RMC Research Corporation

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Everett Barnes

Principal Investigator
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Bio:
Dr. Everett W. Barnes, Jr. serves as the Northeast Comprehensive Center (NCC) Officer in Charge/Project Director. Dr. Barnes began his career in education in 1965 as a high school history and geography teacher in a rural, high-poverty school district in New Hampshire. He later became an elementary school principal and in 1970 he joined the Bureau of Educational Research and Testing Center (BERTC) at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). While at BERTC, Dr. Barnes was responsible for the administration and management of the New Hampshire State Assessment Program and served as the lead evaluator for Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) programs in innovative education, bilingual education, cross-district collaborative services, team teaching, individualized instruction, and career education. While at UNH, Dr. Barnes earned his Master of Arts degree in Education Administration while teaching courses in educational psychology, test interpretation, and grant writing.

Dr. Barnes earned his Ed.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and joined RMC Research Corporation, Washington, DC, in 1973. Dr. Barnes continued to serve as Project Director for state and local evaluation, development, and training contracts focused on elementary and secondary education instruction, innovation, professional development, and restructuring for students in poverty, students with disabilities, limited English proficient students, incarcerated youth, students in career and vocational education programs, and Native American students.

In 1974 Dr. Barnes became the Project Director for the New England Title I Technical Assistance (TAC) Center, providing consultative and technical assistance to states, districts, and schools in implementing the first ESEA Title I Accountability and Evaluation Reporting System. Since 1974, Dr. Barnes has served continuously as the Project Director or Co-Director of federal ESEA Title I technical assistance centers that assist states and districts with the implementation of policies, programs, and regulations associated with ESEA. Dr. Barnes has also served as the Project Director for the National Diffusion Network, disseminating promising/proven practices; the Western Bilingual Evaluation Assistance Center; and the National Reading Technical Assistance Center.

As part of the Northeast Comprehensive Center, Dr. Barnes serves as a liaison to Content Centers, is part of the Senior Management Team, and works with the team providing direct assistance services to the State of New York.
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Larry Hirsch

Co-Director
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Bio:
Lawrence Hirsch, a Vice President at RMC Research, currently serves as the Director of the RMC Research New York office and is the Director of the New York Comprehensive Center. He has had prior experience as a Senior Research Associate at the New York Technical Assistance Center (NYTAC) at the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education at New York University and as Project Director for school leadership programs at NYTAC.

With over 40 years of experience in public education, Hirsch has been cited as an exemplary principal in and outside of New York City. He has served on a panel with the Commissioner of the New York State Education Department on the New York Learning Standards and with the New York State Assembly’s Minority Task Force on Education Standards; was on the Commissioner’s Middle School Reform Advisory Group; and has made numerous presentations for the New York State Education Department on learning standards, middle school education, school reform, and school leadership.

Hirsch has a Master of Arts degree in Education and holds certification in NYS in School Administration and Supervision as well as School District Administration.
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Carol Keirstead

Co-Director
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Bio:
Dr. Carol Keirstead is the Co-Director of the Northeast Comprehensive Center (NCC) and is responsible for the overall design and operation of the center along with Larry Hirsch, Co-Director. Together, they colead and oversee the work of RMC staff and partner organizations in providing state and regional services to support district and school improvement efforts. They are jointly responsible for staff supervision and professional development, the effective use of resources and project budgeting, and the design and implementation of systems to support Center operations.

As a technical assistance provider for the NCC, Dr. Keirstead provides direct services to state leaders in the Northeast in the design and execution of reform and improvement efforts. She serves as the State Liaison for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and carries out both regional and state initiatives focused on the design and implementation of comprehensive educator support and evaluation systems. In that role, she designs and convenes face-to-face and virtual meetings that feature national experts, research-based material resources, and processes that enable state leaders to learn with and from one another.

Dr. Keirstead has over 30 years of experience in leading and managing educational enterprises. She brings to her work the solid knowledge and skills needed to successfully engage educators in the work of advancing educational systems and practices. She possesses an array of technical assistance strategies and skills that are essential in assisting state education leaders in building their capacity to lead important educational initiatives. An experienced educator herself, Dr. Keirstead designs and implements technical assistance initiatives focused on outcomes in which learning and applying content is enabled through authentic engagement, the building of group effectiveness, and effective professional learning activities.

Dr. Keirstead has led and served on several other projects at RMC Research over the past 20 years, including technical assistance at the regional, state, and local levels; program evaluation; and research studies. Most recently, she successfully led the seven-year New England Comprehensive Center program of technical assistance that provided technical assistance to the six states in the region and met or exceeded performance measures each year. Other work included leading teams of educators in diagnostic reviews of charter, low-performing, and high-performing schools and writing reports that set forth in-depth analysis of school performance and capacity.

Prior to joining RMC Research, Dr. Keirstead worked as an administrator of educational programs for refugees, immigrants, and English-as-a-second-language learners. She served as an administrator of a PreK–4 university-public school program that served as a demonstration site for language acquisition in a trilingual model of instruction. Dr. Keirstead led a university teacher English-as-a-second-language training program and was vice-principal for instruction in an overseas refugee education program. In that role, she led a program of instruction that served Southeast Asian students aged 11 to 16 in an ESL and cultural-orientation program implemented by the program's Filipino staff. Dr. Keirstead holds a doctoral degree in Leadership in Schooling.
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Chris Dwyer

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Bio:
M. Christine Dwyer (Chris) has an academic background in political science (Mount Holyoke College) and early childhood education (University of New Hampshire) which set the foundation for a career that has involved using research findings and public policies to improve educational opportunities for children and families.

Dwyer has led a number of efforts to disseminate research and best practice in ways that policymakers and other educators can make use of findings especially in the fields of literacy, mathematics, and early childhood education.

Most recently she has served as a content lead for the US Department of Education’s Doing What Works research-to-practice initiative, developing web-based media and tools for professional developers in topics such as preschool language and literacy, literacy for English learners, K-3 reading comprehension, response to intervention in literacy and mathematics, and elementary and middle school mathematics. She is also working with the Office of School Turnaround on state-level initiatives, including principal pipelines for turnaround schools.

For over twenty years, Dwyer provided technical assistance for the federal government and state agencies in the implementation of family literacy programs, focusing on the early childhood and parent development components of Even Start. In that role, Dwyer designed and led a national professional development effort working with expert consultants to redesign early childhood components of Even Start programs.

She also led an effort to develop the Parent Education Profile, a widely used curriculum development and assessment framework that employs the research about parents’ roles in supporting children’s education. Recent product development in early childhood includes working on an online mentoring toolkit for supporting preschool staff and cross-walks of infant/toddler and preschool guidelines.
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Josh D'Ambrosio

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Bio:
Joshua C. D’Ambrosio is a Research Assistant on the Innovations in Learning Team at RMC Research in New York. Prior to joining RMC in his current capacity, he served as a fall and spring Educational Policy and Programs intern working on a variety of projects.

As an intern, D’Ambrosio assisted in the development of NYSculturalED.org, a new website offered by The Office of Cultural Education in the New York State Education Department, which offers resources, events, and lesson plans from cultural organization in New York that meet the Common Core State Standards. He also provided research findings in the preparation of a brief which explores online credit recovery options in Massachusetts. Much of D’Ambrosio’s recent work has focused on preparing an informational brief on educational technology funding support across the country in order to assist the New York State Education Department in their roll out of the Smart Schools Bond Act.

D’Ambrosio recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hunter College in New York City with a Bachelor's Degree in Urban Studies. His interests focus around educational technology and distance learning opportunities. He is especially interested in integrating cutting edge technologies into classrooms in order to prepare students for college and careers.
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Sarah Hughes

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Bio:
Sarah Hughes has been working at RMC Research for over 13 years and is a new member of the Northeast Comprehensive Center team. She has been working primarily in the areas of early learning and development, family literacy, school readiness, and school and program improvement.

Hughes’ work has ranged from providing technical assistance and support to state and national education leaders to developing practical, hands-on materials in aspects of early learning, school readiness, and parent involvement to teachers and program providers. She has worked extensively across states and with nationally-recognized expert consultants, state leaders, and high-profile researchers to develop and disseminate education materials and resources. She has also worked within state education frameworks to support and strengthen efforts such as early learning standards alignment and teacher development across multiple service providers.

For over 15 years, Hughes worked specifically on the Even Start Family Literacy program through technical assistance contracts with the U.S. Department of Education and the New York State Education Department. Even Start’s priority to strengthen early childhood education and literacy practices focused her efforts on connecting state and local leaders with evidence-based best practices and information, developing research-to-practice materials, strengthening collaborative relationships, and connecting to quality resources.
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Monique C. Morgan

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Bio:
Monique C. Morgan is a Research Associate on the Innovations in Learning Team at RMC Research Corporation. Prior to joining RMC in her current capacity, she served as a summer and fall Educational Policy and Programs intern working on various diverse projects.

As a summer intern, Morgan created a report for Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on an analysis of forty (40) State Education Agency (SEA) definitions of online and blended learning, which was later utilized to develop regional standards and rubrics to evaluate online and blended learning programs. She also provided technical assistance and resources to the Bridgeport Public School District in creating supplemental materials for their online US History course to ensure competency of students. Much of her work during the summer consisted of conducting research and creating a brief on equity and access to technology for early learners, which transitioned into a fall internship. In addition to the brief, she assisted New York State Department of Labor in creating a series of informational videos on their online career exploration and planning system, CareerZone. The informational video series will demonstrate to educators, parents, and students how the platform can be a resource to create career pathways for youth.

Morgan has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in African Studies from Howard University and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership, Politics, and Advocacy from New York University. Her interests include the opportunity gap, parent and community engagement, and addressing equity issues in the education system for socioeconomically disadvantaged students.
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Andrea Reade

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Bio:
Andrea Reade-Thompson, as part of the New England Comprehensive Center for the past six years, provides technical assistance to departments of education, focusing heavily on the work of Great Teachers and Leaders.

For over 25 years, Reade-Thompson has worked in education in roles ranging from teacher to administrator to researcher, professional development provider, consultant, and technical assistance provider. Recent professional work includes training school and district leaders in Massachusetts in their new Model System for Educator Evaluation, which also involved collaboratively developing a symposium, entitled Promoting Student Literacy through Comprehension: Enhancing Teacher Preparation & Professional Development, for educational leaders.

While working for the National Reading Technical Assistance Center, Reade-Thompson focused her expertise on literacy instruction embedded in content area subjects at the secondary level, with a major emphasis on the Common Core State Standards and literacy leadership. Through her ongoing participation with the New Hampshire Department of Education’s Response to Instruction Initiative (RTI), Reade-Thompson has helped develop an implementation framework for RTI for schools and districts as well as has provided support to an RTI pilot site grant. The work of the grant has provided guidance, resources, and training to principals and school leadership teams in effective RTI implementation, including supervision of instructional and assessment practices. Other professional experiences that supplement her knowledge and expertise in teaching and leadership include work as a curriculum and instruction administrator and a graduate school instructor in school leadership, literacy, and curriculum and instruction education.

Reade-Thompson has worked with numerous SEA staff throughout New England and New York in projects designed to build state education capacity. She has delivered high-quality, context-responsive, research-based technical assistance as a member of the New Hampshire Department of Education Steering Committee on RTI. In addition, Reade-Thompson has facilitated and provided technical assistance to the SEA in both New Hampshire and New York, assisting them in the development of state literacy plans as part of the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Grant.
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Jack Schwarz

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Bio:
Jack Schwarz is a Research Associate at RMC Research and has over six years of experience providing hands-on technical assistance and training to states, districts, and schools regarding school and district accountability and support. Schwarz previously served on the Statewide System of Support and Comprehensive Assessment teams for the New York Comprehensive Center (NYCC), providing high-quality and relevant technical assistance to the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

For instance, through the NYCC, Schwarz delivered research assistance to the NYSED Office of Accountability in support of the state’s ESEA Flexibility waiver application. He has been a consistent presence at monthly NYSED Race to the Top trainings for LEAs in the areas of Common Core State Standards, teacher and leader effectiveness, and data-driven instruction.

Schwarz received his Master in Education degree in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where he built relationships with national experts and accessed deep knowledge and understanding of research-based and emerging practices. Through a state education policy practicum with the Massachusetts Secretary of Education, Schwarz provided recommendations to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education regarding changes to its statewide system of support to more effectively implement new federal turnaround models. In addition, through coursework in applied data analysis and program evaluation, Schwarz had the opportunity to gain insight into the strengths and weaknesses of different evaluation designs.

Prior to attending Harvard, Schwarz demonstrated practical field experience at the Center for Law and Education in Massachusetts where he provided technical assistance to chronically underperforming schools in the implementation of Title I school improvement planning and family engagement. He designed and delivered school improvement materials and workshops for diverse audiences including families, students, educators, and district personnel.
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Anushka Shirali

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Bio:
Anushka Shirali is a Research Associate with RMC Research and part of the Innovations in Learning Team. Since joining the company, she has worked with NYSED on a Social Networking in Education project that involved developing educational networking literacy, developing AUPs inclusive of Web 2.0 technologies, and scaling up short-term educational networking practices and long-term educational networking programs in pilot districts and across New York State (NYS).

Paul recently worked on an informational brief that looks at credit recovery programs within the United States with the aim of supporting NYS in its implementation and rollout of credit recovery programs. Her current work with credit recovery involves speaking with different stakeholders in high schools to highlight successes and challenges of credit recovery implementation across the state of New York, which will be presented in a report to NYSED. As part of the Educational Technology team, Paul is also involved in online and blended course development and evaluation and worked on the team that put together the GlobalClassroom Publishing Suite.

Paul’s expertise lies in implementation guidance for educational technology programs in developed and rapidly developing economies. Her teaching experience along with a strong exposure to business environments allows her to successfully strategize on ensuring that all projects meet their intended outcomes.

Paul has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Sociology, a Master of Arts degree in Sociology with a concentration in Mass Media from Mumbai University, and a Master of Arts degree in Technology, Innovation, and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has strong experience in U.S. and international curriculum development, particularly within the public and private K–12 education system, and has worked in developing and testing high-quality technology projects for early childhood settings through her work in India. Her interests include new and emerging educational technologies, educational programs for at-risk youth, and informal learning environments.
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Joseph Trunk

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Bio:
Joseph Trunk, a Research Associate at the Northeast Comprehensive Center, focuses primarily on helping states with their lowest performing districts and schools and with the development of turnaround leadership.

Over the course of his career in public school education in the United States Virgin Islands, as both a teacher and school-based administrator, Trunk delivered meaningful educational experiences to adolescent children, especially low socio-economic students and English language learners. Trunk worked as a school principal in the Virgin Islands, where he successfully led a middle school program. Trunk worked to provide a supportive atmosphere where sensitivity to the needs of educators beginning their professional careers was an important part of teacher development and where parents were respected regardless of their educational background. As the result of his success as a leader of middle school programs, he went on to develop a Middle School Model for the Middle School Association of Educators.

In 1996, Trunk began working at the New York Comprehensive Center within the Metro Center at New York University as a Research Associate. In that role, and at the request of the New York State Department of Education, he assisted in the development of a Parent Leadership program for parents of children in the city’s lowest performing schools. He also contributed to the work of advising school teams on the development of school improvement plans, which included the use of data to inform instructional practices.

In 2006, Trunk joined RMC Research Corporation in Portsmouth to serve as a technical assistance provider for the New England Comprehensive Center. In that role, he was responsible for providing technical assistance to the six New England states and was part of teams working to build the capacity of SEAs so they could better serve the needs of their districts and schools as they worked to improve student achievement. His work largely focused on helping states support district and school improvement.

Trunk served as Liaison to the Center on Innovation and Improvement, bringing Web-based tools and expertise to states in New England to support school improvement work. For the state of Rhode Island, he helped to develop and implement a statewide approach to serving English language learners that resulted in changes in policy and practice based on research.