Ph.D., Stanford University
Phone: (213) 740-3710
Dr. Julie Marsh is an Associate Professor at the Rossier School of Education at USC. Marsh specializes in research on policy implementation, educational reform, and accountability. Her research blends perspectives in education, sociology, and political science. Over the past 15 years, much of her research has examined school districts as central actors in educational reform, including the roles played by central office administrators in both interpreting and creating policy, as well as the roles of other district actors--school board members, union leaders, citizens, parents, university partners, and community organizations--in advancing system-level reform and enhancing district capacity. Another focus of her research has been the implementation and effects of various accountability policies, including studies of the No Child Left Behind Act, student promotion and retention policies, and charter schools and external management organizations. Marsh has also closely examined policies intended to support teachers and improve teaching, including research on literacy coaches and math and science curricular reforms. A final cross-cutting focus of her research is data-driven decision-making and studies of how educators use not only test score results, but also student work, data on instructional quality, and data generated from the community to inform their decisions and practice.
Marsh is currently Principal Investigator (PI) of a Spencer Foundation-funded study, Bridging the Data-Practice Divide: How Coaches and Data Teams Work to Build Teacher Capacity to Use Data, and co-PI of a study of Los Angeles Unified School District's Public School Choice Initiative. Recent publications include: "Interventions promoting educators' use of data: Research insights and gaps" (Teachers College Record), "The micropolitics of implementing a school-based bonus policy: The case of New York City's compensation committees" (Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis), "How Instructional Coaches Support Data-Driven Decision Making: Policy Implementation and Effects in Florida Middle Schools" (Educational Policy), "Assistance and Accountability in Externally Managed Schools: The Case of Edison Schools, Inc."(Peabody Journal of Education), "Cutting Through the 'Data Driven' Mantra: Different Conceptions of Data-Driven Decision-Making (Evidence and Decision Making: National Society for the Study of Education Yearbook), Democratic Dilemmas: Joint Work, Education Politics, and Community (SUNY Press), and School Districts and Instructional Renewal (Teachers College Press). Link (includes copies of papers): http://usc.academia.edu/JulieMarsh/About
Prior to coming to USC in July 2010, Marsh was at the RAND Corporation where she last served as Senior Policy Researcher. She received a Ph.D. in Education Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University, a Master's in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley, and B.A. in American Studies from Stanford University.
A RAND study led by Marsh earned media attention in July 2011 when the New York Department of Education ended a bonus program as a result of its findings. A Big Apple for Educators: New York City's Experiment With Schoolwide Performance Bonuses found that the New York City schoolwide performance bonus program had no effect on students' test scores, school report cards, or the way teachers reported doing their jobs. The New York Times was among the news outlets to feature the report.