Zeest Haider
Research Associate, K-12 Education

Haider has worked as research analyst doing both quantitative and qualitative research on a variety of projects at MDRC. She serves as a data manager, leading the work of data processing and analysis with a team of programmers. In addition to the data-processing work, she works closely with school districts to acquire data and plan and conduct surveys of teachers, students, and other school staff members. She also serves as a liaison to research sites, conducts site visits, and contributes to report writing. She is currently the data manager on the Small Schools of Choice Evaluation. In addition, she is part of the implementation research team evaluating City Year’s Whole School Whole Child model and she serves as the project manager for this team as well. Haider has a master’s in education policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and an undergraduate degree in economics from Barnard College.

  • MDRC Publications


      Learning from the Communities In Schools Reengagement Coordinator Initiative

      January, 2023

      Schools have long struggled to reengage students who have poor attendance or who drop out—a situation that was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. During 2021–2022, Communities In Schools introduced the Reengagement Coordinator Initiative, aimed at reengaging high school students who did not reenroll or were chronically absent.


      A First Look at Effects on Postsecondary Persistence and Labor Market Outcomes

      April, 2019

      Four years after scheduled graduation, students from small high schools of choice, which have nonselective admissions and serve many disadvantaged students, were more likely to be enrolled in postsecondary education and to be participating in “productive activity” (being in college, being employed, or both) than their control group counterparts.


      Supporting Teachers with the Drive to Write Program

      March, 2019

      Good writing is an important skill that students are increasingly required to master in high school. But how does a school cultivate good writing? An ambitious new program called Drive to Write is using technology, coaches for teachers, and data on student progress to help answer this question.


      Launching the Drive to Write Program

      January, 2018
      Rekha Balu, Emma Alterman, Zeest Haider, Kelly Quinn

      How do schools encourage students to write more and teachers to offer more comments on student writing? How can schools use technology more effectively to support this shift in instruction? What makes achieving both of these goals difficult? The Drive to Write program tackles these challenges.


      Implementation and Interim Impact Findings from the Communities In Schools Evaluation

      April, 2015

      Services to help students stay in school are often fragmented. In this program, school-based coordinators identify students at risk, work with them to assess their needs, connect them with school and community supports, and monitor their progress. Case-managed students received more services than others, but early impact findings are inconclusive.

  • Other Publications

  • Projects