Teacher and School Effectiveness

In a past life, I worked with education economists at the Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER), based at the Urban Institute and later at American Institutes for Research. The center focused on measuring teacher effectiveness using value-added modeling, or the use of teacher fixed effects to estimate how much a teacher contributes to changes in student test scores. I worked with large-scale administrative data on student test scores from multiple U.S. states. 


I contributed to several research projects, including:

  • an evaluation, funded by the National Science Foundation, of three North Carolina New Schools Project school reform models

  • a study examining the feasibility of porting effective teachers to schools in need, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  • an evaluation of the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Incentive Fund performance-pay program, for which I collected qualitative interview data during site visits with district officials


Success in the College Preparatory Mathematics Pipeline: The Role of Policies and Practices Employed by Three High School Reform Schools,

with Nina Arshavsky, Julie A. Edmunds, and Luke C. Miller, School Effectiveness and School Improvement (2014) 

This paper examines the relationship of the policies and practices employed by 3 high school reform models – Early College High Schools, Redesigned High Schools, and High Schools That Work – with student success in college preparatory mathematics courses by the end of the 10th grade. ...

Portability of Teacher Effectiveness Across School Settings,

with Zeyu Xu and Umut ​Özek, CALDER Working Paper 77 (2012) 

Redistributing highly effective teachers from low- to high-need schools is an education policy tool that is at the center of several major current policy initiatives. The underlying assumption is that teacher productivity is portable across different schools settings. Using elementary and secondary school data from North Carolina and Florida, this paper investigates the validity of this assumption...