Hi! I’m the Barnett Family Professor at Stanford University and a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) and, by courtesy, at the Hoover Institution. I’m also a Research Associate with the Programs on Education, Children, and Health at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and the Faculty Director of the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities. I currently serve on the editorial boards of the American Educational Research Journal, the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, and Education Finance and Policy and as an Associate Editor at Economic Inquiry. My cv is available here.

Recent News

June 5, 2024 — I spoke with the NYT’s David Wallace-Wells about my research on chronic absenteeism for “Why Children Are Missing More School Now.” I also discussed this topic on NPR’s Morning Edition.

May 24, 2024 — I spoke with the NYT’s Brent Staples about two of my co-authored studies of math reforms for “Fixing the Calamity in U.S. Math Knowledge Starts With Algebra.”

April 12, 2024 — I received the Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award at the 2024 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association in Philadelphia.

March 28, 2024 — “Screens Are Everywhere in Schools. Do They Actually Help Kids Learn?” I spoke with Jessica Grose for this NYT op-ed that seeks to separate the hyperbole and reality of how education technology is changing our children’s learning environments.

March 4, 2024 — “Is the Hardest Job in Education Convincing Parents to Send Their Kids to a San Francisco Public School?” I spoke with Gail Cornwall for this article in The Nation.

January 9, 2024 — My article “Higher chronic absenteeism threatens academic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic” is now out at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. See related coverage in the New Yorker and Vox.

December 4, 2023 — Our new study finds CA’s lawsuit-driven effort to bring the “Science of Reading” to its lowest-performing elementary schools is working. See the news coverage in The New York Times, Education Week, Hechinger Report, Los Angeles Times, Cal Matters.

November 18, 2023 — The New York Times Editorial Board (“The Startling Evidence on Learning Loss is In”) discusses the persistent challenges of academic recovery from the pandemic and notes the relevant insights from my recent collaboration with the Associated Press.

September 13, 2023 — I recently spoke with the White House Council of Economic Advisors (“Chronic Absenteeism and Disrupted Learning Require an All-Hands-on-Deck Approach”) and the New York Times (“Where Are the Students?”) about our work on the rise in chronic absenteeism.

August 10, 2023 — My latest study, which presents and examines comprehensive new data on the sharp rise in chronic absenteeism during the return to in-person schooling, is now out along with reporting by my collaborators at the Associated Press and EdSource.

August 9, 2023 — “Where the Kids Went: Nonpublic Schooling and Demographic Change During the Pandemic Exodus from Public Schools,” is now published in Teachers College Record.

June 4, 2023 — My partners at the Associated Press and I discussed “America’s Missing Students: Who Are They, and How Can You Find Them?” at the 76th National Seminar of the Education Writers Association.

May 8, 2023 — I discussed the pandemic exodus from public schools and the “missing” students with the Future of the American Child fellows of the National Press Foundation.

April 7, 2023 — I joined the Harvard EdCast to discuss “where have all the students gone.”

March 20, 2023 — Our new study of San Francisco’s controversial math “pathways” reform is now out. See Education Week’s “San Francisco Insisted on Algebra in 9th Grade. Did It Improve Equity?” for coverage of this research.

February 9, 2023 — In The Conversation, I argue our pandemic academic recovery is biased by a “streetlight effect” and needs a new focus on young learners and those who’ve left public schools.

February 9, 2023 — My data collaboration with the Associated Press and Big Local News provides new evidence on where the kids of the public-school exodus went. Details out at the Learning Curve.

November 3, 2022 — In a new Education Week commentary, I discuss how the latest enrollment & population data point to an enduring geographic realignment of US schoolchildren that will create challenges for COVID-19 academic recovery in many districts.

November 2, 2022 — You can now find me on Mastodon too.

October 27, 2022 — Our study of how school-reopening policies contributed to enrollment loss during the COVID-19 pandemic is now forthcoming at the American Educational Research Journal.

October 11, 2022 — I joined the Probable Causation podcast to discuss my research with Jaymes Pyne on first-responder innovations for people in behavioral-health crises.

August 26, 2022 — I spoke with members of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics about our research on Ethnic Studies in San Francisco Unified School District and the African American Male Acheivement program in the Oakland Unified School District.

July 24, 2022 — I’m discussing public-school enrollment loss during the COVID-19 pandemic on a panel at the Education Writers Association 75th National Seminar. Our research study on how school-reopening policies influenced these enrollment declines is available here.

July 9, 2022 — Our op-ed on the early but compelling promise of “community response” initiatives to help people in behavioral-health crises is out at the Wall Street Journal.

June 8, 2022 — My co-authored study on a “community response” initiative in Denver (i.e., health-care first-responders—no police—for individuals in mental-health or substance-abuse crises) is out at Science Advances. News coverage at Stanford News, Scientific American, Mother Jones, Today, Science News, USA Today, NBC News, Fox 31 Denver, NBC 9News, New Scientist, Phys.org, and MedPage Today.

April 28, 2022 - Professors Sade Bonilla, Emily Penner, and I presented “Understanding the Opportunities and Challenges of Teaching Ethnic Studies” as part of the Educational Equity Leadership Series organized by the Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network in Wisconsin.

April 14, 2022 - In this New York Times article, I discuss what’s sensible—and what’s a missed opportunity—in recent state increases in teacher pay: “In Several States, Teachers Get their Biggest Pay Increases in Decades.”

April 6, 2022 — I discussed the most recent data on enrollment declines with the 74 Million: “‘Those Kids Did Not Come Back’: Exclusive Enrollment Data Shows Students Continue to Flee Urban Districts as Boom Town Schools and Virtual Academies Thrive.”

March 26, 2022 — I spoke with the Washington Post about “Montgomery County schools’ anti-racist audit to examine its curriculums.”

March 21, 2022 — Professors Sade Bonilla, Emily Penner, and I presented “Understanding the Opportunities and Challenges of Teaching Ethnic Studies” as part of “Diálogos Virtuales — A Lecture-Discussion Series on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & the International Dimensions of Education at San Diego State University.

February 9, 2022 — I spoke with Time Magazine about enrollment declines and the controversial school closures in Oakland.

January 19, 2022 — I share my thoughts on what makes researcher-practitioner partnerships (RPPs) effective in an Education Week commentary.

December 23, 2021 — My school-reopening study with Stanford doctoral student, Elizabeth Huffaker, and Cheryl Phillips and Eric Sagara of Big Local News is chosen as the top education study of 2021 by the Fordham Institute.

December 17, 2021 — Our work on the Stanford School Enrollment Project with Big Local News, the New York Times, EdSource, the Colorado News Collaborative, and OpenNews is listed among the “top 10+ journalism collaborations of 2021”.

December 15, 2021 — Our recent research produced 1/8th of the “16 Charts that Changed the Way We Looked at America’s Schools in 2021”.

December 6, 2021 — Our Bay Area NBC affiliate discusses the Gardner Center’s ongoing partnership work on fielding mental-health first responders.

September 6, 2021 — A study by Professors Sade Bonilla, Emily Penner, and me on the longer-run effects of a high-school ethnic-studies course is out at the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences (PNAS).

August 23, 2021 — My short presentation of our study of school-reopening policies during the COVID-19 pandemic is available on NBER’s Youtube channel:

August 19, 2021 — I discussed remote learning and school reopenings at an “In Conversation with SIEPR Scholars” event.

August 7, 2021 — In “The Pandemic Exodus: Kindergarten Enrollment Drops”, the New York Times discusses the insights from the Stanford School Enrollment Project and our study on the impact of school-reopening policies.