole-School Improvement in Boston. In addition, Dr. Neufeld has participated in basic research designed to inform teacher education. Such research includes studies conducted by the National Center for Research on Teacher Education and the National Center for Research on Teacher Learning (both housed at Michigan State University).
E-mail: [email protected]

Sarah Birkeland is a Senior Research Associate at Education Matters. Sarah began her career as a classroom teacher, teaching junior high English in Jakarta, Indonesia and elementary and middle school in Denver, Colorado. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Stanford University, a master's degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Colorado at Denver, and a doctorate in Educational Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University. While at Harvard she worked with Susan Moore Johnson and the Project on the Next Generation of Teachers, co-authoring the book Finders and Keepers: Helping New Teachers Survive and Thrive in our Schools (Jossey-Bass, 2004) and several articles about teacher induction and alternative licensure.  She also collaborated with Carol Weiss on a study of knowledge utilization in policy decisions about substance abuse education, co-authoring several papers on the subject. At Education Matters, Sarah is currently leading a study of the impact of the Connecticut Center for School Change’s professional development for district leaders, and contributing to studies of the Boston School Leadership Institute and School Based Administrator support program. 
E-Mail: [email protected]

Marcia Russell, a Research Assistant at Education Matters, is also a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the Education Policy, Leadership, and Instructional Practice concentration.  Her area of interest is teacher professional development and school change. At Education Matters, Marcia works with Sarah Birkeland on the longitudinal study of the impact of the Connecticut Center for School Change’s professional development for district leaders. Marcia received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in Elementary Education and earned her master’s degree in Computing and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She spent ten years as an elementary teacher in North Carolina, Arizona and California and five years working as a professional developer with an educational publishing company.
E-Mail: [email protected]com

Sola Takahashi is a Research Assistant at Education Matters, Inc. Sola is a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the Education Policy, Leadership, and Instructional Practice concentration. Her area of interest is teachers’ work and teacher quality as they relate to urban school reform. She received her bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in sociology and studio art.  Her master’s degree and teaching credential are from the Developmental Teacher Education program at UC Berkeley.  Sola spent four years teaching upper elementary school grades in the San Francisco Bay Area. She currently works with Sarah Birkeland on the longitudinal study of the impact of the Connecticut Center for School Change’s professional development for district leaders.
E-Mail: [email protected]

Erik Haines is a Project Assistant at Education Matters, Inc. In that role, he is responsible for data management, computer support, and general office management.
E-Mail: [email protected]

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