Faculty ProfileEMPHASIS AREA: SOEP. Education Policy and Governance; International education policy and governance; School finance
Thomas Timar Professor Emeritus
To paraphrase Dostoevsky, the quality of a society should be measured by the quality of its schools, particularly the quality of its schools educating the most disadvantaged children.
Thomas Timar’s areas of expertise include education finance, policy, and governance. In addition to his faculty responsibilities, he is also director of the UC Davis Center for Applied Policy in Education (CAP-Ed) and a member of the steering committee for Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE).
Education finance; Education policy and governance; Educational leadership; International education policy and governance; Education policy and educational improvement
Ph.D., Educational Policy (Law and Finance) – UC, Berkeley
MA., Comparative Literature (German, Hungarian, Russian) UC Berkeley
BA. Comparative Literature (Russian, German, Hungarian)
Timar, T. (2006) “Evaluating State Intervention: The High Priority Schools Program,” in Haleh Hatami (Ed.) Crucial Issues in California 2006: Rekindling Reform. University of California, Berkeley. Policy Analysis for California Education.
Timar. T. (1995). The Allocation of Educational Resources and School Finance Equity in Ohio. In Picus, L. (Ed.) Where Does the Money Go? Resource Allocation in Elementary and Secondary Schools. Year Book of the American Education Finance Association. Corwin Press
Timar, T. (1994). “Program Design and Assessment Strategies in Chapter 1″ in Rethinking Policy for At-Risk Students, Kenneth Wong and Margaret Wang (Eds.) (Series in Contemporary Educational Issues of the National Society for the Study of Education. Berkeley, CA: McCutchan Publishing Co.
Timar, T. (1992). “Categorical Wars: School Finance Politics in California,” in Politics of Education Yearbook, 1992. Philip Zodhiates and Catherine Marshall, (Eds.) (Philadelphia: Falmer Press)
Timar, T. (1991).”Urban Politics and State School Finance in California,” in Politics of Education Yearbook, 1991. James Cibulka, Rodney Reed, Kenneth Wong, (Eds.) Philadelphia: Falmer Press.
Timar, T. (1991) “Alternative Teacher Compensation Schemes and School Reform,” in Teacher Compensation and Teacher Motivation, Larry Fraze, (Ed.) New York: Technomics,
Timar, T. (1989) “The Politics of School Restructuring,” in Politics of Education Yearbook, 1989; Douglas E. Mitchell and Margaret Goertz, eds. (Philadelphia: Falmer Press) 1990. Partly reprinted in Law and Educational Policy, M. Yudof and D. Kirp (Eds) St. Paul, Minn: West Law Publishing
Timar, T. & Kirp, D (1988). Managing Educational Excellence (Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis, Stanford Series in Education and Public Policy, 1988) (with David L. Kirp and Foreword by Theodore Sizer) Translated into Ukrainian as Yak Domogticya Doknonalosti v Osviti. Lyviv, Ukraine: Lytopis Publishing House. 2005
Guthrie, J. & Timar, T. (1984) “Public Values and Public School Policy” Educational Leadership (Fall 1984). Reprinted in Kaleidoscope: Readings in Education. New York: Houghton Mifflin
T. Timar (2006) State Strategies to Improve Low-Performing Schools: California’s High Priority School Grants Program. UC Davis, Center for Applied Policy in Education. School of Education
T. Timar (2006) Evaluating State Intervention: The High Priority Schools Grant Program. Crucial Issues in California Education2006: Rekindling Reform. University of California, Berkeley: Policy Analysis for California Education, School of Education. www.pace.berkeley.edu
T. Timar (2006) School Finance a California: A System Overview. School of Education, Stanford University School Finance Project.
T. Timar (2005) Exploring the Limits of Entitlement: Williams v. the State of California. Peabody Journal 80 (3)
T. Timar (2004) Categorical School Finance: Who Gains, Who Loses? (Working Paper Series 04-2). Policy Analysis for California Education, School of Education, University of California, Berkeley and Davis, Stanford University
Timar, T., Ogawa, R. & Orillion, M. (2003) “Expanding the University of California’s Outreach Mission.” Review of Higher Education. 27 (7)
Timar, T. (2003) “School Governance in California: Shaping the Landscape of Equity and Adequacy. “ Teachers College Record. Vol. 106, No. 11 (2004)
Timar, T. (2003)“The ‘New Accountability’ and School Governance,” Peabody Journal. 78 (4)
Timar, T., Ogawa, R. & Orillion, M. (2001) “The University of California’s Outreach Strategy: Its Political and Institutional Origins,” with Rodney Ogawa and Marie Orillion. Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley; http://ishi.lib.berkeley.edu/cshe/
Ogawa, R. & Timar, T. (2002) “The Organization of School University Partnerships,” with Rodney Ogawa. Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley and UCOP
Timar, T. & Tyack, D. (1998) ‘The Invisible Hand of Ideology: Perspectives from History on School Governance.” In Governing America’s Schoools with David Tyack. National Commission on Governing America’s Schools. Education Commission of the States
Timar, T. (1997) “The Institutional Role of State Education Departments: A Historical Perspective.” American Journal of Education. Vol. 105, No. 3.
Timar, T. (1994) “Policy, Politics, and Categorical Aid: New Inequities in California School Finance,” Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis 16(2) 143-160
Timar, T. (1994) “Federal Educational Policy and Practice: Building Organizational Capacity through Chapter 1,” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 16(1) 51-66.
Timar, T. (1992) “Assessing the Quality and Effectiveness of Chapter 1 Services,” Commissioned paper for the Chapter One Testing Advisory Committee, US Department of Education.
Timar, T. (1992) “Reform and Resistance,” Essay review of In the Name of Excellence by Thomas Toch. International Journal of Educational Reform , Vol. 1, No. 2 , 203-208.
Timar, T. (1991) “A Theoretical Framework for Understanding Local Responses to State Policy,” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Vol. 11, No. 4 (329 342) Partly reprinted in Law and Educational Policy, M. Yudof and D. Kirp (eds) (St. Paul, Minn: West Law Publishing)
Timar, T. (1989) “The Politics of School Restructuring,” Phi Delta Kappan, Vol. 71, No. 4 (264 275; feature article)
Timar, T. & Kirp, D. (1989) “State School Reform Efforts in the 1980s: Lessons from the States,” Phi Delta Kappan (with David L. Kirp) Vol. 70, No. 7 (504 511; Feature article)
Timar, T. & Kirp, D. (1988) “State Strategies to Reform Schools: Treading between A Regulatory Swamp and An English Garden,” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. Vol. 10 (75 88)
Timar, T. & Kirp, D. (1987) “Educational Reform and Institutional Competence,” Harvard Educational Review. Vol.57, No. 3 (308 330) Partly reprinted in Law and Educational Policy, M. Yudof and D. Kirp (eds) (St. Paul, Minn: West Law Publishing) 1991
Timar, T. (1987) “Policy Paper on Adult Education and Noncredit Community College Programs.” Prepared for the Commission to Review the Master Plan for Higher Education; Sacramento, California.
Timar, T. & Johnson, J. (1987) “Policy Paper on Adult Literacy.” Prepared for the Commission to Review the Master Plan for Higher Education; Sacramento, CA
Timar, T. (1981) “The Aftermath of Goss vs. Lopez in the Federal Courts” School Law Journal. Vol. 9, No. 2 (123 141)
Stern, D. & Timar, T. (1981) “Conflict and Choice in Public Education” Education and Urban Society. Vol. 14, No. 4 (485 510)
Professor, UC Davis
Associate Professor, UC Riverside
Associate Professor, Visiting, UC Berkeley
Associate Professor, Visiting, Stanford
Assistant Professor, Visiting, Harvard
Awards and Honors
National Academy of Education/Spencer Post-doctoral Fellowship, 2010
Spencer Fellowship. Spencer Foundation, “Local Responses to State Policy.” 1991-1993.0.0
Current Activities and Service
Director of Research, Governor’s Advisory Committee on Education Excellence (2006-07)
Trainer/Consultant. International Policy Fellows Program, Open Society Institute. 2000-2003.
Director, UC Education Abroad Program, Budapest, Hungarey
Consultant,Open Society Institute/Soros Network. Budapest, Hungary. 2001.
Director, Central European University, Summer University, Education Policy Program. 1998-2002.
Panelist. Research Advisory Panel. Education Commission of the States; Governing America’s Schools Project. 1998-2000.
Consultant, United Nations Development Program, Ukraine.
Consultant, USAID, Montenegro
Consultant, Ministry of Education, Lithuania
Consultant, Ministry of Education, Latvia
Consultant, National Institute for Education, Budapest Hungary
Courses Taught at UC Davis
Education Policy: Concepts and Methods
Education Policy and Law
Politics of Education: Who Controls Schools?
Education Finance Policy
The Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: State Strategies to Improve Low-performing Schools: California’s High Priority Schools Grant Program
Office of the President, University of California. (With Rodney Ogawa) A study of the political and institutional forces that shaped UC’s current outreach efforts; institutional and organizational responses to outreach in the UC system.
Center for Studies in Higher Education, University of California, Berkeley. Study of other states’ policy responses to the elimination of affirmative action in university admissions.
National Science Foundation, Enhancing Math and Science Instruction: A Comprehensive Study of the Role of State Education Departments and Other Agencies.
Culpepper Foundation Gran: The Emerging State Role in Education Policy Making
Culpepper Foundation. School Restructuring and The Coalition of Essential Schools
Spencer Foundation Small Grant, The Politics of School Restructuring.
Southwest Bell Foundation. State policy and school restructuring.
Utah State Department of Education, Policy Evaluation of the Utah Career Ladder System.
California Post-Secondary Commission. (Co-Principal Investigator) Staff Development in California.
Too often school district leaders focus so much on operations and compliance with state and federal policy that they don’t pay enough attention to teaching and learning, according to Thomas Timar, professor of education at the UC Davis School of Education. The result is a cacophony of efforts, often working at cross-purposes.
The three-year Systems Transformation Collaborative aimed to deepen leadership skills at all levels of a district to mobilize commitment and energy to achieve shared goals with a laser-like focus on improved instruction. The collaborative included three phases: design, capacity building, and sustainability, all focused on district and school leaders and leadership within districts to support change. Funded by the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, this evaluation will run through June 2015.
Professor Thomas Timar argues in an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee (May 28, 2013) for a more collaborative approach to funding California’s K-12 schools. “Given the governor’s proposal for a new school finance system based on a pupil-weighted formula and his proposal to spend $1 billion on the implementation of Common Core, this might be an opportune time to move beyond the restricted-unrestricted dilemma to other, more promising approaches to funding.” Read the entire editorial here.
Armed with a grant from the Stuart Foundation, the UC Davis School of Education’s Center for Applied Policy in Education (CAP-Ed) is partnering with Dr. Michael Fullan, professor emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, to implement his Whole System Change program in four Northern California school districts. The aim is nothing short of revolutionary. (Project leaders are evaluating the results.)
The School of Education’ Center for Applied Policy in Education (CAP-Ed), in partnership with the Poverty Research Center at UC Davis, hosted leading education advocates in panel discussion about education policy in California and the ramifications of the November election on school finance in the state. “Education Policymaking in a Time of Uncertainty: Reflections from the Third House” was organized by Michal Kurlaender, associate professor of education policy and leadership. View the discussion online.
What does school look like in Cuba? Thomas Timar, professor of education and faculty director of the Center for Applied Policy in Education (CAP-Ed), designed a UC Davis Quarter Abroad program in conjunction with Cuban instructors to demonstrate a hands-on comparison of Cuban and American education systems. Literature, language, arts and culture, and Cuban classroom visits were incorporated into the students’ experience at Casa de las Américas of Havana during Spring Quarter 2010.