Dr. Rachel Schechter

Founder at Learning Experience Design (LXD) Research


Education: UMass Amherst - Harvard University & Tufts University
Boston, MA, USA


Dr. Rachel Schechter is a leader on the front line of cutting-edge research and was recently honored as a finalist for The Edtech Trendsetter Award. Over 20 years ago, Rachel conducted user research for the first season of the worldwide phenomenon Dora the Explorer. Dr. Schechter continued to blaze research trails as the Director of Research, creating the patented embedded assessment and reporting system for Lexia Reading Core5. At the largest publishing company in the United States, she was Vice President of Learning Sciences leading a vision to connect dozens of products for millions of children nationwide. Dr. Schechter partnered with the International Society for Technology education to create Learning Sciences-based procurement guidelines for all EdTech purchases around the world.

Her educational background followed her research interests: a BA in Psychology from The University of Massachusetts, a Master's in Education (EdM) in Arts-in-Education from Harvard University, and a Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in child development from Tufts University.

At Learning Experience Design (LXD) Research, Dr. Schechter partners with edtech companies around the globe to conduct rapid-cycle evaluations that not only provides the efficacy research needed under the Every Student Succeeds Act law but also informs the interactive improvement of products used by tens of millions of children worldwide. Simultaneously, LXD Research’s guidance boosts the capacity for education leaders to buy research-proven products and gives the sales teams leverage to assure the investment will accelerate learning for students of all abilities. Dr. Rachel Schechter is shaping the national discourse about what “research-based” and “evidence-proven” really mean.


According to national test scores, pandemic school breaks have resulted in our nation’s largest decrease in reading achievement in over 20 years. Poor reading ability in third grade is detrimental to overall future academic progress. It’s critical now more than ever to ensure we’re aiding our children with evidence-based practices and tools for literacy effectiveness.

While companies claim their products are research-based, they may not include evidence that proves viable long-term effectiveness. It’s sometimes difficult for leaders to cut through the marketing “noise” and figure out what will work for our students.

Dr. Schechter’s keynotes offer solutions to leaders, educating them on how to identify true evidence-based research products, so they choose products they know will work.

Dr. Schechter’s keynotes offer solutions to leaders, educating them on how to identify true evidence-based research products, so they choose products they know will work.

Familiarizing leaders with the knowledge words, requirements, and claims related to evidence-based educational programs is a powerful step in accelerating literacy.

Dr. Schechter’s keynotes are designed to equip leaders with the necessary tools to ensure we make sure that our students are using evidence-based products that help them learn.

With the ultimate goal of:
Creating learning acceleration to make up for lost time post-Covid,
Closing the literacy gap in kindergarten to change the trajectory of literacy throughout the student’s life, and
remediating our nation’s current literacy concerns by helping leaders choose products that work.

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Best Story

The federal government has an organization dedicated to reviewing educational research called the What Works Clearinghouse. This may bring up in your mind the FDA - the group that reviews the research that tests medicine. You can't buy medicine at a drug store without the FDA's approval and it's even required for the company to list all the known side effects in its advertising! What Works is NOT the FDA. In fact, over the past five years, literally zero studies on literacy products have been reviewed by What Works. Yes, nearly all of the products being used in public schools to teach children to read have no research that they work. Utah recently made a list of effective products using publically available information - they only found 9 products in the whole world. Maybe that is why only 34% of fourth graders are proficient readers. Policymakers, education leaders, teachers, and even parents can change this story. University research has shown that we can get 97% of students to read with the right formula. Let's do it. Let's teach the nation to read.

Origin Story

In the following interview with founder Dr. Rachel Schechter, we learn how early experiences in research at Nickelodeon, leading innovative assessment development Lexia Learning, and infusing Learning Sciences across K-12 products at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has uniquely positioned LXD Research as the research consultant that every edtech product needs today.


Example talks

Expert Talk on Zoom (15 min) - Pitfalls to Avoid when Reviewing Product Research, Winter 2023

Education leaders know that a teacher's time is their most precious resource. Using products that don't work is one of the main ways that prevents accelerated growth and teacher satisfaction. While all companies claim their products are research-based, they may not have evidence to prove their products are effective with students like yours. This talk will review the three main pitfalls with typical product research, the intricacies of the current landscape, and an Evidence-Informed Decision-Making Framework to choose products that accelerate students' learning trajectories and change districts’ literacy needs for years into the future.

See video here: https://vimeo.com/798780316/4405e0d6bf

Joint Talk with Product Management - Learning Science-Based Design Principles, Summer 2022

This webinar was part of a multi-stage project where Dr. Rachel Schechter engaged with the product developers to identify the learning sciences principles that most aligned with product development. With the Product Manager, Dr. Schechter explains the principles of the learning sciences that boost learning and how they are present in the product.

See video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuSfP4lOKKk

Virtual Panel - Guest Speaker on Science of Reading Webinar, Fall 2022

Hosted by Teaching by the Science, Dr. Rachel Schechter supported an important effort on understanding Science of Reading research across the grades and sharing those findings with researchers and educators across North America. Partnering with Pedagogy Non-Grata and the Right to Read Initiative, LXD Research reviewed and informed a new educator-facing article that helps educators know which research best supports certain literacy practices for different grade ranges. Together, they created a reading “jump rope” that can be used to make research-informed decisions about assessment and curriculum purchases for schools and districts.

View the video here:

Podcast Featured Guest - Disrupt Education, April 12, 2021

Dr. Rachel Schechter was featured Peter Hostrawser’s Disrupt Education podcast. Dr. Schechter tells her origin story of being a disrupter in the educational research space. Towards the start of the second year of the pandemic, Rachel predicts what she thinks will need to happen to personalize and accelerate learning in 21-22 school year. She shares multiple teacher-friendly resources related to the topics mentioned during the discussion for those interested in learning more.
Listen here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/167-edtech-needs-to-personalize-and-accelerate-learning/id1397502972?i=1000516768560
View the recommended resources here: https://drrachelschechter.com/disrupting-education