Macke Raymond ’72: Studying How Students Thrive

Aaron Dalton '94
As Founder and Director of CREDO, the Center for Research on Education Outcomes, Margaret “Macke” Raymond ’72 is on a mission to improve the evidence around which education policies and programs produce the best outcomes for K-12 public school students in the U.S. 

“I’ve spent my entire professional life analyzing government decision making,” says Raymond, who holds two master’s degrees (one in public policy, another in public health) plus a PhD in political science. “The biggest change I’ve seen over that time is a shift from measuring inputs, such as how many dollars we spend, to looking at outcomes and what kids actually know. We’ve found that focusing on students’ abilities to think deeply and make good rational decisions tracks closely with their overall success in life. As a result, policymakers now assess specific education programs based on whether they help students improve their cognitive skills.”

Raymond’s experiences at Shipley played a formative role in her career. As a ninth-grade student, she served as a volunteer tutor at a public school in North Philadelphia. “The dichotomy between our lavish resources at Shipley and the destitution I found at that public school really kicked me upside the head,” recalls Raymond. “It got me thinking about what incredible opportunities and advantages we had at Shipley to get a good education. In many ways, my professional work has tried to identify that ‘secret sauce’ so it can be offered to more students across the country.”

Raymond says Shipley excels at setting high expectations for students and then giving kids the support they need to meet those expectations. “Helping children meet these standards is what gives students a sense of accomplishment,” explains Raymond. “You have to give students opportunities to prove themselves, and that’s what Shipley does so well.”

For years, Raymond lived in western New York State, studying for her doctoral degree and then teaching at the University of Rochester. During that time, she became an enthusiastic mountain climber, summiting 26 out of the 46 peaks in the Adirondack Mountains. “I liked the idea of setting my sights on reaching a certain summit, training for it, practicing, and then going out into the elements and trying to achieve it,” she says. “There are lots of times in life when you get tested in more subtle ways, but mountain climbing is an explicit test of your skills. When you’re on a mountain, you have a chance to do something for yourself that nobody is forcing you to do and that brings many of your strongest traits such as grit, adaptability, and a sense of adventure to the surface.”
The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.