Erin McCann, Ph.D., is a senior researcher at American Institutes for Research (AIR) with 18 years of experience conducting evaluations for federal, state, and local-level clients. She has led the evaluations of regional support provided by the Southeast and Texas Comprehensive Centers since 2012. Dr. McCann also provides evaluation expertise for AIR’s State Support Network, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of School Support, that assists states in their implementation of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirements. She is on the evaluation team for AIR’s Network Improvement Community project in Rhode Island, funded by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Using core tenets of implementation science and adult learning principles, she supports project participants in building proficiency in formative assessment strategies. Her evaluation expertise includes developing evaluation and data collection plans and tools, developing logic models, facilitating reflection on project progress toward outcomes and goals, and collecting and reporting outcome data regarding project work.
Dr. McCann also supports state- and local-level projects with evaluation technical assistance in monitoring progress, sustaining, and scaling improvement initiatives in several southeastern states including Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi. Her work in Georgia, focused on teacher quality and equity, is helping the state’s staff build processes and structures for ensuring students receive instruction from highly qualified teachers. In Alabama and North Carolina, she works with state education agency staff as they continue to strengthen systems of support for teachers engaging in professional development to enhance their instructional knowledge and skills. Dr. McCann’s expertise is in building and reinforcing state and local staff ability to use basic evaluation skills in monitoring improvement efforts, enabling them to adjust their paths as needed to promote successful project outcomes. Areas of assistance include collaborating on theories of action, evaluation plans, and project-level logic models; working together on timelines and tools for data collection; and sharing best practice resources for analyzing, interpreting, and reporting evaluation results.