Davis conducts research on programs and policies that seek to foster positive child development, expand access to high-quality education, and mitigate the hardships of poverty for children and families. She specializes in cost methodology, program evaluation, and implementation research. Davis currently works on evaluations of the Get Ready Guilford Initiative and the Personalized Learning Initiative, which explores ways of offering affordable personalized learning to students via large-scale tutoring programs. In addition, she serves as a research associate at the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education, an organization that drives innovation in cost methodology for education applications. A former preschool and K-12 teacher, Davis holds a bachelor’s degree in studio art and a master’s degree in education from the University of New Hampshire. She completed her Ph.D. in education policy from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was an Institute for Education Sciences Predoctoral Fellow in Interdisciplinary Methods for Field-based Research in Education.
MDRC PublicationsCommentaryFebruary, 2023
In this commentary originally published in The Hechinger Report, Rebecca Davis and Shira Mattera describe how investing in universal early assessment is an important approach to help communities meet the specific needs of young children and their families.
ProjectsJean Grossman, Shira Kolnik Mattera, Barbara Condliffe, Dina A. R. Israel, Jedediah J. Teres, Hannah Dalporto, Sonia Drohojowska, Lauren Scarola, Frieda Molina, Rebecca Schwartz, Mei Huang, Rebecca Davis, Julia Walsh
The pandemic has led to unfinished learning for a broad swath of students. This unfinished learning has also exacerbated existing disparities in student outcomes by race and ethnicity, income, and geography. Research has shown that high-dosage tutoring is the most effective way for improving learning for many students. But high-dosage tutoring is cost- and resource-...Virginia Knox, Carolyn Hill, Shira Kolnik Mattera, Desiree Principe Alderson, Rebecca Davis, Helen Lee
Across the United States, children’s life prospects are substantially shaped by their circumstances between birth and age 3. The earliest years of life, then, may present this country’s best opportunity to disrupt cycles of poverty. In the American South, children of low-income families acutely experience the disadvantages of poverty, and they disproportionately remain...