Scott K. Baker

Dr. Scott Baker

Center on Research and Evaluation


Ph.D., University of Oregon


Expressway Tower
6116 N. Central Expressway, Ste.400
Dallas 75206
Box 511



Dr. Baker joined the Center on Research and Evaluation (CORE) at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in 2013. Dr. Baker is interested in the role scientific research can play in improving policies and practices associated with child outcomes. His specific research interests have been shaped by his role as Principal Investigator on numerous education grants from the Institute of Education Sciences and other federal agencies. Currently, Dr. Baker is interested in the impact of interventions on child outcomes, mechanisms that underlie effective interventions, and how intervention impact varies by factors intrinsic and extrinsic to the child. 

Prior to joining SMU, Dr. Baker was the Associate Director of the Center on Teaching and Learning (CTL) at the University of Oregon and he was CTL’s first Director of Research from 2006–2012. He was the founder of Pacific Institutes for Research and was its Executive Director and President from 2003–2010. 

Dr. Baker has been a Principal Investigator on 30 federally funded grants totaling over 57 million dollars. Much of this work has focused on the development and evaluation of assessment and instructional interventions for different groups of students, including English learners and students with learning difficulties, and how to ensure that these practices and interventions are implemented effectively in real school settings. Dr. Baker has also conducted several evaluations of bilingual programs in public school settings and he was a lead investigator on an evaluation of a volunteer tutoring program being implemented throughout the state of Oregon with children in the early elementary grades.  

Dr. Baker received his PhD from the University of Oregon, a master’s degree in psychology from Western Washington University, and a bachelor’s degree from Long Beach State University. 

Selected Publications

In Press Journal Articles

Richards-Tutor, C., Baker, D. L., Gersten, R., Baker, S. K., & Smith, J. M. (in press). The Effectiveness of Reading Interventions for English Learners: A Research Synthesis of Studies Published Since 2000. Exceptional Children.

Clarke, B., Doabler, C. T., Smolkowski, K., Baker, S. K., Fien, H., & Strand Cary, M. (in press) Examining the efficacy of a tier 2 kindergarten intervention. Journal of Learning Disabilities.

Baker, S. K., Smolkowski, K., Chaparro, E., Smith, J., & Fien, H. (in press). Using Regression discontinuity to test the impact of a tier 2 reading intervention in first grade. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness.

Baker, D. L, Biancarosa, G., Park, B. J., Bousselot, T., Smith, J., Baker, S. K., Kame'enui, E. J., Alonzo, J., & Tindal, G. (in press). Validity of CBM measures of oral reading fluency and reading comprehension on high-stakes reading assessments in grades 7 and 8. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

Smith, J., Nelson, N. J., Smolkowski, K., Fien, H., Baker, S. K., & Kosty, D. (in press). Examining the impact of a multi-tiered reading intervention in first grade: A cluster-randomized controlled trial. Elementary School Journal.

Cummings, K., Stoolmiller, M., Baker, S.K., Fien, H., & Kame’enui, E.J. (in press) Formative evaluation: Estimating school-level student achievement with oral reading fluency. Reading and Writing Quarterly. Advanced online publication. DOI 10.1007/s11145-014-9512-5

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles 

Baker, D. L., Park, Y., Baker, S. K., Basaraba, D., Kame’enui, E. & Thomas Beck, C. (in press). Effects of a paired bilingual reading program on the reading performance of English learners in grades 1-3. Journal of School Psychology. Advanced online publication. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsp.2012.09.002

Doabler, C. T., Baker, S. K., Kosty, D. B., Smolkowski, K., Clarke, B., Miller, S. J., & Fien, H. (in press). Examining the association between explicit mathematics instruction and student mathematics achievement.Elementary School Journal.

Cena, J., Baker, D. L., Kame’enui, E. J., Baker, S. K., and Park, Y. (2013). The impact of a systematic and explicit vocabulary intervention in Spanish with Spanish-speaking English learners in first grade. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 26, 1289–1346. DOI: 10.1007/s11145-012-9419-y

Baker, S. K., Santoro, L. E., Chard, D. J., Fien, H., Park, Y., and Otterstedt, J. (2013). An evaluation of an explicit read aloud intervention taught in whole-classroom formats in first grade. Elementary School Journal, 113(3), 331-358. doi: 10.1086/668503

Nelson-Walker, N. J., Fien, H., Kosty, D. B., Smolkowski, K., Smith, J. L. M., and Baker, S. K. (2013). Evaluating the effects of a systemic intervention on first-grade teachers's explicit reading instruction.Learning Disability Quarterly, Advanced online publication. DOI: 10.1177/0731948712472186

Sanford, A. K., Park, Y., & Baker, S. K. (2013). Reading growth of students with disabilities in the context of a large-scale statewide reading reform effort. The Journal of Special Education, 47(2), 83–95. doi: 10.1177/0022466911430350

Baker, D. L., Park, Y., and Baker, S. K. (2012). The reading performance of English Learners in grades 1 to 3: The role of initial status and growth on reading fluency in Spanish and English. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 25, 251–281, DOI:10.1007/s11145-010-9261-z.

Chaparro, E. A., Ryan Jackson, K., Baker, S. K., and Smolkowski, K. (2012). Effective Behavioural and Instructional Support Systems: An integrated approach to behaviour and academic support at the district level. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 5(3), 161–176. DOI: 10.1080/1754730X.2012.707424

Chaparro, E. A., Smolkowski, K., Baker, S. K., Hanson, N., and Ryan Jackson, K. (2012). A model for system-wide collaboration to support integrated social behavior and literacy evidence-based practices.Psychology in the Schools, 49(5), 465–482. doi:10.1002/pits.21607

Doabler, C. T., Fien, H., Nelson-Walker, N. J., and Baker, S. K. (2012). Evaluating three elementary mathematics programs for presence of eight research-based instructional design principles. Learning Disability Quarterly, 35(4), 200–211. doi: 10.1177/0731948712438557

Doabler, C. T. Strand Cary, M., Jungjohann, K., Fien, H., Clarke, B., Baker, S. K., Smolkowski, K., & Chard, D. J. (2012). Enhancing core math instruction for students with or at-risk for math disabilities.Teaching Exceptional Children, 44(4), 48–57. 

Baker, D. L., Stoolmiller, M., Good, R. H., and Baker, S. K. (2011). Effects of reading comprehension on passage fluency in Spanish and English for second-language learners. School Psychology Review, 40(3), 331–351. - Named by National Association of School Psychologists Article of the Year 2011).

Baker, S. K., Smolkowski, K., Smith, J. L. M., Fien, H., Kame’enui, E. J., & Thomas Beck, C. (2011). The impact of Oregon Reading First on student reading outcomes. Elementary School Journal, 112 (2), 307–331, DOI: 10.1086/661995.

Clarke, B., Nese, J. F. T., Alonzo, J., Smith, J. L. M., Tindal, G., Kame’enui, E. J., & Baker, S. K. (2011). Classification accuracy of easycbm first-grade mathematics measures: Findings and implications for the field. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 36, 243–255, doi: 10.1177/1534508411414153.

Clarke, B., Smolkowski, K., Baker, S. K., Fien, H., and Chard, D. J. (2011). The impact of a comprehensive tier 1 kindergarten curriculum on the achievement of students at-risk in mathematics. Elementary School Journal, 111(4), 561–584, DOI: 10.1086/659033.

Fien, H., Santoro, L. E., Baker, S. K., Park, Y., Chard, D. J., Williams, S. L., and Haria, P. (2011). Enhancing teacher read alouds with small-group vocabulary instruction for students with low vocabulary in first-grade classrooms. School Psychology Review, 40(2), 307–318.

Fien, H., Smith, J. L. M., Baker, S. K., Chaparro, E. A., Baker, D. L., and Preciado, J., (2011). Including English learners in a multi-tiered approach to early reading instruction and intervention. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 36(3), 143–157, DOI: 10.1177/1534508410392207.

Baker, D. L., Park, Y., and Baker, S. K. (2010). Effects of initial status and growth in pseudoword reading on Spanish reading comprehension at the end of first grade. Psicothema, 22, 955–962.

Baker, S. K., Fien, H., and Baker, D. L. (2010). Robust reading instruction in the early grades: Conceptual and practical issues in the integration and evaluation of tier 1 and tier 2 instructional supports. Focus on Exceptional Children, 42(9), 1–20.

Fien, H., Park, Y., Baker, S. K., Smith, J. L. M., Stoolmiller, M., & Kame’enui, E. J. (2010). An examination of the relation of nonsense word fluency initial status and gains to reading outcomes for beginning readers. School Psychology Review, 39(4), 631–653.

Baker, S. K., Chard, D. J., Ketterlin-Geller, L., R., Apichatabutra, C., and Doabler, C. T. (2009). Teaching writing to at-risk students: The quality of evidence for self-regulated strategy development. Exceptional Children, 75(3), 303–320.

Chard, D. J., Ketterlin-Geller, L., R., Baker, S. K., Doabler, C. T., and Apichatabutra, C. (2009). Repeated reading interventions for students with learning disabilities: Status of the evidence. Exceptional Children, 75(3), 263–281.

Coyne, M., Zipoli, R., Chard, D. J., Faggella-Luby, M., Ruby, M., Santoro, L. E., and Baker, S. K. (2009). Direct instruction of comprehension: Instructional examples from intervention research on listening and reading comprehension. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 25, 221–245, DOI:10.1080/10573560802683697

Selected External Funding

Principal investigator (or co-principal investigator) for the following: 
Validation of the Effectiveness and Sustainability of Innovative Early Mathematics Curricula for High-Need Students. (US Department of Education; Office of Innovation and Improvement (i3) Validation Competition, 2013-2015).

Project ROOTS: A Randomized Control Trial of a Tier 2 Kindergarten Mathematics Intervention. (USDE; Institute of Education Sciences; Special Education Research, 2012-2016, awarded $3,338,552).

Promoting Algebra Readiness: Developing a Strategic Intervention on Rational Number Concepts. (Project PAR). (U.S. Department of Education (USDE); Institute of Education Sciences, 2012–2015, $1,499,966).

Numbershire II: Math Games for 2nd Graders with or at-Risk for LD. (U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, Small Business Innovation Research Program, 2011-2012, $1,049,954).

Development of a Game-Based Integrated Learning System to Target Whole Number Concepts. (Project Numbershire K). (U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, 2012–2015, $1,363,348).

Development of a Game-Based Integrated Learning System to Target Whole Number Concepts. (Project Numbershire I). (Subcontract with Thought Cycle; U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, Small Business Innovation Research Program, 2011–2012, $1,049,954).

A Randomized Study of the Efficacy of a Two-Year Mathematics Intervention for At-Risk Pre- Kindergarten and Kindergarten Students. (WestEd PreK). (Subcontract with WestEd; U.S. Department of Education (USDE); Institute of Education Sciences; Education Research Grant Programs, 2012–2016, $1,109,237.00).

Preparing Education Scientists: A Postdoctoral Training Program Emphasizing Rigorous Research on Systems-Level Prevention and Remediation of Academic and Behavioral Problems. (U.S. Department of Education, 2011–2015, $670,212)

Middle School Intervention Project (Project MSIP). (U.S. Department of Education, 2010–2015, $7,500,000).

Foundations of Mathematical Understanding: Developing a Strategic Intervention On Whole Number Concepts (Project FUSION). (U.S. Department of Education, 2009–2012, $1,455,851).

Enhancing Core Reading in First Grade: Evaluating a Response to Intervention System that Incorporates Multiple Tiers of instruction and Data-Based Decision Making Through Comprehensive Professional Development (Project ECRI). (U.S. Department of Education, 2009–2013, $5,115,878).

Early Learning in Mathematics: Efficacy Trials in Kindergarten Classrooms. (U.S. Department of Education, 2008 –2012, $4,280,188).

Reading Interventions with Spanish-Speaking Students: Maximizing Instructional Effectiveness in English and Spanish under CFDA 84.305B entitled Education Research, Cognition and Student Learning. (U.S. Department of Education, 2007–2011, $3,498,216).

Number Concepts and Automaticity. (Subcontract with Cambium Learning [IntelliTools, #3531], National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2007– 2009, $349,840).

Pacific Resources for Education and Learning. (Subcontract with Pacific Comprehensive Center, U.S. Department of Education, S283B05002, 2006– 2007, $23,850).

The Read Aloud Curriculum in First Grade Classrooms: Furthering Our Understanding of Immediate and Long-Terms Impacts and Causal Influences. (U.S. Department of Education, 2005–2009, $2,885,585).

Number Concepts and Automaticity. (Subcontract with Cambium Learning [IntelliTools, #3531], National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2006– 2007, $418,163).

Early Learning in Mathematics: A Prevention Approach. (Subcontract with the University of Oregon, 2004– 2007, $662,269).

Oregon Reading First. (Subcontract with the University of Oregon, 2003– 2010, $11,430,174).

The Story Read Aloud Project: The Development of an Innovative Instructional Approach to Promote Comprehension and Vocabulary in First Grade Classrooms. (U.S. Department of Education, 2002–2005, $1,019,249).

Investigating the Effects of a Preschool Curriculum. (National Institute of Child Health and Human Services, Departments of Health and Human Services, and Public Health Services, 2002–2003, $159,125).

Developing Number Sense Instruction Accessible to Kindergartners Experiencing Develop-Mental Delays.(U.S. Department of Education, 2000–2002, $539,784).

Conceptual Approaches to Teaching History to Students With Learning Disabilities in Integrated Settings.(U.S. Department of Education, 1999–2002, $549,910).

A Center to Study Sustainability (CSS) of Research-Based Interventions for Students With Learning Disabilities. (U.S. Department of Education, 1998–2002, $999,720).

Center to Identify and Meet Technical Assistance Needs of Elementary and Middle Schools. (Subcontract with the American Institute for Research, 1997–2002, $1,182,000).

Achieving Curriculum Inclusion and Integrating Technology With Instruction Through Backward Mapping and Collaborative Action Research. (U.S. Department of Education, 1996–1999, $899,820).

Parameters of Effective Instruction for Language-Minority Students With Disabilities and Those at Risk for School Failure: Research Synthesis and Dissemination. (U.S. Department of Education, 1995–1998, $239,826).

Project Vocabulary: Understanding Early Growth and Remediation Effects for Students With Disabilities or at Risk of Reading Failure. (U.S. Department of Education, 1995–1998, $525,155.00).

Project BRIDGE: Bridging Research and Instruction Through Dynamic and Grounded Exchange. (U.S. Department of Education, Special Education Programs Special Projects Competition, 1995–1999, $559,984).

Exploring the Utility of Oral Reading Fluency With Limited English Proficiency Students. (U.S. Department of Education, 1991–1992, $9,767).