Education Policy Analytics Lab
Big data has dramatically changed the ways in which leaders make decisions in natural science, business, politics, and education. Examples include longitudinal data systems at federal, state, and local school offices, as well as new sources of data from videos, texts, voices, and large-scale surveys. Our team has been one of the first groups to use both conventional large-scale data and new sources of data to inform educational policy, improve teaching effectiveness, and transform public schools. We use econometrics, causal inference models, social network analysis, text analysis, and linguistic analysis.
In recent years, federal, state, and local educational policy has increased its influence on educator workforce development, school governance, relationships among educational stakeholders, and instructional and school building practices. Policy also affects students’ academic, social-emotional, and behavioral development. Our work aims to inform the design and implementation of educational policies that ultimately promote high quality and equitable learning for all students.
Research evidence has consistently shown that teachers and school leaders are the key school factors that influence student learning opportunities and outcomes. Many debates have centered on issues such as pre-service preparation for effective teachers and leaders, in-service training and supports, peer learning and influences among teachers, educator evaluation, and educator labor markets. Our work attends to both the micro-level school environment and macro-level policies that influence the development of teaching and leadership effectiveness.
Educational inequality still exists in U.S. educational systems. Research has shown that historically underserved students of color or low-income students are more likely to be disciplined, more likely to be under-performing academically, less likely to have access to effective teachers, and less likely to access to positive peer networks and other learning opportunities in schools. By partnering with local school districts and states, our work attends to (a) the moment-to-moment interactions between teachers and students and daily school practices, and (b) the systematic approach and policy levers to reduce inequities in education.