This evaluation is examining whether video-based observations and feedback help novice and early career teachers enhance classroom practices and student achievement.
- Design and conduct of rigorous evaluations of educational programs and interventions
- School Reform
- Teacher and Principal Effectiveness
- Literacy, Numeracy, and STEM
- Strengthening and Disseminating Research
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.
Study of Feedback for Teachers Based on Classroom Videos
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.
National Study of the Effectiveness of Reading Comprehension Interventions
Mathematica conducted a study over the course of two school years evaluating the effectiveness of four supplemental reading comprehension programs in helping disadvantaged fifth graders improve their reading comprehension.
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.
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...
New Brief by Mathematica, AIR Experts Examines States' Capacity to Support Turnaround in Low-Performing Schools
A new issue brief and fact sheet document states' capacity to support school turnaround as of spring 2012 and spring 2013. The research is part of a large-scale, multi-year evaluation conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, the American Institutes for Research (AIR), and Social Policy Research Associates...
New Mathematica Brief Examines Adoption of Practices Promoted by School Improvement Grants
A new Issue Brief and In Focus from Mathematica Policy Research's multi-year evaluation of SIG for the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, shed light on which individual SIG practices (and what combinations of practices) low-performing schools adopted.
Turning Around Low-Performing Schools: New Findings on School Improvement Grants
Researchers found few differences between the two groups of schools, but they noted significant differences in two aspects of operational authority: 1. Schools implementing a SIG-funded intervention model were more likely than schools not implementing such a model to have primary responsibility for:...
Alignment of State Teacher Evaluation Policies with Race to the Top Priorities
The federally funded Race to the Top grant program encourages education reform in six core areas, including teacher evaluation. A new analysis conducted by Mathematica Policy Research for the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences is the first to present data on the extent to...
The What Works Clearinghouse: Improving Practice, Research, and Policy
In 2002, the U.S. Department of Education's (ED) Institute of Education Sciences (IES) established the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) to collect, review, and report on studies of education interventions. The growing focus on evidence-based decision making increased demand for this type of information. Since...