Cassandra M.D. Hart
Associate Professor, Co-Director CANDEL

Cassandra Hart is an associate professor of education policy. She evaluates the effects of school, state and national education programs, policies, and practices on overall student achievement, and on the equality of student outcomes. Hart’s work has focused on school choice programs, school accountability policies, and effects on students of exposure to demographically similar teachers. 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

  • 2016-2018 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.
  • 2015-2016 Hellman Family Foundation. Which teachers fare best under class size increases? (Principal Investigator, $33,000)
  • 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., Friedmann, E.A.Z., & Hill, M. (2018). Online Course-taking and Student Outcomes in California Community Colleges. Education Finance and Policy. 13(1): 42-71.

Lindsay, C.A., & Hart, C.M.D. (2017). Exposure to Same-Race Teachers and Student Disciplinary Outcomes for Black Students in North CarolinaEducational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. 39(3): 485-510.

Lindsay, C.A., & Hart, C.M.D. (2017). Teacher race and school discipline. Education Next, 17(1).

Jacob, B., Berger, D., Hart, C., & Loeb, S. (2016). Can Technology Help Promote Equality of Educational Opportunities? RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences. 2(5): 242-271.

Hart, C.M.D., & Figlio, D.N. (2015). School accountability and school choice: Effects on student selection across schools. National Tax Journal. 68(3S): 875-900.

Hart, C.M.D., & Sojourner, A.J. (2015). Unionization and Productivity: Evidence from Charter Schools. Industrial Relations, 54(3): 422-448.

Hart, C.M.D. (2014). Contexts matter: Selection in means-tested school voucher programs. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 36(2): 186-206.

Figlio, D. & Hart, C.M.D. (2014). Competitive effects of means-tested school vouchers. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 6(1): 133-156.

Shager, H., Schindler, H., Magnuson, K.A., Duncan, G.J., Yoshikawa, H., & Hart, C.M.D. (2013) Can research design explain variation in Head Start research results? A meta-analysis of cognitive and achievement outcomes. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 35(1): 76-95.

2010 Figlio, D., Hart, C.M.D., & Metzger, M. (2010). Who uses a means-tested scholarship and what do they choose? Economics of Education Review 29(2): 301-317.

2008: Mendenhall, R., Kalil, A., Spindel, L.J. & Hart, C.M.D. (2008). Job loss at mid-life: Managers and executives face the “new risk economy.‟ Social Forces 87(1): 185-209.

Working Papers

Gershenson, S., Hart, C.M.D., Hyman, J., Lindsay, C.A., & Papageorge, N. (In preparation). The long-run impact of same-race teachers.  NBER Working Paper.

Professional Affiliations

  • Association of Education Finance and Policy
  • American Education Research Association
  • Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
(530) 752-9691

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