Associate Professor and Chancellor's Fellow
Michal Kurlaender investigates students’ educational pathways, in particular K-12 and postsecondary alignment, and access to and success in postsecondary schooling. She has expertise on alternative pathways to college and college readiness at both community colleges and four-year colleges and universities. In addition to working with national data, Kurlaender works closely with administrative data from all three of California’s public higher education sectors–the University of California, the California State University and the California Community College systems.
Kurlaender also studies the impact of racial and ethnic diversity on student outcomes. She is an expert on the dismantling of federal mandatory and voluntary K-12 school desegregation plans and persistent inequalities in segregated minority schools, including access to adequate classroom resources and good teachers. She has worked with several school districts that have undergone major changes in enrollment as a result of legal challenges.
She serves on the executive committee of the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research. She is the UC Davis site director of the UC Educational Evaluation Center and is a researcher with the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment, Teachers College, Columbia University.
Downloadable Presentation: Identifying Indicators of College Readiness & Success, a Presentation to the Advisory Committee for the Public Schools Accountability Act (PSAA) – September 6, 2013
education policy; program evaluation; educational stratification and inequality; Access and success in postsecondary schooling; K-12 school desegregation; economics of education; quantitative methods; sociology of education
- Ed.D. (2005) Harvard University Graduate School of Education
- Ed.M. (1997) Harvard University Graduate School of Education
- B.A. (1995) University of California, Santa Cruz
- Kurlaender, M. & Larsen, M. (2013). “K-12 and Postsecondary Alignment: Racial/Ethnic Differences in Freshmen Course-taking and Performance at California’s Community Colleges.” Education Policy Analysis Archives, 21 (16): 1-24.
- Kurlaender, M. and Grodsky, E. (2013). “Mismatch and the Paternalistic Justification for Selective College Admissions.” Forthcoming, Sociology of Education. (Pre-publication link)
- Grodsky, E. and Kurlaender, M. (Eds.). Equal Opportunity in Higher Education: The Past and Future of California’s Proposition 209 . Harvard Education Press, 2010.
- Howell, J., Kurlaender, M. & Grodsky, E. (2010). Postsecondary Preparation and Remediation: Examining the Effect of the Early Assessment Program at California State University. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 29 (4): 726–748.
- Reardon, S. and Kurlaender, M. (2009). Effects of the California High School Exit Exam on Student Persistence, Achievement, and Graduation, Policy Analysis for California Education, Policy Brief.
- Long, B. T. and Kurlaender, M. (2009). Do Community Colleges Provide a Viable Pathway to a Baccalaureate Degree? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 31 (1):30-53.
Reports and Presentations
Kurlaender, M., and Jackson, J. (September 2013). Identifying Indicators of College Readiness and Success. Presentation to the Advisory Committee for the Public Schools Accountability Act (PSAA) of 1999. Download slides below.
Kurlaender, M., Jackson, J. and Howell, J. (September 2012). K–12 Postsecondary Alignment and School Accountability: Investigating High School Responses to California’s Early Assessment Program. Research Brief of the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center.
Kurlaender, M. and Howell, J. (December 2012). Academic Preparation for College: Evidence on the Importance of Academic Rigor in High School. Background Paper of the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center.
Kurlaender, M. and Howell, J. (September 2012). Collegiate Remediation: A Review of the Causes and Consequences. Literature Brief of the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center.
Kurlaender, M., Grodsky, E., Agronow, S., Horn, C. (2011). State Standards, the SAT, and Admission to the University of California. Policy Brief, Policy Analysis for California Education.
Reardon, S. and Kurlaender, M. (2009). Effects of the California High School Exit Exam on Student Persistence, Achievement, and Graduation. Policy Brief, Policy Analysis for California Education.
Kurlaender, M., Reardon, S., & Jackson, J. (2008). Middle School Predictors of High School Achievement in Three California School Districts. A Report Released by the California Dropout Research Project.
Kurlaender, M. (2006) The Benefits of Racial/Ethnic Diversity in Elementary and Secondary Education. Written testimony to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Awards and Honors
- National Academy of Education, Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2009-10
- University of California Davis, Faculty Development Award, 2008
- Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, 2004-2005
- American Educational Research Association Dissertation Fellowship, 2003-2004
- Roy Larsen Research Fellowship, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, 1999-2001
Professional Activities and Service
- Executive Committee, UC Davis Center for Poverty Research
- Program Committee, Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, Spring 2014 Meeting
- Research Affiliate, Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment, Teachers College, Columbia University
- UC Davis Site Director, The University of California Educational Evaluation Center
- Grants Review Panel, The Spencer Foundation
- Research Advisory Board, College Board Advocacy & Policy Center
- Faculty Policy Research Panel, Policy Analysis for California Education-PACE
- Program Committee, Economy, Justice & Society, Institute for Governmental Affairs, University of California-Davis
- Advisory Board, Chief Justice Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity, UC Berkeley School of Law
- California Dropout Research Project
- Education and Social Policy
- Research Design
- Economics of Education
- Quantitative Methods in Education Research
- Applied Data Analysis
- Ready or Not? California’s Early Assessment Program and the Transition to College. Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education—$1,800,000 (2010)
- Understanding Barriers and Examining Interventions: A Project to Study Postsecondary Access and Success Using State Administrative Data. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—$350,000 (2009)
- The Effects of Institutional Practices on Postsecondary Trajectories: Matriculation, Persistence and Time to Degree. Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education—$470,808 (2007)
- College Readiness to Degree Completion: Remedial Placement and Patterns of College Persistence. Association for Institutional Research—$30,000 (2007)
- Early Predictors of High School Dropout. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—$15,000 (2007)