Associate Professor of Education
PhD, University of Pennsylvania
K-12 Education Policy
K-12 education policy; curriculum; standards-based reform; assessment policy; alignment; measuring classroom instruction; quantitative methods
American Educational Research Association Institute on Statistical Analysis for Education Policy: Mathematics Education and Equity (2012)
IES Summer Training Institute on Cluster-Randomized Trials (2010)
Dr. Morgan Polikoff is an Associate Professor of Education at Rossier. His areas of expertise include K-12 education policy; curriculum reform; standards implementation; assessment policy; and the measurement of alignment and instruction.
Dr. Polikoff uses quantitative methods to study the design, implementation, and effects of curriculum, standards, assessment, and accountability policies. Recent work has investigated the adoption and use of curriculum materials to align with state standards and critiqued the design of school and teacher accountability systems. Ongoing work focuses on the implementation of state standards and the influence of curriculum materials and assessments on implementation. He is a Co-Editor of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis and on the editorial boards for Educational Researcher and Educational Administration Quarterly. His research is currently supported by the Institute of Education Sciences and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among other sources. For his research achievements he received the AERA Early Career Award in 2017.
Polikoff received his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education in 2010 with a focus on Education Policy and his Bachelors in Mathematics and Secondary Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006.
Professor Polikoff's work focuses on the design, implementation, and effects of curriculum, standards, assessment, and accountability policies.
Honors and Awards:
- AERA Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award (2020)
- USC Mentoring Award for faculty mentoring graduate students (2019)
- USC Rossier Faculty Mentoring Award (2018)
- AERA Early Career Award (2017)
- AERA Open Outstanding Reviewer (2016, 2018, 2019, 2020)
- Association for Teacher Education Outstanding Research Award for article “Formal and informal mentoring: Complementary, compensatory, or consistent?” (2015)
- Educational Researcher Outstanding Reviewer (2015)
- Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis Outstanding Reviewer (2013, 2014)
- EDPA 719: The Policies and Politics of Educational Governance
- EDPT 652: Multiple Regression
- EDUC 522: Challenges in Urban Education: Accountability
- EDUC 658: Hierarchical Linear Modeling
- EDUC 705: Survey Design and Analysis
- GESM 131g: Educational Access and Opportunity from Cradle to College
National Science Foundation, “RAPID: Exploring COVID and the Effects on U.S. Education: Evidence from a National Survey of American Households,” co-Principal Investigator (Principal Investigator Anna Saavedra), 2020-2021, $199,620.
California Department of Education, “21st Century California School Leadership Academy,” External Evaluator (Project Director Xiomara Mateo-Gaxiola, Los Angeles Education Partnership), 2020-2023, $3,300,000.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, “Characteristics of Coherent Instructional Systems and Their Relationship to Outcomes for Black, Latino, English Learner-designated, and Low-Income Students,” co-Principal Investigator (co-Principal Investigators Julia Kaufman, V. Darleen Opfer, Elaine Wang), 2018-2022, $2,300,000.
Ballmer Group, “AchievementNet Evaluation (subcontract from AchievementNet),” Principal Investigator (co-Principal Investigator Adam Kho), 2018-2022, $259,215.
International Baccalaureate, “Student Pathways Through Middle School, High School and Into Postsecondary Education: MYP Student Outcomes in a Large US Public School District,” co-Principal Investigator (Principal Investigator Anna Saavedra), 2018, $65,000.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, “Never Judge a Book By Its Cover, Use Student Achievement Instead,” co-Principal Investigator (Principal Investigator Jon Fullerton), 2016-2018, $762,059.
Institute of Education Sciences, R&D Center on Standards in Schools, “Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL),” co-Principal Investigator (Principal Investigator Andrew C. Porter), 2015-2020, $10,000,000.
WT Grant Foundation, “Complex Equations: Algebra Instruction in the Common Core Era,” Principal Investigator (co-Principal Investigator Thurston Domina), 2014-2017, $447,503.
Smith Richardson Foundation, “Curriculum Adoptions and Effects on Student Achievement in California,” co-Principal Investigator (co-Principal Investigator Cory Koedel), 2014-2016, $159,992.
National Science Foundation, Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research, “An Online System for the Collection of Textbook Adoption Data,” Principal Investigator, 2014-2016, $299,942.
Mattel Children’s Foundation, “USC-Mattel Speedometry Phase II District Wide Study and Direct Impact Partnership," co-Principal Investigator (co-Principal Investigators Gale Sinatra & Julie Marsh), 2014-2016, $784,000.
Smith Richardson Foundation, "Making Standards-Based Reform Work: Textbook Alignment and the Common Core," Principal Investigator, 2013-2014, $124,132.
Mattel Children’s Foundation, "Innovative STEM Curriculum Using Hot Wheels," co-Principal Investigator (Principal Investigators Gale Sinatra & Julie Marsh), 2013-2014, $230,000.
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development R03, “Teacher Practice and Peer Conduct: Classroom Effects on Outcomes for Special Needs Students,” co-Principal Investigator (Principal Investigator Michael Gottfried), 2012-2014, $161,100.
- Aguilar, S., Polikoff, M. S., & Sinatra, G. (2019). Refutation texts: A new approach to changing public misconceptions about education policy. Educational Researcher, 48(5), 263-272.
- Polikoff, M. S., Le, Q. T., Danielson, R., Sinatra, G., & Marsh, J. (2018). The impact of Speedometry on student knowledge, interest, and emotions. Journal for Research on Educational Effectiveness, 11(2), 217-239.
- Polikoff, M. S., Campbell, S., Rabovsky, S., Koedel, C., Le, Q. T., Hardaway, T., & Gasparian, H. (2020). The formalized processes districts use to evaluate mathematics textbooks. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 52(4), 451-477.
- Polikoff, M. S., Gasparian, H., Korn, S., Gamboa, M., Porter, A. C., Smith, T., & Garet, M. S. (2020). Flexibly using the Surveys of Enacted Curriculum to study alignment. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 39(2), 38-47.
- Koedel, C., Li, D., Polikoff, M. S., Hardaway, T. ,& Wrabel, S. L. (2017). Mathematics curriculum effects on student achievement in California. AERA Open, 3(1), 1-22.
- Polikoff, M. S., Hardaway, T., Marsh, J., & Plank, D. (2016). Who is opposed to Common Core and why? Educational Researcher, 45(3), 263-266.
- Polikoff, M. S. (2015). How well aligned are textbooks to the Common Core Standards in mathematics? American Educational Research Journal, 52(6), 1185-1211.
- Polikoff, M. S., & Porter, A. C. (2014). Instructional alignment as a measure of teaching quality. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 36(4), 399-416.
- Polikoff, M. S., McEachin, A., Wrabel, S. L., & Duque, M. (2014). The waive of the future? School accountability in the waiver era. Educational Researcher, 43(1), 45-54.
- Polikoff, M. S. (September 2012). The association of state policy attributes with teachers’ instructional alignment. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 34(3), 278-294.
- Polikoff, M. S. (May 2012). Instructional alignment under No Child Left Behind. American Journal of Education, 118(3), 341-368.
- Polikoff, M. S. (Winter 2010). Instructional sensitivity as a psychometric property of assessments. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 29(4), 3-14.