Alexandra Manzella Kistner is a senior researcher at AIR with expertise in school improvement and evaluations of education initiatives. She has broad experience with protocol and instrument development, qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis, reporting and dissemination activities, and coordination with federal, state, district, and school officials.
She co-authored evaluation reports on a variety of education initiatives including an analysis of wraparound efforts designed to help students succeed in school by meeting their needs both inside and out of the classroom. She also leads the qualitative evaluation of an Investing in Innovation (i3) grant expanding learning time in Boston middle schools, the evaluation of the implementation of the Early Warning Indicator System in districts across Massachusetts, and a study of instructional supports offered to teachers in the first state-run district in Massachusetts. These evaluations include data gathered through interviews and focus groups with state and district officials, school leaders, teachers, other school staff, and students. In addition, Kistner is a certified classroom observer and has conducted observations at grade levels from Pre-K through high school in support of research including assessing Universal Pre-K classrooms across New York City, observing high school classes in Illinois, and utilizing observations as a component of evaluations on the implementation of school improvement initiatives across Massachusetts.
Kistner worked for several years supporting reporting and dissemination activities surrounding the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), including leading the team developing analyses of the NAEP student performance data to be used in preparation for the public release of reports by the office of the associate commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). She also served as a cognitive interviewer for the National Indian Education Study that examined the performance of American Indian students on the NAEP and led presentation support to multiple staff members at NCES, including the associate commissioner.