Research

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Research and Commentary

This page contains my academic publications, working papers, and policy reports. For additional research and commentary, please visit my Urban and Brookings pages.

Books

Game of Loans: The Rhetoric and Reality of Student Debt, with Beth Akers, Princeton University Press, 2016. More information about this book is available at the publisher’s page, including Chapter 1, and it can be ordered from Amazon. Selected reviews: New York Review of Books, Wall Street Journal, Education Next.

Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America’s Public Universities, with William G. Bowen and Michael S. McPherson, Princeton University Press, 2009. More information about this book is available at the publisher’s page, including the appendix material and Chapter 1. Selected media coverage: New York Times, US News & World Report, Inside Higher Ed, Chronicle of Higher Education. Selected reviews: Science, Nature, Education Next, Journal of Human Capital, American Journal of Education. Selected op-eds by the authors: Chronicle of Higher Education, El Nuevo Día.

Journal Articles

“Can Low-Cost Online Summer Math Programs Improve Student Preparation for College-Level Math? Evidence from Randomized Experiments at Three Universities,” with Rebecca Griffiths and Christine Mulhern, Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness (Forthcoming). DOI.

“The Effect of Private School Vouchers on Political Participation: Experimental Evidence From New York City,” with Deven Carlson and David E. Campbell, Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness 10(3): 545–569 (2017). DOI, last pre-publication draft.

“Interactive Online Learning on Campus: Comparing Students’ Outcomes in Hybrid and Traditional Courses in the University System of Maryland,” with Rebecca Griffiths, Christine Mulhern, and Richard Spies, The Journal of Higher Education 88(2): 210–233 (2017). DOI.

“Instructional Quality and Student Learning in Higher Education: Evidence from Developmental Algebra Courses,” The Journal of Higher Education 87(1): 84–114 (2016). DOI, last pre-publication draft.

“Experimentally Estimated Impacts of School Vouchers on College Enrollment and Degree Attainment,” with Paul E. Peterson, Journal of Public Economics 122(2): 1–12 (2015). DOI, last pre-publication draft, Education Next non-technical version.

“The Uneven Performance of Arizona’s Charter Schools,” with Martin R. West, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 37(1): 120S–134S (2015). DOI, Last pre-publication draft.

“School Districts and Student Achievement,” with Grover J. Whitehurst and Michael R. Gallaher, Education Finance and Policy 10(3): 378–398 (2015). DOI, last pre-publication draft.

“Which Teachers Choose a Defined Contribution Pension Plan? Evidence from the Florida Retirement System,” with Martin R. West, Education Finance and Policy 10(2): 193–222 (2015). DOI, last pre-publication draft.

“Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from a Six-Campus Randomized Trial,” with William G. Bowen, Kelly A. Lack, and Thomas I. Nygren, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 33(1): 94–111 (2014). DOI, last pre-publication draft, Education Next non-technical version.

“Class Size and Student Outcomes: Research and Policy Implications,” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 32(2): 411–438 (2013). DOI, last pre-publication draft.

“Citizen Perceptions of Government Service Quality: Evidence from Public Schools,” with Michael Henderson and Martin R. West, Quarterly Journal of Political Science 7(4): 411–445 (2012). DOI, PDF, Education Next non-technical version.

“The Impact of a Universal Class-Size Reduction Policy: Evidence from Florida’s Statewide Mandate,” Economics of Education Review 31(5): 543–562 (2012). DOI, last pre-publication draft.

“Do More Effective Teachers Earn More Outside the Classroom?” with Martin R. West, Education Finance and Policy 7(1): 8–43 (2012). DOI, PDF.

“Promotion and Reassignment in Public School Districts: How Do Schools Respond to Differences in Teacher Effectiveness?” with Martin R. West, Economics of Education Review 30(3): 419–433 (2011). DOI, working paper.

“It’s Easier to Pick a Good Teacher than to Train One: Familiar and New Results on the Correlates of Teacher Effectiveness,” with Paul E. Peterson, Economics of Education Review 30(3): 449–465 (2011). DOI, working paper.

“Ranking Doctoral Programs by Placement: A New Method,” with Benjamin M. Schmidt, PS: Political Science & Politics 40(3): 523–529 (2007). DOI, PDF, simple (illustrative) example of method.

Articles in Edited Volumes

“Understanding Changes in the Distribution of Student Loan Debt Over Time,” with Beth Akers and Alice M. Henriques, in Brad Hershbein and Kevin M. Hollenbeck, eds., Student Loans and the Dynamics of Debt, Upjohn Institute Press, 2015, pp. 117–135.

“Graduation Rates at America’s Universities: What We Know and What We Need to Know,” in Andrew P. Kelly and Mark Schneider, eds., Getting to Graduation: The Completion Agenda in Higher Education, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012, pp. 48–71. Conference paper, book publisher’s page.

“Teacher Effectiveness, Mobility, and Attrition in Florida,” with Martin R. West, in Matthew G. Springer, ed., Performance Incentives: Their Growing Impact on American K–12 Education, Brookings Institution Press, 2009, pp. 251–271. Last pre-publication draft, book publisher’s page.

Working Papers

“Virtual Schooling and Student Learning: Evidence from the Florida Virtual School,” with Guido Schwerdt, Program on Education Policy and Governance Working Paper 14-02, 2014. Paper draft.

“Endogenous Stratification in Randomized Experiments,” with Alberto Abadie and Martin R. West, National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 19742, 2013. NBER page, PDF (ungated).

Policy Reports (selected)

“Rethinking Consumer Information in Higher Education,” with Kristin Blagg, Claire Graves, Anna Nicotera, and Lauren Shaw, Urban Institute, 2017. PDF.

“Do Poor Kids Get Their Fair Share of School Funding?” with Kristin Blagg, Urban Institute, 2017. PDF.

“The Federal-State Higher Education Partnership: How States Manage Their Roles,” with Sandy Baum, Urban Institute, 2017. PDF.

“Student Transportation and Educational Access: How Students Get to School in Denver, Detroit, New Orleans, New York City, and Washington, DC,” with Urban Institute Student Transportation Working Group, Urban Institute, 2017. PDF.

“Choice Deserts: How Geography Limits the Potential Impact of Earnings Data on Higher Education,” with Kristin Blagg, Urban Institute, 2016. PDF.

“Getting Risk Sharing Right: Creating Better Incentives for Colleges and Universities,” with Kristin Blagg, Urban Institute, 2016. PDF.

“Varsity Blues: Are High School Students Being Left Behind?” with Kristin Blagg, Urban Institute, 2016. PDF.

“Breaking the Curve: Promises and Pitfalls of Using NAEP Data to Assess the State Role in Student Achievement,” Urban Institute, 2015. PDF, New York Times coverage.

“Higher Education 2016: Evaluating Campaign Proposals,” with Sandy Baum, Urban Institute, 2015. PDF.

“The Hidden Value of Curriculum Reform: Do States and Districts Receive the Most Bang for Their Curriculum Buck?” with Ulrich Boser and Chelsea Straus, Center for American Progress, 2015. PDF.

“Are College Students Borrowing Blindly?” with Beth Akers, Brookings Institution, 2014. PDF.

“School Superintendents: Vital or Irrelevant?” with Grover J. Whitehurst and Katharine M. Lindquist, Brookings Institution, 2014. PDF.

“Interactive Online Learning on Campus: Testing MOOCs and Other Platforms in Hybrid Formats in the University System of Maryland,” with Rebecca Griffiths, Christine Mulhern, and Richard Spies, Ithaka S+R, 2014. PDF.

“Is a Student Loan Crisis on the Horizon?” with Beth Akers, Brookings Institution, 2014. PDF, New York Times coverage and Q&A.

“Evaluating Teachers with Classroom Observations: Lessons Learned in Four Districts,” with Grover J. Whitehurst and Katharine M. Lindquist, Brookings Institution, 2014. PDF, Education Next non-technical version.

“Student Loan Safety Nets: Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Income-Based Repayment,” with Beth Akers, Brookings Institution, 2014. PDF.

“Improving Public Pensions: Balancing Competing Priorities,” with Patten Priestley Mahler and Grover J. Whitehurst, Brookings Institution, 2014. PDF.

“Standardized Testing and the Common Core Standards: You Get What You Pay For?” Brookings Institution, 2013. PDF.

“Are Public Pensions Keeping Up with the Times?” with Richard W. Johnson and Grover J. Whitehurst, Brookings Institution, 2013. PDF.

“Common Sense: Using Common Finals to Measure Postsecondary Student Learning,” Brookings Institution, 2013. PDF.

“Do School Districts Matter?” with Grover J. Whitehurst and Michael R. Gallaher, Brookings Institution, 2013. PDF.

“Strength in Numbers: State Spending on K–12 Assessment Systems,” Brookings Institution, 2012. PDF.

“Beyond Need and Merit: Strengthening State Grant Programs,” with Sandy Baum and others, Brookings Institution, 2012. PDF.

“Choosing Blindly: Instructional Materials, Teacher Effectiveness, and the Common Core,” with Grover J. Whitehurst, Brookings Institution, 2012. PDF.

“Class Size: What Research Says and What it Means for State Policy,” with Grover J. Whitehurst, Brookings Institution, 2011. PDF.