Marlene Darwin

Senior Researcher

Marlene Darwin is a senior researcher who has been with AIR since 2003. Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Darwin spent 15 years as a reading specialist in middle and high schools in Virginia and Georgia. She spent seven years on the management team for the Reading First Monitoring Project, where she led the development of protocols to conduct monitoring and collect qualitative data; analyzed state, district and school Reading First grants and subgrants; led monitoring teams to district and schools in 21 states; facilitated interviews, focus groups and meetings; analyzed qualitative data for 30 state reports; and provided leadership for the project. As part of her work at AIR, she has conducted qualitative data analysis and led the development of the Comprehensive School Reform Quality Center’s five consumer oriented reports on comprehensive school reform.

Currently, Dr. Darwin is co-project director for the U.S. Department of Education’s Initiative, Doing What Works (DWW), and led the review of research and drafted the IES practice guide, Turning Around Chronically Low Performing Schools, under the direction of the panel. Dr. Darwin leads the content development and provides extensive technical assistance and professional development for DWW topics (school turnaround, dropout prevention, adolescent literacy, data-based instructional decision making, increased learning time and increasing postsecondary access) to states, districts and schools. She also serves as a senior recruiter and subcontractor manager for the Teacher Leadership Evaluation Systems Study and leads the Implementation Task for the Evaluation of the Advanced Placement Teacher Incentive Program under the National Math and Science Initiative.

Dr. Darwin specializes in research-to-practice in school reform/turnaround, high schools and literacy. Further, Dr. Darwin has served as program chair and chair for five years for the School Turnaround and Reform AERA Special Interest Group (SIG) and as program chair and chair for two years for the School Effectiveness and School Improvement AERA SIG.

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Ph.D., Education (Literacy and Education Leadership), George Mason University