Stacy B. Ehrlich is a Senior Research Scientist in the Academic Research Centers. As a trained developmental psychologist, her work focuses on supporting improvements in early childhood education policy and practice through the use of high-quality research and data analytics. She takes a collaborative approach to her research, focusing on research-practice partnerships to ensure the work is directly relevant to practice and policy decisions. Ehrlich has substantive expertise in the areas of early attendance and the measurement of early education program/school climate.
Ehrlich was previously a Managing Director and Senior Research Scientist at the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research where she developed and led the early childhood education research agenda. Ehrlich has also been involved in outreach with other research organizations implementing research-practitioner partnership models similar to that of the UChicago Consortium and served as the Research-Practice Coordinator for IES Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Fellows at the University of Chicago. Ehrlich began her career as a researcher at REL-Northeast and Islands funded by the U.S. Department of Education, where she conducted research to respond to the needs of state departments of education.
Ehrlich authored a study documenting the prevalence of pre-kindergarten absenteeism and its relationship with ongoing attendance and learning outcomes, Preschool Attendance in Chicago Public Schools: Relationships with Learning Outcomes and Reasons for Absences, which has been cited in national efforts to improve student attendance. For example, this work was cited as motivation for changes in the new Head Start Program Performance Standards around how to track, define, and require supports to improve student attendance, and as motivation behind the Every Student, Every Day Initiative, spearheaded by multiple federal agencies. With colleagues at the Ounce of Prevention Fund, Ehrlich is also co-developer of the Early Education Essentials, a set of teacher and parent surveys adapted from the 5Essentials K-12 surveys, designed to measure organizational conditions in early education settings.