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Priscilla Wohlstetter

Professional Background

Educational Background

B.A., Simmons College; M.Ed., Harvard University; Ph.D., Northwestern University

Scholarly Interests

Policy and politics of K-12 urban education, school governance and school performance, charter schools and charter management organizations (CMOs), parent involvement in schools of choice, public-private partnerships, implementation of the Common Core State Standards, school networks, and intermediary organizations.

Selected Publications

Marsh, J.A. & Wohlstetter, P. (2013). Recent trends in intergovernmental relations: The resurgence of local actors in education policy. Educational Researcher, 42(5), pp. 276-283.

Farrell, C., Nayfack, M., Smith, J., & Wohlstetter, P. (in press). One size does not fit all: Understanding the variation in charter management scale-up. Journal of Educational Change.

Wohlstetter, P., Smith, J., & Gallagher, A. (2013). New York City's Children First Networks: Turning Accountability on Its Head. Journal of Educational Administration, 51(4), 528-549.

Wohlstetter, P., Smith, J., & Farrell, C.C. (2013). Choices and Challenges: Charter School Performance in Perspective. Harvard Education Press.

Farrell. C., Wohlstetter, P. & Smith, J. (2012). Charter management organizations: An emerging approach to scaling-up what works. Educational Policy, 26(4), 499-532.

Hentschke, G., Wohlstetter, P., Hirman, J., & Zeehandelaar, D. (2011). Using state-wide multiple measures for school leadership and management: Costs incurred vs. benefits gained. School Leadership & Management, 31(1), 21-34.

Thomas, A. & Wohlstetter, P. (2010, May). Six keys to success: Districts attempting urban reforms can learn from strategies that work. American School Board Journal. Alexandra, VA: National School Boards Association, 197(5), 36-38.

Wohlstetter, P. & Smith, J. (2010). Uncommon players, common goals: Partnerships in charter schools. In C. Lubienski & P.C. Weitzel, The charter school experiment. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Nayfack, M., Hentschke, G. & Wohlstetter, P. (2009, March). Exploring superintendent leadership in smaller urban districts: Does district size influence superintendent behavior? Education and Urban Society, 41(3), 317-337.

Wohlstetter, P., Datnow, A. & Park, V. (2007). Creating a system for data-driven decision-making: Applying the principal-agent framework. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 19(3), 239-259.

Wohlstetter, P., Malloy, C.L., Hentschke, G. & Smith, J. (2004, December). Improving service delivery in education through collaboration: The role of cross-sectoral alliances in the development and support of charter schools. Social Science Quarterly, 85(5), 1078-1096.

Wohlstetter, P. & Chau, D. (2003). Does autonomy matter? Implementing research-based practices in charter and other public schools. In K. Bulkley & P. Wohlstetter (Eds.), Taking account of charter schools: What’s happened and what’s next? New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Wohlstetter, P., Malloy, C.L., Chau, D., & Polhemus, J.L. (2003, September). Improving schools through networks: A new approach to urban school reform. Educational Policy, 17(4), 399-430.

current projects

biographical information

Priscilla Wohlstetter, Ph.D., is Distinguished Research Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University and Director of the TC Survey Research Initiative. Prior to her faculty appointment in the Department of Education Policy & Social Analysis, she held the Diane and MacDonald Becket Professorship in Education Policy at the University of Southern California, where she also founded and directed the Center on Educational Governance. She specializes in research on education reform, policy implementation, and intergovernmental relations. She has led numerous longitudinal studies around school decentralization, public-private partnerships, and charter schools. Her recent research examines the implementation and effects of the Common Core State Standards in New York City, which has produced several publications, including Common Core, Uncommon Model: Implementation in New York City for AERA, and Networks in New York City: Implementing the Common Core for the Politics of Education Yearbook. Wohlstetter served as a member of the US Department of Education’s Technical Working Group for College and Career Standards. She also serves on the Broad Foundation’s Charter School Prize Review Panel. Her most recent book, Choices and Challenges: Charter School Performance in Perspective (with J. Smith & C. C. Farrell) was published in 2013 by Harvard Education Press.

custom course list

EDPS 5645: The Craft of Policy Analysis (formerly Policy Seminar I)

Documents & Papers

Download: Wohlstetter_Resume [Word]

Centers and Projects

Consortium for Policy Research in Education