Rachel is a senior research scientist at NORC where she studies educational policy enactment and organizational responses, including individual, school, district, and governmental responses to policy implementation. With a primary focus on qualitative methods, Rachel’s research questions center on how and under what conditions organizational structures influence the uptake of policies and practices and how the people involved in educational organizations shape, and are shaped by, those organizations.
Rachel currently serves as principal investigator (PI) on Using a Facilitated Collaborative to Build Racial Equity in Higher Education Institutions and co-PI on Advancing Racial Equity in Illinois through Reforms to Developmental Education, both funded by the WT Grant Foundation. This set of studies investigates how colleges and universities working as part of a collaborative confront structural barriers inhibiting retention and graduation for their Black and Latinx students.
Her clients span school districts, foundations, research organizations, and media. She has conducted qualitative and mixed-methods studies on the role state policies play in teacher turnover, curriculum implementation, teacher professional development, and how equity policies are implemented in colleges and universities. Rachel received her doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in educational policy studies. She also taught middle and high school math in both Boston and Denver; and she developed policies to support the inclusion of students with disabilities in secondary and postsecondary education settings during her tenure as a legislative assistant in the United States Senate.