Research Associate

Unterman joined MDRC in 2006 and is a research associate in the K-12 Education Policy Area. Currently, she serves as a lead investigator on a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded study of Small Schools of Choice (SSC) in New York City; an Institute of Education Sciences (IES)-funded study of the effect of Boston Public Schools’ prekindergarten program on students’ academic achievement in kindergarten, first, second, and third grade; a Department of Labor-funded study of the effect of New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Program; and an evaluation of Success Academy Charter Schools. As part of the SSC project, she has identified naturally occurring lotteries in New York City’s high school application process algorithm and used them to estimate the effect of winning a lottery for an SSC and enrolling in one. As a member of this project team, she has coauthored a peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management and three widely disseminated MDRC publications (one of which was recently awarded the “Best Policy Brief/Paper in 2013” distinction by the Society for Research on Adolescence). She began her work at MDRC as a coauthor of two IES-funded reports on academically oriented after-school programs and was an impact analyst on the national evaluation of Reading First. Finally, she has been involved in the development of an intervention targeting low-income young people who typically apply to less competitive colleges than would be the most appropriate match for them. Unterman is also enrolled at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, where she is pursuing a doctorate in quantitative policy analysis in education. She received a master’s degree in education policy and management from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and holds a BA from Northwestern University. Before graduate school, she worked as a social studies teacher in a Chicago public school.