Faculty Profile EMPHASIS AREA: SOEP. Education policy; Educational program evaluation; Educational stratification and equity; K-12 school desegregation

Michal Kurlaender
Professor, Chair of the Graduate Group in Education, 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.

Email: mkurlaender@ucdavis.edu

Kurlaender is Associate Editor of the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness. She serves on the executive committee of the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research, Wheelhouse: The Center for Community College Leadership and Research at UC Davis. She is also co-director of Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), and is a researcher with the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness and the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment, Teachers College, Columbia University.

Downloadable Working Papers and Presentations:

Ready or Not?  California’s Early Assessment Program and the Transition to College

Career Technical Education And Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence From California Community Colleges

Identifying Indicators of College Readiness & Success, a Presentation to the Advisory Committee for the Public Schools Accountability Act (PSAA) – September 6, 2013

Research Interests

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

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

Select Publications

 

Reports and Presentations

Kurlaender, M., Kramer, K.A., & Jackson, E.  (March 2018). Predicting College Success: How Do Different High School Assessments Measure Up? Research Brief, Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE). Available at: https://edpolicyinca.org/sites/default/files/SBAC-SAT Paper.pdf

Kurlaender, M., Carrell, S., & Jackson, J. (March 2018). Community College Quality: The Promises and Pitfalls of Measurement. Research Brief, Wheelhouse: The Center for Community College Leadership and Research. Available at: https://education.ucdavis.edu/sites/main/files/ucdavis_wheelhouse_research_brief_vol3no2_online.pdf

Baker, R., Friedmann, E., & Kurlaender, M. (March 2018). Associate Degrees for Transfer: A Snapshot of Progress Across California Community Colleges. Research Brief, Wheelhouse: The Center for Community College Leadership and Research. Available at: https://education.ucdavis.edu/sites/main/files/ucdavis_wheelhouse_research_brief_vol3no1_online.pdf

Kurlaender, M., Martorell, F., & Reed, S.  (September 2016). High School Exit Exams: A Review of the Literature, Current State Reforms, and Analysis of California Assessment Data. Research Brief to the California Department of Education. Available at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/hs/documents/hspathwayrpt.doc

Stevens, A., Kurlaender, M., & Grosz, M. (2015). Community College Career Technical Education Programs Significantly Increase Earnings. U.C. Davis Center for Poverty Research, Policy Brief, Vol. 4, No. 5. Available at: http://poverty.ucdavis.edu

Carrell, S., Kurlaender, M., Page, M. & Kramer, K. (2015). How Does the AIM Program Affect Student Outcomes in the Davis Joint Unified School District? A Report Submitted to the Davis Joint Unified School District. Available at: http://www.djusd.net/aim 

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

  • Visiting Scholar, Russell Sage Foundation (2017-2018)
  • Chancellor’s Fellow, University of California, Davis (2013-2018)
  • National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship (2009-2010)
  • Education Week’s RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings (2015, 2016, 2017)
  • 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

Courses

  • Education and Social Policy
  • Research Design
  • Economics of Education
  • Quantitative Methods in Education Research
  • Applied Data Analysis

Funded Research

  • California’s College and Career Readiness Standards in the Era of Common Core Assessments. 2015-2020. Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education (PI, with collaborators: Paco Martorell and Scott Carrell, University of California, Davis). —$4,974,387
  • Exploring Policy Levers in Intersegmental Collaboration. Irvine Foundation. 2017-2019. (PI, sub-contract to Policy Analysis for California Education Center grant, David Plank (PI) Stanford University Graduate School of Education). —$100,000
  • Understanding College Outcomes of California Bay Area Students. Stupski Foundation. 2017-2018. (Co-PI with collaborator Sherrie Reed, University of California, Davis). —$372,500
  • Intersegmental Data Partnerships Project. College Futures Foundation. 2017-2018. (Co-PI with collaborators Sherrie Reed and Patrick Lee, University of California, Davis). —$250,000
  • Wheelhouse: The Center for Community College Leadership and Research. 2017-2018. College Futures Foundation (Co-PI, with Susanna Cooper, University of California, Davis). —$150,559
  • Never Judge a Book by Its Cover: Use Student Achievement Instead. Gates Foundation. 2017-2018. (PI on California Project with collaborators Scott Carrell and Paco Martorell, sub-contract to Center grant, Thomas Kane (PI) Harvard University Graduate School of Education). —$117,532
  • Feasibility Study on the Impacts of Workforce Development Programs in California. 2016-2017. California Workforce Development Board (PI, with collaborator Ann Stevens, University of California, Davis). —$49,989
  • Wheelhouse: The Center for Community College Leadership and Research. 2016-2018. Irvine Foundation (Co-PI, with collaborator Susanna Cooper, University of California, Davis). —$200,832
  • Exploring Student Success and Persistence in College: The Role of Faculty. 2015-2017. College Futures Foundation (PI, with collaborator Scott Carrell, University of California, Davis). —$400,000
  • California Community Colleges and Career Technical Education: A Researcher-Practitioner Partnership. 2015-2017. Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education (PI, with collaborator Ann Stevens, University of California, Davis). —$400,000
  • National Center on Developmental Education Assessment and Instruction. 2014-2019. Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education (PI on California Project, sub-contract to Center grant, Thomas Bailey (PI) Teachers College, Columbia University). —$148,500
  • California Community Colleges, Vocational Programs and Workforce Development: Improving the Workforce and Improving Lives. 2013-2016. Research Investments in the Sciences and Engineering, University of California (Co-PI with Ann Stevens, University of California, Davis). —$500,000
  • Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment. 2012-2015. Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education (PI on California project with collaborator Ann Stevens, University of California, Davis. sub-contract to larger Center grant, Thomas Bailey (PI) Teachers College, Columbia University). —$60,000
  • Center for Poverty Research. 2011-2016. U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources (Co-investigator, with Ann Stevens and Marianne Page, Co-PIs, University of California, Davis). —$4,000,000
  • 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)
 
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