Cassandra Hart is assistant professor of education policy. She studies the effects of state and national education policies on overall student achievement, and on the equality of student outcomes. Hart’s recent work has focused on school choice programs, school accountability policies, and early childhood education policies. She is also interested in the effects of virtual schooling on student outcomes, both in K-12 and post-secondary settings.
Hart received her PhD from the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University in 2011.
2011: Ph.D., Human Development and Social Policy, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University
2006: Master of Public Policy, with honors
Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago
2002 Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Honors thesis completed
School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Fellowships, Grants and Awards
2015-2017 Institute for Education Sciences, Virtual Courses: The Introduction and Expansion of Virtual Schooling in Florida and its Effects on Student Outcomes. (Principal Investigator, with Principal Investigators Brian Jacob and Susanna Loeb, $1,600,000)
2014-2016 American Education Research Association, Passing the Baton: Does a parent’s “Head Start” affect their children’s outcomes? (PI, $35,000)
2013-2015 Spencer Foundation, Teacher Quality in Online Schools (PI, $50,000)
2012 Jean Flanigan Outstanding Dissertation Award, Honorable Mention (Association for Education Finance and Policy)
2011 Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management Ph.D. Dissertation Award, Honorable Mention
2010-11 Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship
2007-10 Institute for Educational Sciences Predoctoral Fellowship, Multidisciplinary Program in Education Sciences
2006 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Honorable Mention
2005-06 McCormick Tribune Urban Leadership Fellow, Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago
Hart, C.M.D., & Figlio, D.N. (Forthcoming). School accountability and school choice: Effects on student selection across schools. National Tax Journal.
A study written by Cassandra Hart, assistant professor of education, and education doctoral students Michael Hill and Elizabeth Friedmann, is placed in the context of other studies on the efficacy of online learning in community colleges.
As tuitions rise and students take longer to complete an undergraduate degree, the pressure is on higher education leaders and policymakers to provide a more efficient path to degree for students. Offering more online courses has been touted as a possible solution.
A recent UC Davis study comparing community college student performance in online versus traditional face-to-face instruction sounds a cautionary note.
As the number of K-12 students taking classes online continues to grow, Cassandra Hart, assistant professor of education at the UC Davis School of Education, is embarking on a two-year study of teacher quality in this little-studied arena.
Funded by the Spencer Foundation, Hart will compare teacher quality in online settings versus traditional classrooms.
Cassandra Hart, assistant professor of education, and David Figlio (Northwestern University) wrote “Competitive Effects of Means-Tested School Vouchers” in the most recent edition of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.
In a story on the the Indiana Supreme Court’s ruling on a law allowing taxpayer money to be used for private schools through vouchers, Kevin Chavous, executive counsel for American Federation for Children, cited a study School of Education Assistant Professor Cassandra Hart co-wrote while she was Northwestern University. Hart is an expert on school choice.