Bobbi Newman is a senior researcher and director of AIR’s practice area for standards and assessments. She has more than 15 years of experience in research and evaluation of school reform efforts. Dr. Newman has worked at every level of the education system, from the classroom to the state. As a researcher, she has worked with state and local education agencies to study reform efforts such as school turnaround, effective leadership programs, assessment, and standards implementation. On the state level, Dr. Newman worked with New Jersey and Pennsylvania on their teacher and principal effectiveness systems and contributed federal waiver applications. As a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, she successfully created a virtual space to unite policymakers, practitioners, and researchers around problems of education practice. She has expertise in strategic education partnerships and facilitating stakeholders to accomplish shared goals.
Currently, Dr. Newman conducts and contributes to research funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to study the Networks for School Improvement (NSI) initiative focused on increasing the number of Black, Latino, and low-income students who graduate from high school and enroll in postsecondary opportunities. She is leading the update of Pennsylvania’s academic standards in science, engineering, technology, environment, and ecology in collaboration with state leaders and through stakeholder engagement. The standards revision process is grounded in research and evidence and focused on equity. She serves as a state lead for Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center, where she provides K–12 agencies and postsecondary institutions with technical assistance and solutions for preparing educators in research-based multi-tiered systems of support. She leads a community of practice with state education and Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) leaders to create a distance learning research and policy agenda around datacasting. Dr. Newman recently led a distance learning evaluation that included a short-cycle study of a multi-level approach to distance learning during COVID-19.
Dr. Newman worked at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and published the Pathwise Framework Minicourses for Teachers on Communicating with Families, and developed training resources for the School Leaders Licensure Exam. She has completed formal training in designing and implementing cluster randomized control trials from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). She is group design certified through the What Works Clearinghouse.