Faculty & Staff Directory

Marcia Davis Portrait

Marcia Davis, PhD

Associate Professor (Research)

O: (410) 516-6796

Marcia Davis is an associate professor in the School of Education and has been a researcher at the Center for Social Organization of Schools since 2006. She currently teaches courses in mixed methods and evaluation in the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree program. Dr. Davis has a master’s degree in Educational Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation and a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology. She has conducted research on a range of topics that include supporting struggling adolescent readers, measurement of adolescent reading motivation, and the use of early warning indicators and systems for dropout prevention. She has served as the lead evaluator or co-evaluator on projects through the United Way of Central Maryland, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. Her publications appear in the Journal of Research in Reading, Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, Literacy Research and Instruction, and The Journal of Educational Research.


Doctor of Philosophy (2006) University of Maryland, College Park; Human Development. Subspecialty: Educational Psychology.

Master of Arts (2004) University of Maryland, College Park; Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation.

Bachelor of Science, Summa Cum Laude (1999) Towson University, 1999, Psychology, Departmental Honors.


A Regression Discontinuity Study of the Impact of ALFA Lab on 9th-Graders’ Reading Achievement, Motivation, and Reading Frequency (2018-present), funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Co-Principal Investigator, $3,254,543


Determining the Impact of the Baltimore City Schools Weinberg Foundation Funded Libraries (2013-2016), funded by the Weinberg Foundation. Co-Principal Investigator, $196,163

Getting Students to the Finish Line: An Efficacy Study of a Ninth Grade Early Warning Indicator Intervention (2012-2017), funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Co-Principal Investigator, $3,458,989 http://ies.ed.gov/funding/grantsearch/details.asp?ID=1319

Development and Validation of Online Adaptive Reading Motivation Measures (2011-2016), funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Co-Principal Investigator, $1,738,808 http://ies.ed.gov/funding/grantsearch/details.asp?ID=1116

Strengthening Content Literacy for Struggling High School Readers: Coordinated Lessons and Support Systems for Subject-matter Teachers (2009-2013), funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Co-Principal Investigator, $1,499,322 http://ies.ed.gov/funding/grantsearch/details.asp?ID=747

Action Evaluation of the American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen Initiative, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (2012-2013), Co-Principal Investigator, $375,001

A Curriculum of Engagement: Micro-Process Interventions in Middle and High School to Improve Attendance, Behavior, Achievement, and Grade Promotion for At-Risk Ninth Graders, funded by the U.S. Department of Education (2010-2012), Award Number R305A080211, Co-Principal Investigator, $1,499,430

A Case Study of Schools Using Early Warning Indicator (EWI) Technology, funded by the Pearson Foundation (2011), Principal Investigator, $77,268


Davis, M. H., Wang, W., Kingston, N., Hock, M., Tonks, S. M., & Tiemann (2020). A computer adaptive measure of reading motivation. Journal of Research in Reading. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9817.12318

Mac Iver, M. A., Stein, M., Davis, M., Balfanz, R., & Hornig Fox, J. (2019). An efficacy study of a ninth-grade early warning indicator intervention. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, https://doi.org/10.1080/19345747.2019.1615156

Davis, M. H., Tonks, S. M., Hock, M., Wang, W., & Rodriguez, A. C., (2018). A review of reading motivation scales. Reading Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1080/02702711.2017.1400482

Davis, M., Mac Iver, M. A., Balfanz, R., Stein, M., & Hornig Fox, H. (2018). Implementation of an early warning indicator and intervention system. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth. https://doi.org/10.1080/1045988X.2018.1506977

Davis, M. H., McPartland, J., Pryseski, C., & Kim, E. (2018). The effects of coaching on English teachers’ reading instruction practices and students’ reading comprehension. Literacy Research and Instruction. https://doi.org/10.1080/19388071.2018.1453897

Davis, M., & Guthrie, J.T. (2015): Measuring reading comprehension of content area texts using an assessment of knowledge organization, The Journal of Educational Research, 108(2), 148-164. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220671.2013.863749

Davis, M., Herzog, L., Legters, N. (2013). Organizing schools to address early warning indicators (EWIs): Common practices and challenges. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR), 18, 84-100. https://doi.org/10.1080/10824669.2013.745210

Binkley, D., Davis, M., Lawrie, D., Maletic, J. I., Morrell, C., & Sharif, B. (2013). The impact of identifier style on effort and comprehension. Empirical Software Engineering, 18(2), 219-276. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10664-012-9201-4.pdf

Herzog, L., Davis, M., & Legters, N. (2012). Learning what it takes: An initial look at how schools are using early warning indicator data and collaborative response teams to keep all student on track to success. http://new.every1graduates.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Learning_what_it_Takes.pdf

Davis, M. H., & McPartland, J. (2012). High school reform and student engagement. In S. L. Christenson, A L. Reschly, & C. Wylie (Eds.) The Handbook on Student Engagement, Springer, New York.

Kirmani, M., Davis, M. H., & Kalyanpur, M. (2009). Young Children Surfing the Internet: Gender differences in computer use. Dimensions of Early Childhood Education, 2, 18-23. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marcia_Davis3/publication/234769744_Young_Children_Surfing_Gender_Differences_in_Computer_Use/links/0f317535148996b059000000/Young-Children-Surfing-Gender-Differences-in-Computer-Use.pdf

Lutz, S. L., Guthrie, J. T., & Davis, M. H. (2006). Scaffolding for engagement in elementary school reading instruction. Journal of Educational Research, 100(1), 3-20. https://doi.org/10.3200/JOER.100.1.3-20