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Goodson, Ph.D.

Principal Associate

Barbara Goodson is a nationally recognized expert in research and policy on families and young children. She has more than 40 years of experience designing and conducting large, multi-site implementation and impact studies examining interventions for low-income and language minority children and families. Goodson is an expert on research methodology and measuring ECE environmental quality and fidelity of implementation of educational interventions. She specializes in the evaluation of pre-grade 12 interventions and early learning programs, designing logic models and conducting program improvement research to ensure successful implementations.

Goodson is the principal investigator on several multi-site early childhood studies focused on low-income, disadvantaged students. This includes the Harvard Early Learning Project, a longitudinal study that assesses early childhood outcomes and quality of care. She has authored numerous publications on the measurement of quality in early childhood environment.

Goodson also is the principal investigator of the contract to provide Evaluation Technical Assistance to the i3 and EIR USDOE grant programs.  She leads the team of technical assistance liaisons and provides direct support to local evaluators on the design and execution of rigorous impact and implementation studies of federal grant programs.

Additionally, Goodson has completed four long-term studies in her time at Abt. As Director of Evaluation of the National Cross-Site Evaluation of Project LAUNCH for five years, Goodson oversaw multiple population-based impact studies and analyzed outcomes in target communities. She also played an almost decade-long role directing the Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies. The study was conducted in a sample of 350 licensed family childcare homes in 17 sponsoring childcare agencies across Massachusetts.


  • Early Childhood
  • Education
  • Evaluation design and methodology
  • Environmental quality measurement 

Key Projects

  • Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies
  • National Cross-Site Evaluation of Project LAUNCH
  • Harvard Early Learning Study
  • Evaluation Technical Assistance for the i3 and EIR Innovation Grants
  • Evaluation of the New Hampshire Preschool Development Grant
  • Evaluation of the Rhode Island Preschool Development Grant
  • Evaluation of the Massachusetts Preschool Development Grant
  • Implementation Evaluation of the Comprehensive Literacy Program


  • Goodson, B.D., MAckrain, M., Perry, D.F., O’Brien, K., & Gwaltney, M. (2013).  Enhancing home visiting with mental health consultation.  Pediatrics: 132, S1-S11.
  • Goodson, B.D., (2009).  What it means and what it takes to prepare children for school: A synthesis of evidence for the impacts of federally-funded research initiatives in early childhood education.  Paper presented at Working Meeting on Recent School Readiness Research.  Guiding the Synthesis of Early Childhood Research. Washington, DC: Agency for Children and Families.
  • Goodson, B.D. (2005).  Parent support programs and outcomes for children.  2005 Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development.
  • Goodson, B.D., St Pierre, R.G., Layzer, J.I., Bernstein, L.  (2000). Effectiveness of a comprehensive, five year family support program low income children and their families: Findings from The Comprehensive Child Development Program. Early Childhood Education Research Quarterly, 15(1).
  • Layzer, J.I. and Goodson, B.D. (2008).  Issues in defining and measuring quality in early childhood care and education settings.  Journal of the Association for Public Policy and Management.
Barbara Goodson, Ph.D.