A collection of research funded by Overdeck Family Foundation.
Summaries of Research Grants
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).