May 20, 2016

Matthew Steinberg awarded fellowship to study school closing impact

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Dr. Matthew Steinberg

Matthew Steinberg, Assistant Professor in the Education Policy Division, has been awarded a 2016 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. The prestigious fellowship enables scholars to focus on research that the Academy considers likely to make a “significant scholarly contribution” to the field of education. As part of their award, fellows will receive a $70,000 stipend for a period of up to two years to complete their research projects and participate in professional development activities organized by the NAEd.

Steinberg’s study, Do School Closings Impact the Educational and Behavioral Outcomes of Displaced Students and Their Receiving-School Peers? Evidence from Philadelphia, “will provide new evidence to policymakers about the effects of Philadelphia’s school closures on students’ behavioral and academic trajectories.” As he wrote in his proposal, “such evidence is needed because closing underperforming schools has become an increasingly widespread reform strategy, particularly in urban districts, and yet the consequences of these decisions remain unclear.”

Steinberg’s work explores questions of educational significance related to school reform and accountability, school climate and safety, and teacher evaluation and human capital, with a focus on urban school populations. His current research explores the impact of school reform in Philadelphia schools, including school closures, charter school expansion, school discipline policy and how Philadelphia public school principals employ new decision-making authority following the district’s decentralization of autonomy to the local school level.

In addition to Steinberg’s fellowship, Penn GSE students Julie McWilliams and Rita Harvey have been awarded NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowships for the coming year. Kathy Hall serves as Julie’s advisor, and Hall and Annette Laureau serve as co-advisors for Rita.

Dean Pam Grossman congratulated Steinberg, McWilliams, and Harvey. “These fellowships are extremely competitive,” she noted. “We are delighted that Matthew was singled out for this distinctive honor, and that Penn GSE has two dissertation fellows for the coming year.”

 

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