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David Cordray

Professor of Psychology and Human Development, Emeritus

David Cordray's research has focused on estimating the numerical effects of social interventions directed at-risk populations (e.g. homeless, substance abusers). In addition to conducting multi-site evaluations of intervention programs, he has contributed to the development of methodological refinements of quasi-experimental designs, meta-analysis, and non-traditional forms of casual inquiry.

Current Research

  • Program Director: Experimental Education Research Training Program - ExpERT. Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences August, 2004 -August 2009. Approximately $4.9 million.
  • Co-PI (with Jim Pellegrino and Susan Goldman; University of Illinois, Chicago Circle). What Works? Integrating Technology and Effective Pedagogy. Funded by the Atlantic Philanthropic Fund. Approximately $2,000,000. (November, 2003 to present).
  • Principal Investigator: Assessing Expertise. Funded by the Learning Sciences Institute, Vanderbilt University, $49,500. June, 2002 to June 2004.
  • Assessment and Evaluation (A&E) Thrust Leader (PI, Tom Harris). VaNTH Engineering Research Center. November, 1999 to present. (The A&E Trust receives between $250,000 - $300,000 per year); total approximately $17,000,000.
  • Principal Investigator: Evaluation of the Kellogg Foundation Birthing Center (6 year project). Approximately $500,000. September, 1999- 2004.
  • Principal Investigator. National Evaluation of NIAAA supported R&D program for homeless alcohol and substance abusers, 9/15/90-7/31/94. (Approximately $250,000, total costs, per year, total award, $980,000)
  • Principal Investigator. Meta-analysis of job training programs, Russell Sage Foundation. 6/92-12-93, (18 months, approximately $57,000).

Previous Positions

  • Co-Director, Center for Evaluation Research and Methodology, Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies, Vanderbilt University (8/97 to 10/01)
  • Member, Technical Work Group, Longitudinal Evaluation of School Change and Performance, U.S. Department of Education/WESTAT. 1996-2002.
  • Member, Evaluation Review Panel, Office of the Deputy Secretary, U. S. Department of Education, 1992-2001.
  • Director, Center for the Study of At-Risk Populations and Public Assistance Policy, VIPPS (9/90-8/97).
  • Member, Panel on Needle Exchange and Bleach Distribution Programs (1995). Preventing HIV Transmission: The Role of Sterile Needles and Bleach. J. Norman, D. Vlahov, and L. Moses (Eds.) Washington DC: National Academy Press.
  • President, American Evaluation Association (1991-1993).
  • Assistant Director, Program Evaluation and Methodology Division, United States General Accounting Office, Washington, DC (11/84 to 7/89).
  • Committee on the Assessment of Family Violence Interventions (1998) Violence in Families: Assessing Prevention and Treatment Programs. R. Chalk and P. King (Eds.), Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Representative Publications

  • Books and Monographs
  • Cook, T. D., Cooper, H. M., Cordray, D. S., Hartman, H., Hedges, L. V., Lewis, T., Light, R., J., & Mosteller, F. M. (1992). Meta-analysis for explanation: A casebook. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.
  • Education Information: Changes in Funds and Priorities Have Affected Production and Quality. (GAO/PEMD-88-4, November 4, 1987) .
  • R&D Funding: The Department of Education Perspective. (GAO/PEMD-88-18FS, May 1988) .
  • Cordray, D. S. & Lipsey, M. W. (Eds.). (1987). Evaluation studies review annual, Volume 11. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
  • Cordray, D. S., Bloom H. S., & Light, R. J. (Eds.). (1987) Evaluation practice in review. New Directions in Program Evaluation, 34.
  • Boruch, R. F., Wortman, P. M., Cordray, D. S., & Associates. (1982). Reanalyzing program evaluations: Policies and practices for secondary analysis of social and education programs. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Selected Articles and Chapters
  • Cordray, D.S. & Pion, G.M. (in press). Treatment strength and integrity: Models and methods. In R. Bootzin & P. McKnight (Eds.), Contributions of Lee Sechrest to methodology and evaluation. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
  • Nyquist, J. & Cordray, D.S. (2004). The benefits of considering feedback as a larger system of formative assessment: A meta-analysis. Under revision.
  • Spickard, A. III, Smithers, J., Cordray, D.S., & Gigante, J. (2003). A randomized trial of an online lecture with audio versus without audio. Medical Education.
  • Cordray, D.S., Pion, G.M., Harris, A. & Norris, P. (2003). Assessing the Effectiveness of Educational Innovations. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine, May/June, 2003.
  • Pion, G.M. & Cordray, D.S. (2003). Research methods: An overview. In J.W. Guthrie et al. (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Education, 2nd Edition, New York, New York: MacMillan. Pp.2020-2025.
  • Cordray, D.S. (2001). Secondary analysis. In N.J. Smelser and P.B. Baltes (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. London: Pergamon. 2, 645-648.
  • Cordray, D.S. (2000). Broadening the scope of experimental inquiry. Crime and Delinquency, 46(3), 401-424.
  • Lipsey, M.W. & Cordray, D.S. (2000) Evaluation methods for social intervention. Annual Review of Psychology. 51, 345-375.
  • Orwin, R.G, Sonnefeld, L.J., Cordray, D.S., Pion, G.M., and Perl, H.I. (1998) Constructing quantiatitve implementation scales from categorical service data: Examples from a multisite evaluation. Evaluation Review, 22(2), 245-288.
  • Cordray, D. S. (1994). Strengthening causal interpretation of non-experimental data: The role of meta-analysis. New Directions in Program Evaluation, 60, 59-96.
  • Orwin, R. G., Cordray, D. S., & Huebner, R. B. (1994). Judicious application of randomized designs. New Directions in Program Evaluation, 63, 73-86.
  • Boruch, R. F., Cordray, D. S., Pion, G. M., & Leviton, L. (1983). Recommendations to the Congress and their rationale: The Holtzman Project. Evaluation Review, 7, 5-36. Selected Presentations
  • Cordray, D.S. Assessment and evaluation of educational programs within NSF-supported Engineering Research Centers (ERCs). Invited presentation, November 3, 2003. Annual Directors' Meeting for National Science Foundation Supported ERCs. Washington, DC.
  • Cordray, D.S. Designing evaluations to yield compelling evidence: Multiple modes of inquiry. Plenary Address, Second OERI Technology Evaluation Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, August 20, 2000.
  • Cordray, D.S. Evaluating training programs on incidents of domestic violence. Invited presentation to the National Research Council's Committee on Training Health Professionals in Detecting Incidents of Domestic Violence, Washington, DC, March, 2000
  • Cordray, D.S. Differential program effects: Distinguishing theory and implementation successes and failures. Presentation at the American Evaluation Association Annual Meetings, Chicago, IL, November 5, 1998.
  • Editorial Experience
  • Associate Editor, Evaluation Review (1985-1988)
  • Editorial Advisory Board, Evaluation Studies Review Annual (1987)
  • Editorial Advisory Board, New Directions for Program Evaluation (1986-1997)
  • Editorial Advisory Board, Evaluation and Program Planning, (1992-1997)


National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences, Lifetime Member (November, 2003)

  • American Evaluation Association Service Award (November, 1993)
  • Meritorious Service Award, U.S. Comptroller General, United States General Accounting Office, November 19, 1986.
  • National Research Service Award, Post-doctoral Training - Division of Methodology and Evaluation Research, Department of Psychology, Northwestern University. National Institute of Mental Health (1-T32- MH151113-01). (9/78-8/79)