Better Outcomes Research


Our mission is to create a more just and equitable society, breaking cycles of underperformance, poverty, and prejudice.


To pursue this mission, we study what works to increase the academic achievement of students in poverty in  New York State, and share our results with practitioners. 

About our Executive Director


Manya C. Bouteneff, EdD

Manya C. Bouteneff, EdD,  is Executive Director at Better Outcomes Research and Senior Research Professor and Faculty Coach at Monroe College, King Graduate School. 

Her greatest passion is in beating the odds: creating high-performing  environments so that students in traditionally under-performing  demographic groups can succeed. This passion has brought her to her current work as a researcher.

Manya earned her doctorate in Educational Administrative Practice from Columbia University’s Teachers College. Her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction is from the University of Vermont.

Manya’s  experience includes public-school building, district, and regional  leadership for 18 years. She has held elementary, middle, high-school,  and district  leadership positions, turning around two schools that remain highly  effective. She was Executive Director of the Hudson Valley RBE-RN for three years, serving a region of 144 districts. Manya also taught French in grades 2, 4-12 and Russian in grades 9-12 for 14  years, and spent two years teaching English as a new language to adults in Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa.

About our Research Associate


Sally Cavada

Sally Cavada was born and raised in New York City to immigrant parents, and entered the NYC school system in Brooklyn speaking only Spanish.  Sally’s pathway through the wide-ranging education system in the U.S. has given her the lens to understand various cultural perspectives and attitudes towards teaching and learning. 

Sally is currently a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership at Manhattanville College. She holds two Master's degrees: in Teaching and Curriculum from the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester, and in International and Transcultural Studies from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology, Public Health, and Society from the University of Rochester.  

After many years as a public-school elementary teacher in New York City and in Westchester County, Sally has made the commitment to dedicate her life’s work to creating better educational opportunities for traditionally underperforming and underrepresented groups.