Huriya Jabbar

  • Associate Professor

Research Concentration

  • K-12 Education Policy


PhD, University of California, Berkeley
MA, New School for Social Research
BA, University of California, Santa Cruz


  • Critical Policy Analysis; Market-Based Reforms and Privatization in Education; Equity and Access in School Choice Policy; Teacher Job Choices, Retention, and Recruitment; Community College Transfer; Links between Systemic Inequality, Housing, and Schools
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Huriya  Jabbar

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Huriya Jabbar is an associate professor of education policy at the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. Her research uses sociological and critical theories to examine how market-based ideas in PK-12 and higher education shape inequality, opportunity, and democracy in the U.S. She is currently studying school choice policy and school leaders' behavioral responses to competition; choice and decision-making in higher education; and teacher job choices, recruitment, and retention.

Her most recent strand of research examines how improvement in schools and organizations can be impeded by staff turnover, which can reproduce structural inequalities in education. This work is in collaboration with Jennifer Holme and supported by a $1 million grant from the Spencer Foundation. She is also co-author (with Lauren Schudde) of a forthcoming book from Harvard Education Press, which draws on six years of longitudinal interviews with students to examine the challenges and opportunities in a decentralized system of community college transfer.

Her work has been published in the American Educational Research Journal, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Harvard Educational Review, Educational Administration Quarterly, Educational Researcher, and Sociology of Education. She received the Early Career Award for Excellence in Education Research in 2021 from the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and the Division L (Policy and Politics) Early Career Award in 2020. She was a 2013 recipient of the National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship and a 2016 NAED/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow, which supported a study exploring teachers' job search processes, and the role of their social networks, in three charter-dense cities: New Orleans, Detroit, and San Antonio.

Jabbar is an Associate Editor at the American Educational Research Journal and is currently Guest Editor (with Dominique Baker and Erica Turner) for a special issue of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, focused on critical perspectives in education policy. She is also serves on editorial boards for EEPA, Education Finance and Policy, and Educational Researcher.

Jabbar is affiliated with the National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice and the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans at Tulane University, where she continues to study issues related to school choice in New Orleans, and is an affiliated researcher at Detroit Partnership for Education Equity and Research (Detroit PEER), where she is working on studies related to how families navigate school choice and how investments in public housing can transform educational, economic, and social opportunities for marginalized communities. She is also a Fellow at the National Education Policy Center, based at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy at Indiana University.

Jabbar received a B.A. in Economics from the University of California at Santa Cruz, an M.A. in Economics from the New School for Social Research, and Ph.D in Education Policy, Organization, Measurement, & Evaluation from the University of California, Berkeley.

Awards and Grants

2021 Early Career Award for Excellence in Education Research, American Educational Research Association (AERA)

2020 Early Career Award, Division L (Policy and Politics), American Educational Research Association (AERA)


Economic and Educational Opportunity in the Context of Neighborhood Change, Kresge Foundation, Co-Investigator, with Sarah Lenhoff (PI), DeMarcus Jenkins, and Kara Finnigan, 2023–2025, $100,000.

Advancing Critical Social Network Analysis to Address Issues of Equity in Education Policy and Politics, Spencer Foundation, Conference Grants Program, Co-Principal Investigator, with Emily Hodge (co-PI) and Joe Ferrare (PI), 2023–2024, $25,000.

Teacher Turnover and School Improvement: Examining the Mechanisms Through Which Instability Disrupts Schools, and How to Mitigate It, Spencer Foundation, Lyle Spencer Program, Co-Principal Investigator, with Jennifer Holme (PI), 2019-2024, $1,000,000.

The Texas Transfer Project: Understanding the Experiences of Transfer-Intending Community College Students at Various Phases of the Transfer Process, Greater Texas Foundation, Co-Principal Investigator, with Lauren Schudde (PI), 2018–2020, $398,000.

“Tell Me What I Need to Do”: How Texas Community College Students Experience and Interpret State Transfer Policies, Greater Texas Foundation, Co-Principal Investigator, with Lauren Schudde (PI), 2017–2018, $130,000.

It’s Who You Know: Teacher Preferences, Social Networks, and the Job Search Process 
National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, Postdoctoral Fellows Program, Principal Investigator, 2016–2018, $70,000.

Exploring the Choice Sets and Decision-Making Processes of Texas Community College Students Intending to Transfer to Four-Year Institutions, Greater Texas Foundation, Faculty Fellows Program, Principal Investigator, $90,000.