Susanne James-Burdumy

Susanne James-Burdumy

Senior Fellow and Director of Education Research
Areas of Expertise
  • Design and conduct of rigorous evaluations of educational programs and interventions
Topics
  • Education
  • School Reform
  • Teacher and Principal Effectiveness
  • Literacy, Numeracy, and STEM
  • Strengthening and Disseminating Research
About Susanne

Susanne James-Burdumy is an expert in the design and conduct of rigorous evaluations of educational programs and interventions.

James-Burdumy has directed many of Mathematica’s largest and most complex education projects. She currently directs two large national evaluations of professional development for educators funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the first focused on coaching and other supports for principals and the second focused on coaching for teachers based on video recordings of their classroom instruction. She is also co-principal investigator on the national evaluation of Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants (an evaluation she directed for its first five years). 

In past work for the U.S. Department of Education, she directed an evaluation of mandatory-random student drug testing programs and an evaluation of reading comprehension programs for fifth-grade students, and was deputy director of the large national random assignment study of 21st Century Community Learning Center after-school programs. She also served as the principal investigator of the adolescent literacy and beginning reading topic areas of the What Works Clearinghouse.

Previously, James-Burdumy directed a random assignment study to evaluate Playworks, a program that provides elementary school students with opportunities for physical activity and play during the school day. She also directed an evaluation of high school reform efforts in Boston Public Schools.

In addition to her own research, James-Burdumy is the Director of Mathematica’s federal education work, a role in which she provides oversight and support to the large number of projects and proposals that Mathematica carries out for the U.S. Department of Education. She has published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, Economic Inquiry, Journal of Urban Health, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Adolescent Health, Preventive Medicine, and the Journal of School Health. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the Johns Hopkins University.

Key Projects
  • SIG practices graphic
    Evaluating Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants

    In this study of more than 500 schools, 60 districts, and all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Mathematica is conducting an implementation and impact analysis of Race To the Top and School Improvement Grants, two programs that aim to foster systematic school reform.

  • Impact Evaluation of Support for Principals

    This study is designed to provide rigorous evidence on the impact of principal professional development on principal practices, school climate, teacher effectiveness and retention, and student achievement.

  • Playworks: Student and School Outcomes

    Full-time coaches in low-income schools provide opportunities for organized play during recess and throughout the school day. Activities engage students in physical activity, foster social skills, improve ability to focus on class work, decrease behavioral problems, and improve school climate.

Latest News
  • Playworks children on playground
    Hard Work on the Playground

    The Playworks program places full-time coaches in low-income schools in order to organize and direct play during recess and the school day. Mathematica studied the effects of the the Playworks program over the course of two school years (2010-2012). Results of this rigorous study were published in four...

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