Marc is a principal research scientist in the Academic Research Centers and founding director of NORC’s Early Childhood Research & Practice Collaborative. He is an applied developmental psychologist with expertise in cognitive development, early childhood and elementary education, both in informal (home-based) and in formal (school-based) educational settings.
Marc is experienced in designing and conducting experimental studies, cluster randomized trials, quasi-experiments, mixed-methods research, psychometric analysis for assessment and survey development, and program evaluation. Marc’s research and evaluation program focuses on identifying, developing, and evaluating programs interventions, tools, technologies, best practices, and policies designed to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged children, early in their lives (i.e., over the birth to third grade continuum). This program of work has lead him to work extensively in home, preschool and elementary school settings, with children, parents, educators/practitioners, and administrators. Through the Collaborative, Marc partners closely with researchers, practitioners, nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies to develop and/or evaluate education programs, interventions, curricula, tools, and assessments. Utilizing a whole child, 360° approach to development, his work aims to produce tools and knowledge that will help illuminate what continuum of supports are necessary to close the opportunity gap.
Marc is an active member of the Getting on Track Early for School Success project, which involves a team of educators, researchers, and psychometricians from across the University of Chicago and NORC. The formative assessment is intended to act as an organizing tool that will allow teachers to tailor instruction to help preschool children increase oral language, literacy, and mathematics proficiency, while also reducing gaps in kindergarten readiness among children from disadvantaged homes. He also leads the Kindergarten Readiness Indicator (KRI) project, a 15-minute direct assessment of key academic skills associated with kindergarten readiness, which was developed from the comprehensive Getting on Track assessment. KRI is the state of Indiana’s mandatory kindergarten readiness assessment for its On My Way PreK program.
Marc is the co-principal investigator of NORC’s independent evaluation of the Oakland Promise, a cradle to career program that includes four component programs: Brilliant Baby, Kindergarten to College, College Access, and College Completion. This evaluation includes mixed-method approaches to evaluating each individual component of the Promise, and the compounding effects of the Promise as a whole. It includes a longitudinal, randomized controlled trial examining the impact of Brilliant Baby, a college savings account (CSA) and financial coaching intervention for Medicaid-eligible families with infants, on children and parents.
Marc also works closely with foundations, such as the Kenneth Rainin Foundation in Oakland, CA, to help inform early childhood grant-making decisions informed by the latest developmental, education, and learning science, as well as local parent and community needs. Through these collaborations, Marc and his team have conducted literature reviews, household surveys/interviews, and stakeholder engagements. He has also helped lead evaluations of foundation-funded programs, such as the randomized controlled trial evaluation of the SEEDS of Early Learning professional development program.
Marc is an active participant in the University of Chicago’s undergraduate and graduate student mentorship and career-development programs. He was a charter member of Morton Arboretum’s Education and Information Advisory Committee and currently serves on Age of Learning’s Curriculum Board.
Early Childhood Training and Technical Assistance Cross-System Evaluation
A first-of-its-kind evaluation to maximize the effectiveness of TTA provided to early childhood grantees
NORC Article | December 11, 2023
NORC Article | August 23, 2023
opens in new tab"Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Volunteer One-on-One Tutoring Model for Early Elementary Reading Intervention: A Randomized Controlled Trial Replication Study."
Journal Article | August 29, 2022
Journal Article | February 5, 2021
opens in new tab"Longitudinally Adaptive Assessment and Instruction Increase Numerical Skills of Preschool Children."
Journal Article | November 10, 2020
Project Report | October 15, 2020
opens in new tab"Enriching Home Language Environment among Families from Low-SES Backgrounds: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Home Visiting Curriculum."
Journal Article | March 17, 2020
opens in new tab"Advanced Content Coverage at Kindergarten: Are There Trade-Offs between Academic Achievement and Social-Emotional Skills?"
Journal Article | August 5, 2019