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#2020APPAM Sponsor Spotlight: George Mason University


The #2020APPAM Fall Research Conference will take place online, but it will also have some fantastic sponsors from across the policy research spectrum. Today we're shining a spotlight on the George Mason University College of Education and Human Development.

What are the main areas of work on which you focus?

The Education Policy faculty at George Mason University (Mason) focus on a range of education policy topics, including: teacher and principal effectiveness, urban school reform, school choice, school finance, school discipline and safety, online learning, and public perceptions of school quality.

What would you say are your school's greatest accomplishments in the last 5-10 years?

The last few years have seen strong new additions to the faculty at Mason.  Anne Holton, former Virginia Secretary of Education and a national policy leader, joined the faculty in 2017 and is teaching graduate students again this year after a sojourn in 2019-20 as Mason’s interim president.  Matthew Steinberg and David Houston, who joined the faculty in 2019 and 2020 respectively, are both recipients of Spencer Foundation fellowships and publish regularly in leading research publications as well as in popular news outlets, combining rigorous research with a focus on translating research for use in active policymaking.  Another major recent accomplishment as been the launching of EdPolicyForward, the Center for Education Policy at George Mason University.

Why should potential students choose your school or program?

Education Policy graduates will become critical consumers of education policy research, conduct publishable scholarship on education policy, and bridge the information gap between research and the work of education leaders. Graduates will be competitive for employment at a range of research and policy organizations, including universities; research institutes and think tanks; local, state, and federal departments of education; education policy advocacy organizations; and the private sector.

What makes your school a great place to work?

The Education Policy faculty at Mason are established or emerging leaders in the field. The working environment is supportive, collegial, collaborative, and intellectually engaging. The students are bright, committed, and likely to become influential leaders in the education policy community in DC and beyond.

What is your teaching/research divide?

Workload expectations vary by faculty, but the most common distribution is 40% research, 40% teaching, and 20% service.

What else would you like people to know about your program?

The faculty in education policy includes Anne Holton (JD, Harvard University), David Houston (PhD, Columbia University), and Matthew P. Steinberg (PhD, University of Chicago), and affiliated faculty Mark Ginsberg (PhD, Penn State), Seth Hunter (PhD, Vanderbilt University) and Samantha Viano (PhD, Vanderbilt University). Our faculty have published in outlets such as the American Journal of Education, Economics of Education Review, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Education Finance and Policy, Educational Researcher, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Public Economics, National Tax Journal and their work has been profiled in media outlets such as The Economist, The New York Times, and the Huffington Post.

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