Diane Schilder

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Diane Schilder
Principal Research Scientist

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313



Diane Schilder leads research, evaluation, and policy analysis initiatives that advance knowledge of innovative, effective approaches to promoting young children’s school readiness and success. Her work focuses on child care, early education, and K–12 education programs and policies, with a special emphasis on closing opportunity gaps for children and youth, especially racial and ethnic minorities, children who are dual-language learners, and those living in low-income families.

Schilder currently serves as a senior technical assistance specialist for the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes. In this role, she works closely with state education agencies and U.S. Department of Education-funded technical assistance providers to support actions that will enhance early learning outcomes. She also serves as Principal Investigator for EDC’s Child Care Quality and Collaboration study.

As an EDC Principal Investigator, Schilder has led dozens of research and evaluation studies including the recently completed Illinois Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge Evaluation and the Washington Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Evaluation funded by the BUILD Initiative. Previously, she served as Principal Investigator of the Pre-Kindergarten Impact Study, numerous longitudinal studies of child care/Head Start/Pre-Kindergarten partnerships, an evaluation of an Early Reading First project, and a number of evaluations of the Massachusetts Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) that resulted in publications including a report of findings from the pilot evaluation, a standards study, and a review of research on quality child care. Dr. Schilder previously served as senior advisor to the Rwanda Language, Literacy and Early Learning project.

Schilder is the author and co-author of chapters, articles, reports, and briefs focused on the effectiveness of early childhood policies and programs. A few of her recent publications include Early Childhood Teacher Education Policies: Research Review and State TrendsQuality Rating and Improvement Systems: Stakeholder Theories of Change and Models of Practice, "Head Start/Child Care Partnerships: Program Characteristics and Classroom Quality" (Early Childhood Education Journal), and Perspectives on the Impact of Pre-K Expansion. In 2016, she contributed a chapter on accountability in early childhood education to the SAGE Encyclopedia of Contemporary Early Childhood Education.

Before joining EDC, Schilder was a Senior Policy Analyst at the Harvard Family Research Project and served as a Senior Evaluator at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, leading evaluations of education programs including studies of elementary and secondary interventions.

Schilder received a BA from Ohio State University, an MA in Education and Human Development, and an EdD in Education Administration and Policy Studies from George Washington University.