Julie Riordan

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Julie Riordan
Senior Research Scientist

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313



Julie Riordan advances knowledge of strategies to sustain strong researcher-practitioner partnerships that give practitioners the evidence they need to improve student outcomes. In addition to her specialization in collaborative research, she leads studies that focus on teacher preparation and evaluation systems, mathematics education, comprehensive school reform, and implementation science in education. She brings extensive experience in survey research, multivariate analyses, and utilization of national data sets, as well as qualitative methodologies. She also provides analytic support that builds capacity to utilize data to guide decision-making and works to promote knowledge utilization through local, regional, and national forums and online dissemination.

Riordan is the Director of Research for the IES-funded REL Northeast & Islands at EDC. As part of this work, she is an associate member of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Forum on Education Statistics and has presented at meetings of the Forum’s Policies, Programs, and Implementation Committee and National Education Statistics Agenda Committee.

Recently, she led a REL Northeast & Islands study that examined new district teacher evaluation systems in New Hampshire districts that received School Improvement Grants and co-authored an IES report that presents the study’s findings. She co-authored an earlier IES report, An Examination of Performance-Based Teacher Evaluation Systems in Five States, as well as the white paper, Changing Cultures and Building Capacity: An Exploration of District Strategies for Implementation of Teacher Evaluation Systems.

Riordan is the PI of an IES-funded grant in which EDC and the Providence Public School District (PPSD) are establishing a researcher-practitioner partnership to improve achievement among students who are members of underrepresented groups. From her work with PPSD, the REL Northeast & Islands research alliances, and a collaboration with researchers in Pakistan to design a survey instrument to capture attitudes toward and use of research in Pakistan, Riordan has gained deep insight into effective education researcher-practitioner partnerships. In 2015, she shared some of her findings during a public television broadcast on research-practice partnerships and a REL Northeast & Islands Collaborative Research Forum Webinar.

She is an advisor to and reviewer for several national initiatives. She serves on IES review panels, and she is a member of the U.S. Department of Education’s Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) Evaluation TA Technical Work Group. As part of this work, she was invited to give a presentation on working collaboratively with practitioners to build state and district capacity to use data and research for decision-making.  She also regularly presents at national conferences, including the American Educational Research Association, the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, and the Association of Education Policy and Finance.

Riordan was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Policy and Administration at American University, teaching courses on the policy process and statistics and performed program evaluation and policy analysis at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education prior to joining EDC. She has served as an editorial board member for Perspectives on Urban Education and a reviewer for the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education (JRME). A JRME article that she co-authored is included in the What Works Clearinghouse.

She received a BA in international studies from American University, an MA in higher education from Boston College, and a PhD in education policy from the University of Pennsylvania.