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Morgan Polikoff

Associate Professor of Education, University of Southern California
Chapter Member: Los Angeles Unified SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About Morgan

Polikoff's research focuses on standards, curriculum, assessment, and accountability policy in K-12 education. His most recent book, Beyond Standards, analyzes the last three decades of standards-based education policy in the U.S. Polikoff uses quantitative methods from economics and educational measurement and mixed methods from public policy analysis. He has co-edited Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis and associate edited the American Educational Research Journal.

In the News

Morgan Polikoff quoted on connections between education and workforce data by Sarah D. Sparks, "Researchers Push Congress for Better Data Sharing in Education Partnerships" Education Week, October 27, 2017.
Morgan Polikoff quoted on the use of textbooks and curriculum in classrooms by Matt Barnum, "New Studies Suggest Choice of Curriculum and Textbooks Can Make a Big Difference for Students" The 74, May 1, 2017.
Morgan Polikoff's research on abandoning the central principle of school accountability discussed by Anya Kamenetz, "Here's an Idea: Change the Federal Definition of Student Achievement," NPR Ed, July 18, 2016.
Morgan Polikoff quoted on the textbooks used in the five most-populated states by Liana Heitin Loewus, "Textbook Diversity May Be Increasing under Common Core" Education Week, February 25, 2016.


"When Public Opinion on Policy is Driven by Misconceptions, Refute Them," (with Stephen Aguilar and Gale Sinatra), Brookings Institution, January 25, 2018.

Examines people's misconceptions about the Common Core standards and tests whether a simple intervention (a refutation text) can change those conceptions. Broadly applies to other areas of policy and science.

"How Well Aligned Are Textbooks to the Common Core Standards in Mathematics?" American Educational Research Journal 52, no. 6 (2015): 1185-1211.

Examines the alignment of elementary mathematics textbooks to the Common Core Standards and to previous versions of the same textbooks.

"Big Bang for Just a Few Bucks: The Impact of Math Textbooks in California," (with Cory Koedel), Brookings Institution, January 5, 2017.

Investigates the impact of the most commonly-used elementary mathematics textbooks in California schools. 

"The Waive of the Future? School Accountability in the Waiver Era" (with Andrew J. McEachin, Stephani L. Wrabel, and Matthew Duque). Educational Researcher 43, no. 1 (2014): 45-54.

Examines the design of state accountability systems under the No Child Left Behind waivers and offers a framework in evaluating accountability systems moving forward.