Sally Atkins-Burnett
Human Services

Sally Atkins-Burnett

Senior Fellow

Sally Atkins-Burnett is an expert in longitudinal measurement of child outcomes, measurement of classroom quality and instructional practices, and early childhood education and special education.

As principal investigator on the Measurement Development: Quality of Caregiver–Child Interactions for Infants and Toddlers (Q-CCIIT) project, Atkins-Burnett led development and psychometric testing of a new measure to assess the quality of caregiver–child interactions for infants and toddlers in nonparental care. The Q-CCIIT measure can be reliably used in center-based and family child care settings as well as single- and mixed-age classrooms. Through the Quality of Caregiver–Child Interactions for Infants and Toddlers Professional Development Tools project, she collaborated on the development and field testing of We Grow Together, an interactive, web-based program designed to support professional development of infant/toddler caregivers, working in concert with mentors or coaches.

An expert in studying early childhood programs, Atkins-Burnett was principal investigator on the Universal Preschool Child Outcomes Studies in Los Angeles County, and she is currently a principal investigator on the Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES), as well as the Infant and Toddler Teacher and Caregiver Competencies Study (ITTCC). She has played a key role in many other large-scale national studies, including the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES 2006, 2009, and 2014), Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Class of 1997–98 (ECLS-K), and Chicago Program Evaluation Project.

Atkins-Burnett’s expertise includes national random assignment studies in early elementary schools, such as the Evaluation of Mathematics Curricula. She consulted on the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), the Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study (PEELS; a study of preschool children with disabilities), and State and Local Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Atkins-Burnett, who joined Mathematica in 2006, is the author of numerous publications and presentations about screening, assessment, and children with disabilities, as well as co-author of the ECLS-K Psychometric Manuals. She holds a Ph.D. in early childhood special education from the University of Michigan.

  • Early childhood education and special education
  • Longitudinal measurement of child outcomes
  • Measurement of classroom quality and instructional practices
Focus Area Topics
  • Quality Improvement
  • Early Childhood
  • Child Welfare
  • Professional Development
  • Quality Measurement
  • Human Services

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