Morgan  Polikoff

Morgan Polikoff

Associate Professor of Education

PhD, University of Pennsylvania

Contact info

morgan.polikoff@gmail.comPhone: 213 740 6741

Fax: 213 746 8142WPH 904ACurriculum Vitae


K-12 Education Policy


K-12 education policy; curriculum; standards-based reform; assessment policy; alignment; survey research; quantitative methods; COVID and education

Morgan Polikoff

Dr. Morgan Polikoff is an Associate Professor of Education at USC Rossier. His areas of expertise include K-12 education policy; curriculum reform; standards and assessment policy; survey research in education; and the measurement of alignment and instruction.

Dr. Polikoff uses quantitative and mixed methods to study the design, implementation, and effects of curriculum, standards, assessment, and accountability policies. In 2021 he published his first book, Beyond Standards: The Fragmentation of Education Governance and the Promise of Curriculum Reform. 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 influence of curriculum materials on the implementation of standards in the classroom and the impact of COVID-19 on families’ educational experiences. He has been Co-Editor of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis and Associate Editor of the American Educational Research Journal and is on the editorial boards for Educational Researcher and AERA Open. His research is currently supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and National Science Foundation, among other sources. For his research achievements he received the AERA Early Career Award in 2017 and the AERA Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award in 2020.

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)


  • EDPT 652: Multiple Regression
  • EDUC 658: Hierarchical Linear Modeling
  • EDUC 705: Survey Design and Analysis
  • EDUE 727: Research Methods II
  • GESM 131g: Educational Access and Opportunity from Cradle to College


National Science Foundation, “RAPID: The Impact of COVID on American Education in 2021: Continued Evidence from the Understanding America Study,” co-Principal Investigator (Principal Investigator Anna Saavedra), 2021-2022, $198,148.

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.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, supplement to “COVID-19: US Data Collection for Household Response and Impact Monitoring,” Investigator (Principal Investigator Anna Saavedra), 2020, $50,000.

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.

Selected Publications

Edit Profile