2008 Performance Incentives Conference Speakers

Dale Ballou

Associate Professor of Public Policy and Education
Vanderbilt University

Professor Dale Ballou earned a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University in 1989. From 1989 to 2002 he taught in the Department of Economics at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. In 2002 he joined the faculty of the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at Vanderbilt University. He has done research on the role of regulations and incentives in the training, recruitment, and retention of teachers. His book, Teacher Pay and Teacher Quality, co-authored with Michael Podgursky, was published by the Upjohn Institute in 1997. Professor Ballou’s recent research focuses on educational assessment and accountability systems. He has been a participant in professional conferences on accountability and assessment at Harvard University, the RAND Institute, and the University of Maryland, and has served as a consultant to research organizations and practitioners in Pennsylvania, Houston, Los Angeles, Ohio, and Louisiana. His work with William Sanders and Paul Wright of the SAS Institute appeared in a special 2004 issue of the Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics devoted to value-added assessment.

Paul Glewwe

Professor of Economics
University of Minnesota

Professor Glewwe’s research interests are economics of education, poverty and inequality in developing countries, and applied econometrics. Since receiving his Ph.D. at Stanford University, he has worked in the following countries: China, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Honduras, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Laos, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Viet Nam. Before assuming his current position at the University of Minnesota in 1999, Professor Glewwe was a research economist at the World Bank from 1986 to 1999. Professor Glewwe’s recent publications have appeared inEconomic Development and Cultural Change, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Public Economics and World Bank Economic Review

Dan Goldhaber

Research Professor
University of Washington

Professor Dan Goldhaber is a Research Professor at the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington and an Affiliated Scholar of the Urban Institute’s Education Policy Center. Professor Goldhaber’s research focuses on issues of educational productivity and reform at the K-12 level and the relationship between teacher labor markets and teacher quality. Topics of published work in these areas include studies of the effects of teacher qualifications and quality on student achievement the impact of teacher pay structure and licensure on the teacher labor market the relative efficiency of public and private schools and the effects of accountability systems and market competition on K-12 schooling. Professor Goldhaber’s current research addresses teacher labor markets and the role that teacher pay structure plays in teacher recruitment and retention the relationship between teacher licensure test performance and student achievement the stability of measures of teacher effectiveness and the effects of National Board Certification. Professor Goldhaber holds degrees from the University of Vermont (BA, Economics) and Cornell University (MS and Ph.D., Labor Economics).

Jay P. Greene

Professor of Education
University of Arkansas

Professor Jay P. Greene is endowed chair and head of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas. Professor Greene conducts research and writes about education policy, including topics such as school choice, high school graduation rates, accountability, and special education. His research was cited four times in the Supreme Court’s opinions in the landmark Zelman v. Simmons-Harris case on school vouchers. His articles have appeared in policy journals, such as The Public Interest, City Journal, and Education Next, in academic journals, such as The Georgetown Public Policy Review, Education and Urban Society, and The British Journal of Political Science, as well as in major newspapers, such as the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. Professor Greene is the author of Education Myths (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005). Professor Greene received his B.A. in history from Tufts University in 1988 and his Ph.D. from the Government Department at Harvard University in 1995.

James W. Guthrie

Professor of Public Policy and Education
Vanderbilt University

Professor James W. Guthrie is the chair of the Department of Leadership, Policy and Organizations at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, professor of public policy and education, and director of the Peabody Center for Education Policy. His research concentrates on educational policy issues and resource allocation consequences. More specifically, he is concerned with school finance, both K-12 and higher education, legal issues of equity and adequacy, education reform strategies, educational accountability, political processes and education, and theories of education reform. Professor Guthrie, who holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University, served as an education specialist for the United States Senate, and was a special assistant to the assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. He is the author or co-author of ten books and more than 200 professional and scholarly articles, is the past president of the American Education Finance Association, former editor of Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis, served as editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of American Education, published in 2002, and is series editor of the ten-volume Peabody Education Leadership Series. Twice publicly elected to the Board of Education in Berkeley, California, Professor Guthrie is principal investigator for the center.

Brian Jacob

Professor of Education Policy and Economics
University of Michigan

Professor Brian Jacob is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Education Policy, Professor of Economics, and Director of the Center on Local, State and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. He is also a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and an Executive Committee Member of the National Poverty Center. He has previously served as a policy analyst in the NYC Mayor’s Office and taught middle school in East Harlem. His primary fields of interest are labor economics, program evaluation, and the economics of education. His current research focuses on urban school reform and teacher labor markets. In recent work, he has examined school choice, education accountability programs, housing vouchers, and teacher labor markets.

Julia Koppich

J. Koppich and Associates

Dr. Julia Koppich is a San Francisco-based education consultant and president of J. Koppich and Associates. Her areas of specialization include education policy analysis and public sector labor relations. Dr. Koppich is the author of numerous articles and co-author of two books: A Union of Professionals and United Mind Workers: Unions and Teaching in the Knowledge Society. Her prior experience includes teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, and Claremont Graduate University. She has also served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Education, the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, National Governors’ Association, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the National Alliance of Business, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Koppich holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Policy Analysis from the University of California, Berkeley.

Jessica Lewis

Research Associate
National Center on Performance Incentives

Jessica Lewis is a research associate at the National Center on Performance Incentives. Her research interests and efforts are focused on the importance of stimulating greater teacher quality within the education system, with particular attention to enhancing teacher learning opportunities, recruitment and retention mechanisms, and pathways for professional growth. Dr. Lewis currently heads up NCPI’s evaluation efforts in Texas, studying the state’s Governor’s Educator Excellence Award Program. She has worked as an education policy analyst for the State of Tennessee’s Office of Education Accountability, completing several statewide evaluation projects on a variety of education topics including alternative education, public charter schools, and schools placed on the state’s high priority list for No Child Left Behind. Prior to her work for the State of Tennessee, Dr. Lewis was an American Federation of Teachers fellow for the American Educator journal in Washington, DC. She received her Ed.D. in K-12 Education Leadership and Policy at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.

Daniel McCaffrey

Senior Statistician
RAND Corporation

Dr. Daniel McCaffrey is a senior statistician and head of the RAND Statistics Group. Dr. McCaffrey is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and is nationally recognized for his work on value-added modeling for estimating teacher performance. He is currently leading an evaluation of the Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment Pilot Program, and is co-PI of an Institute of Education Science’s (IES) funded project that is developing alternative value-added models of teachers’ effectiveness. Dr. McCaffrey is also the principal investigator of a National Institute on Drug Abuse funded study, and is working on the design of a random trial of the Cognitive Tutor Geometry curriculum for and IES funded study. Prior to this work, he was the lead statistician on two recent randomized field trials of school based interventions: an evaluation of the Project ALERT Plus middle and high school drug prevention program and an evaluation of the teen dating violence prevention curriculum, Break the Cycle. Dr. McCaffrey has presented his work to numerous audiences including the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, the Ohio Department of Education and several workshops on value-added modeling. Dr. McCaffrey recently received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and The Kauffman Foundation. He received his Ph.D. in statistics from North Carolina State University.

Robert Meyer

Senior Scientist
Wisconsin Center for Education Reform

Dr. Robert Meyer is a Senior Scientist at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) and is the Director of the Value-Added Research Center (VARC). Dr. Meyer is known for his research on value-added modeling and evaluation methods and is currently working on projects funded by the Department of Education, the Joyce Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust, the Chicago Public Schools, the Milwaukee Public Schools, the Council of Great City Schools, and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Over the last decade and a half, Dr. Meyer has worked closely with districts and states to develop and apply innovative statistical methods. He has conducted major statistical evaluations of programs and policies such as SAGE (the Wisconsin class-size initiative), systemic reform in Texas, integrated versus traditional mathematics, and instructional practices in Milwaukee. Dr. Meyer has also worked with numerous districts to develop and implement value-added indicator and accountability systems, including Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis.

Karthik Muralidharan

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Harvard University

Dr. Karthik Muralidharan completed his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard in June 2007, and will join the faculty in the economics department at UC – San Diego starting July 2008. He is spending the year of 2007 – 08 as a post-doctoral fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Muralidharan is a co-author of a widely-cited cross-country study on teacher and medical worker absence in public schools and clinics in developing countries. He has studied (and continues to study) the impact of both group and individual level performance-pay for teachers on student learning outcomes in India via a large-scale randomized evaluation covering over 500 schools. His other research projects (all based on randomized evaluations) include studying the impact of teacher contractual structure, school block grants, student incentive programs, and school choice programs in India, and the impact of teacher certification, across the board salary increases for teachers, and continuous teacher training programs in Indonesia.

Steve Nelson

Merit Systems Protection Board

Mr. Steve Nelson is the former Director of Policy and Evaluation of the United States Merit Systems Protection Board. He had overall responsibility for the Board’s statutory mission to conduct periodic studies of Federal human resources management policies, programs and procedures to determine if they are operating in accord with the statutory merit system principles and achieving their intended purposes. Reports of these studies are directed to the President and Congress. Before joining the Board, Mr. Nelson was the Chief Human Resources Officer for the USDA Forest Service, responsible for personnel oversight, policy and direction for the agency’s nationwide workforce of nearly 40,000 employees. Previously, Mr. Nelson was Director of Human Resources for the National Guard with the Department of Defense, where he had similar responsibilities for 53,000 full-time Army and Air Force National Guard technicians. Mr. Nelson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and has completed graduate work at Harvard University in the Senior Officials in National Security Program. He has served on the Board of Directors of the International Personnel Management Association’s Federal Section for the past five years and is a Past President of the Federal Section.

Derek Neal

Professor of Economics
University of Chicago

Professor Derek Neal received his PhD in economics from the University of Virginia. He began his academic career at the University of Chicago in 1991. From 1998-2001, he served on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin before returning to Chicago. His current research focuses on measuring black-white labor market inequality and its causes. In related work, he is trying to understand the determinants of the black-white skill gap among young persons as well as black-white differences in family structure. In other work, he has examined the performance of private versus public schools while paying particular attention to the performance of Catholic schools in large cities. His recent work explores why black-white skill gaps stopped closing during the 1990s and why black children in large cities have fared so poorly in terms of their achievement during the past two decades or more. In late 2006, he began work with Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach on a project to evaluate what can be learned about the likely effects of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) from individual data on high-stakes testing outcomes in Chicago Public schools. He has served as an Advisory Editor for Economics Letters and as a co-editor for the Journal of Human Resources. He now serves as the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Labor Economics.

Michael J. Podgursky

Professor of Economics
University of Missouri-Columbia

Professor Michael Podgursky is professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has published numerous articles and reports on education policy and teacher quality, and co-authored a book, Teacher Pay and Teacher Quality. The primary focus of his recent work has been on personnel policy in schools and the effects on teacher quality. Professor Podgursky is currently working on a study committee of the National Research Council examining teacher preparation in the United States, and is a scholar-in-residence at the Kauffman Foundation. His work on education has been supported by many agencies, including the United States Department of Education, the Smith-Richardson Foundation, the Abel Foundation, the Fordham Foundation, and the Kauffman Foundation. Professor Podgursky also serves on the board of editors of Education Finance and Policy, and technical advisory boards for numerous education organizations, including the National Center for Education Statistics, National Center for Teacher Quality, American Board of Certification of Teacher Excellence, the National Center for Education Accountability, and Mathematica Policy Research. He earned his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also co-principal investigator for the center.

Richard Rothstein

Research Associate
Economic Policy Institute

Richard Rothstein (riroth@epi.org) is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and an adjunct lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. From 1999 to 2002 he was the national education columnist of The New York Times. He is the author of Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap(Teachers College Press 2004). He is also the author of The Way We Were? Myths and Realities of America’s Student Achievement(1998). Other recent books include The Charter School Dust-Up: Examining the Evidence on Enrollment and Achievement (co-authored in 2005); and All Else Equal. Are Public and Private Schools Different? (co-authored in 2003).

James E. Ryan

Professor of Law
<University of Virginia School of Law

Professor James E Ryan is the William L. Matheson and Robert M. Morgenthau Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law. His scholarship focuses primarily on law and educational opportunity, and he has authored or co-authored articles on school finance, school desegregation, school choice, school governance, the No Child Left Behind Act, and the political history of the Establishment Clause, which have appeared in the Yale, University of Michigan, Virginia, and New York University law reviews. While in school at the University of Virginia School of Law, Mr. Ryan served on the managing board of the Virginia Law Review, was a volunteer for the Legal Assistance Society’s Migrant Farm Workers Project, and was a founding member of Students United to Promote Racial Awareness. His awards include the Law School Alumni Award for Academic Excellence, the Traynor Award, the Thomas Marshall Miller Prize, and the Hardy Cross Dillard Scholarship. He also was elected to the Order of the Coif, and the ODK and Raven honor societies. Mr. Ryan clerked for the Honorable J. Clifford Wallace, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He also clerked for the Honorable William H. Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States.

Matthew G. Springer

Research Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Education
Vanderbilt University

Professor Matthew G. Springer is a research assistant professor of public policy and education and director of the federally-funded NCPI. Professor Springer’s research interests involve educational policy issues, with a particular focus on the impact of policy on resource allocation decisions and student outcomes. His current research includes studies of the impact of performance-based incentives on student achievement and teacher turnover, mobility, and quality; the strategic resource allocation decision-making of schools in response to No Child Left Behind; and the impact of school finance litigation on resource distribution. Professor Springer’s research is currently funded by the United States Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, Smith Richardson Foundation, and Texas Education Association. He has also served on several advisory committees charged with designing performance-based compensation systems for teachers and/or principals at the state and district level, and conducted analyses of school finance systems in Alaska, Kentucky, and South Carolina. Springer received a B.A. from Denison University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. He is co-principal investigator for the center.

Lori Taylor

Assistant Professor
Texas A&M University

Professor Taylor is an assistant professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. She has written extensively on variations in the cost of education and recently developed a Comparable Wage Index for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Professor Taylor’s current projects explore differences in teacher quality between charter and traditional public schools, and the effects of competition on teacher compensation and school productivity. Her work on school finance issues has been published in The Review of Economics and Statistics, The Journal of Urban Economics, Education Finance and Policy, and The Journal of Education Finance. She is a member of the National Center for Education Statistics’ Finance Technical Review Panel and the American Education Finance Association’s Board of Directors.; She holds a B.A. in economics and a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Kansas, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Rochester.

Jacob Vigdor

Professor of Public Policy and Economics
Duke University

Professor Jacob Vigdor is Associate Professor of Public Policy Studies and Economics at Duke University, and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He received a B.S. in Policy Analysis from Cornell University in 1994 and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 1999. Professor Vigdor’s research interests are in the broad areas of education policy, housing policy, and political economy. Within those areas, he has published numerous scholarly articles on the topics of residential segregation, immigration, housing affordability, the consequences of gentrification, the determinants of student achievement in elementary school, the causes and consequences of delinquent behavior among adolescents, teacher turnover, civic participation and voting patterns, and racial inequality in the labor market. These articles have been published in outlets such as the Journal of Political Economy, the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Public Economics, the Journal of Human Resources, and the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Martin West

Assistant Professor of Education
Brown University

Professor Martin West studies the politics of education reform efforts and their effectiveness in improving student achievement. His current projects examine the history of public-sector collective bargaining, the effects of the school consolidation movement on wages, the effects of class-size reduction on non-cognitive skills, and the use of education research by the courts. He is also co-editor of a recent book on school finance adequacy litigation. Professor West graduated from Williams College in 1998 with a B.A. degree in History. He received an M.Phil in Economic and Social History from Oxford University in 2000 and a Ph.D. in Government and Social Policy from Harvard University in 2006. Since 2001, he has served as the research editor for Education Next, a journal of opinion and research on education policy.