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These researchers were commissioned by EdFunders in 2013 to develop three research papers.

Elizabeth Chu

Teachers College

After graduating with a B.A. in English Literature from Yale University, Elizabeth joined Teach for America in the South Bronx, where she taught Secondary English for five years.  She is currently a PhD candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University in the Education Leadership, Policy, and Politics Program.  At Columbia, Elizabeth is a research assistant for Douglas Ready, and is completing her dissertation on the short- and long-term effects of suspension.  In addition, she is an Assistant Professor of Practice at Relay Graduate School of Education.

Thomas Jacobs

The New School

Thomas Jacobs is a doctoral research fellow at the Center for New York City Affairs. He has a master's degree from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at The New School, where he is pursuing his doctoral studies.

Miya Warner

Teachers College

Miya Warner, Ph.D., an education researcher at the Center for Education Policy at SRI International, focuses on evaluating the effects of education policies and reforms on student learning and educational equity. She is dedicated to understanding the causes and contexts of the current racial and socio-economic disparities in educational outcomes and to assessing potential policy solutions. Warner earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in sociology and education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Andrew White

The New School

Andrew White is director of the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School, an applied policy research institute based in the Milano School for International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy. He is a writer on New York City politics, government, neighborhoods, and the human services sector. His work explores the impact of government social policy on families in low-income and working-class communities. He teaches in The New School’s graduate programs in urban policy and nonprofit management. White is co-founder and editor of Child Welfare Watch, founder of the Center for an Urban Future, and former editor and executive director of City Limits magazine. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Newsday, the Daily News, El Diario/La Prensa, the American Prospect, and elsewhere. He is a graduate of Middlebury College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and was a Charles H. Revson Fellow on the Future of the City of New York at Columbia University.

Clara Hemphill

The New School

Clara Hemphill is project director of, a project of the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School that helps parents select the best public schools for their children. She is a writer , editor and public school parent who founded Insideschools 12 years ago. She is also co-author and senior editor of the Center’s education policy research reports, including those on public school choice, school accountability in the Bloomberg/Klein era, and small schools. Hemphill is the author of three definitive guides for parents on the city’s schools, and she is a former reporter for the Associated Press and New York Newsday, where she shared a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and was an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow in economics journalism at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School.

Kim Nauer

The New School

Kim Nauer is education project director at the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School. She is co-author of the Center’s influential reports on chronic absenteeism in elementary and middle school; college and career readiness; public school accountability in the Bloomberg/Klein era; and the city’s small school and high school choice reforms. Her current projects include an assessment of strategies to strengthen elementary schools that serve families living in concentrated poverty, and the development of alternative indicators for school accountability. Before joining the Center, Nauer directed strategic initiatives at The Nation Institute, a think tank and foundation associated with The Nation magazine. She was also executive director of City Limits magazine and the Center for an Urban Future. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and was a Charles H. Revson Fellow on the Future of the City of New York at Columbia University.

Leslie Santee Siskin

New York University

Leslie Santee Siskin is a noted sociologist of organizations and organizational change. Her research focuses on high school structuring, restructuring, and reform. She is the author or co-author of several articles and books about high schools, including Realms of Knowledge: Academic Departments in Secondary Schools, The Subjects in Question: Departmental Organization and the High School, and The New Accountability: High Schools and High-stakes Testing. She has been a Fellow at Columbia University and Cambridge University and was Associate Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and at Hofstra before coming to NYU.She holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. from Stanford University and a B.A. from Middlebury College. 

Thomas Hatch

Teachers College

Thomas Hatch is an Associate Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University and Co-Director of the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching (NCREST). He previously served as a Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching where he established the Carnegie Knowledge Media Laboratory. His research includes studies of reform efforts at the school, district, and national levels, and his current work includes an international study of accountability policies in higher and lower-performing countries.  He is also involved in a variety of efforts to develop new ways to use multimedia and the internet to document teachers’ expertise and build public understanding of high quality teaching. His books include Managing to Change: How Schools can Survive (and Sometimes Thrive) in Turbulent Times (Teachers College Press, 2009) and Into the Classroom: Developing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Teachers College Press, 2005). 

Douglas Ready

Teachers College

Douglas Ready is an Associate Professor of Education and Public Policy at Teachers College, Columbia University, and a faculty affiliate with Columbia’s Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences Program. His research focuses on the links between education policy, social policy, and educational equity. Much of this work examines how contemporary policies moderate or exacerbate racial/ethnic and social class disparities in cognitive development. Representative work has appeared in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Educational Policy, Sociology of Education, American Educational Research Journal, American Journal of Education, Teachers College Record, Research in Higher Education, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Early Education and Development, as well as in books and edited volumes published by the Brookings Institution, Teachers College Press, and the American Educational Research Association.