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Kate Callahan

Interim Executive Director & Chief Research Officer

Pronouns: She/Her

Degrees

  • Ph.D. in Urban Education: Temple University
  • M.Ed. in Urban Education: Temple University
  • B.A. in Sociology: Franklin and Marshall College

About Kate Callahan

Dr. Kate Callahan is Interim Executive Director and Chief Research Officer of Research for Action and provides strategic oversight and leadership across all facets for RFA’s research and administrative enterprises. 

Prior to being appointed Interim Executive Director in 2020, Callahan served in leadership roles throughout RFA, as Chief Research Officer, Director of Quantitative Research, and earlier in her career, as a mixed-methods researcher and project director on many national research projects, particularly examining issues of equity, access, and success in the K-16 educational pipeline. For over ten years, Callahan has taught research and evaluation courses for the Department of Education Policy and Leadership at Cabrini University and more recently for Temple University’s Master of Public Policy program. Prior to joining RFA, she worked as a teacher in the School District of Philadelphia, served as an Associate Director of the A Better Chance, Inc. program in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, and provided professional support to teachers in a community-based education, health, and wellness center in La Paz, Bolivia. 

Throughout her career, Callahan has demonstrated a commitment to field-building through effective research dissemination. She has served as an invited panelist for the Bipartisan Policy Center, IPEDS Technical Review Panel, Kentucky’s Pritchard Committee, the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, and HCM Strategists’ Strategy Labs Peer Learning Opportunity. She has been interviewed by national news media including National Public Radio, the Washington Post, and Inside Higher Education, and frequently presents at the annual meetings of the State Higher Education Executive Officers, the Association for the Study of Higher Education, the Association for Education Finance and Policy, and the American Educational Research Association. Dr. Callahan has a Ph.D. in Urban Education from Temple University. 

  • A fun fact about me...

    I have 9 siblings, 5 children, and 16 nieces and nephews.

  • Can't stop listening to...

    Brandi Carlile

  • If I could have a superpower it would be...

    Deciding what to eat and what show to watch next.

Key Projects by Kate Callahan

California Community Colleges Data Collection Project

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Evaluation of New Profit Capacity Building Model

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Advancing Racial Equity in Higher Education Attainment

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An Evaluation of the Picasso Schoolwide Model

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Evaluation of Children’s Literacy Initiative’s Curriculum and Professional Development Model for Kindergarten Readiness

Read More Early Childhood Education

An Evaluation of Congreso de Latinos Unidos’ Exito Program at Kensington CAPA High School

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Evaluating the Reimagine Learning Initiative for New Profit, Inc.

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Integrative Arts Programs in Philadelphia: An Examination of Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program in Four Public Schools

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Supporting Education Organizing for Education Equity: Communities for Public Education Reform

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The Pennsylvania Clearinghouse for Education Research (PACER): Translating Research and Analysis for Education Policymakers

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Amplifying Success Through Intermediaries: An Evaluation of the Role of New Profit, Inc. in Supporting National College Access and Success Organizations

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Providing Technical Assistance to the New Jersey Department of Education

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Expanding the Knowledge Base on State-Level Postsecondary Outcomes-Based Funding

Read More Postsecondary & Workforce
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Recent Publications by Kate Callahan

Publication

Statewide College Promise Programs: Balancing Affordability, Access, and Student Success

State-level postsecondary policymaking is daunting. Policymakers navigate through myriad fiscal, political, and ideological constraints and opportunities as they strive to address pressing state concerns or goals. While researchers and advocates may point to “perfect” policy…

Publication

The Case of Nevada Promise: Promise Replication in a Different State Context

Research for Action has studied statewide Promise programs since 2017, with in-depth analysis in four states—Delaware, Nevada, Oregon, and Tennessee. Our research in these states includes an extensive review of legislative and policy documents; 146…

Publication

The Case of Oregon Promise: An Early Adopter Focused on Broadening Access

Research for Action has studied statewide Promise programs since 2017, with in-depth analysis in four states—Delaware, Nevada, Oregon, and Tennessee. Our research in these states includes an extensive review of legislative and policy documents; 146…

Publication

The Case of Tennessee Promise: A Uniquely Comprehensive Promise Program

Research for Action has studied statewide Promise programs since 2017, with in-depth analysis in four states—Delaware, Nevada, Oregon, and Tennessee. Our research in these states includes an extensive review of legislative and policy documents; 146…

Publication

Technical Appendix: Tennessee SLDS Student-Level Analysis

Over the course of nearly two years, Research for Action (RFA) worked closely with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) to obtain, clean, and analyze Tennessee’s Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS).

Publication

Technical Appendix: Indiana SLDS Student-Level Analysis

Over the course of nearly two years, Research for Action (RFA) worked closely with Indiana’s Commission for Higher Education to obtain, clean, and analyze Indiana’s Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS).

Publication

Implementation and Impact of Outcomes-Based Funding in Tennessee

Outcomes-based funding (OBF) is a term used to define state and system-level higher education funding policies linking public higher education dollars to key student outcomes such as credit completion, retention and graduation (Snyder, 2016). Outcomes-based…

Publication

Implementation and Impact of Outcomes-Based Funding in Indiana

Outcomes-based funding (OBF) is a term used to define state and system-level higher education funding policies linking public higher education dollars to key student outcomes such as credit completion, retention and graduation (Snyder, 2016). Outcomes-based…

Publication

Summary of OBF Impact on Student Outcomes in Tennessee and Indiana

From 2014-2016, Research for Action (RFA) worked closely with state officials in Tennessee and Indiana to obtain, verify, and analyze data obtained from Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) to determine the impact of each state’s…

Publication

Philadelphia’s Renaissance Schools: A Report on Start Up and Early Implementation

In April 2009, Superintendent Arlene Ackerman announced her reform plan for the School District of Philadelphia (the District) – Imagine 2014. Among other major initiatives, Imagine 2014 laid the groundwork for Philadelphia’s Renaissance Schools Initiative.…
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