Susan C. Bush-Mecenas
USC Provost's PhD Fellowship
M.A. Education: Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies
B.M. Music Education (magna cum laude)
California Single Subject Teaching Credential: K-12 Music
University of Southern California
K-12 Education Policy
organizational learning, politics/power, capacity building, accountability, governance, school district reform
Susan Bush-Mecenas is a PhD candidate, Provost Fellow, and research assistant with the Center on Educational Governance. She currently works on several research studies, including: the Teacher Incentive Fund grant evaluation of Los Angeles Unified School District's human capital reforms (led by principal investigators Katharine Strunk and Julie Marsh), Policy Analysis for California Education’s (PACE) Bechtel Foundation funded examination of the California Office to Reform Education (CORE) district partnership (PI: David Plank and Julie Marsh), and, in collaboration with Tulane's Education Research Alliance for New Orleans, an Arnold Foundation funded study of teacher evaluation implementation in New Orleans (PI: Jane Lincove, Julie Marsh, and Katharine Strunk). Her research interests include organizational learning, capacity building, accountability, and school district reform.
Prior to entering the PhD program at Rossier, Susan served as the project manager for the Center on Educational Governance’s evaluation of the Investing in Innovation (i3) grant activities to support LAUSD’s Public School Choice Initiative (PI: Katharine Strunk, Julie Marsh, Dominic Brewer). Susan previously served as a research assistant at the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University, working on the California Alternative Education Research Project (PI: Milbrey McLaughlin, Jorge Ruiz de Velasco). Susan holds a master’s degree in education with a specialization in policy, organization, and leadership studies from Stanford University, and a bachelor’s degree in music education and teaching credential from the University of Southern California. Susan has also worked as an instrumental music and English Language Development support teacher in San Lorenzo Unified School District.
Research Assistant, Center on Educational Governance, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California (2013-present)
Research Project Manager, Center on Educational Governance, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California (2010-2013)
Research Assistant, John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities, Stanford University (2009-2010)
Music and English Language Development Strategic Support Teacher, San Lorenzo Unified School District (2007-2009)
Honors and Awards:
Emerging Education Policy Scholars (2017/2018 cohort)
USC Graduate School Final Year Fellowship (2017-2018)
USC PhD Provost Fellow (2013-2017)
National Merit Finalist Scholar (2003-2007)
USC Presidential Scholar (2003-2007)
- Marsh, J., Bush-Mecenas, S.C., Strunk, K.S., Huguet, A., & Lincove, J. (2017). Evaluating Teachers in the Big Easy: How organizational context shapes policy responses in New Orleans. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.
- Marsh, J., Bush-Mecenas, S.C., & Hough, H. (2017). Learning from early adopters in the new accountability era: Insights from California's CORE waiver districts. Educational. Educational Administration Quarterly.
- Aguilar, J., Nayfack, M., & Bush-Mecenas, S.C. (2017). Exploring improvement science in education: Promoting college access in Fresno Unified School District. [Policy Brief]. Stanford, CA: Policy Analysis for California Education
- Marsh, J.A., Bush-Mecenas, S.C., Strunk, K.O., Lincove, J.A., & Huguet, A. (2017). How do schools respond to state policies on teacher evaluation? [Policy Brief]. New Orleans, LA: Education Research Alliance for New Orleans.
- Strunk, K. O., Hashim, A. K., Marsh, J. A., & Bush-Mecenas, S. C. (2016). Innovation and a return to the status quo: A mixed-methods study of reconstitution. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.
- Bush-Mecenas, S. C., Marsh, J. A., & Strunk, K. O. (2016). Portfolio reform in Los Angeles: District implementation successes and challenges. In A. Daly & K. Finnigan (Eds.) Thinking Systemically: Improving Districts Under Pressure. AERA.
- Marsh, J., Bush-Mecenas, S.C., & Hough, H. (2016). Local control in action: Learning from the CORE districts’ focus on measurement, capacity building, and shared accountability. [Policy Brief]. Stanford, CA: Policy Analysis for California Education.
- Strunk, K. O., Marsh, J. A., Hashim, A., Bush-Mecenas, S.C., & Weinstein, T. (2016). The impact of turnaround reform on student achievement: Evidence and insights from the Los Angeles Unified School District. Education Finance and Policy
- Marsh, J., Bush-Mecenas, S.C., Hough, H., Park, V., Allbright, T., Hall, M., & Glover, H. (2016). At the forefront of the new accountability era: Early implementation findings from California’s CORE waiver districts. [Report]. Stanford, CA: Policy Analysis for California Education.
- Strunk, K. O., Marsh, J. A., Bush-Mecenas, S. C., & Duque, M. (2015). The best laid plans: An examination of school plan quality and implementation in a school improvement initiative. Educational Administration Quarterly 52(2), 259.
- Marsh, J. A., Strunk, K. O. Bush-Mecenas, S. C., & Huguet, A. (2014). Democratic engagement in district reform: The evolving role of parents in the Los Angeles Public School Choice Initiative. Educational Policy, 28(7), 1-34.
- Bush-Mecenas, S. C., & Marsh, J. A. (2014). Review of American School Reform: What Works, What Fails, and Why, by J. P. McDonald and the Cities and School Research Group. Teachers College Record, Date Published: November 17, 2014, http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 17756.
- Marsh, J. A., Strunk, K. O. & Bush, S. C. (2013). Portfolio District Reform Meets School Turnaround: Early Implementation Findings from the Los Angeles Public School Choice Initiative. Journal of Educational Administration, 51(4), 498-527.
- Strunk, K. O., Marsh, J. A., Hashim, A., Bush, S. C., & Weinstein, T. (2012). The Efficacy of the Los Angeles Unified School District Public School Choice Initiative for Student Achievement Outcomes: Evidence from the First Year. (Occasional paper No. 211) National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education. http://www.ncspe.org/publications_files/OP211.pdf
- Bush, S. C. (2011). “Building Effective Learning Environments in Continuation High Schools,” Issue Brief. Stanford, CA: Stanford University, John Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities.