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Jason Grissom

Associate Professor of Public Policy and Education, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University
Chapter Member: Tennessee SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About Jason

Grissom teaches education policy, politics, and leadership at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College of Education and Human Development, where he researches K-12 school leadership, teacher and leader effectiveness, educator mobility, and issues of racial and socioeconomic equity in schools. He is the faculty director of the Tennessee Education Research Alliance, a research-practice partnership between Vanderbilt University and the Tennessee Department of Education.

In the News

Research discussed by Marta Aldrich, in "In Tennessee, Black Educators Stick with Teaching, but Change Schools More Often, Says New Study," Chalkbeat, November 29, 2018.
Research discussed by Madeline Will, in "Wisconsin study examines drinking behavior, age," Education Week, September 27, 2018.
Research discussed by Jason Gonzales, in "Money, Testing and Attracting Teachers," Tennessean, January 22, 2018.
Quoted by Joan Brasher in "Tennessee Education Research Alliance has a New Faculty Director," Vanderbilt News, January 17, 2018.
Quoted by Joan Brasher in "Vanderbilt Faculty Ranked among Top Influencers in Education," Vanderbilt News, January 11, 2018.
Opinion: "Do Principals Really Think All Teachers are Effective?," Jason Grissom, Education Next , July 6, 2017.
Research discussed by Malcolm Gladwell, in "Miss Buchanan's Period of Adjustment," Revisionist History podcast, June 29, 2017.
Quoted by Matt Barnum in "New Research May Build Discrimination Case for Widely Used Principals Exam ," The 74, March 17, 2017.
Opinion: "Why Do Fewer Black Students Get Identified as Gifted?," Jason Grissom, The Conversation, February 2, 2016.
Opinion: "Does Student Race Affect "Gifted" Assignments?," Jason Grissom (with Donna Ford ), Vanderbilt University , January 19, 2016.
Quoted by Alia Wong in "Why are There So Few Black Children in Gifted Programs?," The Atlantic, January 19, 2016.
Quoted by Jessica Lahey in "Possible Redemption for No Child Left Behind?," The Atlantic, June 10, 2014.
Quoted by David Smiley in "Study: Struggling Miami-Dad Schools Benefited from Teacher Transfers," Miami Herald, November 11, 2013.
Quoted by Jackie Zubrzycki in "Evaluating Principals through Test Scores: Harder than You'd Think," Education Week, December 17, 2012.
Quoted by Sarah D. Sparks in "Study: More Churn at the Top in Large Districts," Education Week, December 4, 2012.


"Assessing Principals' Assessments: Subjective Evaluations of Teacher Effectiveness in Low- and High Stakes Environments" (with Susanna Loeb ). Education Finance and Policy 12, no. 3 (2017): 369-395.

Demonstrates that principals give higher ratings to teachers on high-stakes personnel evaluations than those they supply confidentially to researchers, though both sets of ratings predict teachers' value added to student achievement. Finds that principals skew high-stakes ratings up more for some teachers (e.g. beginning teachers) than for others.

"Discretion and Disproportionality: Explaining the Underrepresentation of High-Achieving Students of Color in Gifted Programs" (with Christopher Redding). American Educational Research Association Open 2, no. 1 (2016): 1-25.

Shows that Black children are much less likely than White students to be assigned to gifted programs, even after conditioning on math and reading achievement, socioeconomic status variables, characteristics of the schools they attend, and other factors. Proposes that a major contributor to this gap is that high-achieving Black students are substantially less likely to be identified as gifted when taught by a White classroom teacher. 

Improving Teacher Evaluation Systems: Making the Most of Multiple Measures (edited with Peter Youngs ) (Teachers College Press, 2016).

Takes stock of what we know about multiple measures-based teacher evaluation systems, which have been introduced in the majority of states in recent years. 

"Strategic Staffing? How Performance Pressures Affect the Distribution of Teachers within Schools and Resulting Student Achievement " (with Demetra Kalogrides and Susanna Loeb). American Educational Research Journal (2017).

Demonstrates that, because of accountability pressures, schools tend to place more effective teachers in tested grades and subjects. Discusses how, in elementary schools, this pattern means that less effective teachers become concentrated in the earliest grades, which harms early grades achievement. These negative effects carry forward into the tested grades that come later.

"Why Superintendents Turn Over " (with Stephanie Andersen). American Educational Research Journal 49, no. 6 (2012): 1146-1180.

Finds that superintendent turnover is substantially higher in the largest school districts. Shows that main predictors of a "non-retirement exit" from the superintendent's office are whether the superintendent is "homegrown" (i.e. was promoted from within) and ratings of how well the school board functions; objective district performance measures do not predict turnover.