Matthew Kraft

Matthew Kraft
Brown University · Department of Education

Ed.D. in Quantitative Policy Analysis of Education

About

42
Publications
29,000
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
3,617
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2013 - February 2016
Brown University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (42)
Article
Numerous high-profile efforts have sought to “turn around” low-performing schools. Evidence on the effectiveness of school turnarounds, however, is mixed, and research offers little guidance on which models are more likely to succeed. We present a mixed-methods case study of turnaround efforts led by the Blueprint Schools Network in three schools i...
Article
Full-text available
We examine the dynamic nature of teacher skill development using panel data on principals’ subjective performance ratings of teachers. Past research on teacher productivity improvement has focused primarily on one important but narrow measure of performance: teachers’ value‐added to student achievement on standardized tests. Unlike value‐added, sub...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past 15 years, the education research community has advocated for rigorous research designs that support causal inferences, for research that provides more generalizable results across settings, and for the value of research-practice partnerships that inform the design of local programs and policies. We propose the multi-cohort, longitudin...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes and evaluates a web-based coaching program designed to support teachers in implementing Common Core-aligned math instruction. Web-based coaching programs can be operated at relatively lower costs, are scalable, and make it more feasible to pair teachers with coaches who have expertise in their content area and grade level. Resu...
Preprint
Full-text available
In recent years, states have sought to increase accountability for public school teachers by implementing a package of reforms centered on high-stakes evaluation systems. We examine the effect of these reforms on the supply and quality of new teachers. Leveraging variation across states and time, we find that accountability reforms reduced the numb...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers commonly interpret effect sizes by applying benchmarks proposed by Cohen over a half century ago. However, effects that are small by Cohen's standards are large relative to the impacts of most field-based interventions. These benchmarks also fail to consider important differences in study features, program costs, and scalability. In thi...
Article
Full-text available
Starting in 2011, Boston Public Schools (BPS) implemented major reforms to its teacher evaluation system with a focus on promoting teacher development. We administered independent district-wide surveys in 2014 and 2015 to capture BPS teachers' perceptions of the evaluation feedback they receive. Teachers generally reported that evaluators were fair...
Article
Full-text available
Teacher coaching has emerged as a promising alternative to traditional models of professional development. We review the empirical literature on teacher coaching and conduct meta-analyses to estimate the mean effect of coaching programs on teachers’ instructional practice and students’ academic achievement. Combining results across 60 studies that...
Article
The vast differences in summer learning activities among children present a substantial challenge to providing equal educational opportunity in the United States. Most initiatives aimed at reversing summer learning loss focus on school- or center-based programs. This study explores the potential of enabling parents to provide literacy development o...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, states and districts have responded to federal incentives and pressure to institute major reforms to their teacher evaluation systems. The passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015 now provides state policymakers with even greater autonomy to redesign existing evaluation systems. Yet, little evidence exists to inform decisi...
Article
Full-text available
I exploit the random assignment of class rosters in the MET Project to estimate teacher effects on students' performance on complex open-ended tasks in math and reading, as well as their growth mindset, grit, and effort in class. I find large teacher effects across this expanded set of outcomes, but weak relationships between these effects and perf...
Article
Full-text available
Teacher teams are increasingly common in urban schools. In this study, we analyze teachers’ responses to teams in six high-poverty schools. Teachers used two criteria to assess teams’ goodness of fit in meeting the demands of their work: whether their teams helped them teach better and whether the team contributed to a better school. Their response...
Article
In 2009, the New Teacher Project’s The Widget Effect documented the failure of U.S. public school districts to recognize and act on differences in teacher effectiveness. We revisit these findings by compiling teacher performance ratings across 24 states that adopted major reforms to their teacher evaluation systems. In the vast majority of these st...
Article
Research has focused predominantly on how teachers affect students’ achievement on standardized tests despite evidence that a broad range of attitudes and behaviors are equally important to their long-term success. We find that upper-elementary teachers have large effects on self-reported measures of students’ self-efficacy in math, and happiness a...
Article
Full-text available
We study the relationship between school organizational contexts, teacher turnover, and student achievement in New York City (NYC) middle schools. Using factor analysis, we construct measures of four distinct dimensions of school climate captured on the annual NYC School Survey. We identify credible estimates by isolating variation in organizationa...
Article
Purpose: New teacher evaluation systems have expanded the role of principals as instructional leaders, but little is known about principals' ability to promote teacher development through the evaluation process. We conducted a case study of principals' perspectives on evaluation and their experiences implementing observation and feedback cycles to...
Article
We use matched employee-employer records from the teacher labor market to explore the effects of late teacher hiring on student achievement. Hiring teachers after the school year starts reduces student achievement by 0.042 SD in mathematics and 0.026 SD in reading. This reflects, in part, a temporary disruption effect in the first year. In mathemat...
Article
Full-text available
This article analyzes a coaching model focused on classroom management skills and instructional practices across grade levels and subject areas. We describe the design and implementation of MATCH Teacher Coaching among an initial cohort of 59 teachers working in New Orleans charter schools. We evaluate the effect of the program on teachers’ instruc...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: We examine how uncertainty, both about students and the context in which they are taught, remains a persistent condition of teachers’ work in high-poverty, urban schools. We describe six schools’ organizational responses to these uncertainties, analyze how these responses reflect open- versus closed-system approaches, and examine how this...
Article
Full-text available
Although previous research has shown that teacher coaching can improve teaching practices and student achievement, little is known about specific features of effective coaching programs. We estimate the impact of MATCH Teacher Coaching (MTC) on a range of teacher practices using a blocked randomized trial and explore how changes in the coaching mod...
Article
Full-text available
We used self-report surveys to gather information on a broad set of non-cognitive skills from 1,368 eighth graders. At the student level, scales measuring conscientiousness, self-control, grit, and growth mindset are positively correlated with attendance, behavior, and test-score gains between fourth grade and eighth grade. Conscientiousness, self-...
Article
Full-text available
Most teacher layoffs during the Great Recession were implemented following inverse-seniority policies. In this paper, I examine the implementation of a discretionary layoff policy in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. Administrators did not uniformly lay off the most or least senior teachers but instead selected teachers who were previously retired, la...
Article
Parental involvement is correlated with student performance, though the causal relationship is less well established. This experiment examined an intervention that delivered weekly one-sentence individualized messages from teachers to the parents of high school students in a credit recovery program. Messages decreased the percentage of students who...
Article
We present new evidence on the relationship between teacher productivity and job experience. Econometric challenges require identifying assumptions to model the within-teacher returns to experience with teacher fixed effects. We describe the identifying assumptions used in past models and in a new approach that we propose, and we demonstrate how vi...
Article
Full-text available
Evidence on the effect of extending the school day is decidedly mixed because of the stark differences in how schools use additional time. In this paper, I focus narrowly on the effect of additional time used for individualized tutorials. In 2005, MATCH Charter Public High School integrated two hours of tutorials throughout an extended day. The una...
Article
Full-text available
Although wide variation in teacher effectiveness is well established, much less is known about differences in teacher improvement over time. We document that average returns to teaching experience mask large variation across individual teachers and across groups of teachers working in different schools. We examine the role of school context in expl...
Article
Background/Context Many strategies to improve failing urban schools rest on efforts to improve leadership within the school. Effective school-based leadership depends not only on the activities of the principal, but also on teachers’ efforts to address school-wide challenges. Research has shown that the principal is pivotal in such ventures, but we...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive skills predict academic performance, so schools that improve academic performance might also improve cognitive skills. To investigate the impact schools have on both academic performance and cognitive skills, we related standardized achievement-test scores to measures of cognitive skills in a large sample (N = 1,367) of eighth-grade stude...
Article
Context In the past two years, states have implemented sweeping reforms to their teacher evaluation systems in response to Race to the Top legislation and, more recently, NCLB waivers. With these new systems, policymakers hope to make teacher evaluation both more rigorous and more grounded in specific job performance domains such as teaching qualit...
Article
Full-text available
Parental involvement is correlated with student performance, though the causal relationship is less well established. This experiment examined an intervention that delivered weekly one-sentence individualized messages from teachers to the parents of high school students in a credit recovery program. Messages decreased the percentage of students who...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we evaluate the efficacy of teacher communication with parents and students as a means of increasing student engagement. We estimate the causal effect of teacher communication by conducting a randomized field experiment in which sixth- and ninth-grade students were assigned to receive a daily phone call home and a text/written messag...
Article
Full-text available
Background/Context Educational policy makers have begun to recognize the challenges posed by teacher turnover. Schools and students pay a price when new teachers leave the profession after only 2 or 3 years, just when they have acquired valuable teaching experience. Persistent turnover also disrupts efforts to build a strong organizational culture...
Article
Full-text available
Measurement scholars have recently constructed validity arguments in support of a variety of educational assessments, including classroom observation instruments. In this article, we note that users must examine the robustness of validity arguments to variation in the implementation of these instruments. We illustrate how such an analysis might be...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, interest has grown in using classroom observation as a means to several ends, including teacher development, teacher evaluation, and impact evaluation of classroom-based interventions. Although education practitioners and researchers have developed numerous observational instruments for these purposes, many developers fail to speci...
Article
Full-text available
These 10 simple techniques can help you turn an unruly class into a productive one.
Article
Full-text available
Challenging classrooms can overwhelm a teacher. However, by using effective classroom management and behavior modification techniques, teachers can change challenging classrooms into productive ones. Classroom management techniques include using a relevant curriculum, establishing nonnegotiable rules, ensuring that students know what behavior is ex...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this ethnographic study is to examine how a commitment to socially just pedagogies influences the core practices and policies of a school. This article presents a comprehensive description and analysis of two public middle schools committed to teaching for social justice: Urban Promise Academy and San Francisco Community School. From...