Lauren Rich is a Senior Researcher who focuses on the generation of knowledge and actionable information for decision makers and funders who are concerned with improving educational outcomes among low-income children. She has particular expertise in the mixed-methods evaluation of community-based initiatives. Currently, she is the Principal Investigator (PI) for the evaluations of two Chicago-area initiatives. One is centered on increasing the proportion of children reading proficiently by third grade, through the provision of teacher professional development, academic and behavioral supports for children, and social supports for families. The second is designed to bring schools and community-based agencies together to offer extracurricular activities, health services, and social supports to middle school students and their families, as well as promote family and community engagement with schools. She is also co-PI for a project that is providing evaluation assistance to the Chicago office of a national organization that trains AmeriCorps interns to work in schools in low-income neighborhoods. Her previous work for Chapin Hall includes a longitudinal study of patterns of service utilization among low-income families and their relationship to family functioning, child development, and school readiness, as well as a longitudinal study of outcomes among children and youth attending a residential school for the disadvantaged.
Prior to joining Chapin Hall, Dr. Rich was an assistant professor in the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, where she taught courses in the economics of social welfare, social policy analysis, and community economic development. She also conducted and published research on youth employment, teen childbearing, welfare reform, child support enforcement, the educational attainment of teen mothers, and the economic status of low-income, noncustodial fathers. She has been a research affiliate of the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study, a longitudinal study of unmarried parents and their children based at Princeton University and Columbia University. Dr. Rich holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan, a Master’s degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and Bachelor’s degrees in Systems Engineering and Economics, also from the University of Pennsylvania.
Areas of Expertise
- Community-based education reform
- Race/ethnicity and income-based achievement gaps
- Longitudinal data analysis
- Child poverty
- Residential education