Jason Snipes is a Senior Research Scientist and Director of Applied Research at the Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West) at WestEd. He has over 25 years of experience conducting rigorous applied research, dissemination, and technical support. Dr. Snipes’ work focuses on applied research and development in education with a particular emphasis on district collaboration and developing and evaluating strategies for improving outcomes among Black and Latinx students. He currently leads a project focused on exploring strategies to support Black and Latinx students through early warning indicators, student supports, and strategies for reducing the effects of racial bias.
As the Director of Applied Research for REL West, Dr. Snipes supports a body of high-quality, policy-relevant applied research projects. He leads a research partnership with the Clark County School District focused on developing early indicators of student success or risk, disseminating this information to schools in a useful and actionable format, and examining the role of student academic mindset and behaviors in student success, particularly in the transitions to middle and high school.
Dr. Snipes has developed and studied innovative strategies for identifying high-risk students as they make the transitions to middle and high school and examined the relationships between traditional risk factors, student academic mindsets, and school success. He has worked with school districts to develop systems for disseminating Education Workforce Initiative information to schools in an accessible and actionable format. He has trained school leaders on the use of these systems, the manner in which student academic mindsets and factors such as stereotype threat affect student success at key transition points, and interventions that address these phenomena in order to improve student outcomes during these transitions, particularly for Black and Latinx students. He has written research briefs on interventions targeting student academic mindsets, and on using data and research to make informed and effective algebra placement decisions.
Dr. Snipes has developed and adapted both experimental and quasi-experimental analytic strategies for multiple education impact evaluations. He has designed, led, and analyzed data for large- and small-scale education evaluations, including the Reading Apprenticeship validation study, the first national random assignment evaluation of Career Academies, and the Elevate summer algebra intervention.
Prior to joining WestEd, Dr. Snipes worked at MDRC, where he published Foundations for Success, an influential set of case studies of urban school districts that improved achievement. He also worked as Research Director at the Council of the Great City Schools, where he helped translate the lessons from these case studies into a framework for technical assistance and create an IES-funded project designed to foster multiple research practice partnerships.
Dr. Snipes holds a master’s and PhD in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.