Katharine O. Strunk

Katharine O. Strunk

Associate Professor of Education and Policy

2002 – 2007 Stanford University, School of Education, Stanford, CA. Ph.D., Administration and Policy Analysis

2002 – 2005 Stanford University, School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford, CA. M.A., Economics, Department of Economics

1995 – 1999 Princeton University, The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton, NJ. B.A., Major: Public Policy, cum laude

Contact info

kstrunk@usc.eduPhone: 213-740-2190Fax: 213-746-8142WPH-901ECurriculum Vitae

Concentration

K-12 Education Policy

Expertise

Teachers' unions and CBAs, teacher evaluation and compensation, accountability policies

Katharine O. Strunk

Dr. Katharine O. Strunk is an Associate Professor of Education and Policy at the University of Southern California, with a joint appointment in the Rossier School of Education and the Sol Price School of Public Policy. Dr. Strunk’s research is focused on three areas, all of which fall under the broad umbrella of K-12 education governance: teachers’ unions and the collective bargaining agreements they negotiate with school districts, teacher evaluation and compensation, and accountability policies. Rooted in the fields of economics and public policy, Dr. Strunk’s work centers on structures that are central to district operations and policy and the ways these structures affect policymakers’ decisions and outcomes.

The underlying focus of Dr. Strunk’s work is to generate careful evidence that can inform policymakers in their efforts to improve student outcomes. Much of Dr. Strunk’s recent work is centered in the Los Angeles Unified School District, where she has served as a Principal Investigator on four different studies. One of these studies, funded by the federal Investing in Innovation (i3) grant, is examining the Public School Choice Initiative and district efforts to implement portfolio management and turnaround reforms. Another, funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation, is assessing the impact of layoffs and layoff threat on teacher career pathways. The last two are analyzing the district’s human capital reforms, including teacher evaluation and activities related to their Federal Teacher Incentive Fund grant. Dr. Strunk has also served as a Principal Investigator on a large multi-year study of California’s capacity-building efforts for schools in NCLB Program Improvement, as well as on several studies related to teacher collective bargaining and unions.

Recent publications stemming from this work include “Sorting out the Signal: Do Multiple Measures of Teachers’ Effectiveness Provide Consistent Information to Teachers and Principals?” (Education Policy Analysis Archives), “Incentive Policies and Teacher Staffing in California” (Educational Policy), “Economic Incentives as a Strategy for Responding to Teacher Staffing Problems: An Organizational Typology.” Educational Administration Quarterly, “How Should School Districts Shape Teacher Salary Schedules? Linking Student Performance to Pay Structure in Traditional Salary Schemes” (Educational Policy), “The Use and Efficacy of Capacity-Building Assistance for Low Performing Districts: The Case of California’s District Assistance and Intervention Teams” (Journal of Policy Analysis and Management), and “More Than Sanctions: Closing Achievement Gaps through California’s Use of Intensive Technical Assistance” (Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis). In addition, Dr. Strunk’s work has been published in other outlets, including Education Finance and Policy, Journal of Educational Administration, American Educational Research Journal, Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, Journal of Education Finance, Peabody Journal of Education, National Tax Journal and Phi Delta Kappan.

Dr. Strunk has received multiple honors for her research, including the Junior Scholar Award from the American Educational Research Association, a National Academy of Education/ Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, and the New Scholar Award from the Association for Education Finance and Policy. In addition, Strunk serves on the editorial boards of the journals Education Finance and Policy, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and Journal of Education Finance. She recently completed a term on the governing board of the Association for Education Finance and Policy, and is a faculty affiliate of Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) and a member of the National Research Team for the Education Research Alliance of New Orleans.

Before joining the faculty at the University of Southern California, Dr. Strunk was an Assistant Professor of Education Policy at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Strunk received her PhD in Administration and Policy Analysis and her MA in Economics, both from Stanford University, and her BA in Public Policy from Princeton University. 

Experience

Professional Experience:

2014 – present    Associate Professor of Education and Policy , University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education, Los Angeles, CA

2009 – 2014       Assistant Professor of Education and Policy University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education, Los Angeles, CA

 2013 – Present      Joint appointed in the Sol Price School of Public Policy University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

July, 2007 – June, 2009      Assistant Professor of Education Policy, University of California, Davis, School of Education, Davis, CA

Honors and Awards:

2012     Junior Scholar Award, American Educational Research Association, Division L

2011-2013     Postdoctoral Fellow, National Education Association/ Spencer Foundation

2010-2012      Emerging Education Policy Scholar, Fordham Institute, Washington, DC

2007     New Scholar Award, American Education Finance Association 

Classes:

Educational Access & Opportunity: From Cradle to College (Undergraduate)

Causal Methods in Education Research (PhD)

Organizations and Policy: Current Issues (PhD)

The Policies and Politics of Educational Governance (EdD)

Philosophical and Social Foundations of Education: Foundations of and Current Issues in Education Policy (Undergraduate)

Advanced Research Design and Writing Workshop (PhD)

Applications of Hierarchical Linear Models in Behavioral and Social Research (PhD)

Advanced Topics in the Economics of Education (PhD) 

Contracts/Grants:

PRIMARY RESEARCH GRANTS & CONTRACTS

2017-2020     Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER). The Laura and Jane Arnold Foundation. Co-Principal Investigator. University of Southern California share: $122,500.

2016-2018     The Changing Market for Charter School Teachers: How Have Teacher Policy Reforms to Traditional Public Schools Affected the Charter Sector? The Walton Family Foundation. Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Joshua Cowen (Michigan State University). $189,299.

2016-2017     A Conference to Help Shape the Future of Teacher Policy in California. The Walton Family Foundation. Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Julie Marsh (University of Southern California) and Dr. David Plank (Stanford University). $85,000.

2016-2017     Bargaining for the Future? The Impact of State and Local Policy Reforms on Teachers’ Unions, Teacher Labor Markets and Student Achievement. The Smith Richardson Foundation. Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Josh Cowen (Michigan State University) and Dr. Eric Brunner (University of Connecticut). $300,402.

2015-2017     The Impact of State and Local Policy Reforms on Teachers’ Unions, Teacher Labor Markets and School District Performance. The Laura and Jane Arnold Foundation. Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Josh Cowen (Michigan State University) and Dr. Eric Brunner (University of Connecticut). $681,867.

2016-2018     The New “One Best System?”: Urban Governance and Educational Practice in the Portfolio Management Model. The Spencer Foundation. Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Julie Marsh (University of Southern California), Dr. Katy Bulkley (Montclair State University) and Dr. Doug Harris (Tulane University). $1,000,000.

2013-2017     A Five Year Evaluation of the Los Angeles Unified School District Teacher Incentive Fund Grant. Los Angeles Unified School District. Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Julie Marsh (University of Southern California). $853,369.

2013-2014     Sending the Right Message? Assessing how Layoff Threat and Policies Affect Teacher Quality. The Smith Richardson Foundation. Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Dan Goldhaber (University of Washington). $153,365.

2011-2013     Changing Collective Bargaining Agreements in California Public Schools: Why do Districts Implement Restrictive Contracts, and How do They Impact Student Achievement? National Academy of Education/ Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. Principal Investigator. $55,000.

2010-2014     Evaluation of Los Angeles Unified School District’s Investing in Innovation (i3) Project, “Los Angeles’ Bold Competition - Turning Around and Operating Its Low-Performing Schools.” U.S. Department of Education. Co-Principal Investigator with Drs. Julie Marsh and Dominic Brewer (University of Southern California). $851,607.

2009-2012       Evaluation of No Child Left Behind Program Improvement Year 3 District Interventions. California Department of Education. Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Theresa Westover (UC Davis). $1,000,000.

2004-2005        American Education Research Association Dissertation Grant. $25,000

SECONDARY RESEARCH GRANTS

2016-2017    The New “One Best System?”: Urban Governance and Educational Practice in the Portfolio Management Model. University of Southern California Undergraduate Research Associates Program. Co-Principal Investigator with Julie A. Marsh (University of Southern California).

2015-2016      The Impact of Teachers’ Union Collective Bargaining Agreements on Student Achievement in California. University of Southern California Undergraduate Research Associates Program. Principal Investigator.

2014-2015      The Impact of Teachers’ Union Collective Bargaining Agreements on Student Achievement in California. University of Southern California Undergraduate Research Associates Program. Principal Investigator.

2012-2014     LAUSD Educator Growth and Development Cycle Initial Implementation Program Evaluation. Los Angeles Unified School District. Principal Investigator. $18,130.

2012-2013     The Impact of Teachers’ Union Collective Bargaining Agreements on Student Achievement in California. University of Southern California Undergraduate Research Associates Program. Principal Investigator.

2011-2012       The Impact of Teachers’ Union Collective Bargaining Agreements on Student Achievement in California. University of Southern California Undergraduate Research Associates Program. Principal Investigator.

2010-2011    The Impact of Teachers’ Union Strength on California School District Resource Allocation and Student Performance. Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences Initiative, University of Southern California. Principal Investigator. $17,500.

2010-2011     Contributors and Impediments to Student Learning. University of Southern California Undergraduate Research Associates Program. Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Michelle Riconscente (University of Southern California).

2008, 2009     UC Davis Small Grant in Aid of Research

2006-2007      Spencer Competitive Research and Training Grant

2003-2004      Spencer Research Training Mentoring Grant, “Accountability and Control.” With Susanna Loeb.

2002-2003      School of Education Stein Fellowship and Research Award

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