As a leading education funder, we are dedicated to advancing the belief that “evidence matters” through novel, methodologically sound, and actionable research that uncovers programs and models with the potential to positively improve outcomes for all children. We believe research is a key way to increase awareness of what’s effective and to impact evidence-based decision-making and practice across our main grantmaking areas: early childhood, informal STEM education, and K-9 programs that include supporting educators and student-centered learning environments.
Aligned with our core value of “learn better, together,” Overdeck Family Foundation is committed to promoting transparent research practices by lifting up timely findings of the research we fund. We update this page as research is concluded and published, ensuring transparency for the field and our grantees.
Validation and knowledge generation studies in the field of early childhood.
Research into what works for students and educators in the classroom.
Validation and knowledge generation studies on the impact of out-of-school STEM.
Research into cross-cutting topics across the education sector.
COVID-19 Relief Bolstered U.S. Child Care Programs in Crisis
This study by the Bipartisan Policy Center reports on an 11-state survey of a random selection of representatives from approximately 1,100 child care centers and 1,200 family child care homes regarding respondents’ experiences with business closures, enrollment, revenue, staffing, and other factors related to the availability of U.S. Congressional relief packages during the COVID-19 pandemic: The CARES Act of March 2020, the CRRSA Act of December 2020, and the ARP Act of March 2021.
Effect of Family Connects' Universal Postpartum Nurse Home Visiting Program on Child Maltreatment and Emergency Medical Care at 5 Years of Age: A Randomized Clinical Trial
This is a randomized controlled trial of Durham Connects (later renamed Family Connects), a universal home visitation program for families with a newborn child designed to improve children’s wellbeing through a series of nurse home visits, risk screenings, and referrals to community resources.
Effect of Nurse-Family Partnership's Intensive Nurse Home Visiting Program on Adverse Birth Outcomes in a Medicaid-Eligible Population: A Randomized Clinical Trial
This is a randomized controlled trial of Nurse-Family Partnership, a nurse home visitation program for first-time mothers during their pregnancy and until their children’s second birthday.
I-LABS - Dual-MEG Interbrain Synchronization During Turn-Taking Verbal Interactions Between Mothers and Children
This is a correlational study of brain activity of 23 mother-child pairs as measured by dual MEG (magnetoencephalography) machines during various verbal interactions.
I-LABS - Language Experience During Infancy Predicts White Matter Myelination at Age Two
This is a correlational study of parent and child language skills and youth brain development in early childhood for 22 parent-child pairs, as measured by home recordings of parent-child verbal interactions and estimates of white matter myelination as derived from quantitative MRI when the children were two years old.
I-LABS & LENA - Language Input in Late Infancy Scaffolds Emergent Literacy Skills and Predicts Reading-Related White Matter Development
This is a correlational study of parent and child language- and reading-related skills in early childhood for 53 parent-child pairs, as measured by the Language ENvironment Analysis System (LENA) and other measures of language development.
Implementing CenteringParenting Model With an Urban Pediatric Population to Measure and Improve Clinical Outcomes and Parent Satisfaction
This is a retrospective unmatched comparison group study of CenteringParenting, a group healthcare intervention for families and their children.
LENA - The Impact of a Language-Based Intervention, a Two-Part Study
This is a small randomized controlled trial of LENA Grow, a language-based coaching program for early childhood teachers designed to improve communication skills.
LENA - The Relationship Between Conversational Turns and Student Achievement
This is a secondary correlational analysis of data derived from a randomized controlled trial of a 13-week parenting course that was designed to encourage verbal interactions between parents and their young children, with the goal of improving kindergarten readiness.
University of Nebraska - Nebraska Spotlight: Key Findings That Highlight Connections Among Early Childhood Development, Families and Communities
This is a survey of a representative sample of 2,500 Nebraska families with young children ages birth to five years. The report focuses on children’s development and family characteristics to examine strengths and disparities by various subgroups of families (e.g., urban versus rural). Illustrative topics include families’ economic and food security, neighborhood characteristics, parenting demands, home learning environments, and parental mental health. The survey took place online between July 2022 to January 2023.
Bright by Text - Sparking Connections: Evaluations of Mobile Messaging on Response Caregiving
This report summarizes studies of two similar 12-week mobile messaging programs designed to help parents of young children support their children’s development: Bright by Text and Consejos de Univision.
Young Mathematicians in Worcester Evaluation
This is a pre-post study of Young Mathematicians-Worcester (YM-W), a preschool math program serving young children and their caregivers in Worcester, MA.
Does Teacher Professional Development Improve Student Learning? Evidence from Leading Educators' Teacher Fellowship Model
This is a quasi-experimental difference-in-differences study of Leading Educators, a teacher professional development program designed to improve students’ math and English language arts achievement.
Efficacy Analysis of Zearn Math in DC Public Schools
This is a set of retrospective correlational and quasi-experimental studies of student math performance based on data from students in grades one through six who used the Zearn Math learning digital platform during the 2018-19, 2020-21, and/or 2021-22 school years.
EdTech Evidence Exchange - EdTech Context Inventory: Factor Analyses for Ten Instruments to Measure EdTech Implementation Context Features
This is a methodological paper that explores the reliability of various measures of the context in which educational technology is delivered (e.g., instruments measuring teachers’ beliefs about and knowledge of educational technologies).
Engaging Families Leads to Student Academic Gains and Increased Attendance: How TalkingPoints Improved Outcomes in a Large Urban School District
This is a retrospective quasi-experiment of TalkingPoints, an online platform designed to facilitate communication between teachers and families whose primary language is not English.
Examining PowerMyLearning's Family Playlists' Impact on Student Social Emotional Learning and Science Mastery through Short-Cycle RCTs
This reports on a series of short-cycle randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of PowerMyLearning’s Family Playlists.
Impact of PowerMyLearning's Social Emotional Learning Program: 2021-2022 Mid-Year and School Year Analysis
This is a pre-post study of PowerMyLearning’s Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program—Nurture Student Growth Through Social Emotional Learning—which serves teachers, students, and families with children in first through sixth grade with the goals of addressing challenging behaviors and supporting family wellbeing.
Khan Academy - Use of MAP Accelerator Associated With Better-Than-Projected Gains in MAP Growth Scores
This is a correlational study that examines the relation between math achievement and student engagement with the MAP Accelerator, an intervention developed by Khan Academy and NWEA to support students’ personalized learning in math based on the prior math achievement.
Study of CommonLit 360 Shows Gains on Reading Achievement
This is a retrospective correlational study of student academic performance based on data from 113,825 students in 313 schools who had access to CommonLit 360 instructional materials, including School Essentials PRO student assessment materials (e.g., professional development, administrator data dashboards, benchmark assessments), during the 2021-22 school year. The research team examined the relation between teacher utilization of CommonLit materials and student academic achievement and other student-reported outcomes for those students taught by teachers with high levels of utilization (defined as those teachers who taught at least 10 lessons from CommonLit instructional units) compared to those with low levels of utilization.
The Impact and Implementation of Leading Educators' Chicago Collaborative Teacher Professional Development Program
This is randomized controlled trial (RCT) of Leading Educators, a teacher professional development program designed to improve elementary- and middle-school students’ math and English language arts achievement.
The Next Education Workforce - Team-Based Staffing Models Can Make Schools Work Better for Both Learners and Educators
This is a policy paper and literature review on the state of the U.S. education workforce.
TNTP - Unlocking Acceleration: How Below-Grade Level Work is Holding Students Back in Literacy
This reports on a retrospective correlational study of more than three million students in kindergarten through 12th grade who accessed the ReadWorks free online library of nonfiction passages and associated question sets from the 2018-19 through the 2020-21 school years.
UPchieve - Report on Impact of Online Tutoring on Math Achievement
This reports on a series of small randomized controlled encouragement design studies, quasi-experiments, and pre-post studies that assessed the impact of weekly email reminders and five dollar financial incentives on (i) student take-up of UPchieve, a free online tutoring platform for economically-disadvantaged students, and (ii) student math achievement.
Zearn - Catching Up and Moving Forward: Accelerating Math Learning for Every Student
This is a retrospective correlational study of more than five million instances of student math performance based on data from the 600,000 students in first through seventh grade who (i) used the Zearn math learning digital platform during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years and (ii) had multiple instances of repeated “struggle” with math content during the two-year study period, as defined by instances in which a student repeatedly answered a math question incorrectly following in-the-moment online support.
Camp Invention - Invention Education as a Context for Children's Identity Exploration
This is a descriptive pre-post study of Camp Invention®, a virtual summer enrichment program for students in kindergarten through sixth grade that utilizes science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) principles and hands-on learning to encourage student interest and achievement in STEM.
DiscoverE - Messages Matter
This is a report on a series of national online surveys of high school students and parents.
Museum Digital Engagement: Before, During, and Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic
This is literature review and narrative report on a series of virtual events sponsored by the Association of Science and Technology Centers in 2021 and 2022 that describes how the COVID-19 pandemic affected science centers’ and museums’ digital programming.
Access to Afterschool Programs Remains a Challenge for Many Families
This reports on a nationally-representative survey of 1,489 adults who are the parent or guardian of a school-age child who lives in their household regarding access to and satisfaction with afterschool programs in their community.
Afterschool Rising to the Challenges Brought on by the Pandemic
This reports on an online survey of between 914 and 1,445 afterschool program providers regarding the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic affected afterschool programming for school-age children.
Learning Heroes' Parents 2022 - Hidden in Plain Sight: A Way Forward for Equity-Centered Family Engagement
This is a national online survey of 1,405 parents, 300 teachers, and 317 principals who work in public elementary, middle, and high schools.
Opportunity Insights - Social Capital I: Measurement and Associations with Economic Mobility
This is a correlational study that examines the relations between the degree of interconnectedness of friend groups, measures of civic engagement (e.g., volunteering), and socioeconomic status (SES, as defined by a machine learning algorithm-generated index comprised of, for example, average income in an individual’s neighborhood and level of educational attainment).