Anamarie Whitaker is a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her research focuses on how child programs and policies affect child and family development and how local educational systems can best develop and implement high-quality programs and policies. Whitaker has extensive knowledge of early-childhood education, early-learning policies and interventions, out-of-school time (OST) programs and policies, community-based organizations, collective impact initiatives, and multi-agency collaborations. Her recent research on early-learning interventions and policies focuses on how community systems can best provide high-quality care to children and how programs can increase quality through professional development supports including coaching. Additionally, her work examines the effectiveness of early childhood education participation and individual program components, such as curriculum selection on children’s school readiness and early elementary academic and social and emotional outcomes.
In the area of OST, Whitaker’s research examines how local organizations can best partner with schools or other groups to promote high-quality program implementation and positive youth development, and how community organizations can strengthen their own evaluation and measurement work. In her research, she uses both quantitative and qualitative methods, including key informant interviews, focus groups and rigorous quantitative data analytic techniques, to answer practice- and policy-relevant research questions. Whitaker also has extensive experience with developmental evaluations and providing formative feedback to research partners. She received a B.A. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in educational policy from the University of California, Irvine.